Nokia Beats Apple in Smartphone Shipments Worldwide

With the recent squabbling over the Motorola Droid's status as the next potential "iPhone killer, one could assume Apple has become the competitor to beat in the smartphone marketplace. But while countless reviewers try to measure the relative "cool" factor of these high profile gadgets, Nokia has been managing quite well on its own worldwide, continuing its lead in the sector with 37.9 percent of the market share in the third quarter of this year, according to research firm IDC.

The next closest competitors are Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry, with 19 percent market share and Apple with 17.1 percent based on shipment volume worldwide. Smartphones overall saw a 4.2 percent increase in shipments compared to the same period last year.

Nokia has managed to maintain its lead with the E71 and N97 handsets, which have been popular in Europe but seen more sluggish sales in the U.S. due to the lack of carrier-based incentives. On the flip side, Apple has not made the strides worldwide that it has domestically.

The future of the market may hold something different for both companies, however, as compared to last year Apple's share has grown 7.1 percent to Nokia's 6.1. RIM saw the biggest yearly growth with a 35.7 increase compared to last years numbers, with geek stalwart HTC seeing a 14.7 percent increase to grab 5.6 percent of the smartphone market.

As a patent battle between Apple and Nokia heats up, the competition could lead to a number of exciting possibilities. Analysts are clear on one thing: the demand for smartphones, regardless of who is making them, will continue to rise.

More details on the report can be found at CNET.


Thanks for the tip RenaissanceMan

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Actually Apple have done very well, considering they have one product (albeit 3 versions of it now) and have gotten in the top 3, against companies with much larger range of mobiles (and alot more experience in this market) is quite an achievement on it's own :)

However, Nokia haven't beaten Apple..for that to happen Apple would of needed to of been #1 at some point which I'm fairly sure they haven't. So technically Nokia have continued to fend off Apple, but that is just being pedantic :P

In a broad viewpoint, Nokia owns over 40% of the cellphone market (including the small market of "smartphone"), while Apple is not less than a 0.1%.

Apple is only noticeable for smarthphone sold in USA.

Nokia beats Apple? What Apple even doing in the this article? It's not even in top 5 of smartphone market, far far behind of nokia, samsung, htc and other symbian and winmobile producers. RIM isn't worldwide company as well. Quite US centralized figures...

bobbba said,
Did you read it? Apple are at no. 3 and the figures are for global results.

Apple and RIM have got very limited world wide availability. Obviously stats only take in account western world with no Russia, China, India etc

Another "it isnt really news" post. Nokia is the number 1 mobile phone manufacturer (including smartphones). Sames as microsoft with its OS. Why is it news that they sell more than apple?

This doesn't surprise me. Nokia sells a lot of low-value phones in asia that make up most of their total unit shipments (But not their profit). And Apple in most countries that they sell the iPhone in only allow 1 carrier to have it which limits user adoption.

Vice said,
This doesn't surprise me. Nokia sells a lot of low-value phones in asia that make up most of their total unit shipments (But not their profit). And Apple in most countries that they sell the iPhone in only allow 1 carrier to have it which limits user adoption.


This is smartphone sales...not all phone sales.

/- Razorfold said,
This is smartphone sales...not all phone sales.

I was mistaken on the types of handsets. But I still think the carrier lock ins count for a lot of lost sales.

With the N900 and the E72, I think Nokia has a good lineup of hardware devices coming to us in the near future.
But Apple has been doing loads well and was pretty right on the mark at the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007 - that their software and hardware was at least two years in advance (its 2009 now) and look how many smart phone companies have reacted to the iPhone. 2010 will mark interesting times indeed.

(Now Nokia, please bring E72 to Australia now!!)

AnthoWin said,
With the N900 and the E72, I think Nokia has a good lineup of hardware devices coming to us in the near future.
But Apple has been doing loads well and was pretty right on the mark at the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007 - that their software and hardware was at least two years in advance (its 2009 now) and look how many smart phone companies have reacted to the iPhone. 2010 will mark interesting times indeed.

