Apple overtakes Nokia as top manufacturer of smartphones

Nokia has lost its crown as the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones to its buoyant rival Apple.

Nokia has lost its crown as the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones to its buoyant rival Apple.

The Finland-based company today announced a loss of €368m in the second quarter of 2011, compared to a profit of €227m in the same period the previous year.

Revenues fell 7% to €9.3bn.

It said shipments of smartphones declined by 34% to 16.7 million units, which means Nokia is no longer the biggest player in this sector. Apple recently said it sold more than 20 million iPhones in the same quarter.

Some analysts expect South Korea-based Samsung to also surpass Nokia’s smartphones sales when it releases its second-quarter earnings next week.

Nokia, which recently announced 700 job cuts in the UK, said it was accelerating its cost-cutting plan to exceed the previously targeted savings of €1bn in 2013.

The reductions would be achieved through cuts in staff and oustourced professionals, facility costs and efficiency savings, the company said.

In February, Nokia announced plans with Microsoft to produce the first Nokia Windows mobile phone before the end of the year. Its own Symbian software has been losing ground to Google’s popular Android platform.

But analysts said Nokia needs to take quick action to develop more new products or it will continue to lose ground to its rivals.

Nokia dominated the mobile phone market in the late 1990s after it overtook Motorola but has since lost its way.

It is being squeezed in the low end market by Asian manufacturers like ZTE and in the high end by the makers of smartphones like the iPhone and Research in Motion’s Blackberry devices.

Its global market share is understood to have dropped below 30% earlier this year for the first time in more than a decade. Its shares, listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange, have nearly halved in value this year.

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