Dynamic Wealth Management Headlines: New Nokia Smartphone fails to turn tide
Helsinki: Nokia’s long-awaited Windows phones may be too little, too late in the smartphone war dominated by Apple and Google, irrespective of positive assessments by handset critics.
The Lumia 800, the first Windows model has acquired little interest from consumers, with only 2% of Europeans in the market for a smartphone saying they would pick it, according to a survey by Exane BNP Paribas.Analysts said there was nothing particularly wrong with the sleek-looking handsets, other than a software glitch on some models affecting battery life, but consumers were just not biting.Smartphones working with Microsoft software have just a 2% market share, compared with Google Android at around 50% and Apple at 15-20%.“There isn’t much room kept for a third ecosystem. The smartphone market is merging fast,” said Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu who rates Nokia a “sell”. According to the Dynamic Wealth Management Business Reports, Nokia’s shares have fallen over 20% for the reason that 26 October launch of the new phone, with investors dreading Nokia would be unable to claw back the market share it has lost in the past several years to rivals like Apple.Phones working with Nokia’s old Symbian software, which it decided to get rid of Microsoft, are still in circulation and outsell Windows phones 10 to 1.But as Nokia keeps switching to Windows, sales of Symbian have a lot of room to dissatisfy over coming quarters and some analysts are warning of lower dividends and weaker-than-expected earnings ahead.
Now even Microsoft has begun to hedge its bets, making its software increasingly available for rivals to Windows Phone. Smartphones are designed on mobile computing platforms, and the most modern combine web browsers, navigation systems, cameras and portable music systems as stated on Dynamic Wealth Management Business Reports. A so-called “feature” phone – a market Nokia still dominates – has far fewer of these applications.
Nokia officials defended the Lumia, and a spokesman said there was “positive momentum” while declining to provide any data. One executive argued that Nokia had never counted on the first Lumia phones to lead to a quick turnaround but instead expected it to be the first step towards recovery.In fact, there are just as many analysts suggesting a “buy” on the shares as there are “sell” ratings. Those who are keeping the faith consider the new invasion on the smartphone market may be enough to provide Nokia a place at the table. As reported on Dynamic Wealth Management Business Reports, Many of them say the variety of concerns over the Finnish company are fully priced into the shares, while the company’s formidable cash position and some prized patent assets could entice a takeover approach.“With current and upcoming models, Nokia can win back market share in both – in feature phones and in smartphones,” said Swedbank analyst Jari Honko, who rates the shares a “buy”. “Today’s share price does not take into consideration any recovery in the Nokia market position.”Optimists also cite a noticeable difference in Nokia’s product portfolio, which looked out of date when Stephen Elop took over as the chief executive in September 2010.And while some dispute there is no room for a third replacement for Google and Apple, some developers and operators do see room for more competitors in this market.The 2012 Windows 8 upgrade could also attract a wider audience by making the way smartphones, tablets and PCs work more comparable.For investors, the greatest positive surprise could be an acquisition offer. After Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft, rumours of full takeover by Microsoft or at least purchase of smartphone unit have made rounds on a weekly basis.Last week the stock jumped 4% when Danske Bank suggested Microsoft could buy Nokia’s smartphone unit.But even if investors do not get a rich buyout – online gambling company Unibet is putting odds on Microsoft buying Nokia in 2012 at just 1 out of 15 – analysts say the company’s relatively-solid finances should at least offer some security.Nokia had €1.36 per share of cash at the end of the last quarter. It also has a formidable patent portfolio – on its own worth more than a euro per share – and owns top digital mapping firm Navteq and half of number two mobile network gear maker Nokia Siemens Networks.
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