(Now Nokia, please bring E72 to Australia now!!)

And the n900 too :

Apple is also selling one model (well, 3, the 3G, and 3GS 16GB + 32GB). How many models does Nokia have? I imagine they can fill a store.

Same reason that Windows is still the number one operating system: it's older, thus reached the market earlier than competitors. Nokia beating Apple in sales doesn't make Symbian any less of a piece of crap.

Actually it does make it better ( in a few senses)...
For one, before Nokia bought out & absorbed Symbian Ltd. in late Q2 of last year (June-July 2008), Symbian OS was a long-standing (10 years) open-source platform. You can say it has been in longer, non-greedy,"restricted" or "locked-down" development than other mobile hardware/software manufacturers combined. You can say it's the GNU/Linux of the mobile development community.
What Apple strives to do with the iPhone in terms of "real" OS functionality and stability (not cheap bells-&-whistles, crap like multi-touch touchscreen), chances are, Nokia/Psion/Ericsson/Motorola have already incorporated said technologies into their devices before the G1 iPhone was even conceptualized.

Draje said,
Same reason that Windows is still the number one operating system: it's older, thus reached the market earlier than competitors. Nokia beating Apple in sales doesn't make Symbian any less of a piece of crap.


You really should get your facts right before sprouting FUD. The first macintosh was released in January 1984 - remember the famous 1984 ad? Windows was first sold in August 1985. Prior to that Microsoft had MS-DOS and worked with IBM on OS/2.

ajhodge said,
You really should get your facts right before sprouting FUD. The first macintosh was released in January 1984 - remember the famous 1984 ad? Windows was first sold in August 1985. Prior to that Microsoft had MS-DOS and worked with IBM on OS/2.

Apple had other lines of computers before the Macintosh was released. Remember the Apple II, IIe, II+, III, GS?

Ok let's go with that logic. Windows 7 was released after Snow Leopard and is therefore newer. It beat out Snow Leopard's sales is less than 2 weeks.

Tell us again what age has to do with marketplace success?

C_Guy said,
Ok let's go with that logic. Windows 7 was released after Snow Leopard and is therefore newer. It beat out Snow Leopard's sales is less than 2 weeks.

Tell us again what age has to do with marketplace success?

I am sick of people spouting this ****... Microsoft has a huge market share and much larger base of possible upgrades than Apple, so it's common sense that it would sell more total copies.

However, Drage was way off base with the "it's older" argument... and ajhodge, don't forget that MS wrote the original Mac OS =)

People... APPLE does have OFFICIAL distribution outside the US of A, believe it or not, it's not ATT. For example, where I live, www.claro.com.hn is official iPhone carrier, this is for most of Central and south america, which is a lot...

I charge my iPhone once a week, depends on what you are using, if you are browsing a lot or using wifi ofcourse its going to run down more then the sony-ericson - must add LOL

I've used my sisters prada touch phone and theres no comparision.

Yeah, my Samsung Omnia phone can go 2-3 days without a charge generally, but of course if I'm doing a lot of web browsing and such it will drain the battery faster...

evo_spook said,
I charge my iPhone once a week, depends on what you are using, if you are browsing a lot or using wifi ofcourse its going to run down more then the sony-ericson - must add LOL

I've used my sisters prada touch phone and theres no comparision.


Why do you even have an iPhone if you use it so little you only need to charge it once a week?

epple said,

Why do you even have an iPhone if you use it so little you only need to charge it once a week?


I use it for telephone calls, you know like for a phone

evo_spook said,


I use it for telephone calls, you know like for a phone

What wrong with something a lot cheaper and with no contract. If you use it only as a phone you could have saved a lot of money there.Oh wait..you just want the cool factor :P

Remote Sojourner said,

What wrong with something a lot cheaper and with no contract. If you use it only as a phone you could have saved a lot of money there.Oh wait..you just want the cool factor :P

Its unlocked onto pay as you go and the apps are useful.

