“We won’t apologise for the fact we’re not Apple, Google or Samsung,” Nokia told Nokia World 2010 conference in London last week
Nokia remained bullish about its position in the global smartphone market, with executive vice president of markets Niklas Savander (pictured) declaring: “Nokia is back”.
Savander, who took responsibility for delivering the keynote after the announcement that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was leaving to be replaced by Microsoft’s Stephen Elop (click here), acknowledged that Nokia has not been as competitive in the smartphone market as it would have liked and has been going through a tough transition period, with more work still to do.
But Savander said Nokia was now preparing to “shift into high gear” to win back leadership in the smartphone market with the launch of three new smartphone devices, the E7, C7 and C6, alongside the N8, all running the new Symbian^3 platform.
This, he said, would “represent the transition of our mainstream smartphone platform from legacy to leading edge”.
Savander said: “We’re not going to apologise for the fact we’re not Apple, Google, Samsung or anybody else. We’re arguably the most global company in any industry. Our market is the world. When it comes to customers, we know that one device will not satisfy all of them. Even in the high-end, offering just one model inevitably leads to compromise.
“We aim to ship more than 50 million of these new Symbian smartphones, which is a conservative estimate in my opinion.
“We expect big things, starting with the N8. One hundred operators in dozens of countries have signed up to offer the Nokia N8. That is a lot of customers.”
Savander added that industry figures appear to stack up in Nokia’s favour, with some 260,000 Nokia smartphones sold every day, more than any of its competitors. He claimed more Nokia smartphones, primarily running Symbian, had been sold in the last quarter than running the Apple iOS and Android platforms combined.
“Despite all the new competition, Symbian continues to hold its own with just over 40 per cent of the smartphone market.”
Nokia executive vice president and general manager for mobile solutions Anssi Vanjoki (see box) said Nokia has shifted more than 350 million Symbian devices since launching its first handset in 2002 running the Series 60 platform, the Nokia 7560.
Vanjoki said: “The reality is Nokia invented the smartphone. We’ve taken some knocks over the past three years but we have positioned Nokia for the future and we’re not here today to look backwards.”
Savander also talked up Ovi Maps, and said: “Contrary to popular belief Nokia, not Google, is the leader in mobile navigation.
“Navigation is one of our most successful services due to its scope, and is available for 78 countries and in 46 languages. In the second quarter, 66 per cent of all devices sold with onboard GPS navigation were Nokia phones.”
Savander said the role of navigation services in delivering content to mobiles will continue to grow, using locations, schedules, user tastes and needs to deliver information and services tailored to an individual’s requirements in the future.
“By 2013, more than 800 million people will be using GPS-enabled devices and related services and internet content will be twinned with location coordinate tags.
“The potential of the area is huge and will transcend the user experience as we know it today. It is a space we intend to own.”
No mention was made of Nokia’s most recent financial results, which showed a 40 per cent fall in profits year-on-year. Nokia’s claimed fightback is a well-worn guise at these gatherings, notably at high-end smartphones launches earlier this year and at last year’s Nokia World, but Savander asserted Nokia is no longer fighting back but is already back thanks to its range of new devices and services.
“Today is about here and now, and it’s about three words: Nokia is back,” he said.