Apple leading the global smartphone pack

Image: Jorge Quinteros/Flickr.

Despite the surging popularity of Android-powered smartphone handsets, particularly those made by Samsung, market research specialist Gartner has found that Apple and its iPhone are still leading the pack.

According to Gartner’s latest report, Apple sold some 89.3 million smartphone units worldwide in 2011, which accounts for 18.9 percent of the global market and is a year-on-year increase of 3.2 percent when compared to 2010.

However, while Apple is still top dog, Samsung’s growth during the last 12 months is probably something the Cupertino-based giant is concerned about—just take a look at the recent rush of legal complaints directed at Galaxy devices.

For example, while Samsung sold 25.4 million smartphones in 2010 for a fourth-placed 8.5 percent market share behind Nokia, RIM, and Apple, it sold 87.1 million units in 2011 on its way to securing a vastly improved 18.5 percent.

Meanwhile, 2010’s biggest smartphone players have seen their market momentum stall in 2011, with Nokia’s leading 34.2 percent share dropping to 17.9 percent, and BlackBerry maker RIM sliding from 16.6 percent to 10.9 percent.    

Apple’s placement atop the pile comes after its iPhone 4S racked up 23.8 percent of the 37 million iPhones sold around the world during the final quarter of last year.

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