Nokia reminds the market who’s boss

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“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.

Click here for market reaction to Nokia World 2010

9 COMMENTS

  1. The last Nokia I owned was an N95, and really the only positive thing I could say about it was that the hands free option was good, and Nokia's predictive text allowed for effective one-hand texting – but apart from that, it had very little going for it with Symbian on-board.
    Apple's inspired comprehension that optional applications to personalise what is, after all a pocket pc with a phone attached, seems now to be something that they are merely attempting to emulate, as with every other manufacturer. If they were trying to push the envelope further, they would be talking about it, and they're not. That's because the mobile phone (sic) has pretty much gone as far as it will go, and the next and only step is better quality hardware. If Nokia can improve the hardware by better screens, batteries and connection technology , they may stand a chance. Otherwise, I think they are going to be relegated to a third rate producer, no matter how many units they shift

  2. Ex Nokia fan 2
    I'm owner of N97 and if it was more responsive it would be nice phone.
    But it is not smartphone, if you will compare it with Android or iOS.
    In my opinion the only hope for Nokia was MeeGo and now … they are too late.
    I will not buy crap like "all future N series will be running MeeGo", again,
    and now we have N8 with Symbian, which sucks, period.
    Instead of trying to build software shop, they should try to use competitive operating system
    for their phones. But again I think it is too late for Nokia.

  3. Sorry Nokia, but you were peddling that rubbish Symbian for as long as you could get away with – don't be surprised when everyone things you're a decade out of date.

    As for the most 'global company' amoungst handset manufacturers…I'm pretty sure other manfacturers have handsets in differerent coutnries over the world, so I'm not sure what that even means, other than being a desperate attempt by themselves, to look bigger than they are.

  4. Nokia could be great again and very quickly.. all they have to do it to release an android phone.. i have been a nokia user for years but this time around the choice is clear: I want an android phone. However, my manufacturer of choice does not produce one… So this time I had to go to samsung.

  5. why dont you do a CROWD SOURCE OF YOUR NOKIA HANDSET CUSTOMERS DITCH THE BIG CEO WAGE PACKETS AND GET ASKING YOUR CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY TO USE THERE PHONES
    TAKE NOTE NOKIA BOARD OD THIS MESSAGE I FOR ONE HAVE A 100 of free ideas …..

  6. The writer of this article has written all the names incorrectly. If he can't read the names correctly, what can he do then?

    Nokia n8 is shipping. James, get yours and get serious.

  7. Dear Mr. Blackman,

    Can you please explain where in your article I might find something resembling a Catch-22 situation?

    Thanks.

  8. James black man you are ISO 9001 certified Jerk Congratulations lol, you talk non sense pretty much all the way 🙂 for many still Nokia is all the way 🙂 lol

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