Despite Apple’s impact on the mobile industry over the past four years, it had yet to clinch the number one spot as the top smartphone vendor, that honour resting with Nokia despite its troubles. Now, as research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics notes, that’s all changed.

We previously reported Apple’s sales dominance over Nokia for Q2 of this year, and now taking Samsung’s results for the quarter into consideration, Nokia has dropped from the top to third place for units sold and market share.

Figures for Q2 2011 show that Apple has become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume of units sold (20.3 million) and market share (18.5%). Nokia sold 16.7 million units in Q2 and had a 15.2% market share, while Samsung sold 19.2 million units with a 17.5% share.

This latest news is another blow to declining Finnish company Nokia which is pinning its hopes of turning its situation around on its its first Windows Phone device, expected to be launched  later this year.

Although Apple may be dominant for the most recent quarter’s results, it’s worth bearing in mind the words of another analyst firm, ABI Research, which notes that Samsung may be in the strongest position overall. “Although Apple’s 142% year on year growth placed it as number one this quarter, Samsung’s 500% year on year growth shows that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung’s to lose.”