It must be tough for any company when it gets knocked off top spot in its own country after enjoying years in pole position. It’s just happened to Nokia in Finland, with new data revealing that Korean tech giant Samsung is now the country’s biggest-selling handset maker. And just to rub salt into the wound, the tech giant is about to set up its first R&D facility there too. Ouch!
According to data supplied by research firm IDC, Nokia sold fewer handsets (smartphones and feature phones) than Samsung on its home turf in the first three months of this year, leaving it with a 33.6 percent share of the Finnish market compared with Samsung’s 36.1 percent. Apple, by the way, is down at 14 percent.
This time last year Nokia enjoyed a 48 percent share of its own market, while Samsung had just 28 percent.
Of course, Nokia has been in a state of flux in recent years as it seeks to compete in the global marketplace against tech giants like Samsung and Apple. While the Finnish company once dominated the handset market with its popular range of feature phones, the arrival of the smartphone saw it struggle to redefine its business strategy and as a result fell behind in the mobile market.
In an effort to revamp its business, the mobile maker formed a strategic association with Microsoft in 2011 to produce Lumia-branded smartphones running Windows Phone, though it continues to fight to gain traction in the market with these new devices.
“Although Nokia’s Windows Phone sales have sequentially improved reaching a volume of 5.1 million units, Nokia is yet to see high growth in the smartphone segment,” the research firm said. “Nokia’s position in the smartphone market dropped to No. 10 in the first quarter of 2013, from No. 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
With Samsung evidently going from strength to strength, the Korean tech company is planning to open an R&D facility “with a focus on advanced technologies” in the Finnish city of Espoo – which just so happens to be the same city where Nokia has its HQ.