Tech wrap: Apple ousts Nokia as top smartphone vendor

July 29, 2011

Apple jumped to the top of the global smartphone sales rankings in the second quarter, ending Nokia’s 15-year run as the lead smartphone vendor, according to new research from Strategy Analytics. Apple sold a record 20.3 million iPhones during the quarter, which amounts to about a fifth of the global smartphone market. Impressive considering its iPhone 4 model was released more than a year ago. Samsung also surpassed Nokia to claim second spot, with 17.5 percent of market share. Nokia fell to third place as its market share tumbled to 15.2 from 38.1 percent a year ago.

As if Apple’s new royalty status isn’t enough, the gadget maker can also lay claim to being the most profitable in the smartphone business. According to a chart on Business Insider, Apple pulled in two-thirds of all profits in the mobile phone sector last quarter. That’s twice as much as Samsung, RIM and HTC combined.

Did Yahoo get a raw deal when it signed a pact with Alibaba and SofBank to resovle a dispute over online payment service Alipay? That’s the case being made by some analysts. The trio announced it had struck an agreement after months of wrangling over the lucrative asset, under which Alibaba gets up to $6 billion if the mobile payments firm goes public or gets sold. But investors are bothered by the deal, saying it reaffirms perceptions on Wall Street that Yahoo has little say in Alibaba, the e-commerce company founded by Jack Ma and which is 43 percent-owned by Yahoo.

It’s official – you can now get Groupon deals on Foursquare. Foursquare has integrated Groupon coupons into its mobile apps. Users can cash in on the deals now – which will include both daily deals and Groupon Now deals – by using the “Explore” tab on Foursquare’s app, a feature that lets users search for neat activities to do nearby.

Microsoft warned on Thursday that a government review of its U.S. tax obligations in past years could significantly affect its financial statements if not resolved in its favor.The Internal Revenue Service has looked at Microsoft’s use of transfer pricing, among other things, or methods of booking prices and sales between subsidiaries — often leading to opportunities to report earnings in lower-tax jurisdictions.

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