Nokia is no longer the king of the market, and its market share has declined to 25%, what it was in 1997. Even though it is the world’s leading handset maker, its popularity has hit a new low, according to the new global phone handset figures. “Its market share declined 5.5% points year-on-year, and its share has reached its lowest since 1997”, Gartner said in a study.
Android became the most popular smartphone operating system worldwide in the first quarter of 2011, while Apple’s market grew. The overall mobile phone sales were at a total of 427.8 million units in the first quarter of 2011, a 19% increase from 2010. Smartphone sales added 100.8 million, almost double of the 54.4 million in Q-I, last FY. They account for 23.6% of mobile phone sales, an 85% increase since the first quarter of 2010, reported Gartner.
Nokia announced in February that it expected a “period of uncertainty” as it phased out its Symbian platform in favor of a tie-in with Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system for its smartphones. But Gartner claims that the Finnish company was taking a beating in the rapidly developing smartphone sector, arguing that, “Android and Apple’s iOS continued to dominate the smartphone operating system wars.” Despite the launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is on a losing spree in the handset business.
The fourth place in the quarter’s smartphone rankings went to Apple which sold 16.9 million units worldwide, helping the company’s market share take off from 2.3 to 3.9 percent. Apple is above Research in Motion (fifth place) by about 4 million phones. Windows Phone’s humble sales of 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011 failed to attract consumers and operators. As a foresight, Nokia’s backing will accelerate Windows Phone’s momentum. But the image of Nokia Windows phone needs to be modified to be more appealing to the youth, which is the highest consumer in the smartphone market.
Android rules the market with handsets using the Google operating system accounting for 36% of the market in the first quarter, compared to last year’s under 10%. Android’s rise is the result of the innumerable handset manufacturers that make the phones. This change has been rapid giving hope to Nokia’s dipping status. Being the leading manufacturer can take a hit when users don’t buy the product.
Nokia needs to revamp its image and introduce sturdy and swanky phones, thus revolutionizing the smartphone market and establishing itself as a strong competitor for the Androids and HTCs and Blackberrys. The reputation Nokia has built for itself has carried the weight of the company this far, and for the twenty first century’s ever changing needs, Nokia needs to adopt the style and characteristics of a chameleon while keeping in mind that quality cannot be compromised.
Let’s hope – Nokia will still connect people!