Samsung leapfrogs Nokia to become world's #1 handset vendor

A report by research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Samsung has surpassed Nokia to become the largest handset vendor in the world in terms of volume. In a quarter that saw a small three percent rise in mobile phone sales, Samsung captured 25 percent of the market. In the meantime, the struggling Finnish manufacturer Nokia's shipments decreased by 24 percent due to declining sales in emerging markets. Despite strong sales of their Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets, Nokia recorded a substantial Q1 loss of 3%, prompting Moody's to cut their debt rating to the lowest possible investment level.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Nokia's global handset shipments declined a huge 24 percent annually to 82.7 million units in Q1 2012. Volumes were squeezed at both ends, as low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalled and high-end Microsoft Lumia smartphones were unable to offset the rapid decline of Nokia's legacy Symbian business. Nokia was the world's largest handset vendor between 1998 and 2011, for 14 years, before finally yielding top position to rival Samsung this quarter."

Fueled by strong sales in the United States and Japan, Apple nearly doubled its worldwide shipments from 18.6 million to 35.1 million. They are expected to grow even more in the second quarter, though the launch of Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S3 will likely slow Apple down a bit. Though things are currently rough for Nokia in the grand scheme, the Lumia 900 is selling like hotcakes.   With recent rumors of Verizon finally embracing Windows Phone, could we see a quick turnaround for the one-time king of the handset heap?

Global Q1 handset shipments

Source: Strategy Analytics; Via: MarketWatch

  • Confident that Nokia will be back with WP8 & proper marketing!
  • Nokia said wp8 is when they take advantage. So give it time.
  • Funny, the article I read on this earlier today barely mentioned Nokia (in fact, I didn't even see it).  
      Samsung profits jump as smartphone sales outstrip Apple
  • Come on nokia
  • Got to spend money to make money. I have faith that Nokia will once again claim their throne.
  • right on!
  • Volume doesn't mean everything, focus on quality phones
  • Apple makes 80% of mobile industry profits. They are crushing everyone with the iPhone.
  • And Samsung takes 19% leaving about 1% for everyone else to fight over. Not very encouraging if you're not Apple or Samsung.
  • Good point, but this article is just to point out that Samsung has overtaken Nokia as the worldwide volume leader. This could be as relevant or irrelevant as you want it to be.
  • Apple makes 80% of mobile industry profits. They are crushing everyone with the iPhone.
    Care to provide a source for this?
  • I first saw similar information in USA Today, April 23 - "Apple's gain is other' pain."  Not sure where Canaccord Genuity got their statistics, but I've seen similar reports around the 80% mark shortly before and after Apple earnings call.  I think it was near this in Q4 2011, too.
    The USA Today article, though, has a pretty decent write-up on how iPhone hasn't been very good for carriers.
    Not hard to find ... try searching "Apple 80%".
  • Just because Samsung are doing very well does not mean its a bad thing for WP. Samsung produce solid phones....he says writing on his Samsung Omnia 7 :). We need as many manufacturers as possible although ofcourse Nokia is the leading WP torch bearer now.
  • Samsung make great phones, and them doing well can be a good things for WP8 as well. Making a Samsung Galaxy SIII version with WP8 will be good, the specs will be great. With some solid brands and great devices running WP8 in the future can only benefit all us WP fans.