Undoubtedly, 2012 will be the first year in last 14 years when Nokia’s name will not top the list (in terms of cellphone market share). The honor (top cellphone vendor) will go to Samsung this year, the last year’s runner up. It’s pretty known that the Samsung is now the world’s leading mobile handset vendor, followed by Nokia and Apple. But the question here is that what makes Samsung so significant. According to a recent report from IHS iSuppli, Samsung is expected to account for 29% share of overall cellphones shipments by the end of 2012, while the Nokia is estimated to drop down to 24%, from 30% in 2011.
In 2011, Samsung led Apple with just 1% in 2011 in terms of Smartphone market share, but the company is expected to widen the gap to 8% this year. As cut-throat competition is rampant in the Smartphone market, the profit margin on the device (Smartphone) has continuously been declining quarter-over-quarter. At the moment, a significant number of smartphone is available in the market at a very affordable price tag. And more importantly, Samsung is currently offering both the types of smartphones — high-end as well as low-end.
On the other side, the shipment of Nokia is not a problem for the company, but the problem is the OS (Windows Phone) on which it’s currently relying on. Last year, Nokia opted Windows Phone platform as its future OS. But the platform is still struggling to make its stronger presence in the market due to poor apps and developer ecosystem. In the context, Android and iOS platforms have strong mobile ecosystem.
Samsung has been leveraging on Android’s strong mobile ecosystem since last couple of years. It has succeeded to tap both the developers and the app ecosystem for creating a strong mobile ecosystem around. At the time, Nokia and RIM have almost the same conditions; both are digging their own grave. Although Windows Phone platform is starting to catch up the users attention, but the platform still has to travel miles of journey. This time, Samsung has one of the challenges to sustain its position in the Smartphone segment.
Samsung manufactures dozens of Smartphone models every year for all segments in the market. Furthermore, Nokia’s decision has affected to the sales of its older Symbian-based Smartphones, plunging quarter-over-quarter. At present, Samsung and Apple are fighting neck-to-neck on the Smartphone battleground. Along with the Nokia and RIM, HTC is also struggling to make its strong hold in the Smartphone market. It’s expected that market share of HTC would shrink to 5% in 2012, down from 9% in 2011.
Just a few weeks before, it was speculated that Nokia would work on Android platform. But, it would not be a rationale decision from the Finnish mobile handset manufacturer. The reason is quite obvious that Samsung is the only player on Android platform that is currently sitting on a chair of high profit. The company has swallowed the profits of other Android Smartphone vendors, and this is the reason why HTC is seeking for an alternative platform. Indeed, it’s very tough for any Smartphone vendor to compete with Samsung on Android platform, especially for Nokia, which is currently struggling to standalone its business.