BREAKING NEWS: Coolpad enters Top 10 biggest smartphone brands, replaces Blackberry which tumbles out of Top 10.
CORRECTED on 18 May: The final numbers are now out. Blackberry had a nasty quarter, but HTC had an even worse one, so much so, that it fell from significantly stronger sales than Blackberry in Q4 of 2012, to yes, less than Blackberry now in Q1, so it wasn't Blackberry that was tossed out of Top 10, it was HTC. Here are the Q1 numbers.
I warned this was about to happen. China's Coolpad brand, made by China Wireless (also known as Yulong) has just reported on its 2012 total sales (20M units) and its growth trajectory for 2013 (expects 30M total sales this year). My preliminary number for Coolpad Q1 sales is 6.8 million, far above both Nokia and Blackberry sales this quarter (6.1 and 6.0 million), so even if Coolpad is way off, it will be safely bigger than those two former smarpthone giants.
So Coolpad (China Wireless/Yulong) enters the global Top 10 biggest smartphone brands, becoming the fourth Chinese brand in the Top 10 (behind Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo). And sadly for the only Canadian handset maker, iconic Blackberry (formerly RIM) drops out of the Top 10. Blackberry was the world's second largest smartphone maker as recently as 2010.
Congratulations Coolpad! Its very likely their ranking is not 10th, they likely are at least 9th largest already (also bigger than Nokia which now falls to 10th. Nokia was world's largest smartphone maker as recently as this same quarter, Q1 just two years ago, 2011).
Meanwhile, I do expect Blackberry to re-enter the global smartphone Top 10 biggest manufacturers in Q2 of this year, displacing Nokia, based both on current Nokia smartphone sales trajectory and market reactions to Windows Phone 8 (meek) vs Blackberry's customer enthusiasm to BB10 and in particular the QWERTY-based Q10 smartphone they just started selling. So while Coolpad is pretty safe to stay in the Top 10, I do think Nokia will fall out in Q2 and Blackberry climbs back in. But for that, we have to see some more numbers and wait a couple more months...
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