Manufacturer’s share in Q1 2011 slides to lowest since 1997, as iPhone sales more than double and HTC sales treble compared to the same period last year
Nokia’s global market share slipped to 25.1 per cent in Q1 2011 – it’s lowest since 1997 – according to new figures released by research house Gartner.
Despite selling 107.6 million units in the period, down from 110.1 million it sold in the same quarter last year, its market share fell 5.5 per cent year-on-year.
Gartner said Nokia will aggressively lower average selling prices in markets where communications service providers (CSPs) control the sales channels, in order to maintain shipments of Symbian devices while waiting for its first Windows Phone 7 handsets to reach the market. It added however that Nokia will face challenges from Android competitors and from some Japan-induced supply constraints.
Apple sold 18.6 million units in the quarter, more than doubling sales of iPhones year-on-year, and saw its market share rise from 2.3 per cent to 3.9 per cent. Gartner said the growth came from all regions: the iPhone is now available in 90 countries from 186 CSPs.
Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi said: “Considering the higher than average price of the iPhone this is a remarkable result and highlights the impact that a strong aspirational brand can have on a product.”
HTC almost trebled its sales in the quarter, selling 9.3 million mobiles compared to the 3.4 million it sold in the same quarter last year, moving it into seventh position overall in terms of market share.
Gartner said although mature markets the shift from feature phones to smartphones is accelerating, smartphones overall moved down-market in Q1 2011. It added several manufacturers, including HTC, Sony Ericsson, Alcatel and ZTE, announced a broader portfolio of mid-tier devices, mainly based on Android, which will reach the market in the second quarter of this year.
Overall mobile sales totaled 427.8 million units in the period, an increase of 19 per cent from the first quarter of 2010. Smartphones continued to outpace the rest of the market, and a newly competitive mid-tier smartphone market will drive smartphones into mass adoption and accelerate this trend.
In terms of operating systems, Android continued to dominate, with its market share almost quadrupling from 9.6 per cent in Q1 2010 to 36 per cent in the same quarter this year. Smartphone sales using Android also rose significantly, from 5. million a year ago to 36.3 million.
Windows Phone sales reached 1.6 million in the quarter, which Gartner described as “modest”. It said this was due to devices being launched at the end of last year failing to grow in consumer preference and as CSPs continued to focus on Android. However it said in the long term, Nokia’s support will accelerate Windows Phone’s momentum.