Apple poised to overtake Nokia in mobile phone sales after 26% iPhone surge in Q3

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2014
Handset heavyweight Nokia could cede its position as the second-largest mobile phone vendor in the world to Apple as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, as an iPhone 6-powered sales spike has pushed the Cupertino company to near-parity with the Finnish giant, according to the latest research from Gartner.




Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner's quarterly handset sales tracker. Nokia sold some 43.1 million handsets, while market leader Samsung moved 94 million devices.

Notably, the tally for both Nokia and Samsung includes feature phones alongside smartphones. With the former excluded, Apple is behind only Samsung, while Nokia falls out of the top five manufacturers.

Those figures represent a 26 percent year-over-year increase for Apple, compared to a precipitous 32 percent decline in sales for formerly-dominant Nokia. Samsung experienced a dramatic 20 percent drop of its own as sales of feature phones plummeted.

Under the rubric of market share, Apple rose from 6.7 percent to 8.4 percent in the same period. Both Nokia and Samsung saw their share eroded, from 13.8 percent to 9.5 percent and from 25.7 percent to 20.6 percent, respectively.

For comparison, Nokia held some 46.7 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2007, when the iPhone was introduced.
Since 2007, Nokia's mobile phone market share has plunged from 46.7 percent to just 9.5 percent.
Next to Apple, Chinese smartphone makers gained the most in the quarter. Huawei and TCL added 0.6 percentage points each and remain the largest manufacturers in their home country, though upstart Xiaomi added 2.7 percentage points and sold just half a million fewer handsets than Chinese leader Huawei.

"With the ability to undercut cost and offer top specs Chinese brands are well positioned to expand in the premium phone market too and address the needs of upgrade users that aspire to premium phones, but cannot afford Apple or Samsung high-end products," Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said in a release.

The firm expects the same sales trends to continue throughout the holidays, with Apple's newest large-screened handsets pushing even larger sales numbers.

"Over the holidays we expect record sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but we should not underestimate the Chinese vendors and local brands," Cozza's colleague Annette Zimmermann said. "Chinese players will continue to look at expanding in overseas emerging markets. In Europe prepaid country markets and attractive lost-cost LTE phones will also offer key opportunities for these brands."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    I knew Samsung was losing profits from reduces high-end handset sales but this shows a major decrease in handset sales all around. It's a big per her unit drop than Nokia. Yikes!
  • Reply 2 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,092member

    It's not Nokia anymore, it's Microsoft Mobile. In fact, Microsoft has stopped branding the Lumia product line under Nokia, they are now Microsoft phones.

  • Reply 3 of 42
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    It's not Nokia anymore, it's Microsoft Mobile. In fact, Microsoft has stopped branding the Lumia product line under Nokia, they are now Microsoft phones.




    Huh.  I wonder why the Gartner report doesn't reflect that.  My guess is that the bulk of Nokia's sales are outside the US and are still branded as Nokia, but that's just a guess.

     

    Edit: actually it looks like MS still supports the Nokia brand name.  See http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/phones/all/  Nokia is the label at the top of the page.  If MS wanted Gartner to have them listed as Microsoft in that report, they would be.

  • Reply 4 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,560member
    I see I'm beat in posting that here are no longer phones made by Nokia. it's Microsoft. Writers who don't seem to know the most basic facts get me bothered. I see this everywhere these days, even in the professional Publications.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mpantone wrote: »
    It's not Nokia anymore, it's Microsoft Mobile. In fact, Microsoft has stopped branding the Lumia product line under Nokia, they are now Microsoft phones.

    Is the Nokia brand still on low end feature phones?
  • Reply 6 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,092member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    I see I'm beat in posting that here are no longer phones made by Nokia. it's Microsoft. Writers who don't seem to know the most basic facts get me bothered. I see this everywhere these days, even in the professional Publications.

     

    Well, after all it is a Gartner report, so I'm not the least bit surprised at the abysmally low factual accuracy.

