Nokia, Can They Make a Comeback?

Does the closing of Nokia Flagship stores signify Nokia is failing to deliver competitive mobile handsets especially in the smartphone sector? During Nokia’s annual analysts meeting while execs talked up Nokia’s plans for 2010 in a back room money managers played with a BlackBerry.

According to an article over on blueridgenow, although Nokia commands 37% of the global mobile market they continue to face bruising competition from the likes of RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone which have grabbed the cool factor.

Gartner analyst Nick Jones says that the whole thing is a nightmare and that it isn’t in any sense a competitive experience with iPhone. While Gartner analyst Caroline Milanesi says that the US is dominated by carriers and they call the shots and Nokia has always had a difficult relationship with US carriers.

The executive VP for devices at Nokia, Kai Qisyamo has said that Nokia made the wrong decisions in the American Market and were slow to change from the monoblock form factor even when consumers abandoned them.

Until recently Nokia was against producing handsets tailored towards the US market and resisted the demands of US carriers who wanted handsets based around their individual specs. Nokia’s global smartphone market share has dropped from 42.3% last year to 39.3% and even in Nokia’s home turf, Europe the iPhone gains in popularity.

Nokia is responding though with the Nokia E72, a BlackBerry-type handset which is now available in the US but still faces strong competition from the likes of Google and Android, at the high end it’s Apple and the iPhone, at the mid rage its BlackBerry and at the low end is China and Korea.

Since September Nokia shares have dropped 20% while the broader market has grown and Nokia reported their first quarterly loss in more than a decade in Oct following a $1.3 billion write-down in their equipment business.

Nokia execs say that handsets such as the Nokia N97 and Nokia N900 can win back the buzz from the likes of BlackBerry and iPhone, and Nokia will make a bigger push for the American market in 2010.

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