Nokia Q3 sales leap, market share drops

Siemens bounces back

Siemens proved to be a surprise winner in the Western European mobile phone arena this year, almost doubling its market share between Q3 2002 and Q3 2003, according to market watcher Strategy Analytics.

Nokia, by contrast, saw its market share eroded, though not enough to knock it off its position as market leader. During Q3, it took 42.1 per cent of the European handset market, down from 51.2 per cent in the year-ago quarter and below its overall 2002 share of 49 per cent.

The decline marks the first time the Finnish manufacturer lost market share in two years, Strategy Analytics said in its Western European Mobile Handset Market: Q3 2003 Update, published today.

Siemens took 17 per cent of the market during Q3, well up on its Q3 2002 share of 9.5 per cent. Its gain came from a year-on-year increase in quarterly unit shipments of three million units to 5.5 million. Nokia's also shipped more handhelds: 13.7 million in Q3 2003, up from Q3 2002's 13.5 million.

Samsung came third with 8.6 per cent, up from 7.6 per cent in Q3 2002. Sony Ericsson took 6.6 per cent of the market, up from four per cent. Number five player Motorola lost share, with a increase in unit shipments of 100,000 units, to 2.1 million unit shipments, being insufficient to stop its market share falling from 7.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent. The fall marks the first time Motorola has dropped out of the top four in two years.

These top five vendors accounted for 81 per cent of the market in Q3. Unit shipments rose 23 per cent year-on-year and seven per cent sequentially to 32.4 million units.

"The third quarter has historically been slow for Nokia in Europe as the company typically positions product and marketing spend for the Q4 holiday season," the researcher reports. "The combination of strong regional competition and this quarterly, company-specific dynamic has combined to create a nine per cent annual share loss for Nokia. Strategy Analytics expects Nokia to bounce back with a typically strong Q4."

But SA warns that Nokia must expand its range of phone form factors to take in clamshell-cased handsets if it's to reverse the decline at the low end and mid-range, where it lost share to Sagem and Samsung, respectively.

Looking to Q4, SA expects a 12 per cent year-on-year increase in handset shipments to 35.9 million units - 124.7 million units for the year as a whole. That's just under the number of units the researcher expects to move over the counter, but it expresses concern that the balance will reverse during the first half of next year, leading to a build up of inventory.

Western European Mobile Handset Market: Q3 2003 Update is available from Strategy Analytics' web site. ®

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