Apple Phone Sales Falter — Strategic Analystics

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Just two days after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced disappointing earnings and forecasts for future quarters, research firm Strategic Analytics reports that the electronics company’s smartphone market share is rapidly eroding.

One of the last reasonable prospects investors have for Apple is that it makes more on the iPhone than any of its rivals do on their smartphone products. However, there is a limit to that case when market share plunges.

Research firm said about smartphone shipments and market share:

global mobile phone shipments dipped minus 1 percent annually to reach 373 million units in Q1 2013. Samsung was the star performer, capturing a record 29 percent share of all mobile phones shipped worldwide.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Ongoing macroeconomic challenges in Asia, Europe and North America, relatively tighter operator upgrade policies for 3G phones, and slowing volumes of 2G feature phones were among the key reasons why global mobile phone shipments dipped minus 1 percent annually to reach 372.7 million units in Q1 2013. Fuelled by robust demand for its popular Galaxy portfolio, Samsung was the star performer, shipping 106.6 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing a record 29 percent marketshare to solidify its first-place lead.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Nokia’s global mobile phone shipments fell 25 percent from 82.7 million units in Q1 2012 to 61.9 million in Q1 2013. Weak Symbian smartphone volumes and lackluster feature phone demand caused Nokia’s shrinkage. Nonetheless, Nokia remains the world’s second largest mobile phone vendor by volume, and if it can expand aggressively its fast-growing Lumia and Asha ranges this year, then there is still potential for Nokia’s position to stabilize or recover.”

Woody Oh, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple grew just 7 percent annually and shipped 37.4 million iPhones worldwide in Q1 2013. Apple’s global mobile phone marketshare is approaching a peak. Apple will need to launch new models, or partner with additional major carriers like China Mobile, if it wants to expand significantly beyond its current ceiling of 10 percent global volume share.

The measure of the study is “mobile phones,” and Apple only sells products in the smartphone segment of this market. However, a 7% growth rate is anemic by any measure.

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