Home For the First Time Ever, Apple Tops Nokia’s Lead in Smartphones

For the First Time Ever, Apple Tops Nokia’s Lead in Smartphones

With Nokia’s company earnings call now behind us, one of the most startling figures indicative of the decline of the mobile phone maker was this: for the first time ever, the Apple iPhone surpassed Nokia in smartphone sales.

Nokia says it sold 16.7 million smartphones in the previous quarter (April through June). During that same time, Apple sold over 20 million iPhones.

Giving up on Symbian, MeeGo was Probably Right

If anything, this remarkable (but expected) turn of events further proves that Nokia was right to pick a new direction for its company. Symbian has not been an attractive enough offering to lure smartphone users away from their iPhones and Androids.

MeeGo, although having its own draws, would not have been competitive either by this point, even if Nokia’s plans for it had not changed.

Can you imagine: another major platform launching now, when Apple has over 400,000 apps and Android over 250,000? A new platform, when Windows Phone, BlackBerry and HP’s webOS are all competing to be in third place? Where would MeeGo be in terms of competing with the iPhone today? Far, far behind.

But Will Windows Phone Be the Answer?

Of course, whether Nokia was right to choose Microsoft’s Windows Phone over Google’s Android as its new smartphone platform of choice remains to be seen. But it’s clear that Nokia was right to make adjustments to its core business.

Nearly everything Nokia reported yesterday was bad news from down sales (down 7% from last year, 11% from last quarter), earnings per share, net cash and more. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop spins this as a transition period and says that things will be better soon.

“We’re starting to see a very positive impact on the health of Nokia,” he says, referring to the numerous changes the company has taken over previous months, which have included everything from management shuffling, pricing adjustments and shifts in sales focus and marketing resources, to name a few.

Elop also promised a new Windows Phone by the end of the year.

“In Smart Devices,” said Elop, “those who already have viewed our early Windows Phone work are very optimistic about the devices Nokia will bring to market and about the long-term opportunities.”

Yes, we’ve all seen the early Windows Phone, Mr. Elop – PR genius that “leak” was! And yes, it does look good. But even a company of Nokia’s size and position may not be able to ever again regain its smartphone crown from Apple…orAndroid for that matter.

Image credit: Mockup of Windows Phone, Windows Phone Secrets

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