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Samsung replaces HTC as No. 2 Windows phone maker

2013/08/09 13:55:08

Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea has replaced Taiwan's HTC Corp. as the world's second-largest Windows phone maker, as HTC is struggling to find a new sales growth driver.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, shipped 1 million Windows phones in the second quarter of this year, taking an 11.5 percent global market share, the tech-tracking firm International Data Corp. (IDC) said in an Aug. 7 report.

The figure was a huge increase from 300,000 units in the second quarter of 2012, when Samsung held a 6.1 percent market share, and it pushed the company into second spot globally among Windows phone makers, the report showed.

HTC slid to third place, with Q2 shipments of 400,000 Windows phones and a market share of 4.6 percent. The company had recorded roughly the same number of shipments in the second quarter of last year, but it held an 8.2 percent share of the market at that time, according to IDC.

Finnish handset maker Nokia Oyj, which formed a partnership with Microsoft Corp. on Windows phones in 2011, retained a strong lead with shipments of 7.1 million Windows phones and an 81.6 percent market share, IDC said.

China's Huawei Technologies Co., in fourth place, recorded shipments of 200,000 units and a 2.3 percent share of the market, the report said.

IDC said global Windows phone shipments grew significantly by 77.6 percent year-on-year from a low base to 8.7 million units in the second quarter.

But Google Inc.'s Android remained the most popular smartphone platform in the second quarter with a 79.3 percent share, followed by Apple Inc.'s iOS with 13.2 percent and Microsoft's Windows with 3.7 percent, according to IDC.

"Last quarter we witnessed Windows Phone shipments surpassing BlackBerry and the trend has continued into the second quarter," said Ryan Reith, program manager with IDC's mobility tracker programs.

"However, as more and more vendors enter the smartphone market using the Android platform, we expect Windows Phone to become a more attractive differentiator in this very competitive market segment," he said in the report.

In the increasingly crowded Android market, HTC is facing uncertainties and is not even among the top five in the IDC rankings.

At a July 30 conference call with investors, the Taoyuan-based manufacturer forecast an operating margin of zero to minus 8 percent, which means that it will break even or post a loss in the current quarter.

The company said its overall gross margin has been affected by a relatively higher cost structure, lack of economy of scale and certain provisions needed to facilitate the clearance of aging products in the channel.

HTC said it is taking action to reduce the cost of some key components used in its products, such as displays and mechanical parts, and that the improvements will be apparent in the fourth quarter.

(By Jeffrey Wu)