Apple unseats Nokia as high smartphone vendor

July 21: Today in Apple history: Apple unseats Nokia as top smartphone vendor

July 21, 2011: Apple formally passes Nokia to turn out to be the world’s high smartphone vendor.

It’s a serious milestone for Apple, which launched the iPhone simply 4 years earlier. For Nokia, the Finnish firm that dominated the cellphone market in the course of the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, it marks the tip of an period.

Rise of Apple, fall of Nokia

A sharp decline by Nokia puts Apple on top.
A pointy decline by Nokia places Apple on high.
Picture: Asymco

The triumph of the iPhone over Nokia concerned the seemingly unstoppable rise of Apple, in addition to a pointy drop in shipments by Nokia. For the monetary quarter ending in July 2011, Apple bought 20.3 million iPhones, in comparison with Nokia’s 16.7 million.

Nokia remained the world’s largest phone-maker by quantity (taking into consideration non-smartphones), but it surely was clear {that a} tipping level had been reached. By this time, Apple was promoting its enormously profitable iPhone 4. And with extra nations adopting smartphones, the corporate’s future seemed fairly shiny.

Nonetheless, Apple additionally confronted challenges from Android units. Upstart South Korean smartphone-maker Samsung additionally overtook Nokia on account of the Finnish firm’s fall from grace. Nonetheless, Samsung bought solely half the variety of telephones Apple did on the time.

Nokia: From scorching telephone to ‘burning platform’

Fifteen years earlier, Nokia truly created the smartphone market with its Communicator telephone sequence. These 1996 units launched options like coloration shows, internet looking and the Symbian working system. Nonetheless, Nokia’s 2011-era telephones in the end proved uninspiring. In February 2011, Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop warned workers, “We’re standing on a burning platform.”

The corporate minimize 4,000 jobs worldwide, with one other 4,000 to observe in 2012. As well as, Nokia doubled down on its Microsoft partnership, with the objective of changing Symbian with the software program for Microsoft’s Home windows Telephone 7. Microsoft in the end bought Nokia’s cell division in 2013.

Here's how Nokia profits broke down that quarter.
Right here’s how earnings broke down that quarter.
Picture: Asymco

In the present day, Nokia nonetheless holds data for the top-selling telephone fashions of all time. The candy-bar-style Nokia 1100, which went on sale in 2003, stays the bestselling cell phone in historical past, with greater than 250 million bought. Today, the corporate is nothing however a bit participant on the smartphone scene, although. You’ll be able to nonetheless purchase Nokia smartphones, however they’re made by HMD World, which licenses the Nokia title.

The iPhone, alternatively, is … properly, the iPhone.

Did you personal a Nokia cell phone again within the day? When did you understand the iPhone would dominate the world? Depart your feedback under.

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