Apple and Samsung knocked Nokia from the top smartphone perch in the second quarter, according to ABI Research. The rivals are expected to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S II and iPhone 5 this fall.
An interesting thing happened in the smartphone market
during the second quarter. Both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung passed Nokia (NYSE:NOK)
in worldwide smartphone sales, according to ABI Research.
Apple shipped over 20.3 million iPhones to take the No. 1
position. Samsung followed with 19 million smartphones sold, including more
than 5 million Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based Galaxy S II devices in less
than three months.
Nokia represented 16.7 million handsets shipped, while
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) was No. 4 with 13.2 million smartphones sold,
an 11 percent drop from Q2 2010.
Overall, Android comprised 46.4 percent of 103 million
smartphones sold in Q2, showing Android's global reach is great even in the
face of the prestigious iPhone.
One interesting story line is how Android has led a major
resurgence in Samsung's smartphone business. Samsung's Galaxy line of
smartphones helped the company tally 34 percent of Android smartphone
shipments. HTC was No. 2 in Android unit share with 23 percent.
"Although Apple's 142 percent year-over-year growth
placed it as No. 1 this quarter, Samsung's 500 percent [year-over-year] growth shows
that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung's to lose,"
said ABI Research Senior Analyst Michael Morgan.
There are two major happenings afoot that could impact
the smartphone market ecosystem going forward, including one situation that could curb Morgan's enthusiasm for Samsung's Android phone sales.
First, Samsung and Apple are embroiled in serious patent
infringement litigation that could ultimately decide the fate of both Apple's ability
to sell iOS and Samsung's ability to sell Android phones. Apple accused Samsung
of copying its phone designs and Samsung fired back a counterclaim.
That case is one of many Apple has levied against Android
handset makers. However, Apple won a small victory when HTC lost a motion this month
to have patent infringement claims filed against it by Apple for its Android
If HTC is found to have infringed, it will be enjoined
from selling Android phones; this precedence could foreshadow dire results for
the rest of the Android OEMs, such as Samsung and Motorola (NYSE:MMI).
The second major happening lies on the horizon. Samsung
is expected to launch its Galaxy S II phones in the United States next month. Apple is
expected to counter by launching the iPhone 5 in September.
If early buzz is any indication--and the hype is great
for both--the Galaxy S II and iPhone 5 will set the stage for the next great smartphone
battle for the fall shopping season.