updated 08:55 am EDT, Fri May 6, 2011
IDC gives Apple lead in Western Europe over Nokia
Apple produced a symbolic win late Thursday after an IDC study revealed that it had beaten Nokia for smartphone market share in Nokia's core market of Western Europe. The iPhone slipped from 24.6 percent share a year ago to 20.8 percent, but Nokia's market share collapsed from 40.6 percent to just 19.6 percent in one year, giving Apple the top spot. Apple shipped 49 percent more iPhones to the region to hit 4.4 million where Nokia saw its shipments drop from 4.9 million to 4.2 million.
RIM shipped more BlackBerry phones to Europe than before, 3.5 million, but the climb wasn't enough to stop it from dropping to third place at 16.5 percent. Android's rapid rise, meanwhile, helped HTC more than double its share and tie with RIM. Samsung's Galaxy S almost single-handedly helped catapult the company from just 2.5 percent of European smartphones last year to 12.1 percent in early 2011.
In all cellphones, Nokia faced a second upset as Samsung's smartphone push helped it take over the top spot at 29.3 percent; Nokia fell to 27.9 percent. Apple saw a larger relative gain to 9.8 percent but was steady at third place.
Local device research manager Francisco Jeronimo explained the reversal of fortunes as a lesson for Nokia and others not to presume their names and existing dominance would guarantee success in the future. Apple and Samsung were succeeding because they understood trends quickly and leapt on touchscreen phones. Nokia is well known for having been slow to adopt touchscreens and did little to improve Symbian until Symbian^3 last year, ultimately having to switch to Windows Phone to catch up.
"These results show how volatile this market is and how important it is not to underestimate the trends," the analyst explained. "Companies like Nokia (and Ericsson in the past) may have strong brands and big market shares as Nokia always had, but can be overtaken by their competitors on a blink of an eye."