Nokia ‘fading’ in battle of the mobiles

Nokia has been losing its share in the global handset market steadily and Apple gaining steadily. How much did Nokia lose and how much did Apple gain? It would be better if we had some numbers or some relative comparison. Asymco has done just that. It took the profit share and market share data of the top eight mobile phone vendors in Q2 2007 and compared it with the same vendors in Q2 2010. Here’s what it found out : 

*SE — Sony Ericsson

The whole thing is split into four quadrants with profit share and market share on two different axes. Each quadrant is assigned an appropriate name. Dominant quadrant is a quadrant which has more than 20 percent market share and more than 30 percent profit share. Marginal quadrant is a quadrant where the market share will be between 0-20 percent and profit share between 0-30 percent. Star and Fading are the other two quadrants.

When I looked at the graphic above for 2007, I couldn’t see Nokia. I know for sure that Nokia is a big brand in 2007, at least in India. After looking at it more than once, I saw Nokia, which turned out to be a even bigger shock. Nokia has 60 percent profit share and enjoyed a 38 percent market share in Q2 2007. It was a dominant player and no other manufacturer figured in that quadrant. In Q2 2010, Nokia ended up in the fading quadrant. Fading, as a term, is a little inappropriate because Nokia still has close to 35 percent market share. Its profit share is declining though. Maybe the trend has led to such a naming. But Nokia is in trouble. No wonder it needed a new chief.

2007 had seven of the eight vendors figuring in the marginal quadrant, with HTC, RIM and Apple ganging up at the start. Three years down the line, Apple turned out to be a star, RIM moving towards becoming a star and LG’s market share completely eroded. And Sony Ericsson doesn’t exist in 2010.

To look at who lost and who gained, Asymco has paired up these eight vendors by looking at the vector magnitude and direction. Apple has clearly took it over from Nokia. RIM has dented Sony Ericsson. Samsung-Motorola, HTC-LG are in  a duel. It could not be an exact depiction but a trend which makes sense. For example, Apple alone might not have dented Nokia. HTC and RIM would have taken something off from Nokia.

Finally a graph to show how it went for these 8 vendors in the past 3 years :