Top 10 smartphone makers: Nokia last, Motorola out as Chinese companies take over

Top 10 smartphone makers: Nokia last, Motorola out as Chinese companies take over
The third quarter of 2012 is now history, and as nearly all research agencies have published their numbers we have the top 10 smartphone makers ranking. There is a lot going on there with some companies rising, others falling, and yet other companies like Motorola flying off the top ten list.

The biggest move this quarter is without a doubt Nokia’s catastrophic drop to number 10. The company that until recently led the world with smartphone sales, and lastly ranked third, now sells less smartphones than Chinese Huawei, ZTE and even Lenovo. Nokia’s positions may or may not improve slightly in Q4 with the launch of its new Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones, but at present the company ranks last and it is not clear whether it can remain in the top 10 at all.

The other big news is that Motorola has now flown off board and ranks 11th. It is replaced by Chinese Lenovo, making strides in its home market with affordable Android devices.

The big winners this quarter were Chinese Huawei and Japan’s Sony, managing to sell more and more smartphones. Huawei in particular is starting to chase Apple for the second place.

Finally, the big names Samsung and Apple continue staying undisturbed at the top. Samsung sold a record number of smartphones in the industry’s history and is likely to even better that next quarter when Holidays bring people to the stores, and Apple has also cemented its position as the runner-up with lower market share but much bigger profits.

And if we had to sum it all up, one thing becomes clear: Asian manufacturers are clearly on the rise, while except for Apple, all other phone makers from the Western world are in trouble. What do you expect to see in Q4? Could Nokia come back, and how many iPhones could Apple sell? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

source: Communities Dominate Brands



1. ogy_dogy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

The smartphone market is a wheel of fortune, what goes up will eventually come down, so imho its a matter of time till nokia starts going up thanks to its amazing new hardware and apple goes down due to its lack of innovations... But time will tell, sooner or later, time will tell...

26. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

i remember before the Galaxy line from samsung was announced, apple was always no.1 at everything, well, NOT ANYMORE ! Samsung is the top now, and apple goes to second place ! :D

31. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Seriously? Huawei is doing better than Nokia? That Company sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

32. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Oh and PA, STOP BEING MEAN TO NOKIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

35. gelo0291

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 06, 2012

yeah i agree with you.. never will i buy a huawei phone. and i always thought it's a china crap phone. hahaha

34. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Samsung passed Apple a while ago.

2. MeoCao unregistered

Can we sum all things up in 1 word? Certainly: ANDROID!!!

15. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Of course its shocking that Moto isnt there in the list, Nokia has been dethroned with a vengeance and ZTE has really raised their game bringing 1080p displays in their phones with s4 pro quads matching the best phones in the business! But it really stands out is that finally Innovation has prevailed over arrogance! Sammy leading the pack with Apple in second and not even eequal to half of Sammy's volumes! WooHoo!!!!


Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

That is third quater forth quater nokia is lumia 920 beat them all samsung,apple,htc,sony,lg.....all will behind nokia in fourt quater.......

11. kach22

Posts: 153; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Keep dreaming bro and don't wake up to have another nightmare.

4. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

q3 was a tough time for nokia. Selling WP handsets that are guaranteed not to be updated to WP8 at the same time, announcing a WP8 device that would be released on mid q4, that's insane. That's a big gamble for them. Many people would hold to buy a device from nokia with that reason. Maybe, q4 for nokia would be good thanks to 920. An aggressive pricing and marketing would help them, maybe.

8. JamesHunt

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

I can see nokia jumping directly to 3rd or 4th place atleast ,in Q4. And why not? I dont find any reasons to write off nokia bounce back..

5. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

"Apple has also cemented its position as the runner-up with lower market share but much bigger profits" But then, Sammy's products are not ridiculously overpriced to beat Apple's profits..even with more than double the sales!!!

6. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

it will be hard for nokia to catch up with hwawei, zte and lenovo. their phone are cheap and quality is ok. and it will improve. and with the price those three are selling it will be a matter of time before they are in the top three.

