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Nokia suffers as Europeans turn to smartphones: IDC

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 7:21am
Booming demand for Apple's iPhone and phones using Google's Android software lifted second-quarter smartphone sales in Western Europe by 48 percent year on year, while former market leader Nokia fell further behind.

"Smartphones now dominate the Western European phone market and those vendors with stronger portfolios in the segment are consolidating their positions," said IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.

Nokia dropped to No. 2 in its home market in the first quarter, when Apple surpassed it in smartphones and Samsung Electronics did so in overall cellphone sales.

In the second quarter, Nokia's share of the Western European smartphone market halved from the previous three months to just 11 percent, and the Finnish firm dropped in smartphone rankings behind Samsung, BlackBerry developer Research In Motion and Taiwan's HTC.

"Android-powered handsets from the likes of Samsung, HT and Sony Ericsson have been able to drive strong volume and to grab the biggest slice of share from the declining Symbian as Nokia moves to Windows Phones," Jeronimo said.

Nokia's sales have been hit hard as the firm is trying to sell smartphones using aging Symbian software, which it has dumped in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone.

The first Nokia Windows Phones are expected to reach the market later this year.

Unlike the booming smartphone market, the overall mobile phone market in Western Europe slid 3 percent from a year ago -- after seven quarters of growth -- as weakening economies dampened demand.

(Reporting By Tarmo Virki)

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