Stats focused on mobile sales and smartphone share haven’t made pretty reading for Nokia for some time. But the latest numbers from data types IDC are undoubtedly the worst.
Its overall mobile sales in western Europe have dipped by 10 per cent in the past year, smartphone sales have slumped by 15 per cent, while the soon-to-be gazumped Symbian OS’s share is down by 20.3 per cent. Samsung sells more phones overall than Nokia now in Europe, with Apple shifting more smartphones.
But it’s Android’s utter domination of smartphone share, up a frankly insane 27.7 per cent to 35.7 per cent, that is really doing for Nokia. Android OEMs are snapping at its heels in the smartphone space, as HTC and Samsung use the Google OS to scale new heights.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s new smartphone OS of choice doesn’t even feature on the smartphone share list, with Windows Phone 7 bundled into the ‘others’ column with a mere 6.5 per cent share.
It’s becoming increasingly evident that despite fragmentation difficulties, Android’s ability to kick it on phones as high-end as the Samsung Galaxy S2 and as good value as the HTC Wildfire S is seeing it storm ahead.
The fact you can get the Gingerbread iteration of the OS on a cheap phone is hugely appealing, especially when equivalent Nokia phones use the S40 feature phone operating system. Why would a clued-up user plump for the latter when they can get a smartphone operating system that offers some seriously smart functionality for the same price? It’s a battle Nokia cannot win.
Windows Phone 7 is reserved only for the very best smartphones, although talk of a budget Nokia WP7 cell is rife. If Symbian is going to carry on as the budget OS of choice for Nokia, then it has to be the new ‘Anna’ update that it uses. Anything less looks pointless when Android is so capable of working across the price spectrum.
It all goes back to that eternal question, should Nokia have at least chosen to do a deal with Android as well as Microsoft? HTC, Samsung and LG all did, so why not Espoo?
Choosing an OS that looks great but has yet to break into the mainstream is a huge gamble. If it fails, Stephen Elop will be out on his ear and Nokia will be in even deeper trouble than it is now. Surely hedging its bets would have been smarter.
Android’s futuristic skills and Nokia’s design nous would have made for something stunning. Instead, the Nokia WP7 wait goes on and everyone else marches ahead inexorably. The troubles at Nokia are a long way from being over.