Smartphone Wars: Nokia Still Worldwide Leader, Loses Nearly 50% Market Share

Nokia managed to hold onto their “worldwide leader” status for the Smartphone market during Q2 2011 sales, however the company did watch their worldwide reach fall from 41% to 22% of the market.

According to Gartner the company moved 23.9 million smartphones in Q2 2010, mostly from sales of Symbian based devices.

Gartner also revealed that many of those sales likely came from bargain basement prices that Nokia offered to clear out remaining inventories.

Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said of the company’s actions:

“I think Nokia’s channel situation is pretty lean and in the third quarter we will not see the same effect from destocking as we saw in the second quarter,” while adding, “It’s clear that Nokia’s smartphone business will remain under challenge.”

Nokia sold 97.9 million mobile devices when non-Smartphone devices were included in the company’s count, while 2010 witnessed 111.47 million units moved during the same period.

As the company watches their sales drop, the overall market has been very healthy with 428.7 million mobile devices sold in the second quarter of this year, that’s an increase of 16.5% year-over-year based on quarterly periods, while Smartphone sales increased by 74% globally.

In comparison Apple constituted 18.2% market share, while Google Android based devices now make up 43.4% worldwide, up from 17.2% the year prior.

Nokia has big plans for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform which has had some moderate success which Microsoft hopes will grow when Windows 8 is released with further Smartphone integration capabilities for WP7 powered devices.

In the meantime, partnering with Google Android might not be a bad move for Nokia, I’ve personally always liked the design models they’ve offered and top notch cameras, but Symbian offers a UI from another generation and it simply can’t compete with iOS, Android or even WebOS for that matter.