Well, it was a nice run while it lasted. With a 14 year long streak of being number one in the cell phone market, Nokia is now officially number two behind Samsung, the creators of the popular Galaxy S line of Android Phones. Nokia has been the leader of cellphone sales for well over a decade, and why wouldn’t they be? they practically pioneered the market with affordable cell phones and durable hardware. My first phone was a big hefty Nokia with it’s green screen and limited features. But what has lead to Nokia’s slow decline and can they save themselves before it gets any worse?
Nokia was on the forefront of cellphone sales and technology advancements for some time. Their strongest sales were in affordable feature phones while their weaker sales, at least recently, as been in smartphone sales. You can mirror Nokia’s fall with Samsung’s rise as more and more of Samsungs Android devices began selling better and better. The Galaxy S line, Samsung’s strongest device yet, rivals all smart phone sales and iPhone’s simplistic design. Samsung went a different route than iPhone, by going simple, but BIG. With Samsung’s large clear LCD screens with bright colors and high definition, they were the best looking and best running phones on the market. That combination of simplicity and function pushed it to the number one slot with over 92 million phones shipped, ahead of Nokia’s shipped phones at 83 million, and far ahead Apple’s at 35 million.
Samsung can’t contribute all it’s sales on the smartphone market though. Samsung is actually fourth in smartphone sales while it’s cheaper slimmer feature phones are what vaulted it to the top. At our own store we see more Samsung used cell phones go out the door than Nokia, though they are close. So what can Nokia do to fix this situation? So far, beginning last year, they have been pushing their Windows Phone line of Lumia’s. They are gorgeous and run really well, but Windows Phones are still relatively new to the market, at least their most recent OS iteration.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, smartphone sales are only a small part of a companies overall success. If Nokia can’t recapture it’s feature phone market, no matter how good their smart phones may be, they will never recapture the number one slot. With HTC, Motorola and iPhone nipping at their sales base, they are defending their position from all fronts. They are no longer the leader of the market and have less to defend themselves if things go more south, and the other companies smell blood. Samsung continues to push their Galaxy S line with their third generation, not to mention their heavily marketed Note tablet smartphone hybrid, this year. Nokia has simply been pushing their Lumia line, and have delayed it’s shipment to several countries due to supply demands.
It’s still the beginning of the year and we have many surprises and releases coming up, especially for the holiday season. Will Nokia push ahead or will Samsung continue to dominate? It’s latest Galaxy phone and the Notes sales will be a telling sign in the months to come.