  • Reply 7 of 42

    "Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner's quarterly handset sales tracker. Nokia sold some 43.1 million handsets, while market leader Samsung moved 94 million devices."

     

    It is beyond time that Samsung is forced to announce sold handsets instead of shipped handsets. Otherwise, they should not be ranked at all.

  • Reply 8 of 42
    I don't understand this article. Or rather, why the iPhone is being compared to all cellular phones. The numbers are quite meaningless, they should be comparing the iPhon against similar priced smartphones. Market share cannot be calculated here, but 'journalists' then exclude the iPad at will when talking about PeeCee market share.

    Who wrote this; it's not stated here.

    At any rate, Apple is 'winning' and Nokia and others are 'loosing'.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

     

    "Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner's quarterly handset sales tracker. Nokia sold some 43.1 million handsets, while market leader Samsung moved 94 million devices."

     

    It is beyond time that Samsung is forced to announce sold handsets instead of shipped handsets. Otherwise, they should not be ranked at all.




    I'm sure the language in that sentence is strictly for variety and not to distinguish sold versus shipped for Samsung.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner's quarterly handset sales tracker. Nokia sold some 43.1 million handsets, while market leader Samsung moved 94 million devices."

    It is beyond time that Samsung is forced to announce sold handsets instead of shipped handsets. Otherwise, they should not be ranked at all.

    If they're not selling what they're shipping wouldn't that eventually show up in their financial results? Or do carries and resellers take the hit for unsold inventory? Somebody would have to be writing down this inventory.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,560member
    mpantone wrote: »
    Well, after all it is a Gartner report, so I'm not the least bit surprised at the abysmally low factual accuracy.

    Not having read the report, I can't say whether it's them making the mistake or not. The brand name for the entire line of phones remains Nokia, not Microsoft. So Gartner could be labeling the line that way. Until it changes, but acknowledging that Microsoft now owns that line. But our writer should be calling them Microsoft phones.

    Microsoft has 18 months from the date of the sales to change the name of the line from Nokia to whatever they want to call it. Of they come up with a new phone that wast ready for production by the time of the sale, they must not label it with Nokia. Microsoft is moving quickly to name their phone line Lumia, rather than just some of the phones themselves.

    Nokia stated that they may be interested in coming out with another line of phones, using their Nokia name. We're seeing some prototype phones from them already, but I think they have to wait until late 2015, or 2016 before they can sell them.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    I don't understand this article. Or rather, why the iPhone is being compared to all cellular phones. The numbers are quite meaningless, they should be comparing the iPhon against similar priced smartphones. Market share cannot be calculated here, but 'journalists' then exclude the iPad at will when talking about PeeCee market share.



    Who wrote this; it's not stated here.



    At any rate, Apple is 'winning' and Nokia and others are 'loosing'.



    Follow the link the the actual press release.  This "all phones" thing is the last, least interesting item.  Above that they talk about Apple and iOS marketshare for smart phones.

  • Reply 13 of 42
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Not having read the report, I can't say whether it's them making the mistake or not. The brand name for the entire line of phones remains Nokia, not Microsoft. So Gartner could be labeling the line that way. Until it changes, but acknowledging that Microsoft now owns that line. But our writer should be calling them Microsoft phones.



    Microsoft has 18 months from the date of the sales to change the name of the line from Nokia to whatever they want to call it. Of they come up with a new phone that wast ready for production by the time of the sale, they must not label it with Nokia. Microsoft is moving quickly to name their phone line Lumia, rather than just some of the phones themselves.



    Nokia stated that they may be interested in coming out with another line of phones, using their Nokia name. We're seeing some prototype phones from them already, but I think they have to wait until late 2015, or 2016 before they can sell them.



    Right.  I expect that actual Gartner report (available for purchase, yeah right) mentions that Nokia==MS, but the press release doesn't (and why should it because who cares about non-smartphone mobiles phones, and there's the only place where Nokia still have a presence).

