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Samsung knocks Nokia off its perch in Western European phone market

Samsung overhauled Nokia as the best-selling phone maker in Western Europe with a market share of almost 30 per cent, research firm IDC said.

Samsung has overhauled Nokia as the best-selling phone maker in Western Europe with almost 30 per cent market share, according to research firm IDC.

After selling more mobiles than Nokia in the first quarter of the year, Korea's Samsung officially holds the number one spot, defeating the Finnish king, which has dominated since the 90s. Let's crunch some numbers.

Nokia's sales dropped a whopping 10 per cent in the region, with its market share slumped to 27.9 per cent, while Samsung's rose by 5 per cent year-on-year, and its chunk of the market increasing slightly to 29.3 per cent.

"Samsung understood early the trend on touchscreen devices and became the market leader on feature phones by providing a full range of devices at very competitive prices," said Francisco Jeronimo, the fabulously monikered European mobile devices researcher manager at IDC.

There's no doubt Samsung has been releasing some pretty amazing phones this year, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 2, especially compared to Nokia, which has been churning out dogs like the Nokia E7. Last year's Samsung Galaxy S and Nokia N8 were similarly disparate. Nokia's relative collapse has spurred it to hitch its smart phone wagon to Microsoft, adopting Windows Phone and ditching its own Symbian OS.

The Finnish handset maker is also perilously close to losing its place at the top of the smart phone tree, with Apple, BlackBerry and HTC snapping hard at its heels. Apple is now the second biggest player in the smart phone segment worldwide, with 18.7 per cent market share compared to Nokia's 24.3.

It's a story of decline for Nokia, but it continues to make more phones than any other company due to its strong position in emerging markets. It still sold 12.6 million phones in Western Europe, whereas Apple and HTC put together sold fewer than 8 million. HTC's performance is also worth noting though, with a 271 per cent year-on-year increase in shipments taking it to fifth place.

"Companies like Nokia may have strong brands and big market shares as Nokia always had, but can be overtaken by their competitors on a blink of an eye," Jeronimo said.

Overall, the smart phone market continues to grow amazingly fast, up by 76 per cent year-on-year, making up for 47 per cent of all phones shipped, compared to 28 per cent from the first quarter of 2010. IDC figures also showed that Nokia is the only top-five mobile company to see its figures shrinking.