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Nokia Bolting From Mobile Money Business | Mobile Marketing Watch

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Word broke early Tuesday that Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile handset maker in terms of unit shipments, is shuttering its mobile financial services business.The closure will reportedly include a freshly launched Nokia Money service in India.The reason given for the exodus, which won’t be immediate, is a renewed commitment by Nokia to focus on core-business aspects of its operation.“It’s not going to happen overnight and consumers already using the service are not at risk,” a company spokesman tells Dow Jones Newswires.Nokia had launched the side-business in 2009 in an attempt to bring secure electronic payments to users without a bank account, chiefly in emerging markets.“Our services will continue to operate while we work with our banking, market and technology partners as well as our employees, agents and others to plan future options in accordance with all customer and regulatory requirements,” Nokia says.Do you think the imperiled handset maker will benefit from its “evolving strategy” or this just another inauspicious sign of what’s to come at Nokia?

via Nokia Bolting From Mobile Money Business | Mobile Marketing Watch.

Written by Kees Winkel

March 14, 2012 at 13:51

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Nokia, others see smartphone sales boost during holidays in India

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Smartphone sales set Nokia’s cash registers ringing this past Deepawali in India, with the company reportedly having sold about ₹ 400 crore’s ($81 million) worth of phones. The report comes from HCL Infosystems, which manages over 50% of Nokia’s distribution network in India, according to the business daily The Economic Times.

Nokia sold over 1.5 million handsets in just four days before the national Hindu festival of Deepawali, which has traditionally been the highlight of the year for holiday shoppers on the bargain hunt. Its sales volume was up by 33% from the Diwali shopping season last year and the average selling price (ASP) had gone up by 13% due to the higher percentage of smartphone sales. An earlier report already has us expecting Nokia to make a big splash with its Lumia range of smartphones in India later this year.

Nokia wasn’t the only one to benefit from the surge in popularity of smartphones, however, as rival Samsung saw a sales bump of over 50% over the same period, and doubled its revenues. Company executives noted that smartphones had indeed accounted for a larger portion of the total sales volume than last year.

Sony Ericsson and LG Electronics report having seen similar boosts in the sales of their respective smartphone lines, though neither company revealed their exact figures to the publication. Domestic players like Micromax, however, did not see any notable increase in sales of its phones, owing primarily to the raised prices of their handsets due to the weakness of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar.

Numbers from research firm IDC revealed that Nokia retained its top spot with a 25% share in the overall mobile phone market and a 45.8% share of all the smartphones sold, and that’s excluding the handsets that it manufactures in India. Samsung is in second place with a 15% overall market share and a 21% share of the smartphone pie.

via Nokia, others see smartphone sales boost during holidays in India.

Written by Kees Winkel

November 3, 2011 at 09:50

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Microsoft spends millions on training as HTC shows Windows Phones

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FA show gives glimpse of new HTC Titan and Radar phones running Windows Phone Mango to arrive in October as marketing head says 20% market share forecasts are conservative

htc-radar

The new HTC Radar, which will run the Windows Phone Mango OS

Microsoft is investing millions of dollars in training “hundreds” of sales staff for phone companies worldwide to encourage them to sell devices running its Windows Phone operating system, as the company tries to catch up in the smartphone market.

The news came as Taiwan’s HTC unveiled two new smartphones on Thursday – called Titan and Radar – which are based on Mango, the next update to Windows Phone, and said that they will be available from October. They will almost certainly be the first using the Windows Phone 7.5 software to be available in Europe.

The Titan model will be priced somewhat above Apple‘s iPhone but carries a wider 4.7in display. The HTC Radar phone will be priced at similar levels to other smartphones.

Achim Berg, Microsoft’s head of Windows Phone marketing, told Bloomberg that forecasts by market analysts that the operating system will have a 20% share by 2015 are conservative – even though it is languishing with a 1.6% world market share in the second quarter of the year according to the analysts Gartner.

