Apple Officially World’s Largest Smartphone Maker—Guess by How Much

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It wasn’t enough to surpass the U.S. government with a whopping $76 billion in cash reserves, now Apple’s been declared the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer as well. It must have something to do with that mobile phone they make. What’s it called again? The i-Something?

Yep, that. And according to Strategy Analytics, it pushed Apple past both Nokia and Samsung in the second quarter of 2011 to establish Cupertino as the world’s topmost smartphone maker in volume shipments. And depending who we’re comparing the company to, Apple’s either ahead by a huge margin, or just barely.

(LIST: Consumer Electronics Show: 11 Tech Trends for 2011)

Worldwide smartphone shipments grew across the board for the second quarter of 2011, up 76% to a record 110 million units total, according to Strategy Analytics senior analyst Alex Spektor. While Nokia dropped from 23.8% to 16.7% in shipments for the second quarter, year-on-year, Apple’s leapt to 20.3% during the same period. Samsung clocked in second at 19.2%, a single slender percentage point behind Apple, and actually beat Cupertino for year-on-year shipment growth, rising 16.1% (from 3.1%) compared with Apple’s 11.9% (from 8.4%) for the same period, year-on-year.

“Now, just four years after the release of the original iPhone, Apple has become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume with 18 percent market share,” said Spektor, adding “Apple’s growth remained strong as it expanded distribution worldwide, particularly in China and Asia.”

Those ratios apply to global marketshare, too. While Nokia more than halved its second quarter position, dropping from 38.1% to third place with 15.2% of the market year-on-year, Samsung rose from 5% to second place with 17.5% and Apple jumped ahead from 13.5% to first place with 18.5% for the same period. Again, Samsung’s marketshare growth performance actually beat Apple’s.

Added Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawson, “Samsung overtook Nokia to become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor in Q2 2011…[growing] a huge 520 percent annually.” Mawson points to the success of Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, “especially the high-tier S2 Android model.”

And Tom Kang, another director at Strategy Analytics, explains Nokia’s slump by pointing out that while the company was first to ship 100 million smartphones in a single year (in 2010), “the industry awaits Nokia’s pending transition to Windows Phone 7.”

MORE: Nokia Promises Windows Phone This Year

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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