Aussie Data Suggests Nokia May Be Just About Done

Nokia phone

Nokia's market share in all phone sales in Australia for the first quarter of 2011 was 24.6%--great, if it hadn't been 49.5% in the first quarter of 2010. Nokia's market share has halved. It's also happened very speedily--the fourth quarter share was 44.2%.

Meanwhile the iPhone (which sells far more units overseas than in its U.S. home, remember) has rocketed to success down under, with 31.4% of the entire phone market--that includes dumbphones and featurephones--up from 18.8% at the end of 2010.

Blame Nokia's death rattle on the similarly ailing featurephone market in Australia. Seventy-nine percent of all new phones shipped in the country are smartphones--a product range Nokia's not been strong in at all, until perhaps very recently. Consumers were also savvy to Nokia's planned changes to adopt Windows as its smartphone OS and may also have been shunning the brand.

That could give hope that Nokia's attempt to reinnervate its smartphone sales with Microsoft's software may prove successful. Except there're two sticking points: IDC, which carried out this survey, notes that Android is also on a tear, and could even unseat Apple from its dominance in the nation by the end of 2011 (although this report assumes the iPhone 5 follows the plan of previous issues ... and omits the fact an iPhone "Lite" could completely change the game again). Whichever way you look at it, this puts more of a squeeze on Nokia's future. IDC also notes that Microsoft's smartphone sales have actually seen it losing share on the market. Any large-scale turnaround would rely on Nokia's Windows 7 devices radically outperforming and underpricing their peers.

Meanwhile, Nokia and Seimens have failed to find a buyer for their telecoms-networking joint venture, and are now looking inside the company to decided what to do to save costs. Though it's not catastrophic news, it does underline the fact the market wasn't interested in buying Nokia-Siemens' tech.

Assuming the Australian data is echoed elsewhere around the world, it's beginning to seem like Nokia's embrace of the new smarphone order was just too little, too late...

[Image: Flickr user andyclymer]

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.

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