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Smartphone biz shocker: Nokia sells fewer devices than Lenovo

And Sony outshipped HTC and RIM

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More upsets from the world of smartphone manufacturing: Sony has been selling more phones than HTC, and they’re both shipping more smartphones then either RIM or Nokia - which has plunged toward the bottom of the world vendor rankings.

The latest data presented by market watcher Canalys - covering Q3 2012 - holds no surprises at the top of the chart: Samsung and Apple, with 32 per cent and 15.5 per cent of the market, respectively. Together they account for almost half of the market - in the coming quarter they're likely to take more 50 per cent.

However, we weren’t expecting to see Sony shoot into third place. Shipments of 8.8 million Xperia handsets gave it 5.1 per cent of the market during July, August and September 2012. During 2011, those months saw it rack up shipments of 6.2m units, then putting the company well behind HTC and RIM.

Not this time. HTC’s unit shipments slumped from 13.1 million to 8.4 million year on year, while RIM’s plunged from 11.8 million to 7.3 million, falls of 36.1 per cent and 38.4 per cent respectively.

HTC and RIM respectively took 4.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent of the world smartphone market in Q3 2012.

And Nokia? Oh how the mighty have fallen. Canalys, perhaps to spare the Finnish phone giant blushes, didn’t reveal Nokia’s Q3 2012 market share. It simply noted that the “struggling” manufacturer had been overtaken by LG, ZTE, Huawei and even Lenovo.

Lenovo sells well in Asia, of course - it's not a major phone maker in the West. But it's nonetheless a sign of just how far Nokia has now slumped that it's being out-shipped by a one-region player.

Nokia has pinned its hopes on Windows Phone 8, and it had to wait until October for that to arrive, and its Lumia 820 and 920 - the latter reviewed today, here - are only now, in November, shipping in volume. But it's clear its WinPho 7 offerings weren't pulling in the punters even before Nokia announced, at the start of September, details of the next-gen phones.

Maybe there will be massive consumer demand for WinPho 8 during the current quarter, and Nokia will regain its top-five placing. We can't see it, however. ®

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