An Apple staff demonstrates the Verizon iPhone 4 at Verizon's iPhone 4 launch event in New York January 11, 2011
An Apple staff member demonstrates the Verizon iPhone4 at a launch event in New York last January. Indications are that a Verizon iPhone5 may be on its way. REUTERS

Apple is expected to ship 86.4 million units in 2011, topping all other global smartphone manufacturers. Nokia and Samsung are ranked as second and third respectively.

462 million smartphones are expected to ship worldwide in 2011, increasing 60% compared with the shipments of 288 million last year, according to a recent report by DigiTimes.

Compared with the shipment of 47.5 million iPhones in 2010, Apple will substantially increase shipment of iPhone by 82% from last year.

In comparison, Nokia, which is down to second spot, will ship 74.4 million units this year. Last year, it shipped 100 million units.

Samsung, the Korean technology giant which is involved in a bitter legal disputes with Apple, comes in third, expecting to ship 67 million units in 2011 (an increase of 44% from last year).

The Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE are dark horses in the smartphone industry, especially with Huawei expected to reach a 400% year-over-year rise in shipments.

The top five smartphone manufacturers - Apple, Nokia, Samsung, RIM (Research in Motion) and HTC - are expected to cover 72% of the global shipments this year or 333 million units.

According to the suppliers, Apple has placed orders of 56 million iPhone units so far this year and it is expected to see a boost with the launch of iPhone 5, which is scheduled to be released sometime in late-September or early October.