Nokia, Samsung see market-share shrink, Apple & HTC emerge winners in Q1

Nokia’s global mobile phone marketshare slipped by 5.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, IT market research firm Gartner Inc has reported.

It fell from 30.6% a year ago to 25.1% during the three months ended March 2011.

Apple, HTC and Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE were the only big brands that saw any increase in their marketshare.

Otherwise, every big brand, including Samsungh, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericcson all saw their market shares tumble during the first quarter.

On the other hand, the share of ‘others’ — smaller brands — increased from 29% to 36.2% — primarily due to the proliferation of local brands in India and China — by far the biggest markets in the world.

The numbers include sales of all kinds of phones, including $800 smart phones and $30 ‘dumb’ phones.

Overall 427.8 million (42.7 crore) phones were sold in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 19% from the same quarter a year.

“Smartphones accounted for 23.6 percent of overall sales in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 85 percent year-on-year,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“This share could have been even higher, but manufacturers announced a number of high-profile devices during the first quarter of 2011 that would not ship until the second quarter of 2011. We believe some consumers delayed their purchases to wait for these models.”

Apple sold 18.6 million units to end users worldwide, more than doubling its sales of iPhones year-on-year. Its marketshare went from 2.3% to 3.9%.

“This strong performance helped Apple consolidate its position as the fourth largest brand in the mobile communication market overall,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, who called it a “remarkable result.”

HTC, which had lots of good news from the numbers, overtook Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) to take the second place in the smartphone battle in the US. RIM remained at 3% marketshare globally, ahead of HTC.

Google’s Android overtakes Nokia’s Symbian as world’s top smartphone platform