Top 5 Mobile Phone Manufacturers in the World – SWOT Analysis

The mobile phone industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. The competition within the industry is caused by the vendors’ focus on customer-value oriented demand. Mobile phone customers are very many, and they are all motivated by the value and benefits derived from the use of the devices. Competitors therefore compete on the basis of customer-oriented value, including the introduction of new features and technologies that meet the changing demand of customers in the market. For example, the demand for 3G and 4G models in Africa and Asia has encouraged the increase of mobile phone handset shipments among various manufacturers. Some of the leading competitors in the mobile phone industry are: Samsung, Nokia, Apple, LG and Huawei. The chart below shows the approximate market shares of these vendors in the first quarter of 2014.


Samsung shipped 113 million phones in the first quarter of 2014, claiming approximately 28% of the total market share. The company is an innovator. However, the company’s growth has been slowed down by competition by Chinese manufacturers. One of the opportunities of Samsung is that there is a great potential for the Green Handset Initiative which enables the manufacturer to produce environmentally friendly mobile phones in future. The rural markets of Africa and Asia with an increasing demand also offer an opportunity for the company to expand its markets because it offers its mobile devices to such low-end markets.

One of the advantages or strengths that have caused the company’s leading position against competitors is its production of many different types of phones which meet different consumer needs. The company offers several Galaxy series including Galaxy Note, Galaxy Camera and Galaxy Gear. It also offers Smartphones, tablets, mobile accessories and basic mobile phones. Furthermore, Samsung offers various applications to meet customer needs including internet, radio, health apps, games, etc. Its unique offers are boosted by innovation and improved technology that is unrivaled in the market. The third strength of the company is that its products are reliable. The main weakness of the company is that it offers its products at relatively high prices compared to its close competitors including Nokia, Huawei and others.


Apple is a US-based multinational corporation dealing with mobile devices including Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod. The company enjoys the third position in the world in terms of market share. The main strength of Apple is its unique and unrivaled innovation. The iPhone, iPod and iPad mobile devices are unique and inimitable. The company has also developed the iTune innovation which allows consumers to share and enjoy music, movies and TV series in their mobile devices. The company also has a dedicated team of experts who offer effective human resources and capabilities to build the company. The main weakness of the company is that it has a small range of products compared to other market leaders such as Samsung and Nokia.

In terms of opportunities, the company can expand its iTunes due to the increasing demand of entertainment services by the young people. Furthermore, the company can take advantage of Green Handset Initiative which may enable the company to improve the demand of its unique products. The main threat of the company is competitive rivalry from companies such as Nokia and Samsung.


LG is a South Korean Multinational Corporation with presence in several regions including Asia, Middle East, Europe, North America and South America. The company employs about 87,000 executives and employees across the world. LG is positioned in the CDMA market and the GSM market. The company provides high-quality features such as MP3 music player, high memory and clear camera. LG is one of the market leaders.

LG has advantages in terms of its features and applications. For instance, the Knock Code application developed in 2014 helps consumers to protect their Smartphones through their safe screen locks. LG’s strength is also clear in its marketing strategies. The company uses attractive and convincing commercials, e.g. the four commercials that show how Knock Code can protect one’s Smartphone. This convinces consumers that their handsets are safe of they buy from LG. One of the main opportunities for the company is the growing middle income classes in Asia and Africa which offers it a market growth potential. The growing technological potential of South Korea also enables the company to come up with new technologies to fight competition. The main threat of the company is competitive rivalry from companies such as Samsung, Nokia and Apple.


Huawei mobile phones are designed by the Huawei Technologies, a German based information and technologies company. The Ascend series are the main innovations of the company, including Ascend Mate7, Ascend G7, Ascend P6, Ascend P2, etc. The company is a follower, and its offerings are almost similar to those of Samsung. In terms of strengths, Huawei is sensitive to changing technologies, and it has adapted to such changes to improve its offerings in the market. The company also has a strong research and development team to enable the company to adapt to changing technologies. The main weakness of Huawei is that it has not established a wide range of products to meet the different needs of consumers.

Huawei’s opportunity is the future focus on 5G as the demand for improved models increases. The company may edge out competition by providing effective 5G to do away with the 3G and 4G models. The main threat of the company is the economic crisis that is affecting Europe. Countries of Europe including Germany are still struggling with their economies, and this affects the purchasing power of potential consumers.


The recent acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft provides an opportunity for the company to improve its market share through enhanced modification and innovation. Nokia is one of the market leaders, and it was the leading until 2013 when Samsung took over as the leading mobile phone seller. Nokia targets trendy young people and professionals. For example, the recently released Nokia Lumia Windows Phone targets professionals and trendy people with specific demand for value-oriented products.

In terms of strengths, Nokia has a strong brand position. The company also has a strong distribution network across the world, utilizing local distributors in all the countries where it operates its business. In terms of weaknesses, Nokia is slow to adopt new technologies and is not easy to cope with the accelerating pace of innovation adopted by competitors. It mainly focuses on traditional way of doing things.

One of the major opportunities of Nokia is the Green Handset Initiative that is common in mobile phone industry, whereby companies focus on developing environmentally friendly handsets. The increasing demand for 3G and 4G models in the world also offers an opportunity for the company to expand. One of the main threats of the company is competitive rivalry. Samsung already overtook it as the market leader, and Apple is set to overtake it if it does not step-up its innovations. iPhone offers a real threat to Nokia’s traditional mobile handsets. The rise of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers also offers competitive rivalry to the company.

1 Comment

  1. How can you still count Nokia as one of the market leaders as a mobile phone manufacturer?? Maybe edit the article date! Or edit the article itself 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *