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:

Religion and Politics

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

Hacking Attack

Hacking Attack

N.Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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