Nokia may still dominate the overall cell phone market, but a steady slide in its smartphone market share could threaten the company's long-term standing.
On Thursday Nokia announced third-quarter earnings that, despite an unexpected loss of $832 million in its telecommunications equipment unit, beat expectations. The company managed to ship about 3 million more handsets than analysts had expected. But it also reported that its share in the growing smartphone market is on the decline, a sign that Nokia is losing ground to competitors, such as Apple and Research In Motion.
Nokia's cell phone shipments and revenue were not as good as they were in 2008. But no one expected them to be. Still, the third quarter of 2009 showed a glimmer of hope that the global recession might be subsiding and people may be returning to normal buying patterns in the mobile market.
Nokia's executives told investors that the company's overall global market share is expected to remain unchanged for the year at about 38 percent, good news considering aggressive attacks from competitors, such as Samsung and LG.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia's CEO, said in a statement that the company sold more mobile phones in the third quarter than in the second quarter. And the company revised its expectations for the entire mobile phone market. Instead of seeing a total sales decline in 2009 of 10 percent, Nokia now sees a decline of only 7 percent compared to 2008.
Even though, Nokia appears to be holding its own in the overall handset business, it is losing ground in a very important segment of this market, which could hurt the company in the long run.… Read more