12:05 PM An analyst forecast for Nokia's smartphone market share looks dire

Michelle Donegan

May 2, 2012

2 Min Read
Nokia: How Low Will It Go?

12:05 PM -- As Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s mobile phone crown still clatters at its feet, one analyst has published a dire forecast for the company's smartphone market share this year. (See Nokia Loses Its Mobile Crown.)

In a sobering blog, independent analyst Tomi Ahonen predicts that Nokia will end 2012 with only a 3 percent market share in smartphones, down from 13 percent at the end of 2011. Ahonen also forecasts that smartphone unit sales at Nokia will be 7.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 (of which Lumia units will be 7 million) -- well down from the 19.6 million units it sold in the same quarter last year.

Talk about a plummet. And that's only the outlook for smartphones. (See Nokia's Nightmare Scenario , Euronews: Nokia's Q1 Device Disaster and Is Nokia Losing Operator Support? )

Ahonen wrote the following in his blog about Nokia's smartphone forecast:

Note, by the end of 2012, essentially all Nokia smartphone production will have shifted to Lumia, i.e. Windows Phone-based smartphones. Thus the 'comeback' for Nokia (and Windows Phone) can start in year 2013. That comeback starts not from Nokia's powerful position it had when Elop took over in 2010 of 33%, it starts from literally only one tenth that, at 3% of the smartphone market. No handset maker has ever survived this type of comprehensive collapse and it would be foolish to think Nokia could achieve that miracle.

Nokia's turnaround was never going to be easy, and time is not on the company's side. As the company loses market share at the smartphone high end as well as at feature-phone low end of the market, it's questionable whether the business can sustain Nokia's current strategy. The company will need to do something more drastic to claw back business. (See Don't Count Nokia Out Just Yet, Will Nokia Have a Smartphone Resurgence? and Euronews: Will Nokia Take the High-End Road?)

But hey, when you're down, what better time is there to start taking competitors to court? Nokia on Wednesday filed suits against High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), BlackBerry and ViewSonic Corp. in the U.S. and Germany over claims they are infringing 45 different patents.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.  

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