Samsung now bigger than Nokia in mobile

Finnish firm's fourteen year reign at the top of the market comes to an end
Darren Allan

April 27, 2012
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Samsung is now the biggest player in the mobile market, overtaking Nokia, according to one analyst outfit.

Nokia has spent the last fourteen years as the top mobile vendor, but no longer says a report from Strategy Analytics, highlighted by Bloomberg.

Samsung’s shipment numbers for the first quarter of 2012 were up over a third year-on-year, reaching 93.5 million handsets. That easily surpassed Nokia, the firm now in second place with 82.7 million – so even allowing for some error in estimates, it’s clear Samsung is now the biggest mobile cheese.

At least for this quarter, anyway – although that lead won’t necessarily last, as Nokia typically has stronger performances later in the year (particularly with Windows Phone expected to establish itself more and more as the year goes on). Then again, Samsung has the Galaxy S III coming out (due to be unveiled next week).

Unsurprisingly, it was Samsung’s much admired current Galaxy smartphones which helped to push the firm ahead.

Samsung has just announced some mightily impressive Q1 fiscals, with around $40 billion in sales, and an operating profit of $5 billion, which is double what the company managed in the same period in 2011.

Tom Kang, a research analyst at Strategy Analytics, told Bloomberg: “Last year Samsung became No. 1 in Europe while Nokia retained the No. 1 position in most emerging markets. 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 languishes considerably behind both Samsung and Nokia in the mobile market, because the Cupertino firm doesn’t make any feature phones, just its iconic smartphone.


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