Nokia bets on new smartphones for recovery

HELSINKI Mon Sep 6, 2010 8:36am EDT

Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo leaves the stage after his speech during Capital Markets Day at Dipoli Conference Centre in Espoo in this December 2, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Lehtikuva/ Pekka Sakki

Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo leaves the stage after his speech during Capital Markets Day at Dipoli Conference Centre in Espoo in this December 2, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Lehtikuva/ Pekka Sakki

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia, the world's biggest cellphone maker by volume, will introduce new smartphone models next week at its annual media and industry event, aiming to assure investors the company is on track to recovery.

Nokia, whose profits and share price have dived in the last few years, is now betting on the renewal of its line of smartphones, which could save the career of embattled CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

The cellphone maker will unveil its new flagship model E7, which comes with a large touchscreen and full keyboard, at the show in London, two sources with direct knowledge of Nokia's plans told Reuters.

Nokia will also introduce to the public its new N8 model, which is the first phone to use the new Symbian 3 software, along with other new smartphones, the sources said.

The N8 -- unveiled in April and due to go on sale later this month -- stands out among its rivals for its 12 megapixel camera but has a slower processor than Samsung's top model Galaxy S and the latest iPhone.

"As the N8 starts shipping and other devices are unveiled, Nokia will be hoping that it can lay the foundation stones for its recovery given the onslaught of competitive products currently hitting the market," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.

"It has made some big commitments on fixing Symbian and its first flagship product using the refreshed Symbian operating system. Failure is not an option," Wood said.

Nokia's Symbian operating system has yet to attract a large number of software developers interested in creating compatible applications, a key selling point for high-end cellphones.

HAVE THEY FIXED IT?

Nokia controls 40 percent of the smartphone market with its Symbian software but has lost its leading position among the most expensive models to easier-to-use phones from Apple and Research in Motion.

Nokia's failure to roll-out successful high-end cellphones, which have fatter margins, has hit the company's profits and share price hard over the last few years. Its stock has dropped to roughly a third from mid-2007 when the iPhone went on sale.

Last year, Apple surpassed Nokia as the handset maker generating the largest total profit, despite selling only one iPhone for every 13 phones Nokia sells.

CEO Kallasvuo, whom industry sources say Nokia is looking to replace, has promised the usability of Nokia's Symbian smartphones would not be an issue by the end of this year.

He will make the keynote speech at the London show on Sept 14 at 9 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT).

"Everyone will be very curious about the Symbian 3 user interface," said analyst Francisco Jeronimo from IDC.

"We will probably see good designs with a focus on touchscreen at very competitive prices, but the main question is: Have they finally fixed the user interface?"

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Karen Foster)

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Comments (6)
FSC wrote:
WOW.. half of the story is Virkkis crying about Nokia and how Apple is sooo good..! Get a grip man, death grip..=)

Two N8 orange preordered, cant wait to get them even there is slover prosessor, but everybody knows that Sympian dont need that much speed… Android again needs and that´s why they dont sell cheaper phones and what iPhone wins about that speed..multitasking..?=)

Sep 06, 2010 11:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ulludapattha wrote:
“Nokia’s Symbian operating system has yet to attract a large number of software developers interested in creating compatible applications, a key selling point for high-end cellphones.

HAVE THEY FIXED IT?”

The key question is not whether Nokia has fixed the Symbian platform or not? The crucially critical question is: Will Nokia attract a sufficiently large number of software developers interested in creating compatible applications?

Until now, most software developers have abandoned the Symbian platform as obsolete and difficult/ painstaking to work on. Google’s Android platform on the other hand has attracted a large number of developers already even though the Android platform is relatively new. High-end smartphones are no longer just mobile phones. They are mini-computers in your pocket, which do amazing things. Oh yes, you can also make a phone call with them if you need to. But, that feature is not their main feature. Just a side issue, in case you need to make a phone call.

Nokia seems to be still living in the “mobile phone era” in which making/receiving a phone call on the move was the main function of the device. It’s no longer that. “Change” is the key word now even in the mobile phone world. It has taken Nokia awfully long to realise this new revolution in the mobile phone business started by Apple over three years ago! Others like Samsung and Motorola saw the world changing and came up quickly with new models using the Android platform.

Nokia got stuck like glue with its outdated Symbian platform, which it is still trying to keep alive by artificial respiration. Pathetic.

Sep 06, 2010 11:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
FSC wrote:
“Nokia got stuck like glue with its outdated Symbian platform, which it is still trying to keep alive by artificial respiration. Pathetic.”

Hahhah.. Other makers has left from Symbian, still Nokia is growing on smartphone sales more than hole market..=)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

Have you looked those shares, Apples share has flopped..sorry lowered three quarters like sales..

Maybe it´s Steves time to huff and puff..=)

Sep 06, 2010 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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