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Because Android phones are made by a wide number of hardware manufacturers, Apple's surpassing of Nokia made it the world's largest individual smartphone manufacturer in the second quarter of 2011.
"The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market," Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones said. "It's an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smart phone market for four years.
"With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in (the third quarter of calendar 2011), it's likely that Apple's position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year."
Also moving ahead of Nokia in the second quarter was Apple's rival Samsung. However, Canalys said that Samsung, the largest Android device vendor, had an "underwhelming" performance, considering the opportunities available due to Nokia's struggles.
"Samsung has failed to fully capitalize on Nokia's weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period," Jones said. "It's the best placed vendor to grow at Nokia's expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasnât yet done enough to capitalize on this, particularly in emerging markets."
Samsung's 17 million smartphone units sold in the quarter placed it behind the record 20.34 million iPhones sold by Apple last quarter, Canalys said. Nokia's smartphone sales were just 16.7 million units last quarter.
Though Android is the leading platform in 35 of the 56 markets Canalys tracks, the firm found that Nokia has retained its leading role in emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China.
"The problem for Nokia is that demand for its Symbian-based smart phones has dissipated very rapidly, particularly in operator-led markets, such as Western Europe, where it's been strong in the past," said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. "It badly needs the first of its Windows Phone devices to launch as soon as possible to arrest a decline and, hopefully, silence its critics."
In all, Canalys found that the smartphone market grew 73 percent year over year, with more than 107.7 million total units shipped in the second quarter of 2011.
While the latest Canalys estimates represent sales and market share, Apple is far and away the market leader in terms of profits in the mobile industry. One analysis released last week found that Apple represents about two-thirds of the mobile phone industry's profits due to growing iPhone sales.