Nokia's share of the smartphone market has tumbled, with the manufacturer falling from the third biggest manufacturer to the seventh.
New research from Gartner, for the quarter ending 30 September, showed Samsung continues to dominate at the top of the market and it extended its lead over Apple. It sold 55 million smartphones during the period, accounting for 32.5% of the global smartphone market. In total, it sold almost 98 million devices, up 18.6% on 2011.
Apple sold 23.6 million units during the third quarter, up 36.2%. The research agency predicted pent-up demand for the iPhone 5 will lead to the manufacturer having a strong fourth quarter. Apple was the third biggest phone company overall.
BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion replaced Nokia in third place, with HTC in fourth. However, Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, added: 'Both HTC and RIM have seen their sales declining in the past few quarters, and the challenges might prevent them from holding on to their current rankings in coming quarters.'
Nokia remained the second largest manufacturer overall, although sales fell 21.9% to 82.3 million. While Gartner said this was better than estimated, and due to increased sales of the Asha full touch range, its poor smartphone performance damaged the company. It added: 'The arrival of the new Lumia devices on Windows Phone 8 should help to halt the decline in share in the fourth quarter of 2012, although it won't be until 2013 to see a significant improvement in Nokia's position.'
Smartphones continued to increase in sales, up 46.9% to 169.2 million units. Apple and Samsung account for 46.5% of that market. However, the increase in smartphone sales failed to halt a decline in total shipments of almost 428 million, down 3.1% on 2011. Gupta said: 'After two consecutive quarters of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially. In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.'
Editor: Graeme Neill