Nokia may be suffering, but it hasn’t been knocked off its top seat in the global handset market, according to new reports from IDC and Strategy Analytics.
The research firms report that Nokia still has the largest portion of worldwide handset sales, though its handset shipments and market share have slipped in recent quarters.
Nokia shipped 123.7 million handsets in the fourth quarter as its market share slipped to about 31 percent, from 37 percent last year. Samsung’s market share held steady in second place at about 20 percent, and its handset shipments rose to 80.7 million. LG’s handset shipments declined to 30.6 million and its market share dropped to 7.6 percent, from 10 percent last year.
“It was a mixed quarter for the world’s major handset vendors. Some brands outperformed, such as Apple, while others underperformed, such as LG and Nokia,” said Strategy Analytics Director Neil Mawston. “LG continued to lose ground due to a weak smartphone portfolio, while Nokia suffered ongoing component shortages and sluggish sales in the important U.S. market.”
Strategy Analytics put Apple in fourth place with a 4.1 percent market share on iPhone shipments of 16.2 million. IDC put ZTE in fourth place, saying the company shipped 16.8 million phones in the fourth quarter, the first time ZTE finished in IDC’s top five vendors list. Strategy Analytics didn’t highlight ZTE in its list, putting BlackBerry maker Research In Motion in fifth place with 3.7 percent market share on handset shipments of 14.6 million.
Both firms said about 400 million handsets were shipped during the fourth quarter of 2010, up from about 340.5 million last year.
“The mobile phone market has the wind behind its sails,” said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo in a report. “Mobile phone users are eager to swap out older devices for ones that handle data as well as voice, which is driving growth and replacement cycles.”
IDC expects smartphones will drive the global handset market through 2014 and expects smartphone sales to increase 43.7 percent year-over-year in 2011.