Jun 28

After years of dominating the competitive mobile phone market, Nokia has been ousted as the world’s biggest mobile phone maker by Korean electronics giant, Samsung.  In the first quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped around 93 million mobile phones, compared to Nokia’s 83 million.  Samsung, which is also now the world’s biggest television and flat screen maker, recently announced its highest quarterly profit since 2008, a jump of 81% from last year.  Strong sales growth is forecast in the coming months.  Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung, said: “We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced.”

So how has Samsung seized the top spot from Nokia, which monopolised the mobile market for 14 years?  The key may lie in savvy strategic vision and direction from the management.  Both Kwon Oh-hyun, former head of the firm’s component business and now chief executive officer and former chief executive Choi Gee-sung, have been credited with shifting the company’s fortunes.

The global clamour for smartphones has gone through the roof in recent years, something that Samsung has capitalised on rather more successfully than Nokia.  Nokia was known and loved for its lower end feature phones for a number of years, but interest in these plummeted with the advent of the smartphone.  Nokia failed to convert its portfolio to meet this new demand, while Samsung recognised the shift and reacted quicker than anyone thought possible, making use of off-the-shelf technologies to produce some impressive smart devices.  Nokia has lost control of the key markets of India, China, the Middle East and Africa which has had a major impact on its sales. Going forward, global demand for smartphones is expected to increase further over the coming years, with research firm IDC forecasting that global smart phone shipments will surge by a third to 659.8 million units in 2012.

Following the release of its Galaxy S3 smartphone in May, Samsung is expected to continue enjoying strong sales growth in its mobile phone division.  The popular Galaxy range has helped Samsung to rival Apple, although the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 may give the Galaxy S3 a run for its money.  Buying the S3, which is marketed under the tagline ‘designed for humans’ upfront may not be cheap, but anyone looking for a state of the art smartphone who’s prepared to enter into a two year contract should look online for the latest mobile phone deals, many of which are fairly affordable.  For £26 a month it’s possible to take one home for free.  With a 4.8-inch 720p resolution display, a slim and light casing, the S3 has a slick quad-core engine and comes with an impressive array of features.

It’s a dog eat dog world out there, so Samsung should remain aware of the rapid shifts in the sector and constant introduction of new products from its competitors.  Analysts believe, however, that given its solid growth and dominance in the market, Samsung should continue to benefit and boost its market share. 

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