Breaking Analysis: Nokia Nosedives into Second Place Globally, Ends 14-Year Streak of Being #1

Nokia’s reign in the global cellphone business will come to a close at the end of 2012. For the first time since 1998, Nokia will not be in the number one position in the global cellphone market. Who’s the newly crowned king? That would be Samsung staking its claim to the throne. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto gave his thoughts on how Samsung was able to unseat Nokia. His observation was that this was a result of a flawless global execution on Samsung’s part. He said, “They’ve been getting a lot of high
quality phones to market quickly and really delivering across the spectrum. It’s been a flawless operation from top to bottom.”

Nokia has been spending its time transitioning its smartphone line to the Windows operating system, but Casaretto didn’t think that this was the sole cause of their decline or even a distraction. He stated, “The truth of the matter is they slipped in smartphones in general. The bottom line is that they didn’t have a lot of attractive offerings there.”

Casaretto discussed Nokia’s competitors, including Apple, HTC and RIM. He painted a grim picture for HTC and RIM, saying that they’re destined for single digit market shares. So will Samsung be able to beat Nokia’s fourteen year stretch in the number one spot? Casaretto said that in such a fast-paced market, it’s still anyone’s guess.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recently held an interview with CNET’s Roger Cheng to discuss Nokia’s plan to re-emerge in the mobile market. Last year, Elop made the call to kill Nokia’s home-grown Symbian operating system and go with the Windows Phone. Elop also put an end to all Meego development, the new operating system Nokia was working on. Casaretto attributed Elop’s decision to a shift in the company’s focus, which included dropping the independent operating system development and stepping into the Windows arena.

It seems like analysts and consumers are split in their views of whether Elop did the right thing in getting out of Symbian development and actually, all of their proprietary operating system development. Casaretto felt that with Nokia being eclipsed by Google’s Android for some time, it was a long way out for Symbian to even try to contend with Google.

Casaretto discussed the Nokia Lumia 920 which was launched back in September, the exclusive partnership Nokia has with AT&T over this phone, and Elop’s plans to stay competitive in the smartphone wars.  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.

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