MWC 2011: How Will Nokia Maintain Market Share?

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- One question that is being asked here in Spain about Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s move to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s WP7 smartphone operating system is how it will maintain market share with its existing products while it makes the transition.

Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop, firmly tied the future of Nokia to Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 operating system at his Sunday night appearance at MWC. The vendor, however, hasn't officially said yet when it will launch a phone using the new OS even if there are certain indications -- such as this TechRadar report -- that it is rushing to get from the concept stage to the store by the end of 2011. (See RIP Symbian & MeeGo: Nokia Ties Future to WP7, MWC 2011: Nokia Guns for Android and MWC 2011: Look Out, Google.)

So what will happen to Nokia's smartphone market share and average selling price (ASP) in the meantime? Look for Symbian phones going cheap, suggests John Strand, CEO of Strand Consult "You know how sales only usually last a few weeks?" he asks LR Mobile Monday morning at the show. "I think Nokia smartphones will be on sale for the next year until they come out with some Windows phones."

"HTC will be laughing all the way to the bank," Strand suggests.

He is concerned that operators and developers will look at Nokia's current smartphone lineup as "something from last season" that will get less support as they wait for the new models.

The only short-term solution for Nokia -- at least as far as Strand can see -- is to exploit its leading position with low-end phones while it waits for the high-end WP7 cavalry.

"Nokia will be king of the Series 40," he quips.

Just how this might play with shareholders remains to be seen.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:12:50 PM
re: MWC 2011: How Will Nokia Maintain Market Share?

It's striking, I haven't spoken to anyone here that thinks that a Nokia-MSFT tie-up is a good idea. I'm shocked that Elop didn't keep the deal under wraps until they were further down the line with WP7 development but I guess he was under pressure from shareholders to DO SOMETHING.


So who is going to buy a Symbian phone this year?

Mark Sebastyn 12/5/2012 | 5:12:48 PM
re: MWC 2011: How Will Nokia Maintain Market Share?

An excellent way to deal with naysayers is just ask them what they would do instead. If they have a better idea, say it. It's easy to throw rocks.

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