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Smartphones overtake feature phones in W Europe

by Scott Bicheno on 9 September 2011, 14:47

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS), IDC

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Super Samsung

The shift from boring old feature phones to shiny new smartphones is happening very rapidly here in Western Europe. According to the latest IDC figures 52 percent of all phones shipped in Western Europe in Q2 2011 were smartphones - the first time they were the majority.

To illustrate how rapidly this shift is occurring, check out the fact that while smartphone shipments increased by 48 percent on a year ago, feature phones were down 29 percent in that period. In other words people are actively moving from one to the other in large numbers. One factor that will have accelerated this further is the shift of operator handset subsidies from feature phones to smartphones.

"This quarter was particularly important from the device type perspective," said the superbly-named Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research manager at IDC. "Android-powered handsets from the likes of Samsung, HTC, and Sony Ericsson have been able to drive strong volumes and to grab the biggest slice of share from the declining Symbian as Nokia moves to Windows Phones."

"... the smartphone segment was strongly impacted by the sharp decline of Nokia, which was not totally offset by the remaining players, which may indicate that Symbian fans are holding off on their phone replacements until Nokia launches its Windows Phones. Lastly, operators focused on clearing inventories for the introduction of the new devices expected in the third quarter, such as the iPhone5 from Apple and Windows Phones from HTC and other players."

That second paragraph implies there's latent demand from Nokia loyalists, of which there are presumably still quite a few. This adds weight to the general feeling that Nokia is set for some kind of bounce when it finally gets its WP7 act together, and that the drama surrounding Android may play into Microsoft's hands.

The two IDC tables below show total phone shipments and just smartphone shipments, respectively. Apparently Android shipments are up 352 percent on the same period last year, accounting for almost half of the smartphone shipments - and thus a quarter of all mobiles. As you can see, Samsung has had an absolute stormer. No wonder Apple is giving it such a hard time.

Top Western European Mobile Phone Vendors, Total Shipments and Market Share, 2Q11 Smartphones and Feature Phones (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2Q11 Unit Shipments

2Q11 Market Share

2Q10 Unit Shipments

2Q10 Market Share

2Q11/2Q10 Change

1. Samsung

13.9

33%

10.8

25%

29%

2. Nokia

9

21%

16.2

37%

-44%

3. Apple

4.6

11%

2.8

6%

64%

4. HTC

3.1

7%

1.4

3%

121%

5. Research in Motion

3

7%

2.6

6%

15%

Others

8.6

21%

9.7

23%

-11%

Total

42.2

100%

43.5

100%

-3%

Source: IDC European Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, August 2011

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.



Top Western European Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments and Market Share, 2Q11 Smartphones (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2Q11 Unit Shipments

2Q11 Market Share

2Q10 Unit Shipments

2Q10 Market Share

2Q11/2Q10 Change

1. Samsung

4.8

22%

0.6

4%

700%

2. Apple

4.6

21%

2.8

19%

64%

3. HTC

3.1

14%

1.4

10%

121%

4. Research in Motion

3

14%

2.6

18%

15%

5. Nokia

2.3

11%

5.8

39%

-60%

Others

4

18%

1.5

10%

167%

Total

21.8

100%

14.7

100%

48%

Source: IDC European Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, August 2011

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

 



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“… the smartphone segment was strongly impacted by the sharp decline of Nokia, which was not totally offset by the remaining players, which may indicate that Symbian fans are holding off on their phone replacements until Nokia launches its Windows Phones. Lastly, operators focused on clearing inventories for the introduction of the new devices expected in the third quarter, such as the iPhone5 from Apple and Windows Phones from HTC and other players.”

That second paragraph implies there's latent demand from Nokia loyalists, of which there are presumably still quite a few. This adds weight to the general feeling that Nokia is set for some kind of bounce when it finally gets its WP7 act together, and that the drama surrounding Android may play into Microsoft's hands.
Yep, here's one smartphone owner who wouldn't have strayed into being a SonyEricsson customer if Nokia had got something suitable in the range when my then-current Nokia smartphone started playing up badly.

My current contract runs out middle of next year, so if Nokia do manage to deliver something good (and to be honest I would suggest that anything other than a tour de force is going to see them continue to struggle - and they're very aware of that fact themselves!) then I'd consider defecting from Android to WP7 (very reluctantly - I actually quite like Android).

And I'm assuming I'm not the only one who thinks this … so if Nokia do “deliver the goods” then maybe we'll see Android and iPhone market share take a hit as a result.

Sounds like Q3 next year could be a good time to be ‘in the market’ for a new smartphone… :D