Nokia falls to tenth slot globally

Nokia dropped to the tenth position in the global handset market, following a decline in feature phone sales. However, its Korean rival Samsung retained its number one slot during the first three months of the calendar year 2013.

Nokia was ranked at eighth position during the fourth quarter of 2012. The handset maker's mobile phone share dropped 4.9 percentage points in the first quarter of 2013, mainly due to a steep decline in feature phone sales, according to a study by research and analyst firm Gartner.

Although Nokia's Windows phone sales have sequentially improved, reaching a volume of 5.1 million units, it is yet to see high growth in the smart phone segment, the report said.

Samsung retained its number one position, growing 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. Its share of smart phones reached 30.8 per cent, up 3.2 percentage points from the first quarter of 2012.

''We expect the new Galaxy S4 to be popular, despite being more of an evolution than a truly revolutionary device compared to the S3,'' said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

During the quarter, Apple sales to end-users reached 38.3 million, as the company was able to ''burn'' some of the inventory.

''Apple is faced with the challenge of being increasingly dependent on the replacement market as its addressable market is capped. The next two quarters will also be challenging, as no new products are expected to be coming before the third quarter of 2013,'' said Gupta.

LG moves up
LG electronics moved up to the number four position. ZTE had a weak performance, failing to grow its smart phone sales, selling 7.9 million smart phones in the first quarter of 2013, a 5.1 per cent decline year-on-year.

In the first quarter of 2013, smart phones accounted for 49.3 per cent of sales of mobile phones worldwide. This is up from 34.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, and 44 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012. On the other hand, sales of feature phones contracted 21.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

In the smart phone operating system market, Android continued to increase its lead, with nearly 50 per cent more Android smart phones in the market than a year ago.

''There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android's dominance in the OS market is unshakable,'' Anshul said. ''With new OSs coming to market such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla we expect some market share to be eroded but not enough to question Android's volume leadership.

Global sales
The global mobile phone sales to end users totalled nearly 426 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a slight increase of 0.7 per cent from the same period last year.

The global smart phone sales totalled 210 million units in the first quarter of 2013, up 42.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2012. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region was the only region to show growth in mobile phone sales this quarter, with a 6.4 per cent increase year-on-year.

''More than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in APAC in the first quarter of 2013, which helped the region increase its share of global mobile phones to 53.1 per cent year-on-year,'' said Gupta.

''In addition, China saw its mobile phone sales increase 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, and its sales represented 25.7 per cent of global mobile phone sales, up nearly 2 percentage points year-on-year,'' he added.

In the first quarter of 2013, sales of mobile phones in the EMEA region declined 3.6 per cent. The North America and Latin America mobile phone market fell 9.5 and 3.8 per cent, respectively, while Japan saw its mobile phone sales drop 7.3 per cent.