Nokia Cedes Home Market Lead to Samsung

on May 29, 2013

Nokia Corp. (HEL:NOK1V) has lost its position as a top seller of handsets in Finland to Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX:005930), the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, May 28, citing data from research firm IDC. According to the data, first reported by and later provided to the WSJ by IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo, the Finnish handset manufacturer has sold 196,000 devices in its home market in the first three months of the year, while the South Korean giant has shipped 211,000 devices in the same period.

The Nokia share price was €2.77 in early trading in Helsinki on Wednesday, down 1.36 percent on Tuesday’s close.
**Troubles at home**
Nokia had been the undisputed leader in its home market, Finland, until the first quarter of this year, the IDC data showed. The Finnish company, which commanded 65 percent of the market as recently as 2010, has ceded ground since.

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The South Korean company had the biggest market share in mobile phones in Finland in terms of sales with 36.1 percent in the first quarter, while Nokia was second with 33.6 percent. In contrast, Nokia had a hefty lead over its South Korean rival in the year-ago quarter, commanding 48 percent of the market compared with Samsung’s 28 percent.
**Shining Lumia**

The fact that Nokia has lost its dominant position on its home turf raises questions whether the struggling handset manufacturer will succeed in its recovery efforts. Last year the company lost to Samsung its crown of the world’s largest handset manufacturer by shipments, but perhaps more importantly, it has struggled to make a significant push into smartphones, a market dominated by Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). According to IDC, Nokia’s sales are split about evenly between smartphones and “more basic” phones, while about 80 percent of the units shipped by Samsung are smartphones.

“Samsung is doing extremely well on smartphones,” Jeronimo, IDC’s research director for European mobile devices, said, as quoted by the WSJ.
!m[The Samsung share price (close) was KRW1,512,000.00 as of 10.10 GMT, 29.05.2013](/uploads/story/2574/thumbs/pic_1_inline.jpg)
Nokia’s hopes for success in smartphones are mainly pinned on the company’s Lumia product line, which consists of smartphones running on Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ:MS) Windows operating system. Lumia sales rose 27 percent to 5.6 million in the first quarter, but the company has struggled to find success in important markets such as the United States.

While continuing to deliver basic handsets, whose more affordable price tag makes them suitable for emerging markets, Nokia aims to blur the lines between smartphones and feature phones with the Asha range.
The latest model of the range – the Asha 501 – has been described by the company as a smartphone. The handset standout feature is its staggering battery life of 48 days on a standby. With a price tag of £65 the handset would probably attract people who can’t afford a smartphone but want to upgrade.
**The Nokia share price was €2.78 as of 10.10 GMT, 29.05.2013
The Samsung share price (close) was KRW1,512,000.00 as of 10.10 GMT, 29.05.2013**


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