Apple on top in smartphone wars


Apple sold more smartphones than any other manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2011, following successful sales of the iPhone 4S.

Gartner figures showed Apple's record sales of iPhones made it the world's top smartphone vendor, with a market share of 23.8 per cent.

It also became the third biggest mobile vendor, leapfrogging LG in the quarter.

In 2011, they realised their issues and started the transition to a new Nokia.'

Apple was also the top smartphone seller in the whole of 2011, with a 19 per cent market share.

"Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales."

The iPhone maker has been battling it out with Samsung, which had been clinging onto the top spot until now.

The two companies have also been waging a patent war with one another in various countries across the world.

Nokia ready for resurgence?

Gartner had some positive words to say about Nokia something that has become a bit of a rarity in recent times. Although its mobile phone sales decreased 8.7 per cent year-over-year, Nokia "proved its ability to execute and deliver on time with its new Lumia 710 and 800 handsets," Cozza said.

"In 2011, they realised their issues and started the transition to a new Nokia.' In Q4 we started to see signs that the changes they have made are paying back," Gartner's Carolina Milanesi told IT Pro.

"They proved they can deliver, which has always been their issue. Nokia had vision but execution was the Achilles heel."

As for who could make their mark on the smartphone market this year, Milanesi pointed to Chinese manufacturers.

"ZTE and Huawei are growing in the mid and low end in Europe and US," she added.

"As operators are starting to pay the price for the success of iPhone and high-end Android phones they will look for cheaper alternatives to use for their mass market."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.