Nokia (NYSE: NOK), formerly one of the leaders in the global smartphone market, is no longer one of the top 5 smartphone vendors, according to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC released its quarterly report for mobile phone and smartphone data shipments for Q3, 2012, on Friday. Since the consultancy began tracking mobile phone data in 2004, Nokia has held onto one of the top five sales ranking spots in IDC's reports.
The report stated that Nokia’s drop from the top 5 “was precipitated by the rise of Samsung (KRX: 005930) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) globally and high-growth vendors like Huawei in China, where Nokia was the dominant player as recently as the third quarter of 2011.”
Quarterly earnings reports for Apple and Samsung, both of which were released Thursday, showed strong profits based on global smartphone sales. Samsung in particular surpassed expectations for its third quarter profits, setting a new record and seizing over 30 percent of the market share in the process, according to IDC’s metrics.
Nokia made a big bet in transitioning to Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) mobile operationg system from its previous mobile operation system, Symbian, for its upcoming Lumia 920 smartphone. While Windows 8 phones are still newcomers to the smartphone marketplace, making their prospective market share difficult to predict meaningfully, IDC’s analysis claimed that regardless of the new phone’s future potential, Nokia made itself vulnerable to competitors by being dormant during the entire period that the Finnish hardware developer developed its new product line-up.
"Nokia's share losses have meant gains for competitors," Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a statement. "The company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months.”
However, the report also noted that since Windows 8 phones have been largely untested by the marketplace itself, Nokia could still stage a recovery. The Lumia 920 doesn’t even have a firm release date yet, after all, though rumors and speculation have pointed to Nov. 2 as a possible unveiling.
“The smartphone market is still relatively nascent, which means there's room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia," the report said.