Nokia's Troubles - InformationWeek

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6/29/2010
12:10 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Nokia's Troubles

While Nokia continues to have large sales figures, it is mostly because of the low end freebies that carriers give away with a contract. They get to count a lot of those phones as smartphones simply because they have some version of Symbian on them, even though not many of those owners ever install a third party app. The truth is, Nokia is in trouble in the smartphone world. They are making changes, but will they be enough?

While Nokia continues to have large sales figures, it is mostly because of the low end freebies that carriers give away with a contract. They get to count a lot of those phones as smartphones simply because they have some version of Symbian on them, even though not many of those owners ever install a third party app. The truth is, Nokia is in trouble in the smartphone world. They are making changes, but will they be enough?Nokia announced a few days ago that the second quarter outlook for their devices and sales would be lower than originally anticipated. To be exact:

During the second quarter 2010, multiple factors are negatively impacting Nokia's business to a greater extent than previously expected. These factors include: the competitive environment, particularly at the high-end of the market, and shifts in product mix towards somewhat lower gross margin products

Engadget aptly summarized this as "doing business." Nokia has had the lead in the smartphone market for years from a raw device count standpoint, but they have never been really in the top two desirable platforms ever. Platforms like the iPhone and Android have taken the recent lead as the smartphone platforms people want.

Apparently giving up on Symbian for some of their devices, Nokia has decided to move to MeeGo for their high end N-series line. MeeGo is the offspring of the union of Maemo and Intel's Moblin platforms. So now we have yet another platform, open source of course, which Nokia is hoping will pull it of the malaise it is currently in. Let me know how that works out for you Nokia.

Symbian 4 is under development for the rest of their line, but no one is really talking about it. It simply looks like a "me too" device copying what most other touch screen manufacturers were doing in 2008.

Nokia still has a sense of humor about itself though. Today they proudly proclaimed that no matter how you hold their phones, the signal strength won't degrade, a deliberate poke at Apple's latest iPhone.

They will need that sense of humor for the near future. They have a very rough road ahead.

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