Dubai: Nokia dropped out of the global top three smartphone rankings for the first time in history as the company’s transition from Symbian-powered handsets to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal market share, according to industry experts.
The Finnish giant’s exit from the top 5 was precipitated by the rise of Samsung and Apple globally and high-growth vendors like Huawei in China, where Nokia was the dominant player as recently as the third quarter of 2011.
Vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in the third quarter of this year, registering a year-over-year growth of 2.4 per cent, compared to 434.1 million units in the third quarter of last year while shipments of smartphones increased more than expected from 127.7 million units in the third quarter of 2011 to 179.7 million devices last quarter, representing a 45.3 per cent increase.
“Nokia’s share losses have meant gains for competitors,” Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst at IDC, said. He added: “The company’s transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months.”
Samsung’s smartphone sales registered year-on-year growth of more than 100 per cent to 56.3 million units, mainly fuelled by Galaxy and Note 2 handsets.
China’s ZTE shipped 82.9 per cent more smartphones in the third quarter this year than it did last year — a growth rate that was surpassed only by Samsung.
Neil Shah, senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “Samsung and Apple combined now account for over half of all smartphones shipped worldwide, up from around one-third a year ago. Volumes have polarised around those two brands. Nokia shipped 6.3 million smartphones worldwide for a four per cent market share during the quarter, dipping from 16.8 million units and a 14 per cent share in the third quarter of last year.”
Nokia has now slipped outside the top three global smartphone rankings “for the first time in history.” “Nokia will need to ramp up sharply its Windows Phone volumes if it wants to recapture a top-three smartphone position in the next one to two quarters,” Shah said.
Samsung shipped a total of 105.4 million units during the quarter for a record 23.7 per cent share of the market. Nokia continued its restructuring plans and shipments from the fallen global leader fell 22 per cent from 106.5 million in third quarter last year to 82.9 million last quarter.
“[Apple] shipped 26.9 million smartphones worldwide for a 17 per cent market share, up from 14 per cent recorded a year earlier,” Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said.
Samsung successfully delivered “numerous hit models” despite competition in stores and courtrooms. Meanwhile, other handset manufacturers, such as Nokia, fell into the “others” category at 48 per cent.