iPhone to overtake Nokia in smartphone market by 2013

While Apple's iPhone has set the benchmark for all other smartphone vendors, the idea that it could become the market leader has been dismissed - until now. According to new research, the upstart iPhone is increasing its market share at such a rate that it could be the dominant player by 2013.

Analysts at Generator Research claim that the smartphone market will almost reverse itself from its situation today and believes Nokia will tumble from about 40 per cent share today to just 20 per cent in 2013. iPhones, meanwhile, should accelerate and hit 33 per cent of the market at the same point. Apple would match Nokia's share sometime in 2011 and ship as many as 77 million phones that year.

This scenario, blasphemy to many, could come about both through ideal conditions for Apple as well as an inability for Nokia to pay attention to smartphones as much as it would like. Generator sees Apple as entering a ‘golden age' of fast growth because of the combination of the iPhone and the App Store, with one driving sales of the other.

While the study points to Nokia's attention on shipping large volumes of low-cost devices into developing markets--and thereby placing less importance on the smartphone sector, Generator speculates that the situation could become even worse for the Finnish manufacturer.

The research firm is convinced that Apple could speed up its sales further by more tightly integrating the iPhone app ecosystem with operators, which Generator believes would let developers target specific networks and perform feats that aren't normally possible with Apple's operator-neutral strategy.

For more on this story:
- check out these graphs showing global shipments
- see this story in Electonista

Related stories:
Nokia loses brand awareness as N97 'iPhone killer' launched
Orange France ups iPhone war with mobile TV launch, and opens App store
Skype/iPhone combo causes operator angst
O2 to crack down on iPhone tethering cheats

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