Apple expected to take top smartphone vendor crown for 2011

Apple has been coming on strong in the smartphone market with raging popularity of the iPhone around the world. Apple was able to pass Nokia not long ago to become the largest smartphone vendor based on shipments during Q2 2011. Nokia did hold it off for the more important sales to end users though for the quarter. That is predicted to change for the full 2011 calendar year according to research from DigiTimes.

DigiTimes reports that Apple will take the top spot among all global smartphone vendors based on projections for calendar year 2011. Apple is expected to have 19% of the global smartphone market with shipments of 86.4 million units. While Apple is booming Nokia is sliding significantly with shipments predicted to drop by 25% for the year.

A 25% decline in shipments would put Nokia at about 75 million handsets shipped for the year. Samsung is also growing strong thanks to the popularity of its Android smartphone and it is expected to pass HTC and RIM. It won't reach Nokia or Apple though for full year shipments.

Apple is expected to overtake Nokia as the top ranking vendor in terms of shipment volume in 2011, while Huawei Technologies will enjoy robust growth in shipments enabling the China-based company to close its gap with Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

Apple's smartphone shipments are projected to top 86.4 million units in 2011, up 82% from 47.5 million units in 2010. In contrast, Nokia's smartphone shipments in 2011 will decline to 74.4 million units from over 100 million in 2010, said Luke Lin, analyst for DigiTimes Research.

[via MacRumors]