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Samsung is set to assume smartphone leadership

Will knock Nokia off the top
Mon Jun 13 2011, 12:58

KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung is set to knock Nokia from its 15 year perch at the top of the mobile phone market by the end of the month.

An analyst at the Japanese financial firm Nomura said, "This quarter we expect Nokia to fall to third place behind Samsung." This refers to leadership in terms of unit shipments and will see Samsung overtake Nokia, which has been the leader since 1996.

Furthermore, the analyst concluded that Nokia will not only be outdone by Samsung but by Apple too. "Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown (in unit terms) to Samsung and Apple."

If you thought it couldn't get much worse for the Finnish phone firm you would be wrong. The analyst predicted that HTC could overtake Nokia in 2012. This further emphasises the shift in power to Asia, according to Nomura.

The reason for this shift is partly due to component supply, which "despite the earthquake, we see moving into balance from shortage this quarter," said the report.

It seems that there are significant margin repercussions, where big names like Apple, RIM, HTC and Samsung are all making earnings before interest and taxes of over 20 per cent. This is "unheard of in the handset market," according to Nomura.

The analyst claimed that the combination of cheap chipsets from companies such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments combined with Google's operating system Android means smaller name phone makers are producing higher quality handsets than anticipated.

If Nokia does get knocked off its familiar top spot this month then it will surely try to regain dominance with its upcoming handsets that will feature Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system.

Nokia has recently dismissed buyout rumours, which funnily enough revolved around Samsung, and announced a drop in its sales targets. µ


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