* Apple overtakes Nokia in Q3 -Strategy Analytics
* More profit on 7.4 mln iPhones than Nokia's 108.5 mln
* Apple entered cellphone market only mid-2007
* Nokia sued Apple last month claiming patent infringement
By Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent
HELSINKI, Nov 10 Apple (AAPL.O) overtook Nokia
NOK1V.HE in the third quarter as the cellphone maker
generating the highest total operating profit in the industry,
research firm Strategy Analytics said on Tuesday.
Apple, which entered the cellphone market only in mid-2007
with its iPhones, sold a record 7.4 million of them in the
"With strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost
controls, the PC vendor has successfully broken into the mobile
phone market in just two years," said Alex Spektor, analyst at
Apple does not unveil profits per business line, but
Strategy Analytics estimated Apple's operating profit for its
iPhone handset unit stood at $1.6 billion in the third quarter,
compared with Nokia's $1.1 billion.
Apple has said sales value of iPhones sold during the
July-September quarter was $4.5 billion.
Nokia sold 108.5 million phones in total in the same
quarter, generating sales of 6.9 billion euros ($10.36 billion)
but its profits were hit by the economic downturn and a
stagnant presence in the United States.
Nokia's global market share is still close to 40 percent,
but in the United States its market share is well below 10
"We believe the United States, where Nokia now trails Apple
in marketshare, is the key to Nokia's recovery in 2010," said
analyst Neil Mawston.
"A successful fight on Apple's high-profit home turf can
simultaneously help to revitalize Nokia's margins and to put a
check on Apple's surging growth," Mawston said. To challenge
Apple and RIM RIMM.ORIM.TO, maker of the Blackberry, Nokia
started deliveries of its new top-end smartphone N900 this
The N900 model is Nokia's first phone to run on the Linux
Maemo operating system, which analysts see as key for Nokia to
regain ground in the coming years.
In October, Nokia charged Apple with infringing ten of its
patents, accusing the iPhone maker of trying to hitch a free
ride on Nokia's technology investments. [ID:nLM664007]
(Additional reporting by Gabriel Madway in San Francisco;
Editing by Gary Hill)