Years after it began, the scale of the shift to cellphones can still boggle the mind. The analyst group Gartner reported today that 428 million phones were sold last quarter and that they expect 1.79 billion phones to be sold for all of 2011.
Compared with those massive global numbers, the high-end smartphones like Apple's iPhone and the Google Android-powered Droid made by HTC are relatively small potatoes. Apple sold 16.8 million iOS devices last quarter but obviously that's only good for a 3.9 percent market share.
The largest player in the cell phone space remains Nokia, which lost five percent market share but still held onto a quarter of the globe's cell phone trade. That's a great reminder that even though Nokia's limping, they're impending tie-up with Microsoft could create a new formidable competitor for all the incumbents.