The latest figures for Q3 show that Apple are now the forth largest mobile manufacturer behind Nokia, Samsung and LG. Shifting 14 million phones in the quarter, the company overtook RIM’s BlackBerry for the first time (see previous iphone sales stats). Apple have benefitted from the launch of the iPhone 4, so it is quite possible that RIM will jump ahead of them later this year. Nokia still sell 8 x the volume of phones than Apple at 110 million … that’s more phones that Apple have ever sold! However the Finish manufacturer has a massive range of handsets, whereas there is just the iPhone 4 (and 3gs) – pretty successful for a single model.
What is interesting is how Apple has made it into the top 5. Basically some of their main competitors: Sony Ericsson and Motorola have given up the fight. What I mean, is that having made losses for some time, they have stopped being global manufacturers and concentrated primarily on smartphones in regional markets: Motorola in the US and Sony Ericsson in Europe. Nokia and Samsung, have been successful at providing the basic phones, especially in emerging mobile markets. However, they are making the shift to smartphones. Samsung have a real contender to the iPhone in the Galaxy S. If you don’t care about the Apple logo on your phone (yes, there are some people outside the media industries who really don’t care) then the Samsung phone is an excellent choice.
Of course, Apple still make more profit than all the others put together. As I keep saying, with that kind of success why would you need to take over the world and become the biggest? What’s wrong with being the most profitable?