Nokia, worldwide leader in smartphone shipments, has a new threat to its market dominance. Research In Motion held the second place title last quarter, but they have been surpassed by Apple for the third quarter of 2010. The new figures from research firm Strategic Analytics show that Apple is now second only to Nokia in smartphone shipments. While Apple’s tentative new ranking might appear challenge Nokia’s dominance, the numbers still paint a different picture. A sizable gap in shipment numbers still separates the two corporations.
According to Strategic Analytics, Apple moved about 14.1 million iPhones, while RIM moved only 12.1 million blackberries. It’s not so much that RIM’s blackberry sales are decreasing, but rather that Apple’s iPhone sales have increased exponentially. Compared to this time in 2009 Apple has almost doubled its iPhone shipments. In 2009, RIM held 19.6 percent of the smartphone market and Apple held 17 percent. Seemingly trading places, Apple now holds 18.3 percent of the market, while RIM holds 16.1 percent.
While Apple has gained a 15 percent lead on RIM, shipping about 2 million more iPhones than RIM’s blackberries, they are far away from overtaking Nokia. However, Nokia’s market share has gone down three percent from 2009 to 2010. This is despite the fact that they have also increased the size of their shipments by 10 million. Nokia has a strong grip on the smartphone market in Asia and Europe. Apple will have to double its shipments again to surpass Nokia’s unchallenged market dominance. Nokia has moved an impressive 26.5 million units this quarter. Apple, their closest competitor, moved 14.1 units.
Regardless of who is in the lead, we all have reason to be optimistic. According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments have risen by 33.7 million, from a total of 43.4 million in the third quarter of 2009 to 77.1 million in the current third quarter, which Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, says is the industry’s fastest rate since the mid 2000s. He also noted that the increased volume of shipments is placing heavy demands on component supplies and moderate component shortages are already occurring ahead of the fourth quarter holiday season.