Apple, Samsung sales top Nokia

Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. zoomed to the top of the list of global smartphone makers in the second quarter, blowing past Nokia Corp. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., according to research firm IDC.

Korea’s Samsung made the biggest jump, from No. 4 in the first quarter to No. 2 in the second, on the strength of its Galaxy phones, which run Google Inc.’s Android software. It sold 17.3 million smartphones in the second quarter, up from 10.8 million in the first, IDC said.

Apple rose to No. 1, taking the spot from Nokia, by selling 20.3 million iPhones, up from 18.7 million in the first quarter. That relegated Finland’s Nokia, the long-time leader, to third place. Apple has yet to top Nokia’s high-water mark of 28.1 million phones in a quarter.

“But given Apple’s momentum in the smartphone market, it may not be a question of whether Apple will beat that milestone, but when,” IDC said.

Remarkably, Apple’s sales record comes nearly a year after it released its latest model, the iPhone 4, and it’s still selling millions of the even older iPhone 3GS. Competitors such as Samsung put out new models every few months.

Nokia sold 16.7 million smartphones, a sharp drop from 24.2 million in the previous quarter. The company has struggled to come up with an answer to the iPhone. Nokia is now transitioning to smartphone software from Microsoft Corp., but it’s first Windows Phones won’t be on sale until late this year, at the earliest.

Katango organizes online contacts

As the number of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers grows, a new crop of online services are trying to help organize your social-networking buddies into smaller groups so you don’t have to share everything with everyone.

One such service, Katango, says it has figured out a way to automate the process.

Katango, which has been available as a free iPhone app since July, launched a Web version on Wednesday. The service sorts your Facebook friends into groups based on a formula developed by Stanford computer science professor Yoav Shoham.

Shoham, Katango’s co-founder and chairman, said the company wants to do for your social experience online what Google’s search formula did for Web pages: organize them based on a useful and accurate algorithm. 

Google buys daily deal site Dealmap

Google Inc.’s latest deal aims to help people find the best daily deals on the Web.

In its latest acquisition of talent and technology, Google has bought Dealmap. It’s a 15-month-old startup that compiles discount offers from local merchants scattered in markets across the nation.

Financial terms of the acquisition announced weren’t disclosed. It’s the latest in a flurry of acquisitions that Google has made to expand its Internet empire into promising new markets. Since the end of 2009, Google has spent more than $2.7 billion buying more than 70 companies.

— From news service reports