Apple Becomes Third Biggest Cellphone Vendor In 2011 Behind Nokia And Samsung

IDC

Following the company’s strongest quarter in history, Apple has become the third biggest cellphone vendor worldwide, surpassing LG and ZTE in the process. If analysts expected the Cupertino-based company to surpass ZTE without any issues, they wouldn’t have expected it to emerge as such a clear winner over LG.

The 37 million iPhones sold in the fourth quarter of 2011 helped Apple to reach 93.2 million units sold during the whole year. This is the first time Apple goes in front of LG in the company’s history, but there were clear signs that this thing will happen at some point. After the iPhone 4 was introduced in the summer of 2010, Apple gained a lot of market share to LG’s and ZTE’s detriment, however, the Cupertino firm couldn’t maintain the same level of interest from the consumers therefore it remained on the fifth spot.

After Steve Jobs’ death and the launch of a somewhat “disappointing” iPhone 4S, everyone believed that Apple’s popularity will go down, and that it’s time for another company to take over and stop its growth. Well, Tim Cook proved them all wrong, and the iPhone 4S was an instant hit. Now analysts are expecting Apple to sell even more iPhones thanks to the smartphone’s launch in China, the biggest mobile market in the world.

It is believed that Apple will sell about 43 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2012 only in China. That’s an impressive amount, and in order to prove it, you should be aware that Cupertino sold about 47 million iPhones in 2010.

Apple recorded a 96.2% increase in 2011 over 2010, and a 128.4% increase in Q4 2011 over Q4 2010. The iPhone’s market share for the full year stands at 6%, LG’s share stands at 5.7%, while ZTE has a share of 4.3%.

Now let’s move on to the top two manufacturers – Nokia is the biggest cellphone vendor worldwide with 417.1 million handsets sold in 2011, down from 453 million units sold in 2010. Samsung has retained the second spot with 329.4 million cellphones sold last year, up from 280.2 million units sold two years ago.

If 2012 will follow the same trend as in 2011 then this means that Samsung will become the biggest mobile phone vendor worldwide, while Nokia will go second. Apple will be right there behind the Finnish company, and it’s probably going to surpass Nokia in 2013.

Apple has come a long way from the 1% that Steve Jobs wanted to account for on the cellphone market, and it’s now heading towards the top spot. Who do you think will stop Apple and why? Share your thoughts in comments.

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