The week ahead will reveal the full extent of Nokia’s fall from grace in the smartphone market, with Samsung tipped to take control of the segment when it reveals its 2Q11 results.
Nokia’s figures for the quarter show it finally ceded market leadership to Apple based on shipments of smartphones alone. The Finnish vendor mustered sales of 16.7 million units during the quarter compared to Apple’s 20.3 million. The fall in sales had a knock-on effect on earnings, with Nokia reporting its first quarterly loss since 2009.
Now, though, it seems both vendors will be outshone by Samsung. Estimates sent by Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston to Bloomberg predict the South Korean vendor will report shipments of 18 million to 21 million for the recent quarter – enough to push Nokia into third place and potentially drop Apple into second place overall.
The bulk of Samsung’s success is attributed to sales of its Android-powered Galaxy S II smartphone. The vendor aims to double smartphone shipments in 2011, and Mawston believes it stands a good chance of vying for the top spot overall by the year end if it can continue growing sales in key markets including China and Brazil.
However, the analyst also cautions that Samsung’s success could be stymied by the pending launch of the iPhone 5, which is generally expected to break cover in September.
Apple’s persistence in suing Samsung for breaching several patents with the Galaxy S II lends credence to the figures cited by Bloomberg, particularly as the success of the device will only aid Android’s rise to the top of the smartphone platform pile.
While Nokia is on the brink of launching its first Windows Phone 7 device, it will take some time before sales of that unit are reflected in the firm’s results. That means the Finnish vendor is likely to remain under pressure in the smartphone segment for several quarters to come.