April 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM ET
Apple is now the world's largest phone vendor in terms of revenue, knocking Nokia off its global pedestal for the first time, according to a new report.
Strategy Analytics said Thursday Apple overtook Nokia "to become the world’s largest handset vendor in revenue terms during Q1 2011." The company said the term " 'handset' refers to the aggregated total market of smartphones, feature phones and basic phones combined."
The news comes a day after the Cupertino company reported yet another exceptional quarter, "nearly doubling its net income and far exceeding analyst estimates on the strength of the seemingly unstoppable iPhone," including a "record" sale of 18.65 million iPhones in the quarter, the Associated Press said Wednesday.
Apple's title may not be held for long, noted Neill Mawston, Strategy Analytics director, despite its "wildly popular and hugely profitable" products and services. The challenger: phones using the Android operating system.
"Rivals are chasing hard, particularly the Android vendor community, whose global installed base of smartphones we estimate will exceed that of Apple’s by the end of 2011," he said. "Nokia is also investing heavily with Microsoft and Apple will be a key target for them next year."
Another report earlier this week, from comScore, noted that Apple's iOS — its mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad — has a "combined platform reach" of 37.9 million devices in the U.S., while Android is far behind at 23.8 million, according to a new survey by tracking company comScore.
Strategy Analytics estimates Apple's "wholesale revenues" for iPhones was $11.9 billion in the first quarter of the year, compared to Nokia, which "recorded a lower" revenue figure of $9.5 billion in handset revenues.
It is no small feat for a company that did not have a phone out until 2007.
"With strong volumes and high wholesale prices, the PC vendor has successfully captured revenue leadership of the total handset market in less than four years," said Alex Spektor, Strategy Analytics senior analyst.