SA: Samsung overtakes Nokia in smartphones, but not yet Apple

Already before we learnt Apple overtook Nokia in smartphone sales during Q2 2011 (from April to June), with about 20 million shipments against Nokia’s a little less than 17 million. But it was not yet known how the South Korean vendor Samsung did. Samsung has just reported its Q2 2011 results. I won’t go into financial details which are in the latest news, but their mobile phone unit was the most profitable one, whereas LCD panels and memory chips made worse than expected.

As an unfortunate surprise Samsung did not announce the most anticipated detail in their Q2 2011 results, the numbers of feature phone and smartphone shipments. They only told to have sold somewhat over 10% more phones than on Q2 2010, when they sold 63,8 million devices. One could easily speculate those figures have been a disappoinment, as they chose not to report them this time.

Technology blog UnWiredView.com already speculated Samsung would have been behind Nokia in smartphone sales.  Later they updated their article and noticed there are not specific details.

The research company Strategy Analytics reports in their Q2 2011 mobile phone markets press release that Samsung would have sold 19,2 million smartphones, compared to 20,3 of Apple and 16,7 million of Nokia. This would mean Samsung has become second in smartphones, and Apple would be the first one, as speculated already before.

Strategy Analytics comments the dramatic drop of Nokia. Their shipments decreased about 30%, when the overall market grew about 76%:

Having become the first ever vendor to ship 100 million smartphones in a single year during 2010, long-time leader Nokia has slipped two places in our rankings in Q2 2011. The vendor’s 15 percent global smartphone market share is less than half of what it was just one year earlier, as the industry awaits Nokia’s pending transition to Windows Phone 7″, says Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, in their press release.

Smartphone market shares / Q2 2011:

  1. Apple: 18,5%
  2. Samsung: 17,5%
  3. Nokia: 15,2%
  4. Others: 48,9%

Source: Strategy Analytics, July 29th  2011

As far as I understand, this 19,2 million Samsung phones also includes their Bada devices, not just more advsnced Android smartphones. I’m not sure about this anyway, because Srategy Analytics does not mention anything about it, and Samsung hasn’t released these details.

SA also notes Samsung is getting more and more competition from Chinese vendors, especially Huawei and ZTE which are bringing to market very affordable Android smartphones. This has forced Samsung to also introduce cheaper Android devices in addition to those high-end Galaxy S series models.

I got the press release from Strategy Analytics by e-mail, but I haven’t found it on their web site yet. I will add a link to it, if it becomes available.