Print 23 comment(s) - last by nofumble62.. on Oct 26 at 12:43 AM

The situation from Nokia may have just gone from bad to worse

Fresh off not as bad as expected earnings, Nokia, Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) is preparing to launch Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" handsets at the annual Nokia World conference in London.  That lineup is expected to include the "Sea Ray"/"Sun" and the Nokia 800, a WP7.5 version of the slick iPod Nano-esque N9.

But disturbing news arrived this week from U.S. advertising blog AdAge, which revealed that Nokia and its partners had been shopping around a troubling document while looking for a U.S. ad agency.  That document revealed that Nokia would likely not launch a handset in the U.S. at all in 2011.

Previously Nokia had always suggested that there would be some product in the U.S. by the end of 2011.  It had used phrases like "limit availability" to characterize this lower volume launch and labeled 2012 the time frame for the "full launch".  But again, there was always the assumption that the company would deliver at least some product, in order to excited customers in the lucrative U.S. market.

If true, this is a major blow to Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) hopes to grow market share in the U.S.

It's also evidence of Nokia's ongoing struggles in the U.S. both in sales and at a corporate level in adapting to U.S. carriers' business model.  Unlike many foreign regions where handsets are sold at-cost unlocked, U.S. carriers tend to rely on subsidized locked handsets.  Those subsidies add an extra wrinkle of complexity for handset makers, as they now must appeal to both the customer and the carrier.

Still, it's unacceptable that Nokia has been unable to master this slightly different business model, particularly when its non-U.S. peers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) have done so with ease.

If Nokia indeed delivers its product payload in early 2012, it will not only miss the lucrative holiday shopping season, it will also be delivering already dated hardware onto the ultra-competitive American market.  That may be a death sentence to Nokia's hopes of being a strong competitor in the U.S.

It's already simply dumbfounding that Nokia is the flagship partner of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 project, yet it has been unable to bring smart phones to market as fast as other WP7.5 manufacturers.  Now the situation may be about to go from bad to worse.

Source: AdAge

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Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By Arsynic on 10/25/2011 9:18:40 AM , Rating: 1
Nokia just can't seem to get it's shit together.

By quiksilvr on 10/25/2011 9:32:14 AM , Rating: 2
Uh...ISN'T Samsung a partner for MS? They aren't exclusive sure, but MS makes way more money off of Samsung's Android headsets than anything.

RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By AlvinCool on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By koenshaku on 10/25/2011 11:15:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think their issue would be one more of production than anything else. It is ridiculous to think that they would consider that when they have already commited to a three year exclusive licensing deal with MS. Sad to see this handset not making it this year though I had already planned it as my next phone samsung phones are cheaply made with flimsy plastic yeah they have good hardware inside, but I don't like droids anyway.

RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By AlvinCool on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
By Varun on 10/25/2011 12:27:48 PM , Rating: 3
"And their current phone model eats bandwidth. I like to control what I use, not have the operating system control it for me."

What are you talking about? WP7 does not "eat" bandwidth. This doesn't even make sense.

By woofersus on 10/25/2011 2:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia already made the decision to build WP7 based phones. Regardless of whether or not that's the right move, what doesn't make sense is launching in January/February as opposed to November. Now if they just haven't been able to get it done in time, then I guess they don't have any choice, but it still represents a failure on Nokia's part not to bring their new flagship device(s) to market in time for the peak buying season. There's no way to spin that as a strategic decision.

As far as the attractiveness of WP7 to carriers and customers, you have to forget all the years of Windows Mobile. This is a new OS, and it obviously had to start at 0% market share. That doesn't necessarily make it not an attractive product. Android started somewhere too, and didn't really take off until the 2.0 update. The first year of sales were weak, but the OS has been substantially updated since that first round of phones. And nothing new came out all year really, because handset makers were waiting for the major fall update and the aforementioned holiday shopping season. The 5% market share figure isn't really indicative of success or failure at this point. It's no secret the lack of hardware has held WP7 back a bit. Of course I don't really know whether or not Windows Phone will ultimately be successful, but that's besides the point right now. The bottom line is that Samsung and HTC have seen fit to prepare (several!) new WP7.5 handsets for this fall, and yet the one company with the most riding on WP7.5 seems to have dropped the ball.

btw, I'm not sure what you mean about the current model "eating bandwidth." Android phones sync data too, and the amount involved there is fairly miniscule. Most people won't hit a 2GB cap without streaming music/movies or tethering, or maybe sending a ton of email with attachments. There was a bug in the Yahoo mail app that sucked down early on, but that was fixed like 10 months ago.

RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By Arsynic on 10/25/2011 11:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing sells without marketing behind it. It's a fact that MS hasn't marketed this thing. It's obvious from many hands on reports that MS has a winner. People just don't know about it.

RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By AlvinCool on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
By someguy123 on 10/25/2011 3:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
The same way they convinced people to switch to windows 7 after vista.

RE: Samsung Would Have Been a Better MS Partner
By drycrust3 on 10/25/2011 11:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
would you rush into production knowing you are not going to make projection?

The problem for Nokia is the world has changed. A recent report suggests that half of the world's regular internet users will access the internet via a mobile device within the next 4 years. That's roughly 500 million devices.
On top of that, once a person has become accustomed to certain apps, e.g. a builders level, they won't want to buy a phone that has less apps in the application library, but they will only buy a phone with a bigger library, thus second time purchasers of a smartphone won't be interested in a WP7 phone, but will be more interested in an Android or iPhone.
There was a recent report on this website that says Nokia is having to lay off staff left right and centre, and while there were no specifics it sounds like their sales have plummeted.
So, yes, Nokia should be rushing new phones into stores, and they should be Android phones, because by next Christmas there will only be a small market left for them.

By woofersus on 10/25/2011 3:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really think the number of available apps is the primary factor for most shoppers? If that were an insurmountable obstacle Android would never have made such strides against IOS, which had a pretty huge head start in that particular area. Further, a huge number of Android's 320,000 apps are duplicative. I don't really think 35,000 apps is all that bad for a first year total, but regardless I don't think most people will find it limiting. I only have like 35 on my Android phone. I know it wouldn't really be an issue for me if I were to switch. In fact, I would need fewer apps, because there is more functionality built in.

You could certainly make an argument for Nokia pursuing Android phones instead of WP7.5 (or even both) but I don't really think that particular issue was/is a major factor.

By AlvinCool on 10/25/2011 11:48:15 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and Samsung is a partner to MS

Look on the AT&T website. The Focus was just released today

Not THAT surprising
By RevLuck on 10/25/2011 9:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
The "highly competitive" US market that got SGS II about half a year later than everyone else.

US carriers always want custom versions and I bet it is a pain in the ass to deliver.

RE: Not THAT surprising
By KPOM1 on 10/25/2011 2:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
It was about 4 months later. That said, the US is always first to get new iPhones, and several prominent Android phones debuted in the US (e.g. Motorola Droid/Milestone, Google Nexus One, Samsung Nexus S). Granted, the Nexus models aren't customized, but the Droid was.

It also is surprising since one of the stated reasons for hiring Elop and switching to WP7.5 was to attract the US market, which has eluded Nokia for several years now. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were actually #1 in the US after Motorola stumbled.

As weak as T-Mobile is, and with their deal with AT&T in doubt, Nokia should have been able to strike a deal with them, perhaps to release a "Nexus"-type device (i.e. no customization) at least to get a decent Windows Phone out to demonstrate. HTC has a Windows Phone at T-Mobile. Microsoft is trying to limit carrier customization, anyway, so really it's just a matter of striking a standard subsidy deal.

RE: Not THAT surprising
By jimbojimbo on 10/25/2011 3:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
Does the Verizon iPhone get a bunch of Verizon apps that suck ass, start automatically, and you can't uninstall? Nope. That's why it's so easy. Verizon can go ef themselves for wasting space with all their crap. Thank goodness for root.

Not soooo bad
By jvillaro on 10/25/2011 1:22:24 PM , Rating: 4
As somebody already wrote, the US market almost always gets phones later than other regions, Galaxy S II as a recent example.
Although it's not confirmed that launch would be delayed en the US, it could probably be only for a couple of months (albeit very important ones) and they con be thinking that they can sell more phones outside of the US for now. Remember that WP itself was launched outside first!
The other thing is that maybe they have a bigger (4+ inches), better, more competitive phone for the US market up their sleeves, but that's just wishful thinking

RE: Not soooo bad
By jvillaro on 10/25/2011 3:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a Nokia fan but...
By MrWho on 10/25/2011 9:44:25 AM , Rating: 2
... there's not much 2011 left anyway. Of course they'll miss christmas, but still...

RE: I'm not a Nokia fan but...
By jimbojimbo on 10/25/2011 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
There's always Christmas 2012 right? The immediate months after the holidays people are broke so there won't be much buying going on. I see Nokia releasing their phones during then and wondering why nobody is buying. Then they'll say that they'll release the next phone in Nov 2012 and it'll probably still be Mango although an update will be out in the summer or something.

More Great Journalism
By wpodonnell on 10/25/2011 11:30:45 AM , Rating: 2
"mass-marketing for the new device won't start until 2012 in the U.S" != "Nokia Won't Launch Any WP7 Handsets in U.S. This Year"

Nothin' like speculation based upon an assumption.

The truth is
By nofumble62 on 10/26/2011 12:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
no US phone partner showed interest in Nokia's phone since they already have plenty of old W7 phone in inventory.

Calling BS!
By ggreenjob on 10/25/11, Rating: -1
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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