Digitimes Research reports that global smartphone shipments for 2011 will reach 462 million units, rising 60% from the 288 million shipped in 2010.Apple is expected to overtake Nokia as the top ranking vendor in terms of shipment volume in 2011.

Apple’s smartphone shipments are projected to top 86.4 million units in 2011, up 82% from 47.5 million units in 2010. In contrast, Nokia’s smartphone shipments in 2011 will decline to 74.4 million units from over 100 million in 2010, said Luke Lin, analyst for Digitimes Research.

Combined shipments from the world’s top-5 smartphone companies in 2011 are forecast to exceed 333 million units, which will account for 72% of total units expected to be shipped. The proportion came to as high as 85% in 2010, when the top-5 vendors shipped a total of 244 million units, Lin observed.