Apple and Samsung have overtaken Nokia to become the largest global smartphone manufacturers, according to analyst figures.
The latest research by analyst Strategy Analytics says global smartphone shipments grew 76% between the second quarter of 2010 and the same period in 2011, reaching 110 million units. Apple snatched top place from Nokia with 19% market share while Samsung took 18% after increasing its smartphone shipments from 3.1 million units to 19.2 million units over the period - an increase of 520%.
Alex Spektor, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "We had previously reported on Apple becoming the largest smartphone vendor in terms of revenue and profits. Now, just four years after the release of the original iPhone, Apple has become the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume with 19% market share."
Spektor said Samsung showed strong growth but still faces fierce competition in the feature phone and basic phone sub-category from Chinese rivals, such as ZTE, Huawei and TCL-Alcatel.
Despite high smartphone sales, Samsung's second quarter results showed profit fell 18% year-on-year as it struggled to overtake Nokia in global handset shipments, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Samsung's global handset market share reached 21% as Nokia lost share, falling from 35% to 25% year-on-year. Nokia also dropped from 38% share of the smartphone market to 15% in the second quarter of this year.
Strategy Analytics said it is Nokia's lowest market share level in over a decade.
Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics, added, "Having become the first ever vendor to ship 100 million smartphones in a single year during 2010, long-time leader Nokia has slipped two places in our rankings in Q2 2011. The vendor's 15% global smartphone market share is less than half of what it was just one year earlier, as the industry awaits Nokia's pending transition to Windows Phone 7."
Nokia's recent financial results showed smartphone sales dropped 32% in the first half of 2011. The firm reported operating losses of €487m (£429m) in the first half of 2011, fuelled by a decline in smartphone sales.
The latest figures from analyst Juniper Research predict the number of worldwide smartphone shipments will reach one billion by 2016, up from 302 million in 2010 - an increase of 230% in the next five years.