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26
October
2012
IDC

Quo vadis Nokia?

The worldwide mobile phone market grew 2.4% year over year in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), driven by heavyweights Samsung and Apple as Nokia dropped off the Top 5 list of smartphone vendors.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in 3Q12 compared to 434.1 million units in the third quarter of 2011.

In the worldwide smartphone market vendors shipped 179.7 million units in 3Q12 compared to 123.7 million units in 3Q11. The 45.3% year-over-year growth was slightly above IDC's forecast of 45.2% for the quarter.

Equally noteworthy was the decline of Nokia, which was replaced by Research In Motion as a Top 5 smartphone player. Nokia's exit from the Top 5, where it had resided since the inception of IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004, was precipitated by the rise of Samsung and Apple globally and high-growth vendors like Huawei in China, where Nokia was the dominant player as recently as the third quarter of 2011.

"Nokia's share losses have meant gains for competitors," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months. However, the smartphone market is still relatively nascent, which means there's room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia."

"Nokia is not the only smartphone vendor in transition," added Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Research In Motion, although still a market leader, expects to start shipping its first BB10 devices in 2013. Motorola, once the number 3 smartphone vendor worldwide, is redirecting itself under its parent company Google. These are just two vendors among many that feel the competitive pressure of Samsung and Apple, but are striving to create multiple points of differentiation to assert upward pressure."
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