UK mobile phone sales figures obtained by Mobile show that Sony displaced Nokia as the third largest selling manufacturer for the last week of September and the first week of October.
Apple also posted impressive figures following the launch of the iPhone 6, accounting for more than half of all UK phone sales in the fortnight after its release. In the week prior to the launch of the iPhone 6, Samsung was the UK’s largest selling manufacturer – more than two percentage points ahead of its US rival. But even the launch of the Galaxy Alpha, which went on sale on 16 September – three days before the iPhone 6 – couldn’t prevent Apple nearly halving Samsung’s market share when its flagship handset was released.
Nokia had consistently been the third highest selling brand behind Samsung and Apple for the 11 weeks before 29 September, but fell behind Sony the week after the Japanese-firm’s Z3 flagship model went on sale (26 September). The lack of a major handset launch in September may have been one of the reasons behind Nokia’s dip. The manufacturer chose to launch its flagship 930 model in the summer, considerably earlier than Samsung, Apple and Sony. The brand has also been going over something of a rebranding in recent weeks, with owners Microsoft announcing that the latest range of Lumia products would be the last to carry the Nokia name. Last week Mobile also revealed exclusively that former Nokia UK and Ireland VP Conor Pierce had left Microsoft Mobile Devices.
The timing of the launch of Sony’s Z3 also appears to have been a positive factor in the company’s results, with the device going on sale a week after the iPhone 6 launch. The phone received rave reviews, with critics praising both the battery life and the camera capabilities, along with trademark Z range features such as waterproofing.
An industry source told Mobile that another explanation for the figures was an innovative distribution deal. They said: 'Sony did a smart deal with distributors offering three devices for the price of two – the Z3, the Z3 compact and the E3 – and that has driven demand.'
Sony declined to comment.