Don't Count Nokia Out Just Yet
Even so, I think those people that are already writing off the handset maker and its software partner Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are short-sighted.
Ovum Ltd. principal analyst Tony Cripps pointed to Nokia's potential in a research note: "There's little objectively wrong with many of the products competing with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Samsung Corp. and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)/Android that greater customer awareness and a big budget marketing drive could not cure."
Part of Nokia's portfolio is in that category of products, but the problem is the Finnish vendor doesn't seem to have much support from its wireless partners in Europe right now.
In the U.S., the big two operators still seem eager to help Nokia create the third mobile phone ecosystem. Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo hinted at this multiple times on Verizon's earnings call today, and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) promised its biggest launch campaign ever for the new Lumia 900 smartphone. (See Is Nokia Losing Operator Support? , Verizon to Roll Out Sharable Data Buckets and AT&T's Nokia Lumia Drops LTE to $100.)
Nokia's current woes aren't just down to a lack of operator support, though. Nokia and Microsoft need to step up their marketing efforts too, educate sales people on how to pitch the devices and commit to keeping subsidies low to encourage the operators to do the same. (See What the Nokia Lumia Really Costs and Nokia's Nightmare Scenario .)
It's not going to be easy for Nokia and Microsoft -- the first quarter made that clear -- but it's also not fair to call its smartphone push and OS bet a failure. Things change very fast in the wireless industry. Just ask Android, Apple, BlackBerry , Palm or High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) for some good and bad examples of that. (See Google Says Android's on a Tear , RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?, Making Sense of HP's Mobile Mess and OS Watch: HTC's Revenue Release.)
There's still room for a third ecosystem, and the Nokia-Microsoft combo has the best shot of occupying that space.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile