Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. both surpassed Nokia Oyj in smartphone shipments for the first time in the second quarter as the Finnish company sold fewer units from its aging Symbian product lines.
Apple accounted for 18.5 percent of global smartphone shipments in the second-quarter, compared with 13.5 percent a year earlier, Strategy Analytics said in an e-mailed statement today. Nokia dropped to third place, falling behind Samsung after the Finnish company’s market share declined to 15.2 percent from 38.1 percent, the analysts said.
Nokia, which still remains the world’s biggest overall handset producer, has lost 47 percent in Helsinki stock trading this year, reflecting its difficulties in competing with the iPhone and handsets using Google Inc.’s software. In contrast, Apple’s shares have jumped 21 percent after sales of the iPhone helped the company post a record profit.
“Apple’s growth remained strong as it expanded distribution worldwide, particularly in China and Asia,” Alex Spektor, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in the report.
Global handset shipments grew 13 percent to 361 million units in the last quarter, led by a 76 percent growth in smartphones, Strategy Analytics said in a separate report. Sales of smartphones, which are more advanced handsets with computer- like capabilities for running applications and playing media, totaled 110 million units.
Nokia’s share of the global handset market, which includes smartphones and more basic models, fell to 24.5 percent last quarter from 34.7 percent a year earlier, Strategy Analytics said. This was the lowest level for the Finnish company since 1999, according to the researcher.
“Samsung is breathing down Nokia’s neck,” Neil Mawston, a London-based analyst at Strategy Analytics said. “An unexciting touchphone portfolio, inventory correction, wavering demand for the Symbian platform and limited presence in the huge U.S. market continued to weigh on Nokia’s near-term performance.”
Nokia fell as much as 2.1 percent to 3.97 euros in Helsinki trading today. Samsung, which today reported second-quarter profit better than analysts’ estimates because of higher mobile- phone sales, has fallen 11 percent this year.
Cupertino, California-based Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company, posted record sales and profit last quarter, helped by demand for the iPhone, its biggest source of revenue.
IPhone sales rose to 20.3 million units last quarter, buoyed by international demand, particularly China, Apple said while disclosing earnings earlier this month. The product accounted for 46.6 percent of revenue at Apple, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple is said to be planning a new iPhone with a faster chip for September that also boasts of a more advanced camera, two people familiar with the product said in June.
In contrast, Nokia reported its first quarterly loss since 2009 after handset sales slumped following an accord to shift to Microsoft Corp. software.
Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, who joined from Microsoft last September, is struggling to sell handsets based on Nokia’s 10-year-old Symbian software that he is phasing out as the company prepares new models based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
The market for low-end phones known as feature phones contracted 4 percent in the second quarter, Framingham, Massachusetts-based International Data Corp. said in its market share report.
The shrinkage was the first since the third quarter of 2009 and was most noticeable in richer countries where users were shifting to smartphones, the IDC researchers said.
IDC calculated second-quarter handset shipments growing at 11.3 percent to 365.4 million units, owing partly to higher estimates for shipments from smaller vendors. LG Electronics Inc., Apple and ZTE Corp. rounded out the top five handset makers according to both analyst firms.
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