Print 32 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Oct 21 at 4:23 PM

Company will unveil its handsets Oct. 26

In the last quarter Nokia, Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) lost its spot as the world's largest phonemaker as Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) and Apple, Inc. (AAPLblew by it.  Still, for all the gloom-and-doom surrounding the Finnish firm, its defunct Symbian smartphone operating system, and its slow transition to Windows Phone 7, things may not be quite as bad as some had thought.

I. Earnings Aren't Great, But Are Less Bad Than Expected

Yesterday evening Nokia reported earnings of €9B ($12.35B USD).  That represents a 13 percent year-to-year drop in sales and a 3 percent drop in sales from the Q2 2011.  The company posted a €68M ($93.34M USD) net loss, much worse than the €403M ($553.20M USD) profit the company turned last year, but slightly better than the €487M ($668.50M USD) net loss that the company reported last quarter (International Financial Reporting Standards-style earnings).

The lower loss sent shares soaring 8 percent in pre-market trading.

Such a move may seem baffling to non-investors, particularly in light of Apple's stock taking a hit on large, but less than expected growth.  But it's important to remember that expectations of growth and revenue are baked into stock prices.  A company that's expected to decline sharply is priced low (like Nokia), while a company that's expected to sustain growth (like Apple) is priced high.  Any surprises in either direction can send the stock up or down.

Nokia still has €5.07B in cash ($6.95B USD) on hand, so it should be able to sustain its push to Windows Phone 7.

Nokia's long secret Windows Phone lineup will finally be announced at Nokia World 2011 in London on October 26.  It's unclear whether the company will be able to get significant amounts of product out on the U.S. market this holiday season, but at least the event should give a clearer picture as to where the company is headed.

II. Shots of Slick Nokia 800 Leak

It's not rocket science what Nokia needs to get back on the right track.  It needs to:
  1. Get product on the market
  2. Release attractive handsets
Shots of the Nokia 800 -- part of Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone Mango lineup -- leaked on PocketNow yesterday, in lieu of next week's official launch.

Nokia 800
The Nokia 800 is arguably the best looking Windows Phone on the block. [Source: PocketNow]

The phone looks very good -- in an iPod Nano-ish sort of way, at least.  It comes in three colors.  While it may have a relatively small screen -- 3.7-inches -- this may be one of the more stylish smaller smartphone on the market this side of the iPhone.

The Nokia 800 is rumored to be launch November 15th, alongside two other Windows Phone Mango models from Nokia.  Hopefully that means "launching November 15th in the U.S." as Nokia has been a bit squirrelly about how much hardware it will put out in the U.S. this year.

At the very least the Nokia 800 seems to be a big step in the right direction in design appeal.

Source: Nokia

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RE: looks nice
By Aloonatic on 10/20/2011 2:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
MS need to:

a) Actually get their devices in shops in numbers. Obvious, but it doesn't seem to be happening, at least in the UK. There are so few of them, they just look lonely, odd and unwanted.

b) Have handsets at all price points. If they want market share and growth, then they really need to get some cheap phones out there too. I really don't get why they haven't done this as WP7 is (apparently) more efficient, and runs well on cheaper hardware. Why MS haven't exploited this I really don't know. Cheap android phones (like the wildfire) are really not all that great.

c) Get their marketing and sales staff education sorted out.

I say this as someone who actually wanted a WP7 phone, but in the end gave up. The hardware (which I know is not everything) was uninspiring, as where the designs. The prices were nothing special either, and the sales staff that I talked too seemed almost completely clueless about it.

The thing is, people know iPhone, and they know Android. MS need to give people a compelling reason to switch. What people seem to forget is that phones come with 24 month contracts these days. People are making a 2 year commitment to what is a pretty hefty (for many) monthly payment.

Most are unlikely to take chances on something that they don't know, especially if it's a top end, and therefore a no doubt very expensive phone, with an expensive contract too that they are going to be tied to for such a long time.

RE: looks nice
By drycrust3 on 10/20/2011 4:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
people know iPhone, and they know Android

We are at the cusp of a new era in mobile phones. The brand of the phone is becoming less and less important, and even the type of OS is becoming less and less important, but the apps that can run on the phone are increasingly the thing that will make or break a sale.
For a first time user of a smartphone they can be sold pretty well anything, but once a person has become familiar with a smartphone then they will become increasingly resistant to going to a phone OS with less apps (and especially a lot less) than what they currently have, and increasingly susceptible to selling out the love for their favourite phone and OS to go to one which has more and better apps. People may have tried lots of similar apps before they found one that does exactly what they want, e.g. a scientific calculator with RPN. This is where Android and iOS have such a huge advantage over Microsoft, Blackberry OS, etc. An article in May this year on the Apple friendly website Mobilmedia put Microsoft as having 15000 apps compared to 350,000 for Apple and 250,000 for Android. Sure, there probably is some bias there, but it illustrates an important point: it would be a backward step going from either Android or iOS to Microsoft (and worse to something like Blackberry OS), but if a person has a phone with WP7 on it then it would be fairly easy for them to find lots of similar or better apps in the Android or iOS libraries, thus they would become willing to trade in their current Microsoft phone and buy Microsoft's competitors products.
Thus, the problem for Nokia isn't just that they have put their lot in with Microsoft who were slow getting to the market with a decent phone OS, but that because of the delay people wrote apps only for Android or iOS, so Microsoft have a minuscule app library, so second time buyers won't be interested in what they have to offer.
What Nokia need to do is have at least one decent quality phone with Android on it on the store shelves this Christmas (and at a reasonable price too!).

RE: looks nice
By robertgu2k on 10/20/2011 10:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Just an FYI the app count for WP7 is currently more like 30,000. This is even after MSFT removing a ton of spam apps recently.

Just one source, you can Bing/Google for many articles on the app count:

RE: looks nice
By drycrust3 on 10/21/2011 7:52:39 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks. I thought there would be better information available, but I only had a small amount of time to write what I did, so I used the information I had at hand.

RE: looks nice
By NellyFromMA on 10/21/2011 4:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Again, I fail to understand what app count does for anyone other than give the (false) perception your odds are better at finding a quality app that does what you want.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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