Nokia Becomes The Fourth Largest Smartphone Brand in USA in Q3 2013

After years of struggle in one of the most premium and important smartphone market in the world, USA, Nokia is finally seeing its smartphone strategy and hard work bearing fruits. During Q3 2013, Nokia became the fourth largest smartphone brand capturing a record high 4% market share in a market which is a virtual duopoly dominated by Apple & Samsung.

According to our Market Monitor service, Apple & Samsung were in neck and neck capturing 33% market share each and together controlling almost two-thirds of the smartphone shipments during the pre-holiday season quarter. However, Apple led the market shipping slightly more iPhones than Samsung’s Galaxy range helped by the portfolio refresh with new iPhone 5s & 5c  in September. iPhone 5s immediately became the best selling smartphone model in September . Meanwhile, LG maintained the third spot but saw its share dip slightly to 9% from 10% in Q2 2013.


Q3 2013 USA Market Share - Counterpoint Research

Q3 2013 USA Market Share Table - Counterpoint Research

Source: Market Monitor : USA Smartphone OEM  Share in Q3 2013

On the other hand, the leading Windows Phone based smartphone manufacturer in the world, Nokia, captured the fourth spot for the first time since the iPhone launch, overtaking Motorola, HTC, BlackBerry,  Huawei, ZTE & other brands. The key reason for this growth  can be attributed to the big change in the Finnish vendor’s approach and go-to-market strategy towards selling its new phones in this highly operator-controlled US market  compared to the less flexible attitude during the time when iPhone was launched. Nokia has thus in the last few years of post-Symbian transition has worked more closely with multiple operators offering them highly differentiated exclusive products with targeted and unique value propositions. This extra effort has helped Nokia steadily  build its Lumia portfolio as well as win more shelf spaces at multiple carriers to reach at this inflection point.

to note, Nokia now has five Lumia models at AT&T and will add more (e.g. Lumia 1520), two models at Verizon Wireless, three models at T-Mobile and one model each at prepaid carriers – MetroPCS and Aio Wireless. Thus after a long time Nokia’s product portfolio looks broader,deeper and highly differentiated built by leveraging its head-turning design expertise, engineering experience, imaging, location, media assets along with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, services and support.

Lumia 520/521& 920 were the top-selling models this quarter for Nokia followed by contributions from Lumia 925 & Lumia 928 at T-Mobile/AT&T and Verizon respectively. Looking forward, with its entry into the premium tablet & phablet space with Lumia 1520 and uniquely positioned Lumia 2520, Nokia should see its premium portfolio growing and help drive marketshare, valueshare and mindshare  in the US market.

– Neil Shah

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Neil is a sought-after frequently-quoted Industry Analyst with a wide spectrum of rich multifunctional experience. He is a knowledgeable, adept, and accomplished strategist. In the last 18 years he has offered expert strategic advice that has been highly regarded across different industries especially in telecom. Prior to Counterpoint, Neil worked at Strategy Analytics as a Senior Analyst (Telecom). Neil also had an opportunity to work with Philips Electronics in multiple roles. He is also an IEEE Certified Wireless Professional with a Master of Science (Telecommunications & Business) from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

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