Nokia loses out to Samsung on its home turf

by: Robert TriggsMay 28, 2013

Nokia HQ

Samsung outselling Nokia isn’t a surprising feat, after all Samsung has held the title as the world’s largest smartphone distributor for quite a while. But Nokia had successfully been making a last stand in Finland, the country in which its headquarter is based, maintaining a lead over the industry’s dominant force, Samsung, despite its recent troubles.

However, IDC has reported that the tide is now turning in Samsung’s favour, as the company has managed to sell a higher number of mobile phones than Nokia in Finland during the first quarter of this year. Samsung secured itself a 36% share of the phone market, whilst Nokia pulled in a respectable 33% share, so it only lost out to Samsung by a tiny margin.

But this is part of a slightly longer term trend, Nokia has witnessed falling sales in Finland, and in other markets, for the past couple of years despite the fact that the smartphone market has continued to grow. Although Nokia secured a 33% share of the total mobile phone market, the performance of its smartphone products is much worse. It seems that Nokia’s Lumia handsets have failed to strike a chord with Finnish consumers, and the devices aren’t grabbing a massive share around the rest of the world either.

Finland phone sales

The chart from IDC clearly shows a growing smartphone market (Yhteensä) over recent years, but at the same time Nokia has seen it’s sales fall. Other manufacturers (Muut) are also suffering from the dominance of Samsung and Apple.

Of the approximately 587,000 phones sold in Finland in Q1 2013, about 73% of those were smartphones. Looking back a few years earlier, less than 150,000 smartphones were sold in the first quarter of 2010, and they only accounted for 25% of the total phone market, which goes to show just how much the smartphone industry has grown in recent years. Interestingly, back in 2010 Nokia held a dominant 65% share of the phone market in Finland, whilst Samsung was languishing far behind with only 12%. Something has clearly gone wrong with Nokia’s smartphone strategy.

As for the rest of the Finnish market, Apple is still trailing behind in third place with only 14% of the market, and all the other manufacturers make up the remaining 16% for the quarter.

It seems that nobody is safe from the rise of Samsung, and it’s certain that Nokia has a lot of work to do if it wants to regain its former glory. Perhaps it’s time to abandon ship and ditch Windows Phone.

  • Honestly windows phone has it’s place, I’m not entirely sure where but it’s there… I know people who love their Lumia and WP… But Nokia is going to die off unless they embrace an additional OS… WP will never help them regain market share and as data networks improve and expand demand for smart phones will only increase while feature phones drop steadily, That means Android and Apple (They have relevance, they suck, but are relevant)… Since Apple is interested in a completely closed system that leaves Android… A smartphone running a clean version of android on overall excellent Nokia Hardware would be a huge win for the company… And honestly for Android too.

    But sadly like Blackberry, Nokia may stick with things until the end is even nearer…

    Top dog in a dieing market is not as good as a middle player in a growing one…

    • Fervid Vervet

      Nokia decided to commit corporate suicide the moment they hired Elop as CEO. It was inevitable that he was going to throw everything out in favour of Windows, and equally inevitable that Windows was going to bomb.

      In another, kinder universe, Nokia could have been a top-tier Android manufacturer. Their hardware’s always been second-to-none, all they needed was a good OS to go with it. But since Elop’s “burning platform” speech, it’s been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Sure, they’ll probably hang on in a niche thanks to brand loyalty and good hardware. But it’s a pretty sad fate for a company that used to be — and could have remained — a market leader.

      As to Nokia embracing another OS: I’d love to see it, as would millions of others, but it ain’t going to happen until someone shoves Elop under a train. I assume that their contracts with MS specifically forbid it.

      • Santeri Liukkonen

        Spot on @fervidvervet:disqus That’s what I’ve been saying all the time! I’m Finn myself and yeah, Android over WP any day and Stephen Elop was a huge mistake.

        • Downtoearth2

          Not huge mistake,you should support Nokia.Finish pride.

          • yes sir

            Nokia should have shown Finish pride also by using Android which is based on Finish created Linux…….

      • Ruzveh

        MS knew that they could never make an impact in-terms of smartphone sales so they were smart in their tie-up with Nokia to charge for OS on one time rather then charge per phone sold.. smart MS and dumb Nokia who fell into the hands of Wind

    • Cao Meo

      WP8 supports only 1 CPU: Snapdragon S4 which is last year top CPU and was dethroned by S4 Pro, S600 and soon S800.

      So all Nokia WP8 models are virtually 1 base model with different designs and add ons. This reduce the appeal of Nokia flagships (comparable to last year Android flagships) and raises the cost of Nokia low cost WP8 phones.

      Nokia does receive some money from MS, but this clearly is not the acceptable long term solution for Nokia.

  • MasterMuffin

    Funny to see Finnish text in an AA post :D Even though we want to support Nokia, we still aren’t stupid so we buy the best we can get (Android in this case). Lumias are still surprisingly popular here!

  • rick

    well, nokia deserve that. it’s their choice after all.
    consumer have their own choice too.
    nothings wrong with all that.

  • emocrazy

    It’s time for them to adopt android, they needed it.. Aside from continuing their effort on WP..

  • Rooney-

    Nokia, Kick ELOP asap! Embrace Android!