How Samsung Became The World’s Top Handset Vendor
Friday, Strategy Analytics revealed the Finnish phone-maker had been ousted from its lofty position at the top of the cellphone food chain. Samsung just became the leading shipper of mobile phone handsets in
the world. How did this happen?
The same way a runner in any race pushes to the front: He speeds up, or the other guy slows down. Sometimes both happen at once.
in most parts of the world, with the curious exception of the United States.
The nature of their missteps has been well-documented, but suffice to say that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop made some difficult choices. He made these choices rather publicly in his “burning platform” memo of February 2011, which, depending on who
you ask, either told some hard truths or needlessly eviscerated Symbian sales at a critical point in the company’s history. Whichever view one takes, the fact remains that Nokia didn’t start shipping devices built on its new OS of choice, Windows Phone, until much lat
As is usually the case with platform wars, the data isn’t exactly clear regarding all the factors surrounding Nokia’s decline. It’s true that the Windows Phone platform has been slow to gain traction, but Nokia was also woefully behind in developing a replacement for Symbian -or even in realizing that a replacement for Symbian was needed- before Elop showed up. To anyone paying attention, the decline seemed inevitable, given the company’s lack of agility.er in 2011. Perhaps it was unavoidable, but that delay cost them dearly.
Seeing Nokia reinvent itself, with the accompanying beautiful design work coming from its hardware division, has been truly incredible; speaking personally as a consumer, the N9 and its derivatives are the reason I started noticing Nokia. But beautiful design and the most interesting innovations, while an indicator of potential greatness, are lousy at arresting downward momentum. A fall from grace was overdue, and it’s finally materialized. After watching storm clouds gathering on the horizon for months, a massive 24% decline in handsets shipped year-over-year is Nokia’s barometer finally crashing into the basement.
So it was only a matter of time before Nokia lost the number-one spot. But the king who loses the crown is only half the story. What steps did the new guy take to snatch it from his head?
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