Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, will lose its position as the biggest seller of smartphones this quarter for the first time as handsets running Google Inc’s Android become cheaper, Gartner Inc said.
Nokia sold 20.9 percent of the smartphones purchased by consumers in the second quarter as phone companies and retailers sold off overstock of its older Symbian phones at lower prices, Roberta Cozza, a Gartner analyst, said by telephone.
Apple Inc, with an 18.2 percent share, and Samsung Electronics Co, with 15.8 percent, are nipping at Nokia’s heels in the market for smartphones.
They have already passed the Espoo-based handset maker in shipments to carriers and retailers, Strategy Analytics said last month.
Android handsets have been selling for less than 99 euros (US$141) and prices might be less than 75 euros by the end of the year, Cozza said.
Nokia also maintained the lead in overall handset shipments as Samsung fell behind in some emerging markets, Gartner said.
Gartner repeated an earlier forecast that handset sales growth could slow to as little as 12 percent to 1.78 billion units for the full year.
Second-quarter sales rose 17 percent. Smartphones are expected to lead with 50 percent to 55 percent full-year growth compared with 74 percent growth in the second quarter.
“In Western Europe, there is uncertainty among consumers and this is not taking us to an upgrade cycle as fast as we expected,” Cozza said.