Nokia to be dethroned as number 1 smartphone manufacturer?

| June 13, 2011 | 50 Replies

In December, Electronics Giant, Samsung was said to have been trying to oust Nokia from their top spot as number 1 manufacturer of phones world wide. The time frame for this? 3 years. Note, that Nokia has been number 1 since 1998 (12 years), toppling then Supreme Motorola (which would have all but disappeared were it not for Android).

Did you know however that Nokia has been number one in another category for 14 years? It’s the range that they pretty much invented and only until 2008 began showing decline. Smartphones. Nokia had the communicator series back in 1996.

Reuters are reporting that Nokia will be dethroned from their smartphone crown.

“Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will become the world’s largest smartphone maker this quarter, overtaking struggling Nokia Oyj which has lead the market since 1996, Nomura said on Monday.”

They’re still number one seller in total of all mobile phones. Is it really surprising given that Nokia hasn’t even announced a flagship device for 2011? The only new handsets are the somewhat midranged X7 and E6. Plus of course there was the effect of Symbian being issued with EOL in the yes of the media, operators and distributors of Nokia Symbian phones.


What’s worse is that Nokia isn’t just moving to number 2, but to number 3 position. Nomura also sees also Apple overtaking Nokia and pushing it to number 3 in rankings. Apple already has over taken Nokia in revenue back in April. In Q4, Nokia sold 24M smartphones. That’s great. Apple sold 18M.

During Nokia’s transition, Q2, Q3, and possibly Q4 too will look terrible. June 21 at Nokia connect may give us at least something positive to look forward to. It’s doubtful that it will sufficiently positively impact Q3. Until Q4 all will look lost. All I can do is just hope Nokia pulls it off and get back on their feet. There was never any real reason why they couldn’t have trampled all over their competition, snuffed out iPhone and prevented Android from ever getting anywhere, instead from tripping over in 2007 through to 2008, and 2009, and 2010, now on hands and knees. From a time when every single manufacturer COMBINED could not equal Nokia, tough competition, complacency, indecision and incompetent management leads us here.

If another set of analysts from Gartner, IDC and Pyramid Research are to be believed, if Nokia gets things right with Windows Phone, WP will be beating iOS by 2015 (Pyramid Research even goes on to say beating Android too).

Source: reuters


Category: Nokia, Samsung, Symbian

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  • JD!

    Invest in Symbian / Meego and get back to top! If not, go to hell with WP.

    • Someone

      “Invest in Symbian/Meego and get back to the top”? Really? Have you been living under a rock?

      • spbond

        the one that has been living under a rock is obviously you someone or K….

        • rebel_ng

          wake up and smell the coffee. Nokia can’t possibly but go on with their current strategy. All they could do is continue to manufacture symbian devices but there is no way they could ditch wp.

    • spbond


      • Well, I’m sure Nokia would love to invest in their own strategies, but if it comes at the cost of profitability then what’s the sense.

        Symbian has been expensive and hard to improve with diminishing returns as time has gone by. It was time to move on.

        Further the market is no longer waiting for them, they were/are being left behind. GIVE OVER

        • JD!

          The decision is made… very true… But it is made at a wrong time, with a wrong approach. Why should people buy a phone with dying OS? And thats what is happening.
          Nokia had already closed Symbian development.. at least at the core layer! and thats why we are not seeing anything above 680 MHz Arm processors… They are making this platform only for lower end phones… and sadly forcefully 🙁

        • gordonH

          One license of WP cost $15, so 100 million licenses cost $1.5 billion , Symbian development still cheaper by $500 million.

          And you got to take into consideration “if” Elop organized symbian development with more talented developers then Nokia saves more money.
          3000 engineers developing for symbian is mismanaged roadmap + some untalented development, no need to go far, just take a look at Opera team vs the symbian browser team.
          Anyways QT would have made development and support much less taxing then using WP7

          • Where are you getting this $15 number?

            • Jorge Arturo

              Actually the fee he mentions is real, for all other manufacturers, Nokia has a special discount and has to pay $10usd per phone.

              It is in all press releases and rumors so far.

          • You realize that current R&D costs and manpower given the few devices out there are astronomical. Second, Windows Phone devices will likely having higher ASP’s meaning more PROFIT for the company. Which in essense is all that matters.

            Better to sell 15 Million handsets at 350 a pop than 30 million at 150 🙂

            • gordonH

              I give up explaning business math .
              Secondly whats’ stopping nokia from putting better processors and charging a premium for their devices. remember Elop says the reason for using WP7 was scaling was not on increasing profit 3 times.

