Despite strong growth year-over-year, Apple ceded its spot as the world's top smartphone vendor in the first quarter of 2012 as Samsung boosted both smartphone and feature phone shipments to record levels.
After Samsung confirmed record earnings for the March quarter on Friday, a set of new analyses estimate that the company overtook Apple to become the world's largest smartphone vendor while simultaneously passing long-time leader Nokia for the top spot among global mobile phone vendors.
After Microsoft was found to be making more from licensing its patents to Android handset makers than from selling its own Windows Phone 7, it's now clear Nokia has earned more from licensing patents to Apple than it has selling its own Lumia Windows Phone 7 devices.
Nokia reported net sales down 29 percent compared to the year ago quarter, along with a 1.3 billion Euro loss ($1.7 billion US) on what it called "mixed" sales of new Lumia phones running Windows Phone 7.
Apple's Online Store was down on Tuesday night and the company took the opportunity to roll out a new "We'll be back" sign. Also, Nokia is now offering a $100 credit on its $99 Lumia 900 flagship smartphone after a software bug affecting data connections was discovered.
Apple has begun emailing customers in Australia with an offer to return LTE-capable third-generation iPads by April 25 if they expected the tablet to work on local 4G networks. Also, Apple partner Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai has announced plans to raise wages at its headquarters in Taiwan, and analysts are concerned that Nokia's Lumia 900 Windows Phone launch in the U.S. will flop.
In an effort to draw attention to its new Lumia branded Windows Phone 7 phones, Nokia has joined AT&T in preparing for a high profile launch, apparently starting with new spots that attempt to resurrect 2010's Antennagate.
In a letter sent to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute on Thursday, RIM alleges that Apple is trying to sway the nano-SIM standard vote by having company representatives change their affiliation to cast proxy votes.
Finnish handset maker Nokia has said that it will elect not to license essential SIM-related patents to a new nano-SIM standard if the European Telecommunications Standards Institute chooses Apple's design over its own.
Ahead of a European standards-setting organization vote on competing nano-SIM proposals from Nokia and Apple, the Finnish handset maker has dismissed Apple's offer of royalty-free licenses as seemingly "no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others."
Proposals for the future nano-SIM format were revealed on Monday, just days before the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is scheduled to vote on designs presented by Apple, Nokia and RIM.
The battle for smartphone operating system supremacy is quickly becoming a two-horse race, as the latest data from comScore shows that only Apple and Google were able to grow their market share in the U.S. through January.