7. vickygamit

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

sony doing well!

9. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Sammy wins!!!!! Happy to see sony in 4th place...well done sony.....

10. Shubham412302

Posts: 569; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

haha not bad for nokia to be on tenth it has no weapon in 3rd quater old lumias were not selling and symbian was dead so its 10th rank didnt surprised me hope wp8 will make it grow

18. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

yeah... but there's actually a fact that symbian is still out-solding WP sales! last q2 was the fact! symbian outsold WP! if nokia could just continue the support and replace s40 with symbian.. i think they might still be on top 5! but they didnt... they just announce and make a huge marketing to something that a lot of people still dont know and people who love the good old nokia's symbian are not familiar with the new i really pity and angry at nokia at the same time! if they could jusnt listen, and if they could just continue the support to symbian! none of this will happen! symbian is just challenge by android and iOS's very modern looking devices but it catch up with belle but they say it was late... it was never too late! if they could just invest more on devs, they could be on top again! but they didnt... so its nokia's fault that they are last!

12. kach22

Posts: 153; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Happy to see Sony climbing up. Surprised to see Rim in the seventh. I thought they were in hibernation until os10.


Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

its still amazing to see Apple second when they only make one product (albeit with different size storage that being said its good to see a big android vendor take first

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Damn Moto off the list now? And RIM is 7? I need to see one of these Lenovo

16. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

i think nokia's rank is down because of their OS & motorola is just not really good, they always follow the trend a bit late. huawei has made some big change from 8th rank to 3rd rank remembering that it is a chinese company

17. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

in my most honest opinion... i think im pretty impress with apple to be 2nd coz they only sell 1 iPhone (+iPhone 4 and 4S so three) phone, while samsung release more than a dozen of phones, feature phone and android phones, so no doubt that they'll be on top! even a lot of "analyst" call RIM dead, but it still manage to be on top 7th(on the previous post on the 5th) and that is impressive! the one of the three phone maker that dont make android (apple and nokia are the other two).... i was shock with lenovo! never really expect that they'll boom like that! they are actually pretty good phone makers, in my country they really want to gain a lot of market share! thats why i think our local phone makers/(re branders) makes their phones very cheap! but still, they manage to outsell nokia! the problem with nokia is that, they dont listen! people want symbian on low end not s40! true nokia fans knows this! they want the REAL identity of nokia! and that is symbian! s40 can run on their cheapest of the cheapest! but it cant compete with low end android, coz there's actually a dual core android at price below $100 which the new asha 309 is price at! and can asha 309 match that?! NO! but symbian can! they can match low end android! and even mid-range! so nokia, if you want to stay afloat listen to nokia fans! keep symbian alive! WP dont really work that much! coz even last q2 2012, symbian still outnumber WP device! that just prove that there's a lot more people who love symbian than WP! i mean its the father of all the OS, keep it alive!

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

nope, in the 3rd quarter they were selling iphone 3GS for 99c, iphone 4 for 99.99 and iphone 4s for 199.99 and do not forget the 32GB and 64GB ripoff version of the 4 and 4S. Then towards the end of the quarter you saw the 5 in 3 variations, and the 4 for 99c and the 4S for 99.99, and also APPLE was selling closeout models of 3G and 4 and 4S (for 32GB and 64GB).

29. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

in their store? i thought they only sells 4, 4S and 5 now? anyways it is still a great achievement! they only sell like 4 different iPhones! while the other (especially samsung) sells more than a dozen phones, including their feature phones!

19. Wiki_jaan

Posts: 704; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

Samsung FTW

20. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

I thought Blackberry was dead, but there sits RIM at number 7!

21. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

yeah... keep on saying that but facts are facts!! RIM is still relevant! and BB10 will keep them more than afloat! BB10 will make them stand up again!

23. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

That was kind of my point. I'm delighted to see them on the list!

30. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

i mean is the other people! keep on predicting that RIM will be dead! specially that james the analyst!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.