“This is a completely new platform, it takes time,” Berg told Bloomberg. “It took time with Android, it took time with Apple. We have to show that we’re very capable and that we have the fastest and easiest phone.” Part of that effort will involve tutoring shop staff selling the handsets in how to show off the phones to best effect.

Other analysts say that Windows Phone has a mountain to climb in order to reach the aim expressed by Stephen Elop, chief executive of Nokia – which will use Windows Phone in forthcoming smartphones – of becoming the “third ecosystem” in the field alongside Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Horace Dediu, a former Nokia executive who now runs the independent consultancy Asymco, noted that in the US Android and iOS phones cumulatively outnumber Windows Phone devices – which there have a 4.5% share – by 12 to one: “To become the largest mobile platform in the US, as some analysts are predicting, Microsoft has a 12:1 disadvantage that looks to continue to grow. Those are some pretty tough odds.”

But Microsoft is undaunted. “I am confident on Q3. We see a strong Q4,” Florian Seiche, head of HTC’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. He said good demand for its latest models was continuing, despite macroeconomic worries and longer replacement cycles in some countries.

On 29 July, HTC gave a better than expected forecast for the third quarter, estimating sales of all its phones – which includes both Android and Windows Phone smarpthones – would double from a year ago to 13.5m, while its gross margin would be around 28%, down from 29-30% in previous quarters.

HTC’s shares have fallen as much as 40% from their peak in April because of the slowing growth, courtroom fights with Apple over patents and stiff competition. Microsoft has also won a per-handset payment – believed to be around $5 (£3) – for each Android handset HTC ships after claiming that HTC’s Android phones infringe its patents.

Analysts say HTC needs new markets to sustain growth and will have to call again on the speed and innovation that turned the once obscure Taiwanese company into a global brand in five years and propelled its market value beyond that of Nokia this year.

“HTC will be hoping the heightened awareness of Windows Phone as a result of Nokia cosying up to Microsoft will help kick-start interest in these new phones after the dismal reception of Windows Phone this time last year,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.

Nokia, still the world’s largest cellphone vendor by volume, has decided to dump its own Symbian software in favour of Windows Phone. The first devices, running Mango, are expected later this autumn, but analysts think that it will not be before late spring next year that the Finnish company will have a range of handsets with which to target the market. Meanwhile, the company fell into loss in the last quarter, and that is not expected to improve this year.

Microsoft first announced Windows Phone in February 2010, ditching its longstanding Windows Mobile operating system in the face of competition from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Windows Phone was launched in October 2010, but the company has given few details about how many handset licences have been sold as market figures have suggested a slow start.

Written by Kees Winkel

September 3, 2011 at 10:57

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Nokia Siemens Starts Laying Off 1,500 Employees

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Nokia Siemens Networks announced today that it will begin it’s planned layoff of 1,500 employees. The decision comes following its acquisition of Motorola’s networking business for $1.2 billion. The employees to be axed will come primarily from the WiMax and GSM departments of the former Motorola unit.

The action became necessary after the Motorola network acquisition got stalled when Huawei filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the transaction for fear that NSN would obtain its trade secrets and intellectual property, which Motorola had access to. This, in turn, caused the unit’s products and services to fall into lower demand.

Hence, not only will 1,500 of the 6,900 employees from the Motorola WiMAX and GSM units be let go, but another 1,200 will be transferred to its LTE and WCDMA units, which are currently seeing more success. The first batch of workers to go will be 150 of mostly research staff from Nokia Siemen’s Swindon facilties.

[via ZDNet]

Written by Kees Winkel

August 6, 2011 at 10:38

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Nokia 700 Zeta smartphone press photos leak – SlashGear

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Nokia is taking a beating in the smartphone and feature phone markets today. Nokia is hoping that Windows Phone will pull the company out of the tailspin it’s in with some smartphones that people are actually interested in. I still say Nokia should have went Android and hired some designers and engineers with vision to make phones that aren’t so darn boring. A new Nokia smartphone has leaked today called the Nokia 700 also known as the Zeta.