  • Reply 14 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,560member
    rogifan wrote: »
    If they're not selling what they're shipping wouldn't that eventually show up in their financial results? Or do carries and resellers take the hit for unsold inventory? Somebody would have to be writing down this inventory.

    Ooh! I've explained this some time ago. As someone who previously was an electronics manufacturer, I know secrets. Companies can claim shipped numbers that aren't really correct. There's a trick to that if they do sell a lot of product through some distributors or retailers, and so are friendly with them.

    So let's simplify this for the sake of the argument, and use numbers that are exaggerated for the sake of the argument.

    So a manufacturer ships a million devices to a major retailer, who they convinced would be able to sell that number. At the end of the quarter, the retailer has only sold half. They tell the manufacturer they want to ship the other half back. The manufacturer doesn't want this, of course. They convince the retailer to hold the product in their warehouse, but write the cost of the product back as a credit to them, and no one needs to pay for the large shipping cost. After all, they will need more product next quarter anyway. Now the product is off the retailers books, as having been turned back.

    The beginning of the next quarter, the manufacturer claimed to have shipped another million devices. How did that happen? Well, they shipped them another half million, and charged the half million in the retailers warehouse back to the retailer, for a total of a million. This can go on for some time. Finally, when sales of the product begin to taper off, the manufacturer ships less and less of the device, and more and more of those in the warehouse get sold by the retailer, hopefully evening out by the end of the year.

    As far as the public knows, the manufacturer has shipped perhaps 3.5 million devices, but in reality, has shipped only about 2.25 million. As I said, I've over simplified, and the numbers are exaggerated, but this is they way it's often done. It's why writers often say that shipments don't always mean sales.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Anybody can beat a dead horse.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    If they're not selling what they're shipping wouldn't that eventually show up in their financial results? Or do carries and resellers take the hit for unsold inventory? Somebody would have to be writing down this inventory.



    The shipped vs sold is showing up in their financial results. This is one reason why Samsung announced such a drastic drop in earnings and profits last quarter. Since the company is not being challenged to announce the sold number, the company has an advantage over other companies. I am suggesting this advantage be stripped from Samsung.

  • Reply 17 of 42
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

     



    The shipped vs sold is showing up in their financial results. This is one reason why Samsung announced such a drastic drop in earnings and profits last quarter. Since the company is not being challenged to announce the sold number, the company has an advantage over other companies. I am suggesting this advantage be stripped from Samsung.




    "Advantage" in how they appear in these industry-insider rankings?  Who cares?

  • Reply 18 of 42
    melgross wrote: »
    I see I'm beat in posting that here are no longer phones made by Nokia. it's Microsoft. Writers who don't seem to know the most basic facts get me bothered. I see this everywhere these days, even in the professional Publications.

    What's a Microsoft? Some 90s thing?
  • Reply 19 of 42
    philboogie wrote: »
    I don't understand this article. Or rather, why the iPhone is being compared to all cellular phones. The numbers are quite meaningless, they should be comparing the iPhon against similar priced smartphones. Market share cannot be calculated here, but 'journalists' then exclude the iPad at will when talking about PeeCee market share.

    Who wrote this; it's not stated here.

    At any rate, Apple is 'winning' and Nokia and others are 'loosing'.

    On the contrary.

    I put much more store in these market figures than the smartphone ones. This table doesn't show it, but I think Apple's worldwide market share of cellphones has increased every year since 2007. Over the long term, I think that's more important than smartphone share.

    On these figures, I would say that Apple is doing very well.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

     

    "Apple is thought to have sold some 38.2 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner's quarterly handset sales tracker. Nokia sold some 43.1 million handsets, while market leader Samsung moved 94 million devices."

     

    It is beyond time that Samsung is forced to announce sold handsets instead of shipped handsets. Otherwise, they should not be ranked at all.




    or at least have an asterisks to note how many are sitting in a warehouse collecting dust.

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