Samsung has finally overtaken Nokia as the world’s top cell phone brand as it shipped 93.5 million units compared to 83 million of Nokia for the first quarter of this year. Nokia has been holding on to the top spot for 14 consecutive years as it dethroned Motorola way back in 1998.
While Samsung has not disclosed any official figures yet some industry analysts say that the company has shipped 44.5 million smartphones in the first three months of this year compared to Apple’s 35.1 million. This gives the company a 30.6% share of the smartphone market compared to Apple’s 24. 1%. Official reports indicate that Samsung has made its highest quarterly earnings this year since 2008.
While it is true that Nokia is struggling in the smartphone market its strength lies in its feature phones running on the Symbian platform. These phones are popular in emerging markets due to their budget friendly prices and useful features.
It took the combined smartphone and feature phone sales of Samsung to finally beat Nokia this year. Global rankings today place Samsung at the top with Nokia placing in a close second. Claiming third spot is Apple but in terms of smartphone rankings it is currently in second spot.
Analysts predict that the market for smartphones will increase next year while that of feature phones will decrease. If this happens then it’s going to be difficult for Nokia to reclaim the top spot. Their current smartphone line is being powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and even though sales have been good it isn’t enough to overcome Samsung. There are reports spreading that the company is considering releasing Android devices which in my opinion should provide them with the leverage to compete effectively.
Samsung has a very good chance to hold on to the top spot next year as it intends to release a smartphone model for every demographic. Their Android devices are available for the high end market all the way to the low end budget market. The company should not relax though since they are also facing stiff competition from Android manufacturers such as HTC and LG.