Nokia Loses Spot in List of Top 5 Vendors as Samsung Leads the Way

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Posted 4 years ago

New stats released by research firm IDC will make very bad reading for all associated with Nokia, as it was revealed that the once all-conquering mobile phone manufacturer no longer has its place amongst the top five smartphone vendors.

Having enjoyed a top five spot since 2004, the Finnish company has been toppled by the juggernauts of Samsung and Apple. According to the research, Nokia was the dominant player in smartphone shipments as recently as the third quarter of 2011, and was in third position at the end of the second quarter of this year after losing the top spot to Samsung, but still remained ahead of Apple. However, a drop in total shipments from 106.5 million this time last year to 82.9 million this year has seen Nokia take a major tumble.

Smartphone market vendors shipped 179.7 million units in the third quarter up 45.3% from 123.7 million units in the same quarter last year, IDC said in its press release. The overall mobile phone market also grew 2.4% year-over-year in the third quarter with a total of 444.5 million mobile phones shipped.

Nokia’s slide

So what has gone wrong for Nokia? Well according to IDC’s Kevin Restivo, “Nokia’s transition away from smartphones running Symbian to phones shipped with Windows Phone has provided opportunity for rivals to take share away from the company over the past 18 months.”

Nokia may also hide away in embarrassment when they find out they have lost their spot to Research In Motion, a company also in trouble and desperately awaiting the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The research said that RIM shipped 7.7 million smart phones in the months July-September, which is a drop from 11.8 million in the same period of 2011. And the flailing company also saw market dip from 9.6% to just 4.3% in the past year.

It is not only Nokia and RIM that are having a bad time of it at the moment though, Taiwanese manufacturer HTC clung on to fifth spot by the skin of its teeth, after shipping just 7.3 million smartphones, compared to 12.7 million units in Q3 2011. This is somewhat of a surprise given that HTC has been producing smartphones to rival the best of what Samsung has to offer over the past year.

Both Nokia and HTC have upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices hitting the market in the fourth quarter and they will be looking to these handsets to boost overall shipments.

Unstoppable Samsung

Despite legal wrangling’s with Apple, Samsung continue to be the dominant force in smartphones with a market share of 31.3% in the quarter, up from 22.7% in the same quarter of last year. In terms of shipments, the Korean company shipped 56.3 million handsets, a huge jump from the 28.1 million units in the third quarter of 2011.

Samsung’s growth came largely from its “broad, deep, and refreshed” Android portfolio, including its flagship model Galaxy S III which was available through the quarter, IDC said. Like HTC and Nokia, Samsung also have a Windows Phone 8 (the Galaxy Ativ S) hitting stores in Q4.

Second largest smartphone vendor Apple saw its share increase from 13.8% in 2011 to 15% this year. 26.9 million units were shipped compared to 17.1 in Q3 2011. This number was helped greatly by the release of the iPhone 5, which, despite being only available for the last week of the third quarter, sold five million phones.

Making up the top five, in fourth position was Chinese vendor ZTE which saw market share increase from 3.3% to 4.2% year-over-year and total shipments grow from 4.1 million to 7.5 million.

– Anthony Carter

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