After 14 long years, it seems that Nokia might finally no longer be the leading manufacturer of cell phone handsets. There are very dire reports about where Nokia may be headed if it can’t generate lasting enthusiasm, but this one may be one of the most severe about where the company stands right here and now. A Reuters poll of analysts from that Samsung is expected to have sold around 88 million handsets in the first quarter of 2012. Nokia, meanwhile, may have only sold around 83 million.
Nokia became the leader in mobile phone sales in 1998, and it has never once handed the crown over to someone else. Even though it has lost a huge amount of momentum in regions like the US and Europe, the company still has a huge presence in many parts of the world where there is literally no competition from other manufacturers. Even as the company had to shut the door on its once-ubiquitous Symbian operating system and build a brand new smartphone strategy from the ground up, laying off thousands upon thousands of employees, it could at least still hang on to the fact that in the global market, it was still #1 in terms of unit sales.
To have lost that title will come as perhaps the biggest blow yet to a company that once defined the mobile industry and even more ironically, defined the smartphone of its time. Nokia has started to build back some traction, so this isn’t just a story of the company getting buried; it’s also a testament to Samsung’s incredible growth. The company has built an amazing presence in the cell phone community and truly has become the best known name in mobile.
[via Tech Investor News]