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Finnish phonemaker hopes to correct course in 2012

Precious little went right for Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) in 2011, at least that's the direct picture based on its Form 20-F [PDF] filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Nokia Results

From layoffs to billions in lost revenue Nokia clearly had one whopper of a painful year.

The biggest negative there is definitely the massive 25 percent drop in smartphone sales.  One smartphone equals several feature phones in profit, so the feature phone dip -- due, according to Nokia, to its feature phones lacking the popular dual-SIM option in H1 2011 -- is far less troubling that the smartphone plunge.

Digging for good news amid the clouds, one can point out that in 2011 customers knew Symbian was going to die, but did not have access to Nokia Windows Phone offerings at all in some markets (like the U.S.) or did not have alternatives until very late in the year in other regions (Europe).

By contrast in 2012 Nokia has already launched a number of attractive handsets, including the Lumia 610Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 ("Sea Ray"), and Lumia 900 LTE, which are all on their way to U.S. carriers.  And Nokia has the Lumia PureView 808 waiting in the wings with its massive imaging sensor (41 MP, but not a gimmick, in that it is five times the size of current top-of-the-line sensors) for H2 2012.

Nokia white Lumia phones
Nokia's stylish Lumia Windows Phones look to push the phonemaker to recovery in 2011.
[Images Source: Engadget]

Likewise, Nokia can look forward to more payments from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) who rewarded Nokia with $250M USD in Q4 2011 for picking Windows Phone.  Lastly Nokia's feature phones are now dual-SIM equipped, and it's aggressive expanded its Asha line, which offers premium features like pictures, internet, and apps to feature phone customers.

Nokia was still the world's largest phone maker in 2011.  But it must step up its game in 2012 -- both to avoid getting left farther behind in the smartphone race, and to avoid getting bumped by a surging Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) from the world's top phonemaker slot.

Fortunately there is evidence that Nokia may be on the verge of the turnaround it needs.  Nokia's miserable year, absence from the U.S. holiday season, and hopes for the future can perhaps best be summed up by the famous refrain of the Counting Crows' song A Long December:

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last.

Nokia certainly hopes so.

Source: Nokia [PDF]

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RE: Should have gone Android.
By sprockkets on 3/9/2012 8:19:36 PM , Rating: 0
Because there aren't enough Android phones on the market? How would you compete with a "me too" product?

Easy. Take Android, put your great screen on it, give it a nice form factor, then support it well. Samsung went from crappy to top of the hill with the Galaxy 2. Guess who is selling much less? Moto and HTC.

Nokia though had a Linux based OS, had Maemo, and had their own nice hardware. They chose to take WP7 instead. It isn't as if HTC and others already make WP7 phones.

RE: Should have gone Android.
By someguy123 on 3/10/2012 12:05:33 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung can profit well on its phones because it has a huge hand in memory and LCD/OLED screen production, which they can shove directly into their phones. It's hard to match the margins of a company like samsung when you're most likely going to samsung or LG for the screens on your phones.

RE: Should have gone Android.
By sprockkets on 3/10/2012 11:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
So? What does that have to do with anything? Samsung makes Wp7 phones. If Nokia is going to succeed, they have to convince people THEIR wp7 phone is better.

See my point? The OS is irrelevant. Before Nokia released any wp7 phones everyone said wp7 wasn't selling because no one made a premium handset, NOT because the OS sucked.

RE: Should have gone Android.
By someguy123 on 3/11/2012 5:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
How is it irrelevant? With WP7 you have a selling point. with android you're another android phone in a sea of android. At that point samsung can just undercut/push out new technology. It's not logical if you're interested in competing rather than merely surviving.

RE: Should have gone Android.
By slunkius on 3/12/2012 2:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
with android you're another android phone in a sea of android

and with WP7 you are another windows phone in the sea of windows (albeit smaller one). but the problem persits, you are still "me too" maker. whats to stop other makers from swimming in this sea?

RE: Should have gone Android.
By Jeffk464 on 3/12/2012 12:46:17 PM , Rating: 2
I sure do love the 4.65" OLED screen on my Samsung galaxy nexus. Now if we could just put someone new in charge of naming samsung phones.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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