LG & Samsung here.....

My inlaws had the iPhone.....and got sick of it needing charging constantly and the no MMS etc
its now a dead paperweight on her desk...she's now using a Sony-Ericson which only needs charging once a week not 3-4 times like the iPhone lol

I've used the iphone loads and yes the browser is handy....but theres no other feature that my LG touch phone can't do that I want, overrated iKOOL phones lol

given that apple has not been in the market for long in comparison to nokia which has been a phone manufacturer for decades why is it news that they are not the market leader?

the other titles for this article could be:

apple continues to gain market share in smartphone market
in 2 years apple becomes second biggest smartphone manufacturer

just reread it and noticed that RIM has second place now. maybe the title should be:

RIM has staggering 35% year on year growth

The article is comparing sales for the year... So the title is accurate... I don't think they were interested in skewing the article to Apple that badly...

I love the iPhone and I wish I had one.. mostly just to play games when I'm bored. But everything looks so great about it.

The problem? ATT and price. I'm not willing to spend about $100 per month just for my own mobile experience, not even including my family... and perhaps it'd be more worth it if it were on a valid network with actual 3G coverage (such as verizon).

M_Lyons10, that's still better than being forced to go on a three year contract on Canada's wireless carriers! :P

But as for the US, Apple seriously needs to allow more carriers to use the iPhone, but T-Mobile USA's presence is limited and the CDMA wireless carriers such as Verizon don't plan to switch to HSPA anytime soon (which Bell and Telus did recently).

MulletRobZ said,
But as for the US, Apple seriously needs to allow more carriers to use the iPhone, but T-Mobile USA's presence is limited and the CDMA wireless carriers such as Verizon don't plan to switch to HSPA anytime soon (which Bell and Telus did recently).

1. T-Mobile uses AT&T's (Cingular) towers, so what good would it do them to release it on T-Mobile? Most of the people I know refuse to switch because of ****ty service, not because of the phone itself (although there are plenty that can't stand the iPhone to begin with). Without going to Verizon / Sprint, they won't gain much more market share.

2. Why would CDMA carriers want to switch to an inferior network? 4G WiMax (Sprint / Clear / Comcast) blows every other service out there away for speed and coverage distance per tower. I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon started piggy-backing on Sprint's WiMax network soon, or even started building out their own.

The article should include RIM as well in the battle. Its funny how Apple is only mentioned when saying "battle between Apple and Nokia" when the figures tell us RIM is second in market share.

On other thoughts, I didn't think HTC would have as much as 5%...even when I found their phones very good.

Did anyone really ever think the iPhone was winning, its a premium phone that only a small minority can afford and even want. I know of only two people that have it, most vof my other friends have Sony Ericssons.

As far as smartphones go in my part of the EU I've seen more people with Nokias and even LGs and noone with a iPhone. But people also have to keep in mind that the choice of phones in the EU and in Asia is way way waaaayyyy bigger compared to the US, it's a joke.

GP007 said,
As far as smartphones go in my part of the EU I've seen more people with Nokias and even LGs and noone with a iPhone. But people also have to keep in mind that the choice of phones in the EU and in Asia is way way waaaayyyy bigger compared to the US, it's a joke.

Which is a shame. I don't really understand it, but wish that we had more options here...

That's true. I've only seen 2-3 iPhones from my friends here. I see a lot of Nokias, Sony Ericssons, and Motorollas and then some others. In the middle east where I used to work Nokias are the only preferred phone. You can resell/swap it with high value, very unlike the other phones.

Don't let the marketing confuse you. A high markup doesn't always equate to a premium product.... Unless of course you simply believe that what Steve says is gospel.

