FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia has overtaken HTC to claim the wooden spoon of the smartphone world by becoming the top Windows Phone vendor.
Nokia's decision to jump over to Microsoft's Windows Phone last year was greeted with skepticism, given that the Microsoft's mobile operating system failed to set the smartphone world alight. Now Strategy Analytics has given Nokia some good news, reporting that the firm has become the top Windows Phone shipper, passing HTC to account for a third of all Windows Phone shipments.
Although Nokia is the top dog when it comes to selling Windows Phone handsets that honour loses some of its shine when raw figures are considered. According to Strategy Analytics, Nokia shipped just 900,000 Lumia devices worldwide during the lucrative holiday period and, accounting for all the other vendors, just 2.7 million Windows Phone devices were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2011.
However, Microsoft can take heart from the fact that Windows Phone shipments are going up. Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics said, "Microsoft smartphone shipments remain tiny, but they are showing tentative signs of growth. Nokia overtook HTC and others to become the world's largest Microsoft smartphone vendor with 33 percent market share. Nokia's global Microsoft smartphone shipments hit 0.9 million units, as distribution of its Lumia family expanded across numerous countries and operators."
While certain Nokia executives likely will see this as some sort of vindication for the firm's decision to go with Windows Phone, HTC could be feeling the pressure. Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics said, "Nokia's Microsoft smartphone growth during the quarter was achieved partly by capturing market share from HTC. This is a challenging development for HTC because it is also losing ground to Samsung in the Android segment. HTC is now at risk of being caught in a pincer movement between two giants of Samsung in Android and Nokia in Microsoft, and HTC must move with urgency to address the problem."
Nokia's pride at becoming the top Windows Phone vendor is negated by the fact that its shipments are still shockingly low, given its efforts to advertise and promote its Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 handsets. The number of handsets Nokia sells will probably grow, but the crucial question will be whether that growth will match or exceed overall smartphone market expansion. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score