Summary:

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is losing its market share in phones at an alarming rate right now. But despite all the profit warnings, drastic strategic…

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Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is losing its market share in phones at an alarming rate right now. But despite all the profit warnings, drastic strategic shifts, and massive strides being made by the likes of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) with Android, it still remains on top of the pile in mobile device market share, according to quarterly figures out today from Gartner.

Nokia saw its stake drop by nearly eight percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. It now controls 22.8 percent of the mobile market, with the next biggest maker Samsung at 16.3 percent. Samsung’s share, in fact, was also down from a year ago, by 1.5 percent. Overall, mobile sales for Q2 totaled 428.7 million units, up 16.5 percent compared to a year ago.

But we might see Nokia have a much more drastic fall in the quarter ahead, notes Roberta Cozza, analyst at Gartner. She points out that in the last quarter, the channel bought significantly less Nokia devices, and instead reduced prices on existing stock to shift it. That resulted in a big drop in the average selling price for devices, as Nokia noted in its last earnings report.

That meant Nokia “destocked” nine million units, including five million smartphones. “However, we will not see a repeat of this performance in the third quarter of 2011, as Nokia’s channel is pretty lean,” Cozza writes.

As in previous quarters, we are continuing to see a huge amount of fragmentation in the mobile market: after Samsung, the next eight-biggest handset makers took single-digit percentages, while the “others” category is up once more, this time accounting for 35.8 percent of all sales, compared to 28.1 percent in Q2 2010. The full list here:

Another notable detail in the list above is how the smartphone-only handset makers are faring. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) nearly doubled its share, to 4.6 percent; RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) is holding (somewhat) at three percent; and HTC gained one point to 2.6 percent. Gartner notes that smartphones now account for one quarter of all mobile sales worldwide, a jump of eight percent on last year. That’s the surest sign yet of how they are becoming the mainstream, default device for the mobile masses.

In smartphones, Android’s march on the smartphone market continues apace. Google’s mobile OS accounted for 43.4 percent of all sales, a massive increase from its 17.2 percent share the same quarter one year ago. The other big gainer was Apple’s iOS, which had 18.2 percent of all sales, compared to 14.1 percent a year ago. That puts it into third place behind Symbian, which, for the price-cutting explanation noted above, has managed to keep its ranking, even if it has fallen by nearly half.

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has dipped down to only 1.6 percent of all sales, from 4.9 percent a year ago. That shows a real lack of consumer interest in Windows Phone devices so far. Is that an opportunity, or an alarm bell for Nokia?

The full smartphone rankings:

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