New York: Apple has toppled Nokia to become the world's number one smart phone seller. In its second-quarterly results on Thursday, the Finnish cell phone company reported shipment of 16.7 million smart phones. But during the same period Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones, the Cupertino, California-based company had announced in its quarterly results on Tuesday.

According to the analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which tracks information technology markets, Nokia now accounts for just 16 percent of smart phone sales globally - down from 37 percent last year.

However, Nokia still continues to dominate the basic-feature cell phone market even though Samsung is now breathing down its neck in that market also.

In both smart phone and basic-feature cell phone markets, Nokia's share of the global market has slipped to 25 percent from 34 percent a year ago.

But Nokia beat forecasts to post a net profit of $551 million during the period.

“These disastrous results show how quickly bad a business can become for a Company that does not understand the trends ahead of competitors or is too slow to react to those trends, in a such fast moving industry,'' says the IDC as quoted by a magazine.

“Nokia is bleeding on all fronts. On the smart phone segment its portfolio is not attractive in terms of user experience, ecosystem and even price. Since the Company started struggling in 2009, a price differentiation strategy was pursued to keep volumes high, but even this is not working anymore. Consumers can already find better Android devices at lower prices than Nokia smart devices.”

“This could even get worse in the next quarters as Apple is rumoured to be launching a cheaper iPhone in September. If this is true, Nokia will continue losing market share until the new platform from Microsoft is fully deployed. From the feature phones perspective, the high volume driver for Nokia, the situation won't get any better,'' according to the analyst firm.

The only hope for Nokia to reverse its decline now lies in the new Microsoft Window Phone 7 platform it is adopting from next year as its main smart phone strategy

(Agencies)