              • Better processors like the Cortex A8’s while binary compatible would require a serious re-work of the underlying Symbian code to work well.

                Dual issue, longer pipeline, SIMD extensions etc would have to be worked on and while I’m sure those devices will be out by year end, they’re not going to be up to scratch with current devices on that front anyway and will continue to fall further behind.

                That and the fact that the Symbian roadmap has been muddy for the better part of 3 years meaning shoddy devices and/or delays due to lack of planning.

                • gordonH

                  Hhmmm … Nope for first 2 paragraphs.
                  Hhmmm … Yess for 3rd paragraph

    • Jorge Arturo

      There is no way back from that strategy, to change a strategy in the middle is a huge mistake, something Elop infact did, the previous strategy envision Symbian as cheap smartphones OS (replacing S40) and MeeGo as top class, the Elop way killed Symbian effective in the moment and change the top class OS, to make some changes can be viable, but not the entire strategy, as a result all Nokia smarphones sales are droping even faster, because even though Elop lately claim Nokia will support Symbian until 2016 it is a dead OS. Palm still supports PalmOS but who in their right mind will buy it?

  • John

    Why is anyone surprised when you sell phones with an OS not fit enough for 2011 or anywhere as good as the competition this will happen. The sad thing is Nokia did invent this category and are about to be taken out by their competition.

    People laughed when Motorola decided to switch their focus on an unproven OS and their shares went down market share went down, but their are still there making decent phones.

    Maybe switching OS’s around that time would have done some good for Nokia.

    • Keizka

      Yes, they are a miniscule player today. Not a major player unlike before.

    • Jorge Arturo

      They (Motorola) is still strugling to get on track, the have a nice push, but Moto from being a world leader (number one before Nokia) now sells phones almost only in the USA and a few latin american countries

  • fff

    you all guy still care about nokia shit company?

    iphone is the future! i admit, i am meego and webos fan

    • JD!

      Ofcourse it is future for rich… what about 90% of population, which cannot spend $800 for a damn phone!

    • Jorge Arturo

      I don’t like the idea of having just one company as future, that is distopian, in fact the iphone is a great example of bad monopoly, eventhough is not a monopoly.

      One app store, all apps must be aproved, if it fits Apple plans they can block really good apps and implemented themselves, why Apple fanboys apply certain rules or criteria to Microsoft (like no Internet browser forced in the OS) and aprove the same behaviour in iOS devices.

      Also consider the fact that iOS althoug being a nice OS is crippled in so many ways is annoying.

    • Tiv

      “you all guy still care about nokia shit company?”

      Yes it must be a HUGE surprise that myNOKIAblog is read by people who like and care about Nokia.

  • aapinaa

    Symbian & MeeGo sucks.

    • Jorge Arturo


  • Rex

    Saw this coming the moment eLOP announced the death of Symbian.

    • Bosh

      According to the article, Nokia started to decline in 2008. Guess what, after iPhone launch when users realize that Symbian UI and UX is outdated and not user friendly.

      This decline has been increasing quarter after quarter, and the only thing that Elop did was to cut from the root the major source of Nokia’s market share loss.

      I wonder if at this moment Elop had not announced the transition to WP7, most of the “techy” Symbian users would be mad about the delays, that have nothing to do with Elop’s decisions.

      I just don’t understanf why people don’t see the things in front of their face. Symbian was good, but there’s a totally different mobile market after the iPhone joined the market, that’s where Android fits in, and where Symbian not.

      • Jorge Arturo

        Of course it was going to declaine, Nokia invented the smartphone in 1996, it had 100% market share, from that is only down in market share, but up in sales until the industry matures, just see the PC market, the leader has 19% of the market, Apple has 4% of the market and nobody call them losers.

        That is how it works when you invent something, you have the 100% market share, the trick is to keep the position as high as possible for the longer time possible, Nokia did so for 15 years. If you ignore Market share for a moment you will notice that in fact Nokia sold more Smartphone Q after Q, never less, well never before this Q.

  • Cod3rror

    I hope none of your are surprised. It all expected, Nokia’s only way OS down and they can’t do anything about it.

    Symbian = Not good, outdated, and Nokia can’t fix it.
    MeeGo = Not good, forever in development, Nokia can’t finish it.

    Android = Samsung and HTC.
    WP7 = Samsung and HTC.

