Apple smartphone share predicted to pass Nokia by 2013

Data from Generator Research, an analyst group, suggests that Apple will pass the current leader - Nokia - in smartphone share in 2013.

The research company predicts that Nokia's share will halve from 40% today (due chiefly to the N95) to 20% in 2013. iPhones are predicted to hit 33% of the market at the same time.

That's not quite as big a deal as you might think - this is only smartphone share, lower-end handsets are still dominated by Nokia. Also, the research company displays Apple's logo proudly on its website under "customers", so you can guess who's funding the survey.

However, it's worth asking the question - has Nokia lost it? The iPhone is universally praised by everyone, with the exception of Nokia's UK general manager, Mark Loughran, who's on record as saying:

"The new iPhone is an evolution rather than a revolution and for people trying to decide whether to get a Nokia N97 or an iPhone, it comes down to a decision on performance and value for money".

"The new iPhone seems to have the same design and colour,
upgrading from a sub-standard two-megapixel camera to a still low 3.2-megapixel camera, and is probably a disappointment for many people given the high tariff and lifetime ownership costs".

Pocket-lint's review found the company's flagship device - the N97 - lacking. Despite packing excellent specs, the software simply wasn't good enough. However, Nokia's 5800 seems to be doing rather well in the lower end of the market, and it has plenty of other smartphones too.

The iPhone's one-handset-fits-all approach can only gain so many fans. A diverse portfolio of devices should, in theory, help Nokia hold onto market share that the iPhone - if it continues in its current philosophy - shouldn't be able to match.

One thing's for certain, the iPhone has proved disruptive, and as a result it's the standard bearer for the current smartphone generation. How that will evolve remains to be seen. For now, we're placing no bets.