Apple's share of the smartphone market is growing quickly enough that it could overtake Nokia's in as little as four years, according to data from Generator Research. The analyst group sees the market almost reversing itself from its situation today and believes Nokia will tumble from about 40 percent share today to just 20 percent in 2013. iPhones, meanwhile, should accelerate and hit 33 percent of the market at the same point. Apple would match Nokia's share sometime in 2011 and ship as many as 77 million phones that year.
The apparent flip is expected to come about both through ideal conditions for Apple as well as an inability for Nokia to pay attention to smartphones as much as it would like. Generator sees Apple as entering a "golden age" of fast growth both because of the combination of the iPhone and the App Store, with one driving sales of the other. It also has the benefit of selling both to smartphone users as well as to existing iPod owners. A crossover device appealing to high end media phone users, such as the $99 iPhone 3G, should also give the company a boost.