It is now official. Apple has completed what everyone had expected for months. Nokia smartphone global shipment declined by 31% in 2Q2011, from 24.2 million units in first quarter to 16.7 million units. Year over year with 2Q2010, it was off by 30.4%. By that and coupled with Apple’s good market performance, Apple emerged #1 in the global smartphone market, according to a new report by IHS iSuppli.
According to IHS iSupple, Nokia posted the worst performance among arch competitors like Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and and HTC Corp. With the overall smartphone market expanding by 7.5% sequentially, Nokia’s share of shipments declined to 15.1% in the second quarter, down from 23.6% in the first quarter. Nokia’s smartphone shipments have regressed to their level of two years ago. This caused Nokia to fall to third place, losing the No. 1 ranking for the first time in the history of the smartphone business.
Nokia’s decline in the second quarter allowed Apple to climb one place to take the No. 1 position, although the company only slightly outperformed the overall smartphone market, with its shipments rising by 9.1 percent sequentially. Beyond Nokia’s problems with Symbian, the company also is encountering challenges in its transition to Windows 7 as its principal operating system for smartphones. With the announcement of the transition in early 2011, Nokia eliminated any incentive for consumers and developers to buy into its existing smartphone products, which are based on its Symbian and MeeGo operating systems. That alone has precipitated the decline as not many customers want to invest in a platform that is being retired. The big question is: will Nokia ever recover?