Nokia increases market share; Samsung overtakes Motorola

Nokia increases market share; Samsung overtakes Motorola

Helsinki: Nokia Oyj, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, increased its market share for the fifth straight quarter, while Samsung Electronics Co. overtook Motorola Inc., a survey showed.

Nokia increased third-quarter market share by unit sales to 38.1%, from 35.1% a year earlier, according to a report by Stamford, Connecticut-based researcher Gartner Inc. Samsung increased its share to 14.5% from 12.2% and Motorola fell to 13.1% from 20.7%.

Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, was helped by the breadth of its product range, which stretches from phones costing less than $50 (about Rs2,000) to those with advanced devices featuring satellite navigation and email.

Samsung gained in western Europe and Motorola continued to suffer as its new Razr model wasn’t enough to halt its loss of market share. Apple Inc.’s iPhone sold more than 1 million units, capturing about 2.5% share in North America, Gartner said.

“The big winner is Nokia," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner. “They raised operating margins despite a decrease in average selling prices. Not many vendors can do that." She said Motorola was “pale" compared with its position a year ago. Gartner said global handset sales will rise to 1.13 billion units or “slightly" higher this year, a growth of about 14%, in line with Gartner’s previous forecast. Sales growth in Africa has exceeded Gartner’s predictions quarter after quarter, Milanesi said.

Worldwide sales gained 15% to 289 million units in the third quarter, led by the Asia-Pacific region, eastern Europe, West Asia and Africa. Unit sales should rise by between 10% and 15% this quarter from the previous three months, helped by new models from Nokia and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd, Milanesi said.

Milanesi said sales of the iPhone in the UK and Germany, where it has been available since 9 November, have been “quieter" than in the US. In the US, the device has been available since 29 June and 1.4 million units were sold by the end of the third quarter, according to Apple.

“The competition is much stronger in Europe," Milanesi said. Still, the iPhone should increase global sales of handsets this quarter, Gartner said.

Nokia’s sales this quarter may be boosted by multimedia and music phones unveiled in August, as well as the slim 6500 Classic and Slide handsets with high-speed Internet access. Sony Ericsson had unveiled six new devices in June, including the K530.

Last month, it started to sell the K850 with a five megapixel camera and the W910 Walkman Handset, which can store about 1,000 songs. Sony Ericsson boosted its share to 8.8% from 7.8% a year earlier. The London-based joint venture between Japan’s Sony Corp. and Ericsson ABof Sweden has attracted consumers with the high-resolution cameras on its phones. BLOOMBERG