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Apple knocks Nokia off top, now #1 in smartphone volume

The Cupertino crew are throwing some high five’s this morning as the announcement came that they have finally dethroned rival smart phone giant Nokia as the worlds largest producer of smart phone handsets. With a very strong second quarter charge, Apple shipped 20.34 million handsets last quarter as Nokia watched their sales slide from a heft first quarter number of 24.2 million handsets to a second quarter number of just 16.7 million. Ouch. Granted we all know about Nokia’s challenges that lie ahead and relationship with Microsoft, but this is a really nice achievement for Apple who again posted solid growth in the second quarter growing handset sales by 1.64 million units.

The interesting sidebar to this story is that if rumors are correct, we could see three flavors of iPhone’s in the marketplace for customers to choose from. The rumor suggests that Apple would be coming out with low end device which could in fact be the 3GS that would sell for a non contract price of $350. The mid device category would stay with the current iPhone 4, and then Apple would release a high end, large screen, A5 Processor, 8mp camera version which could be called the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S. Regardless of name or device attribute, the idea of Apple having “choices” for customers directly sets it’s sights on Android, and the huge variety of device offers they have across multiple OEMs. Even though I think the majority of existing iPhone owners would never backslide into lessor model, the majority preferring to stand in line for the latest, this may in fact attract newer non techie consumers who have always been on the fence but never jumped because of price.

Whether you like Apple and  the iPhone or not, this year is really going to finish strong for not only Apple, but for consumers as well.