    Nokia is obsolete. Not suitable for today’s world of mobile phones. Too slow, too incompetent, talentless, not enough skills to match the others. Nokia sucks guys, realise it, accept it, move on…

    It’s hilarious, they literally have absolutely no answer for today’s competition. NONE!

    Q2, Q3 and Q4 will be fun to watch cause the only thing Nokia can do is watch the competition dominate and pass them by, they have nothing to offer, MeeGo phone, if they release it finally will be a failure, Symbian phones will be failures for general public and the fans too because of constant delays and since they’ve killed it basically don’t expect good cameras and features on them, they are reserved for WP7. And if you think WP7 saves Nokia, you are grossly mistaken, it’s going to get worse and worse. Maybe by H2 2012 when(IF) they manage to release that W8 an N8 on WP7, maybe then they’ll have one decent phone to offer, however by then they’ll probably be bought out or bankrupt.

    If Nokia was an honest company they’d just close shop and give investors and share holders their money. They are finished.

    • JD!

      well said. Just not-agreeing to only 2 things here…

      1. Not sure, if Meego Phone will be launched at all or it will be a failure.
      2. That they should stop making phones before and dissolve them before becoming bankrupt.

      If they did went bankrupt, then what will you bash on???
      People will still crib saying that Nokia didn’t even tried to fight… Thats not the right way!

      Although it is still a big question mark… the way Nokia is planning to fight is right or wrong!

    • Johnny Tremaine

      Although I won’t match your hyperbole, Nokia does come across as the proverbial deer caught in the headlights, ever since the arrival of the first iPhone and the introduction of Android.

      I do agree that, aside from the move to WP7, they really don’t seem to have an answer for the modern smartphone market; they seem stuck in a 2006-hardware centric version of mobile phones, when the game is now all about the software, data and content.

      Which is why the power in mobile has shifted to companies that have strengths in software, i.e. Silicon Valley.

      Nokia’s chance to control its own destiny came and went with the opportunity a year ago to buy Palm (along with webOS, a Linux-variant, already shipping on devices). Once they passed that up and stuck with the vaporware-ish Meego, it was over.

      • Eddy

        Your first sentence is a very important point that the Symbian/MeeGo fanboys on this forum refuse to acknowledge.

        • Jorge Arturo

          But why was Symbian bad, or as mention “Not Good” I have never found someone to tell me why with reasons, not “because I said so” or “because every other said so” give a reason, I can give you my reason of why I don’t like WP7 or iOS.

          • Hypnopottamus

            Without comparing it to other OS’s, but rather naming some shortcomings:

            1. Lack of fully functional web browser
            2. Lack of a consistently reliable mail client
            3. Lack of a decent social networking client
            4. Lack of a portrait keyboard (coming soon)
            5. Lack of official support from many app developers

            I should add, I don’t think Symbian “sucks,” just a little bit too behind the times to be competitive with other platforms.

    • yasu

      “Nokia sucks guys, realise it, accept it, move on…”

      You first.

      • jim

        hehe, I LOLed

    • Jorge Arturo

      I agree in some and disagree in some…

      After the release of the N8 (which actually sold well after released in October) the Ovi Store actually grew and a lot in terms of available apps and profit, it was the second most profitable store just behind Apple iTunes store, more profitable than Android Market, and growing.

      After Elop killing day you think this positive trend continued… no more, the few developers that have something for the N8 are releasing it, but no more apps by large, Nokia faced problems to aprove apps after the N8, there were way to many apps, now they seem not to have that problem any more.

      I agree they (Nokia) had huge problems in the USA, big problems in Europe and competition elsewhere, but still number one and selling more phones Q after Q, they needed to change stratey in USA and Europe and strength its forces elsewhere

  • vlgr

    I don’t see how Nokia is going to go against HTC’s and Samsung’s WP7 phones. Nokia’s phone will be only slightly different in terms of UI, so not much there.. the only thing they have going for them really is the optics department with Mr. Dinning

  • David

    Nokia is not just losing market share, they are actually selling fewer phones per quarter now. That’s positively stunning, or it should be if you’re paying attention. Not even a year ago, these forecasting firms were predicting that symbian would be the dominant OS even 3 years out ( for instance). Now, they are not accelerating growth like they were just a quarter ago, they are accelerating LOSSES. The only reason – ONLY – that these forecasting firms are predicting that WP will be a large player in the future is because of Nokia, but if Nokia falls back as far as it seems they will by the end of the year, then WP will basically be losing it’s only advantage. Nokia could be smaller than Apple, Samsung, Htc and LG by the end of the year. That’s astounding to think of. I mean, it’s astonishing. It’s like Toyota all of a sudden becoming smaller than Ford, Gm, VW and Renault Nissan all in the span of a year.
    Nokia has become a box mover of boxes that people don’t even want anymore. And they stopped selling those unwanted boxes to sell prettier but still unwanted boxes. And the most messed up part is that they won’t even start selling the prettier boxes until most of their customers will have already stopped paying attention.
    A few great companies have fallen on hard times (or just straight fallen) of late, but this is just epic. Sadness.

