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Nokia's plan to slowly phase out Symbian for Windows Phone 7 and continue selling Symbian devices during the phase out, is increasingly looking like a colossal blunder.  (Source: Nokia)

"Never let go." "I promise."... Apparently customers aren't buying this philosophy when it comes to the quickly sinking Symbian platform. They're jumping ship to Android or Apple.  (Source: Paramount Pictures)
Company's slow transition to Windows Phone 7 may cost it the global lead in smart phone sales

Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) is the world's largest smartphone maker.  Nokia also has a very big problem.

The company recently tied the knot with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), promising to phase out its proprietary Symbian smartphone operating system for Microsoft's slick new Windows Phone 7 OS.  The company insisted that the move had nothing to do with the fact that an ex-Microsoft Canada executive recently became Nokia CEO.

Regardless of the move's origins the question quickly became when would the switch to Windows Phone 7 be made?  Nokia has opted for a "gradual" transition in which it slowly phases out the operating system.  At the same time it will release Windows Phone 7 handsets, which will live side by side with Symbian handsets.

The approach has its merits, when looked at from a certain perspective.  But Nokia badly underestimated a major issue raised -- nobody will want a phone on a dying platform.

According to reports Nokia's market share loss has accelerated from a slow bleed to a pouring stream.  

Signs of this have crept up in recent financial filings.  Nokia has lowered its Q2 2011 outlook[press release] for devices and services.  It went from predicting 6.6B € ($9.5B USD) to 6.1B € ($8.8B USD).  That's a big drop.  The drop is fueled by lower predicted volumes -- which seem to be stemming from poorer than expected Symbian smart phone sales.

At the same time the company's operating margins have dipped from a predicted 6 to 9 percent to "around breakeven."

Annual targets are also being scaled back.

If there's one ray of sunshine among the storm clouds it's that Nokia reports an "increased confidence" level that it will deliver Windows Phone 7 handset(s) by Q4 2011.

The question, though, is whether that will be too late.  For now Nokia will have to continue trying to pitch customers a dying platform -- Symbian.  Nokia predicted sales of 150 million more Symbian smartphones "in years to come."  Now, as customers defect to Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, it seems like a matter of time before that number becomes the latest financial figure to be slashed at the Nokia headquarters.

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RE: poor decisions
By Samus on 6/1/2011 12:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
I've had a Nokia e73 since January, and its one of the worst cell phones I've ever had. Should have never abandoned Blackberry. I'd much rather have the new Sidekick my g/f just got (in a color other than purple.)

I've had to hard-reset the phone numerous times. Sometimes various apps just stop working properly, such as Joikuspot (wifi hotspot app) and photo browser (randomly doesn't refresh pic library.) The phone needs constant reboots as it becomes irresponsive over a few days (even if I close background apps)

I've had the noise cancelation feature crash the phone during calls numerous times.

The battery life is terrible considering the slow CPU and huge battery.

The bluetooth stack is buggy as shit. It is one of the most complained about things of the Symbian^3 E series. It randomly disconnects a device. Sometimes it stays connected to my Focus Sync for an entire drive, sometimes it drops after 10 minutes, and it almost always drops bluetooth after a call. Sometimes it doesn't even initially connect at all unless I turn the bluetooth feature off and on in Symbian.

This phone should have never made it to production. Even with numerous updates over the past six months, I haven't noticed a single damn improvement.

I feel ripped off. My Nokia N8 is simply amazing, but my business phone has always been a Blackberry. I was so thrilled with the N8 I figured a phone with a physical keyboard running the same OS would be a great alternative to Blackberry.

Wrong. Nokia, get the fuck rid of Symbian already. This shit is over 10 years old. Think Windows NT. It was great at the time, but after so many service packs, it showed its age and was replaced.

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