Well, if Apple let EVERYONE sell the iphone, perhaps their sales would be better, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
they had to lock At&t into selling it. Now that the "new" has worn off, and other manufacturers have sort of caught up, when the day comes at&t isn't the only one who can "legally" sell the iphone, I doubt if it will be as big of a hit as it was on at&t. But, knowing hot Apple can spin things, they'll probably release a "new" iphone that has some sort of widget that no one else has, and Apple will once again hype it up like they do (you gotta give em credit, they are pretty good at marketing), and people once again will stand in line to get one.

naap51stang said,
Well, if Apple let EVERYONE sell the iphone, perhaps their sales would be better, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
they had to lock At&t into selling it. Now that the "new" has worn off, and other manufacturers have sort of caught up, when the day comes at&t isn't the only one who can "legally" sell the iphone, I doubt if it will be as big of a hit as it was on at&t. But, knowing hot Apple can spin things, they'll probably release a "new" iphone that has some sort of widget that no one else has, and Apple will once again hype it up like they do (you gotta give em credit, they are pretty good at marketing), and people once again will stand in line to get one.


This is world wide sales. Nokia's aren't sold as much in america as the iphone is, but worldwide..

There was an article on Neowin last year talking about Apple's contract with ATT. Because they are exclusive to ATT, Apple makes $800 PER iphone sold. So... I don't think Apple will want to change that. Even if they sell them without phone companies for $300 it's still just $300 (not including costs to build them) vs. $800.

naap51stang said,
Well, if Apple let EVERYONE sell the iphone, perhaps their sales would be better, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
they had to lock At&t into selling it. Now that the "new" has worn off, and other manufacturers have sort of caught up, when the day comes at&t isn't the only one who can "legally" sell the iphone, I doubt if it will be as big of a hit as it was on at&t. But, knowing hot Apple can spin things, they'll probably release a "new" iphone that has some sort of widget that no one else has, and Apple will once again hype it up like they do (you gotta give em credit, they are pretty good at marketing), and people once again will stand in line to get one.

lol read the TITLE!.. world sales!!!.. AT&T does not EXIST outside the USA!

If the Nokia phones had the same sorta deals the iPhone gets with ATT so people could buy them for way less with a 2 year contract, then that'd paint a pretty different picture IMO.

But we don't have that, so as far as the US goes, Nokia is at a disadvantage. In Europe though, things are more even, and as you can see, Nokia is doing way better.

I have yet to see anyone with a iPhone in my part of the EU for that matter.

naap51stang said,
Well, if Apple let EVERYONE sell the iphone, perhaps their sales would be better, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
they had to lock At&t into selling it.

Errrr... take off your Mr America USA hat and consider the whole of the round rock we all live on. Here in Australia the iPhone has, and always has been, available on my choice of 5 different carriers. THe same applies to many other countries that are not USA.

And Nokia has, and will continue in the short-med term, outsell every other handset maker by a factor of 3-to-1. On the global scale. What happens in USA where the mobile phone market is so tightly "regulated" and controlled in terms of who can sell what handset to who... remains to be seen.

I love how Apple spins it's sales figures for iPhone saying how in year 2, it sold nine bazillion more iPhone than in year 1. Forgetting to mention that year 1 was USA only and Year 2 was global market.

/- Razorfold said,
This is world wide sales. Nokia's aren't sold as much in america as the iphone is, but worldwide..


THAT is because the $%*&^ wireless carriers in the USA lock their phones, and if I were a wireless phone manufacturer, I wouldn't want to do business in such a restrictive environment. It would be nice if they would all start flooding the USA market with unlocked phones. Dumping them to break the wireless carriers lock on the market.

naap51stang said,
THAT is because the $%*&^ wireless carriers in the USA lock their phones, and if I were a wireless phone manufacturer, I wouldn't want to do business in such a restrictive environment. It would be nice if they would all start flooding the USA market with unlocked phones. Dumping them to break the wireless carriers lock on the market.

but nobody'd buy them if theyre not as cheap as the carrier subsidized phones...