Samsung may overtake Nokia for cellphone crown

HELSINKI Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:58am IST

An employee takes a Nokia mobile phone at a shop in downtown Milan April 12, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

An employee takes a Nokia mobile phone at a shop in downtown Milan April 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo

Related Topics

Stocks

   

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd(005930.KS) ended Nokia Oyj's(NOK1V.HE) 14-year leadership of the global cellphone market in the first quarter of the year, outselling the struggling Finnish handset maker for the first time ever, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

The poll showed analysts on average expect Samsung to have sold 88 million cellphones in January through March, surpassing the 83 million which Nokia sold in the quarter.

Nokia had announced the sales total on Wednesday when it warned of losses from the phones business in the first and second quarter. Samsung is due to release quarterly numbers on April 27.

Nokia has struggled for several years in the smartphone race, but its dominance in the lower end of the market has allowed it to keep its rank as the world's largest cellphone maker by volume.

The fall of the Finnish firm has been rapid over the last few months as in a similar poll in January it was still expected to stay far ahead of Samsung.

"After 14 years as the largest global mobile phone maker, getting knocked off the top spot will come as a bitter blow to Nokia," said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, who has followed the industry since the 1990s.

"In contrast it will be greeted with euphoria by Samsung - they'll be dancing from the boardroom to the factory floor," Wood said.

Nokia became the world's largest cellphone maker 1998 when it overtook Motorola (MMI.N) - at a time when Samsung had just entered the industry - and it controlled around 40 percent of the market for years before Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone was unveiled in 2007, launching the smartphone boom.

Some analysts said losing the top spot would be a blow to Nokia, but would have little impact on its attempt to turn around its fortunes.

"I think it will hurt them from a PR perspective, but in reality it does not change anything: at the end of the day the problems are the same if they remain the No 1 or become the No 2," said analyst Carolina Milanesi at Gartner.

(Editing by David Holmes)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Literary Giant Dies

Literary Giant Dies

Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87.  Read 

Election 2014

Election 2014

India holds biggest day of voting with BJP gaining strength  Full Article | Full Coverage 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Ex-Goldman director Gupta starts prison term on June 17.  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex jumps 351 points, snaps 3-day losing streak  Full Article 

Expansion Plans

Expansion Plans

Reliance Industries, HPCL Mittal plan refinery expansions.  Full Article 

S&P on India

S&P on India

S&P: India's ratings to depend on next govt econ, fiscal policies.  Full Article 

Ambitious Aim

Ambitious Aim

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Piramal to buy 20 percent stake in Shriram Capital for $334 million.  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

A star abroad, RBI boss riles bond traders at home  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage