updated 09:35 am EDT, Mon June 13, 2011
Nomura sees Apple, Samsung past Nokia share
Nomura in an estimate on Monday saw Nokia losing its long-held top spot in the smartphone market this spring. Nokia has already lost the platform lead, but it's now expected to be overtaken by Samsung and Apple among individual phone designers. Many had predicted the shift would happen this year but had only been anticipating the changing of the guard in the second half of the year.
Samsung was expected to take the lead based on its success with Android. The Galaxy S line has overcome much of the company's past troubles in smartphones and could be catapulted ahead with strong Galaxy S II demand in the spring. Apple's ability to keep increasing iPhone sales by wide margins has also kept its share growing even as Android has collectively grown larger.
Nokia has dominated smartphones for roughly a decade due to its international scale but has been on an accelerating decline ever since the original iPhone was released in June 2007. The Apple hardware helped virtually eliminate Nokia's presence in North America and this year ousted Nokia in Europe, often considered the Finnish company's safest market. Android compounded the issue by filling in price and design gaps that prevented Nokia from holding on to the 'safe' low end.
Most of the blame for Nokia's performance has been attributed to its unwillingness to acknowledge competition until it was too late, a sluggish Symbian update schedule, and poorly executed hardware timing that often saw phones shipping only several months after they were announced, stifling much of their momentum.
Nokia has a chance at recovering with the switch to the modernized Windows Phone. The company hopes to have its first devices by the end of the year but risks losing large amounts of share and isn't guaranteed to recover in time.