Nokia has held the number one smartphone spot in Australia since 2002. No longer. IDC Australia had predicted as far back as May of this year that Apple's iPhone would eclipse Nokia, and it finally happened.
"Nokia remained at the top of the smartphone market since 2002, when it unseated Palm to become the highest selling smartphone vendor in Australia," said IDC Australia telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. "Nokia's dominance was seemingly unstoppable. However, three years after launching, Apple has done what once seemed impossible."
Novosel's data was culled from research and interviews with vendors, carriers, retailers and distributors and reflects sales through September of this year.
Despite Apple's ouster of Nokia, it may not hold the lead for long. Android is catching up fast. "It's looking like next year it's going to be close between Android and Apple but I would be inclined to say that Apple will keep its lead, although we have been under pretty much every quarter with our Android forecast so anything really is possible at this stage," said Novosel.
"Given the way that it is growing, this time next year Android could be number one. It really depends how next year will pan out."
Novosel indicated that Android's share of the smartphone market grew at a faster rate than the iPhone's, with Android holding 21% of the Australian market. That's up from 7.1% in the second quarter of 2010, and from 2.1% in the first quarter of 2010.
Nokia still remains the world leader, with 37.6% of the global smartphone market. That figure, however, is half what it was just three years ago, when Nokia owned three-quarters of the smartphone market. It's unclear how long Nokia will hold the top spot, with Android's market share gaining faster than others'.
Nokia launched the Symbian^3 N8 earlier this year. Though it plans to bring MeeGo devices to market next year, Nokia hasn't shared specifics on when that will be, and what types of devices will be offered. Nokia needs to get devices into the market to effectively counter the iPhone and Android onslaught. So far, it hasn't.
"Nokia must fast-track the development of its high-end Meego-powered smartphones, in order to regain market share and avoid being overtaken by Android," noted Novosel.