Gartner: Nokia Held Off Apple in Smartphone Sales in 2Q 2011

Late last month, Apple made headlines when a series of research firms including IDC, Strategy Analytics and ABI Research all announced that Apple had passed Nokia and held off Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume during the second quarter of 2011. But all of those firms study the mobile phone market based on shipments from the manufacturers out to the distribution channels, not end sales to users.

Gartner today revealed its data based on final end-user sales, showing that Nokia did indeed hold off Apple for the title for the title of top-selling smartphone vendor by that metric. The key to the difference in assessments is that Nokia substantially reduced its handset volume shipped out for distribution, opting instead to dramatically pare down stocks already in the channel.

“The sales efforts of the channel, combined with Nokia’s greater concentration in retail and distributors’ sales, saw Nokia destock more than 9 million units overall and 5 million smartphones, helping it hold on to its position as the leading smartphone manufacturer by volume,” said Ms. Cozza. “However, we will not see a repeat of this performance in the third quarter of 2011, as Nokia’s channel is pretty lean.”

Nokia is transitioning its smartphone lineup from its own Symbian operating system to Windows Phone 7, and thus it makes sense that the manufacturer is prioritizing discounted sales of Symbian handsets already out for distribution to help speed that transition. But even accounting for the distribution channel drawdown, Nokia's smartphone business is struggling, with sales to end users actually falling slightly year-over-year as the overall smartphone market and sales from many of the the top vendors are growing dramatically.

gartner smartphone platforms 2Q11
Gartner highlights smartphone sales by operating system rather than manufacturer, showing that Google's Android operating system has continued its momentum that has led the platform to a commanding lead with 43.4% of the smartphone market during the quarter when looking at sales to end users. Symbian took second place with 22.1% of the market while Apple's iOS took third place with 18.2%

Top Rated Comments

ChazUK Avatar
166 months ago
Perhaps there is still hope in the future, Microsoft has deep pockets.

Well said. Those deep pockets made XBOX an eventual success so you never know. :)

I just find the WP7 UI and experience so different to Symbian/Windows Mobile/Android/iOS that is is refreshing to use and it performs very well despite the (now) low end specifications it's running on.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
166 months ago
Microsoft have a massive investment in Gartner, creating a conflict of interests which affects its reporting on Nokia (now Nokia is contracted to use Win Phone 7):

http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gartner_Group (http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gartner_Group)

Not attacking your post, but I am not sure what you are getting at. Both Nokia, and Microsoft show an overall decrease in the above posted chart.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erzhik Avatar
166 months ago
Who there hell is buying Nokia phones?

I don't know anyone who owns one anymore. To be fair though I don't know a lot of people. haha

The entire world buys Nokia phones except US.

Oh God, this apple fanboyism is pathetic. Nokia held Apple off, why are you so butthurt? Who cares who held off who, competition is always good and it's clear that Nokia still holds their feet.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
166 months ago
Funniest thread ever. When Apple is ahead - all praise Apple and no one questions the data.

Then a report comes out stating something different and it's condemned and people start poking holes in the report.

FUNNY
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dgree03 Avatar
166 months ago
I didn't even realize Symbian was a smart phone OS.

That just shows how much you dont know about Nokias smartphone domination and innovation starting from the early 2000's. They have lost their mojo tho.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nd572 Avatar
166 months ago
I am actually looking forward to the new Nokia Windows phones, I have a feeling they are going to produce a bigger competitor to the iphone than people are giving them credit for.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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