NOKIA is aiming to grab 25% of the UK’s b2b market by July this year after strong sales of its Lumia smartphones saw its share leap from 11% to 18% in Q4 2013.
The gains follow Nokia’s aggressive drive into the b2b market in 2013 which saw it grow b2b share over 30% quarter on quarter. Now Nokia is looking to capitalize on these gains as it moves into 2014.
A survey of b2b smartphone sales in the UK, carried out by Canalys, saw Nokia’s share rise from 11% to 18% between Q3 and Q4 last year. In the same period Apple’s share fell 40% to 35%, Samsung’s share was steady at 17% and BlackBerry’s share plummeted from 13% to 8%. This leaves Nokia in second place to Apple in the sector.
Nokia is predicting similar strong growth throughout 2014, based on sales in the first quarter of this year.
Speaking to Mobile, Adrian Williams (pictured) said: ‘We expect this rate of growth to continue in 2014. In fact we were planning to take 20% share by the mid-year but we have increased that projection to 25% on current performance.’
Williams said Nokia’s gains in the b2b market last year were partly due to BlackBerry’s financial problems which have raised concerns in the market about its future as a smartphone manufacturer. He added that operators were increasingly turning to Nokia to provide a b2b solution.
He said: ‘It is a difficult situation, when one organisation has been a leading solution for that segment. Clearly customers are not seeing that as a longer term future.’
He added: ‘We have taken share largely from BlackBerry and also from Apple, and that is also because we are much more relevant to the whole of business – not just the low to mid end with the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 625 but across the spectrum with the Lumia 925 selling very strongly at the executive end.’
Williams said Nokia’s #LumiaBizTrial, which it launched in January, will also boost Nokia Lumia sales in the business market this year, based on initial feedback.
‘It is early days as we have to wait for the trial to finish but the early signs are extremely positive,’ he said.
The trial offers over 200 SMEs the chance to test drive the Nokia Lumia 925, 625 and 520 smartphones for one month. It also provides major back up from Nokia to help SMEs begin using the devices along with a range of Microsoft business applications straight out of the box.
Operators’ drive into unified comms services, such as O2’s focus on Office 365 in the b2b market, is also driving Nokia’s b2b sales, Williams said.
‘Windows phones OS is a very secure proposition because it has all the Microsoft core capability and a very secure platform.’