Samsung overtakes Nokia, Apple in mobile handset race
Objective one, achieved
Samsung has overtaken Nokia in phone handset shipments according to Q1 2012 figures from analysts.
Ten years ago a Samsung executive told your correspondent the South Korean electronics giant was going to be bigger in phones than Nokia, and today that's apparently happened.
The numbers come from Strategy Analytics and show that in the first quarter of 2012 Nokia slipped to the number two spot in total handset shipments, having already settled into third place when it comes to smartphones. So the company which once legitimately claimed to be the world's largest camera manufacturer now can't even claim to be the biggest phone maker.
According to those analyst figures, Samsung shipped 93.5 million handsets in the first three months of 2012, apparently, while Nokia only got 82.7 million out the door. Both figures dwarf Apple's paltry 35.1 million, but then all the Apple models are smart so the comparison isn't really fair.
Not that the position is any better when it comes to smartphones; the death of Symbian hasn't been as drawn out as many expected (including Nokia) and that has pushed Nokia into third place when it comes to smartphones. Samsung leads there too, shipping 44.5 million smartphones while Nokia only managed 11.9 and Apple remains at the aforementioned 35.1 million.
Samsung entered the mobile phone market very aggressively more than a decade ago with the stated intention of being bigger than Nokia. The company carefully avoided backing the wrong smartphone horse by plonking wads of cash on all of them. So even if Symbian is off the menu, Samsung is still supporting Bada, Windows Phone and Android development platforms, just to be sure of success.
Nokia, on the other hand, has put everything on Windows Phone, and the Lumia is apparently doing well in the USA, which is ironic really as America was always the market Nokia couldn't crack.
Samsung's ultimate victory shouldn't be very surprising; the company makes consumer electronics of all kinds, and as the mobile phone became a commodity product, the skills needed to make money out of manufacturing them have changed to the skills with which Samsung is well-equipped.
Nokia has recognised that and is now focusing on high-margin smartphones even if that means being dependent on the success of Microsoft, so the change in ranking by volume isn't surprising, even if it is a little unsettling. ®
Nokia did indeed at one point make toilet paper. Once microsofts rape is complete it will do so again, but this time it will only be issued to shareholders.
Lumia is 'apparently doing well in the USA'???
Yeah right. Print the figures and we'll work it out for ourselves.
Next week : Burton Albion apparently came close to winning the Premier League this season. League table unavailable.
>> Nokia destroyed themselves by focusing on Symbian.
> No. Nokia destroyed themselves by focusing on Windows.
No, Nokia killed themselves by changing their minds every few months.
Symbian is the future, develop this, no that, no the other way!
Meamo/Meego is the future, develop with Qt!
Symbian and Meamo/Meego are the future, develop both with Qt! (sigh of relief)
Actually, no, **** you all. Windows Phone is the future, develop with Silverlight.
Now bend over again, the next version of Windows Phone will need WinRT! (If you're lucky it'll still run your Silverlight but you won't have access to anything new.)
Telling their third party developers to throw away their codebases every few months is what killed Nokia, and part of the reason Windows Phone is flatlined.
No third party developers want to waste paid man hours on Windows Phone. Tiny userbase and they already know that it's all getting thrown away - so the only things worth doing are "coffeeshop fart apps", and things Microsoft or Nokia have paid you directly to write.
No, that also guarantees you backed the right one as well.
If you CONTINUE to back the wrong one, then you're screwed, but that's the trick - try different things, and back the ones that work, but can the ones that don't pay.
For those who care to study corporate history, the long term winners are not the one or two good idea exceptionalists (sorry, Dyson, Apple etc) but those who try different things and evolve (so the GE's, IBM, HP). You might laugh at the last couple of those, but take HP - originally a printer maker, then a computer company, now increasingly a BPO company. In fact, Nokia got where it is today by trying different things and picking the winners, because it started off as a rubber boot company, and even at one point made toilet paper, and by backing the winners it became the biggest mobe maker on the planet.
Sadly, when it demerged the non-telecoms activity during the 1990's, it became obsessed with itself, and that sowed the seeds of the current debacle, because its telecoms success persuaded the company that it knew best. Hence the endless stream of candy bar format phones. Arguably the way forward would be to cover a range of OS and formats, and maintain a plan B and plan C at all times. But Elop has seen that idea off.
It's all about context
I'm sure it's doing great compared with other Windows phones.