Apple Takes Lead in Smart Phone Shipments, Samsung Not Far Behind

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

By Jordan Crook

According to a report from IDC, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shipped more smart phones than any other manufacturer in Q2, stealing bragging rights from a struggling Nokia (NYSE:NOK). With 20.3 million units shipped, Apple managed to nab a 19.1% market share, representing year-over-year growth of 141.7%. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and Nokia followed behind, with Research In Motion (RIMM) and HTC bringing up the rear.

It’s worth noting that HTC posted record numbers this quarter with 166% YOY growth to claim an 11.7% market share, up from 8.9% last quarter. The HTC Sensation and Evo 3D had quite a bit to do with that, along with HTC’s increasing prominence in China. Even though the company ranks fifth, it still seemed to eat a large portion of RIM's and Nokia’s share. But HTC wasn’t alone in that. Samsung took a big bite, too.

In fact, Samsung has had an amazing year, seeing year-over-year growth of 380.6%. Much of that success can be attributed to the Samsung Galaxy S II, which sold 3 million units in its first 55 days on the market. If it can maintain anything like that growth for a little longer, it will leapfrog Apple with ease.

Now for the bad news. RIM shipped a little over one million more smart phones this quarter than it did in the same quarter of 2010, which would be a respectable bump if the smart phone market itself hadn’t seen far greater growth, hitting 106.5 million shipments overall this quarter. So while RIM did ship more handsets, it actually lost a ton of market share.

Now for the really bad news. Nokia, as expected, performed worse this quarter compared to last year both in units sold and market share. After a 30% drop in units shipped, Nokia now controls just 15.7% of the market. Obviously, the transition from MeeGo to Windows Phone 7 has quite a bit to do with this. While MeeGo dies, customers are opting for brand new phones rather than waiting for a Windows-powered Nokia handset. What’s worse, the wait isn’t ending anytime soon, as the U.S. isn’t anywhere on Nokia’s list of countries to get the first Windows-powered handset.

Apple and Android eating Nokia and RIM’s lunch isn’t exactly breaking news, but seeing the actual numbers is always interesting. According to comScore’s latest numbers, Android has taken a 40% market share as of June. It just so happens that the manufacturers seeing the greatest growth - HTC and Samsung - also happen to predominantly run Android. It only follows that if Android can continue to grow at the rate it is, Samsung and HTC will follow suit.

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