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Nokia loses pole position in mobile phone sales

Samsung takes a bite out of competitors
Wed May 16 2012, 11:46
Mobiles phones are still selling in the millions

BEAN COUNTERS AT ANALYST HOUSE Gartner have found that Samsung has overtaken Nokia to take the lead in mobile phones sales.

Gartner said that Samsung has taken the top spot at a time when the overall market is falling. Its report in full is available on Gartner's web site and buying it will give you change from $10,000.

Samsung has dominated other handset makers producing smartphones running the Android operating system and had done enough business to overtake Nokia, Gartner found. It has a 40 per cent share of the Android market, while no other phone manufacturer can manage more than ten per cent.

Overall global mobile phone sales fell by two per cent, possibly as people realised that there is little difference between competing models, and reached 419.1 million units in the first quarter of this year.

"Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the Asia/Pacific region," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"The first quarter, traditionally the strongest quarter for Asia - which is driven by Chinese New Year, saw a lack of new product launches from leading manufacturers, and users delayed upgrades in the hope of better smartphone deals arriving later in the year."

Local providers are likely to do well when the Asian market recovers, and Gartner predicted growth for businesses including Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, and Yulong when it picks up. In the West the maturity of the Android and Windows Phone operating systems and the release of the Apple Iphone 5 will boost sales by the latter half of the year.

For now none of this is good news for Nokia, which had enjoyed its top spot since 1998. During the quarter Samsung sold 86.6 million phones, an increase of 25.9 per cent, and beat Apple, which sold 38 million, to take the top of the smartphone shipments table. Of the 419 million phones sold, 144.4 million were smartphones. Nokia had just nine per cent of the smartphone market and between them Samsung and Apple had over 40 per cent.

"Smartphone sales are becoming of paramount importance at a worldwide level. For example, smartphone volumes contributed to approximately 43.9 per cent of overall sales for Samsung as opposed to 16 per cent for Nokia," added Gupta.

Android took a 56 per cent share of smartphone shipments with over 81 million units shipped, Apple's IOS had 29 per cent and 33 million shipments, Symbian 8.6 per cent and 12.5 million, and, oh yeah, Microsoft's Windows Phone had 1.9 per cent and 2.7 million shipments. µ


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