updated 06:55 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011
IDC says Apple, HTC winners in Europe phone share
Android and the iPhone are making deep inroads into European cellphone market share at Nokia's expense, IDC found in a new study. Apple overtook Sony Ericsson this fall to become the third-largest phone maker in Western Europe with nine percent, or about 5.2 million phones. Although it lost share in smartphones at 20 percent, Apple's 66 percent spike in shipments from year to year widened the gap with third-place RIM, whose BlackBerry sank to 15 percent and 3.8 million phones.
Most of Apple's smartphone loss came through Android makers. Although Sony Ericsson's legacy in basic phones was a liability in total share, its decisions to drop Symbian and Windows Mobile for Android almost single-handedly made it relevant in smartphones again, jumping its share from just one point in late 2009 to nine percent. The Xperia X10 and X10 mini were its saviors, IDC said. HTC already had a foothold in Android by the end of 2009 with six percent, but its aggressive push and exit from Windows Mobile in 2010 gave it 13 percent in the fall.
Nokia's market share fell apart both overall and in smartphones. It dropped six points in total phone share to exactly one third, but its smartphone share was virtually cut in half, falling from 46 percent of its once-favored territory to just 27 percent in late 2010, putting Apple in striking distance.
Using Google's platform wasn't necessarily a help. Samsung's Galaxy S line didn't sell strongly enough in Europe to counter an overdependence on basic phones and saw it lose a mark to hit 27 percent of all phones. Smartphones were key to success in the area, since their sales doubled and represented 44 percent of the market.
Researchers expected Android to keep growing at a compound rate of 37 percent per year and to potentially overtake iOS, but possibly not until 2015. Nokia's jump to Windows Phone also created a unique wildcard, since it meant Apple, Google and others could seize on customers abandoning Symbian in the lull before Nokia completed its switch to Microsoft.