Finland is a small country of just 5.3 million people, for the sake of reference: there are more folks living in the state of Wisconsin, but one of the many things that makes it special is that it’s home to the world’s largest mobile phone vendor by volume: Nokia. It’s something that many Finnish people are proud of, or at least used to be proud of according to new data by IDC. They say that if a Finnish person purchased a smartphone during Q3 2010, then there was a 76% chance it was made by Nokia. Fast forward a year to Q3 2011 and that number has fallen to 31%! So who ate Nokia’s market share? One in four smartphones sold in Finland during Q3 2011 were made by Samsung, compared to just 3% a year earlier. Apple has 16% of the market, up from 10% a year ago. The most impressive statistics though are from the Chinese handset vendors Huawei and ZTE. Both had 0% market share, an in zip, nada, zilch, just 12 short months ago, but today it’s up to 11% and 6% respectively.
Now Finnish people can generally capable of purchasing whatever smartphone they want; according to the Finnish Taxpayers’ Association the average salary is around 39,000 Euros ($52,000). It’s one thing to say Nokia has loyal fans in places like India and China where people earn far less, they want something that’s built to last, and Nokia makes that. But if Nokia can’t even get love on their own home turf … how well does that bode for the company’s future? It should be noted that Nokia’s Windows Phones have yet to launch in Finland, so it’s tough to say what Finns think about Windows Phone. Will the Lumia 800 get Finnish people to buy Nokia again or have they just moved on?
This writer has personally witnessed all but two of his friends switch to an iPhone over the past few years.
[Photo above of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the first non-Finnish CEO]