Friday, November 30, 2007

Nokia No.1, Samsung No.2, Motorola dropped to No.3

Motorola lost its second spot in the global mobile handset market to Samsung in the third quarter, according to data released on Tuesday, as the US company focused on returning to profit instead of market share.

Motorola’s share of the global mobile phone market fell to 13.15% in the three months to the end of September, compared with 20.7 per cent a year ago and 14.6% in the second quarter of 2007, according to figures from Gartner, the research firm. Meanwhile, Korea’s Samsung edged up to 14.5% from 12.2% last year and 13.4% in the previous quarter.

Finland’s Nokia continued to underline its global dominance, increasing its share by 3 percentage points to 38.1% year-on-year – its highest quarterly share to date – and up from 36.9 per cent in the second quarter.

Motorola was in a commanding No.2 position in 2005 and 2006 thanks to its ultra-slim Razr phone, which sold more than 50m units, but has struggled to find new products with the same popularity. The latest version of Motorola’s best-seller, the Razr2, has been well received and sold 900,000 units in the quarter, but Motorola needs a wider portfolio of products to compete with its rivals. At this current rate, Sony Ericsson should overtake Motorola's No.3 position next year. With its current strategy, its unlikely Motorola will make much impact in the mobile industry for years to come.

Nokia’s strong volume growth means it is close to reaching its stated goal of 40% market share by the end of 2008.

The Finnish handset maker also continues to dominate in the smartphone segment of the market, with 57% market share, compared with less than 10 per cent for its nearest rival, Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry.

Apple, which entered the smartphone segment with its sexy iPhone in June, sold 1.4 million units in the US in the third quarter. Total global smartphone sales reached 27.4 million in the same period. Apple has targeted 10m iPhone sales in 2008, which is likely to make a clear number two in the segment behind Nokia.

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