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Nokias Market Share Continues Descent

Nokias market share of mobile device sales declined further last quarter, falling to the lowest level since 1997, according to Gartner, Inc., the market research firm.

Finland-based Nokia, the worlds largest handset maker, sold 107.6 million mobile devices in the first quarter, and its share (25.1 percent) dipped 5.5 percentage points year over year.

Nokia will aggressively lower average selling prices in markets where communications service providers control the sales channels, in order to maintain shipments of Symbian devices while waiting for its first Windows Phone 7 devices to reach the market,” stated Gartner, referring to Nokias partnership with Microsoft to incorporate the Windows Phone 7 software in its handsets. Nokia will face challenges from Android competitors and from some Japan-induced supply constraints.”

Gartner found that Samsung the second-largest handset supplier recorded its strongest first quarter ever as the company sold higher end smartphones like its Galaxy line. Samsung holds 16.1 percent market share and sold roughly 68.8 million devices in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Googles Android continues its ascent, ranking as the most popular operating system in smartphones with 36 percent market share, followed by Symbian (27.4 percent; the platform that Nokia is replacing with Microsoft Windows 7) and Apples iOS (16.8 percent).

Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst with Gartner, said Nokias retirement of Symbian and adoption of Windows Phone 7 will precipitate a competitors rush to capture Symbians market share in the midtier.”

Gartner found that smartphones represented 23.6 percent of overall sales in the first quarter, representing an increase of 85 percent year over year.

This share could have been even higher, but manufacturers announced a number of high-profile devices during the first quarter of 2011 that would not ship until the second quarter of 2011,” Cozza said. We believe some customers delayed their purchases to wait for these models.”

For more statistics on mobile phone sales in the first quarter, check out Gartners press release.


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