Nokia today reported a severe blow from the world economic collapse both in market share and in its financial health. The company shipped 15.2 percent less phones in its spring quarter than it did a year ago, down to 103.2 million. The amount is a 10.7 percent jump compared to the winter, at the height of the crisis, but was still enough for Nokia's market share to remain almost flat compared to the winter and to have dropped from 40 to 38 percent from year to year, according to its estimates.
The decline in phone numbers, combined with poor performance from the company's network infrastructure group Nokia Siemens Networks, led to a sharp drop in the company's earnings. These dropped 65.5 percent compared to spring 2008.
Smartphone numbers, however, have partly reversed their sharp declines seen in the past two years and commonly attributed to the rise both of Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry outside of the workplace. The company shipped 16.9 million of the advanced devices, up 10.5 percent in the past 12 months. Although still down from roughly half of the market in the past, Nokia's share of smartphones is estimated to have kept steady year over year at 41 percent as it believes the total smartphone market increased to 41 million devices.
Most of the increase was attributed to roughly equal increases in its media-oriented Nseries phones as well as its Eseries business phones, though the company was also helped by the 5800 XpressMusic; about 3.7 million of the smartphones shipped during the quarter. The company was silent, however, on sales numbers for the N97, its second touchscreen and its new flagship; it had only a few weeks of sales but has earned mixed reviews and is priced significantly higher than the 5800, hurting its ability to compete in sheer numbers as well as against competitors like the iPhone 3GS.
The Finnish designer expects that the phone market as a whole will have shrunk 12 percent on a yearly basis to 268 million phones, although it will have climbed 5 percent compared to the winter. It expects its own shipments and market share to largely stay even in the summer.