Samsung Topples Nokia as the Biggest Maker of Mobile Phones

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: April 27, 2012 at 5:52 am

samsung galaxyFinnish company Nokia has led the global mobile phone market for 14 years.  Whilst they have had large sales volume for a long time their technological lead has withered away in recent years as they have struggled to transfer their dominance to the smart phone market.

Both Apple and Samsung have chipped away at their market share, with the transfer of power complete this week as Bloomberg report that Samsung have toppled Nokia as the world's largest vendor of mobile phones.

The South Korean company shipped 93.5 million phones in the first quarter of this year, a comfortable lead over the 82.7 million Nokia managed to ship.  Samsung have been boosted by the tremendous demand for Galaxy smartphones, which helped the company earn $4.5 billion in revenue, exceeding estimates.

Nokia has held the smartphone lead since 1998, when it overtook Motorola to take the top spot.  The company has struggled for some time however and this quarter reported a $1.8 billion operating loss.

“Last year Samsung became No. 1 in Europe while Nokia retained the No. 1 position in most emerging markets,” Tom Kang, a Seoul-based research analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a phone interview today. “In the first quarter, we expect Samsung took a lot of market share from Nokia in Asia. China and India were the two biggest markets where Samsung gained.”

Apple is fast approaching in 3rd place in the league table.  They sold 35.1 million phones last quarter, which represented a rise of 89%.

“Samsung will probably still be No. 1 in the second quarter, but the full year will be a close call because the third and fourth quarters are traditionally Nokia’s best,” Kang said.

To add to the Samsung joy, the first quarter also saw them regain the lead from Apple in the smartphone league table, as they shipped 44.5 million smart phones in the first three months of this year.  This represents 31 percent of the smartphone market, compared to Apple's 24 percent.


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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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