The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its geographic mobile shipment information for the fourth quarter of 2012 with Western Europe gaining global share of mobile units sold. Whilst Asia-Pacific is still far and away the biggest consumer of mobile devices, the growth in European demand for phones benefits Nokia (NOK) most.
With IDC survey information now compiled for the end of the year for 2012, investors have now determined that Western Europeans displayed the most incremental demand for mobile devices as the geography gained the most global market share of units shipped in 4Q 2012. Western Europe, according to IDC, tallied 12% of global mobile units shipped in 4Q, up 20% (or 2% from the 10% global market share) in 3Q 2012. The United States also showed market share gains in the period with global market share increasing 2% to 11% market share globally, up from 9% in 3Q 2012. These global gains came out of the share commanded by Asia Ex Japan which saw global market share drop from 49% to 46% at the end of ’12. Japan also dropped one point of market share from 3% to 2% in the most recent IDC numbers.
It is likely that new product launches initiated in non-Asian markets helped both Western Europe and the U.S. gain global share. With the continued rollout of its new Lumia phone line, Nokia was likely to increase European demand with consumers wanting to refresh their current mobile handsets. In addition, the September launch of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 likely lifted U.S. demand which helped the geography gain global market share. The iPhone 5 was not launched in China until December 2012 which likely contributed to the slack in the IDC numbers for Asia Ex Japan. Asia Ex Japan is still the most important geographical area, as highlighted in our article Why Asia Pacific is so important to AAPL, RIMM, and NOK.
If Western Europe continues to gain share driven by a new product cycle, Nokia has the most to gain with 29% of its total sales coming from the area. Apple collects 23% of its sales from Europe with Blackberry (BBRY) outlining that 10% of its revenues come from the United Kingdom.