Apple may produce only one line of smartphones, but the company reportedly is close to overtaking Nokia and sliding into second place in the global mobile phone market, according to a report published by Strategy Analytics.
Once the king of the mobile phone market, Nokia ceded its title to Samsung, which grabbed first place with a successful combination of high-end smartphones and entry-level mobile phones. Nokia has been slowly losing ground, even though it still is selling a mix of cheaper feature phones along with its premium Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets. Over the past year, the company has dropped from 16.6 percent mobile phone market share in Q1 2013 to 11.5 percent in Q 2014.
During that same time, Apple has gained market share, inching from 10 percent in Q1 2014 to 10.7 percent in Q1 2014. It’s a small increase, but one that goes against the downward trend for Nokia and narrows the gap between the two companies. For example, Nokia last quarter was estimated to have shipped 47 million units as compared to 43.7 million for Apple.
“Apple has closed the marketshare gap on Nokia to just one point, and Nokia will have to fight hard to stay ahead in the second half of this year,” Strategy Analytics senior analyst Ken Hyers said.
Besides Apple, the only handset makers to show a gain year-over-year was Huawei and a group of off other smaller makers that collectively occupy 42.6 percent.
Nokia’s future as a handset maker is uncertain as the company joins Microsoft now that the acquisition of the Finnish company by Microsoft is now complete. While Microsoft will likely maintain the Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets, it is unclear what the Redmond company will do with Nokia’s entry-level handset business, which has been the company’s strength for years.