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Apple Bests Nokia As World's Top Smartphone Vendor: IDC

Apple Worlds Largest Smartphone Vendor

PETER SVENSSON   08/ 4/11 06:35 PM ET   AP

NEW YORK — Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. zoomed to the top of the list of global smartphone makers in the second quarter, blowing past Nokia Corp. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., according to research firm IDC.

Korea's Samsung made the biggest jump, from No. 4 in the first quarter to No. 2 in the second, on the strength of its Galaxy phones, which run Google Inc.'s Android software. It sold 17.3 million smartphones in the second quarter, up from 10.8 million in the first, IDC said.

Apple rose to No. 1, taking the spot from Nokia, by selling 20.3 million iPhones, up from 18.7 million in the first quarter. That relegated Finland's Nokia, the long-time leader, to third place. Apple has yet to top Nokia's high-water mark of 28.1 million phones in a quarter.

"But given Apple's momentum in the smartphone market, it may not be a question of whether Apple will beat that milestone, but when," IDC said.

Remarkably, Apple's sales record comes nearly a year after it released its latest model, the iPhone 4, and it's still selling millions of the even older iPhone 3GS. Competitors such as Samsung put out new models every few months.

Nokia sold 16.7 million smartphones, a sharp drop from 24.2 million in the previous quarter. The company has struggled to come up with an answer to the iPhone. Nokia is now transitioning to smartphone software from Microsoft Corp., but it's first Windows Phones won't be on sale until late this year, at the earliest.

Canada's RIM fell from third to fourth place, as it saw a decline in BlackBerry sales from the first quarter to the second. Like Nokia, it has been struggling to update the high end of its line to compete with touch-screen phones such as the iPhone. It unveiled five new models with updated software this week.

HTC Corp. of Taiwan remained in fifth place, but it's seeing rapidly growing sales. Like Samsung, it has bet on Google's Android software for its phones.

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Filed by Bianca Bosker  |