Apple and Samsung overtake Nokia in smartphone sales in Q2

Nokia's shipments of smartphones and feature phones declined, but the company still shipped most phones overall

Apple and Samsung both sold more smartphones than Nokia in the second quarter, although Nokia still sold most phones overall, market researcher Strategy Analytics said Friday.

Nokia's smartphone sales have plunged since its February announcement that its future smartphones will run Microsoft's Windows Phone instead of its own Symbian OS: In the second quarter, it shipped 16.7 million smartphones, down 30 per cent from shipments of 23.8 million a year earlier.

In comparison, the smartphone market as a whole grew 76.3 per cent year on year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple, meanwhile, more than doubled its shipments to 20.3 million for the quarter, up from just 8.4 million a year earlier. For Samsung, the increase was even more dramatic, moving from just 3.1 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2010 to 19.2 million in the second quarter this year.

That puts Apple top of the smartphone market, with an 18.5 per cent share, up from second place with 13.5 per cent a year earlier. Samsung is now second, with 17.5 percent, up from a third-placed 5 per cent a year earlier, while Nokia's share has plummeted to 15.2 percent, from 38.1 per cent a year earlier. Other manufacturers have seen their share of the smartphone market rise from 43.4 per cent to 48.9 per cent, Strategy Analytics said.

Nokia also fared badly in the market for feature phones, with shipments slipping to 71.8 million in the second quarter, down from 87.3 million a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics.

Other manufacturers saw similar declines, so much so that overall shipments of feature phones declined for the first time in about two years, research firm IDC said Friday.

Overall, phone shipments totalled 361.1 million in the second quarter, up from 320 million a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics. IDC put the figure at 365.4 million, up from 328.4 million, a growth rate of 11.3 percent -- lower than the 13.3 percent IDC had forecast.

Overall, Nokia's phone shipments fell from 111.1 million in the second quarter last year to 88.5 million phones this year, still enough to leave it in first place, Strategy Analytics said. IDC published identical figures for Nokia's shipments on Friday, adding that Nokia had shipped 2.6 million dual-SIM feature phones in the second quarter. In previous quarters, the company's sales had suffered in markets such as India, where phones are often shared by several users and dual-SIM models are a popular way to let each user store their own address book and pay for their own calls.

Because of the slight disagreement on the overall size of the market, Strategy Analytics put Nokia's share at 24.5 per cent for the quarter, down from 34.7 per cent a year ago, while IDC said Nokia's share had slipped to 24.2 per cent from 33.8 per cent a year ago.

The two analysts also disagreed slightly on their estimates of Samsung's total phone shipments for the second quarter, with Strategy Analytics putting it at 74 million and IDC at a more conservative 70.2 million, but the conclusion was the same: Samsung is still in second place, with a market share of 20.5 percent (IDC: 19.2 percent), almost unchanged from 19.9 per cent a year earlier (IDC: 19.4 per cent).

Third place - for now - is LG Electronics. While its smartphone sales are holding up, sales of its feature phones are dipping. Its share is now 6.9 per cent according to Strategy Analytics, 6.8 per cent according to IDC. LG has recently lowered its sales forecast for this year. If LG's forecast holds true then other vendors may overtake it, IDC said.

Fourth place overall is Apple: both analysts put its share at 5.6 per cent, up from 2.6 per cent last year.

It is followed by ZTE at 5 per cent (IDC: 4.5 per cent), up from 3.3 per cent (IDC: 3.7 percent) a year earlier. Strategy Analytics put ZTE's growth down to keen pricing of low-end 2G phones and mid-range 3G Android phones -- a very different market from the high-end 3G phones that Apple sells.

Even if Nokia's smartphone platform switch is a success, its feature-phone worries may not be over as low-cost suppliers such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel and Huawei are taking its market share, IDC said.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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Tags Appleconsumer electronicsLG ElectronicssmartphonesSamsung ElectronicsNokiaZTE

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Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
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