    • Jay Montano

      That gartner link is absolutely shocking. Damn. It’s not like it all came out of the blue. Time after time bloggers and tech media asked/whined for certain things in Symbian/Nokia to be fixed. Nokia being too good for that, just ignored and well, look where we are now.

      • inept

        What came out of the blue was Elop’s unceremonious dumping of Symbian. These assumptions were built on continuous Symbian development and support combined with a growing smartphone market. Basically that Nokia wouldn’t do great, but that it would hold its own and manage to capitalize on the “long tail” that Nokia executives like to talk about.

        Elop chopped off the long tail and the precipitous decline in unit volumes is directly attributable to that.

        Symbian was dying a slow death. Elop shot it in the head, so naturally it’s fallen off a cliff. Too bad he didn’t set up anything to offer consumers in the meantime. Nokia’s sudden and rapidly intensifying decline is 100% his fault and it started on that fateful day in February.

    • Cod3rror


      And the worst of all is that, nobody at Nokia knows what to do. No one wants to take a blame or take charge.

      They are just quietly sitting around and sinking.

    • Hypnopottamus

      Every time “someone” mentions that Symbian has the largest user base as a talking point, they need to have a look at this. I, and many others here, have said time and again that it isn’t total numbers that matter, it’s about the gains and losses. At this point, and for a while now, Nokia with Symbian has been all about losses.

  • Nagol

    I saw this happening. You can’t be on top forever. Nokia can continue to remain on top of the mobile market. But the problem is that the management from the office is incompetent. They also move too slow. If I was the CEO things would’ve been different.

  • Doffen

    Nokia should release newer and better Symbian phones specifically with more RAM and faster processor. They should also release two MeeGo phones, one touch only ad one with keyboard. It is still long before they have a WP phone ready. WP is also not for everybody myself included. I will not have a WP Nokia as long as the OS is totally closed.

    • Maybe they can’t?

    • Jorge Arturo

      I think going back is going to be even more costly and bad for the company, if you (in this case Elop) already mess things up, at least continue as planned, or else the share holders and employees will be confused and lost, even more than now.

  • Mac

    I still fail to understand why they just cant simply put out a simple wp7 device now rather than later. I mean, samsung, htc and the like released phones very quick to market after ms released the os to OEM’s. Its been 4 months since their announcement to switch to wp7. A simple 1st phone even without the mango update should be released now. Not wait for another 5 months. At least they may generate some sales just from interested buyers. Release the newer phones later with all the bells and wistles at the end of year. All we hear is that they are moving fast and transition is happening at breakneck speed. They even have phones in their labs already. Put 1 out then. We have all these new phones coming to market already like the x7 and e6, why not just reconfigure the simple stuff to make it run wp7 rather than symbian. Just 1 phone to market nokia and just update it later during the year to mango when its released. At least we can get the feel of the wp7 phones and nokia can try and stop this rot or slow it down for now. Waiting any longer is just ridiculous and if others can release 2 phones with wp7 then nokia surely can mimic that if not better it. Or is it too much for nokia now?

  • Mac

    Sorry, this thought just came to my head. Nokia is like they found a perfect girl but wouldnt sleep with her until marriage. The temptation is there to do it with this girl and vice versa but the wait has to be as the moment must be special for that specific day. Eventually that specific day arrives and only for nokia to find out on that day that they’re not the first. She couldnt wait! Its too late now. You’re married! Call her what you may, she’s yours till death do you part.

    Or better yet, hows this one. Ms is like that perfect girl. During that intimate moment you’re enjoying yourself(nokia) with her and just before the fun part (climax) she pulls out! Wtf then! All the joy but no glory! What a shame. Rather come quickly (with the phones!) than not at all. Premature maybe glorified afterall. At least someone scores. Rather nokia than ms huh?!

    • F8G

      shut up, u absolute prick!

  • Cool

    YAY…….the best news i’ve heard since the announcement of Honeycomb