The phone just looks really plain to me. Maybe I am jaded by the cool factor of the iPhone and all the sweet Android smartphones on the market today. The 700 photos you see here are said to be leaked press shots and we don’t have much in the way of specs. The device is reported to have a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen, NFC, and a 1GHz processor.

The phone is also rumored to have a 5MP camera and run the Symbian Belle OS. What do you think about this device if the rumored specs are true? I’m feeling like the phone better be really cheap because nothing about it stands out in my mind, unless you are a Symbian lover.

via Nokia 700 Zeta smartphone press photos leak – SlashGear.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 6, 2011 at 13:55

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First GSM call was made 20 years ago today

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As GiGaOm reports:

This is turning out to be a week of anniversaries. We celebrated four years of iPhone earlier this week. And today is the 20th birthday of the first GSM phone call, which in many ways was the beginning of a new era in telecommunications and start of the global wireless revolution. GSM was adopted in 1987 as the European standard for second generation mobile technology. More than 4.4 billion people use phones based on GSM standard today.

Here is a video to show the first GSM call that was placed on the first GSM network built by Telenokia and Siemens – now Nokia Siemens Networks – for the Finnish operator Radiolinja, now Elisa. Nokia introduced its first digital handheld GSM phone, the Nokia 1011, in 1992.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 3, 2011 at 16:24

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Awesome pictures of the Nokia N9, published on Dutch Mobile Cowboys

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The pretty great Dutch blog Mobile Cowboys has published these pictures of the new Nokia N9. For me the whole charade has the same ‘je ne sais quoi’ as when the first iPhone was introduced; a rare moment of wanting to live in a country where the machine will be introduced within the connotation of time of a dwarvy child: SOON.

So, hopefully with permission of the cowboys, here are thye pics:

Written by Kees Winkel

June 28, 2011 at 16:18

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I’m getting one, Nokia N9

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Although this is not the place fro hardcore commerce, I must admit that I am going to get me a Nokia N9. Even if were only because the machine has been designed under the management of my old friend and colleague Marko Ahtisaari. Check out this little film.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 28, 2011 at 10:38

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Nokia unveils N9 smartphone

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Last week Reuters reported this story on the introduction of the Nokia N9.

By Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE | Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:23pm BST

(Reuters) – Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop unveiled a new smartphone on Tuesday that uses software the firm plans to ditch, a move analysts said would probably condemn the device to obscurity.

Once the undisputed leader in hand phones, Nokia has rapidly lost ground in the smartphone market to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices, and at the low end of the market to Asian rivals such as China’s ZTE and India’s Micromax.

At a telecoms conference in Singapore, Elop reiterated that Nokia would launch its first smartphone using Microsoft’s Windows platform later this year, even as he unveiled the new all-screen N9 smartphone, which uses a platform called MeeGo.

The model — Nokia’s first and last to use MeeGo — can be navigated by a single finger swipe and comes in black, cyan and magenta colors in a polycarbonate design.

“It seems pointless to launch a phone like the N9 on a platform that has been cut by management,” RBS analyst Didier Scemama in London said in a research note.

Elop said the N9 was part of Nokia’s drive to introduce “an exciting experience around the user interface, the industrial design and the developer platform”.

“Our primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the Windows phone,” said Elop, who moved to Nokia from Microsoft last year.

“I have increased confidence that we will launch our first device based on the Windows platform later this year and we will ship our product in volume in 2012.”

The MeeGo platform — a newcomer in the market dominated by Google Inc and Apple Inc — was born in February 2010 when Nokia and Intel unveiled a merger of Nokia’s Linux Maemo software platform with Intel’s Moblin, which is also based on Linux open-source software.

Nokia pulled back from the project four months ago.

“The N9 comes too close to the expected launch of Nokia’s Windows Phone device to have any impact on its current smartphone woes,” said Ben Wood, head of research at London-based mobile consultancy CCS Insight.

“The strength of rival ecosystems leaves little room for MeeGo powered devices. It’s difficult to see the N9 being anything more than a niche device … the N9 will be a tough sell.”

