Francisco Jeronimo from IDC tweeted interesting info about the top 5 rugged smartphone vendors in Europe for Q3 2021. While Samsung dominates the list with 52% of the European market share thanks to its XCover line of rugged smartphones, Nokia is surprisingly holding fifth place with 4% of the market share, just as BlackView, which is fourth. Cat, a well-known player in the world of rugged phones, is third with 12% and Croscall is second with 18% of the market share.
This result is really surprising for Nokia Mobile, which announced Nokia XR20 during Q3, and it took another week or two for the device to start shipping and showing in the stores. Nokia XR20 is criticized for being an expensive entry smartphone, but at the price of € 382, it is one of the cheaper rugged phones when you check all the hardware you are getting. Needless to say, Nokia XR20 is probably the most handsome device in its pretty small and specific niche.
But, Samsung, Cat, AMG and others haven’t gained a good market share because of the best hardware specs their devices are having, but just the opposite. Analysts are praising those companies for delivering affordable rugged smartphones that are often coming with 13MP main camera and UNISOC processors or are being stripped of all the important hardware that makes them special.
For example, AGM has a really futuristic looking and capable model called Glory, but you can get it in three hardware variants, Glory SE, Glory and Glory Pro. The Glory model is about 200$ cheaper than XR20, but the Pro model is the most interesting one, and its price is around 780$ or 100$ more than XR20.
The rugged smartphone market is quite interesting, and in 2020 it reached $610 million just in Europe. Nokia XR20 is once again a nicely calculated move, and a move done right. The price/hardware ratio is good for Nokia XR20, and Nokia Mobile did the job right and made its first rugged phone stand out in the crowd.