Research firm IDC’s analyst Melissa Chau said the N9 would probably be a prototype to showcase what Nokia can bring in future phones.

“I don’t expect, and don’t even think Nokia expects, this phone to turn around their fortunes,” she said. “All it wants to do with the phone is to inspire some confidence in people that they are not out of the game yet.”

Nokia’s head of design Marko Ahtisaari, in a dig at Apple’s iPhone 4, said the N9’s polycarbonate body would give the phone “extremely good antenna performance, so unlike some competitor products, you do not need to hold it in special way to have reliable phonecalls”.

FEW CLUES ON STRATEGY

Elop’s speech in Singapore was billed by Nokia as “an update on progress in our new strategy”, but he provided few details on how he planned to tackle the company’s troubles.

Last month, Nokia said it had abandoned hope of meeting key targets just weeks after setting them, raising questions over whether Elop can deliver on a turnaround he promised in February.

Nokia’s market value has plunged by more than half since February, after the leak of a memo from Elop that compared the company’s market position to a man standing on a burning oil platform.

Nokia’s market share has fallen in key markets. In China, for example, it has shrunk to 19 percent from 33 percent two years ago, research firm Gartner estimates.

So-called no-brand handset manufacturers — small Chinese firms using low-cost chipsets — control 45 percent of the market in the world’s most populous country, Gartner said.

Nokia’s woes bear a striking resemblance to troubles at Research In Motion, whose dismal results and failure to deliver exciting new devices on time pushed its shares more than 20 percent lower on Friday.

Shares in the Blackberry maker fell a further 7 percent on Monday after a marketing executive left the company, the second departure in four months and the latest news contributing to a halving in the company’s market value this year.

IDC’s Chau said Elop’s presentation on Tuesday gave few clues on Nokia’s future strategies to get back on track.

“From what they have announced today it is really hard to say because they left out so many details,” she said.

“It will take a lot of cooperation between Microsoft and Nokia to do it and with this kind of business deal we only have a 50-50 percent (chance) to begin with.”

Nokia also said it plans to launch up to 10 new smartphones using its own Symbian operating system. It introduced three affordable handsets which can use dual sim-cards, years after Asian rivals put such features into their phones.

“Any new products by Nokia will be a stop-gap … until its first Microsoft phone is out in the market,” said Seo Won-seok, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities in Seoul.

“It won’t be easy for Nokia to aggressively market these products and even new product lineups will be limited given that it is spending heavy resources in developing Windows phones. Under such circumstances, I’m quite doubtful whether they’ll get a strong response from customers.”

In a research note this month, Nomura said Samsung Electronics would become the world’s largest smartphone maker this quarter and Apple would take the number two spot next quarter, pushing Nokia to third place.

(Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar and Eveline Danubrata in SINGAPORE, Tarmo Virki in HELSINKI and Miyoung Kim in SEOUL; Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Anshuman Daga and Dean Yates)

Written by Kees Winkel

June 28, 2011 at 09:19

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Nokia Siemens is up against the wall — Broadband News and Analysis

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Nokia Siemens Networks, the telecommunications gear joint venture between Siemens and Nokia, is running out of options. The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that the companies couldn’t find a private equity buyer for the gear maker, and that they were thinking of putting more money into the entity. However, throwing good money after bad doesn’t seem like it will do any good.

The partnership between the two companies began five years ago, but in the past few years, competition from Huawei and ZTE has whittled away at its market, consolidation has compressed the sector, and the rise of a monolithic standard (LTE) on the wireless side has made it hard for the equipment market to support a multitude of vendors. We have seen Alcatel-Lucent struggle, Nortel go bankrupt and even Motorola sell off elements of its wireless gear business.

So as Nokia and Siemens ponder their options, funneling more money into this business doesn’t seem like the way to go. Nokia sent Reuters a statement after the Journal‘s article appeared, noting, “Multiple options continue to exist for NSN and these are reflective of the company’s performance in terms of both innovation and financial results.”

via Nokia Siemens is up against the wall — Broadband News and Analysis.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 27, 2011 at 16:36

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