More bad news for beleaguered Nokia: The company may soon lose its smartphone crown to Apple and Samsung.
position as the top producer of smartphones may well end this quarter,
according to a forecast from Nomura. The company noted competition from
smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple will reduce Nokia's share in
the smartphone market, though thanks to a broad base of mobile phone sales
overall, Nokia is likely to keep its lead as the world's biggest mobile phone
looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown to Samsung and Apple," Nomura
analysts said in a research note. "Further emphasizing the shift in power
to Asia is our forecast for HTC to almost match Nokia during 2012."
wasn't the only analyst firm to place Nokia in a position of decline: Gartner
researchers suggested the mobile phone giant is in a precarious position as
well. "If Nokia's new phones are not well received in the third quarter
and [with] the Galaxy S2 ramping up, Samsung might overtake them and become the
smartphone leader in Q3," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said.
CEO Stephen Elop announced Feb. 11 that Nokia, effective immediately, was
making a major shift, and that Windows, not Symbian, would be the company's
primary focus. Both Nokia and Microsoft have had trouble winning consumers away
from Apple's iPhone and Android-running smartphones. Elop recently expressed
hope that the first Nokia smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone
platform will arrive in 2011, though not wanting to disappoint, the company has
promised nothing until 2012.
the move to the Windows Phone 7 OS, Nokia plans to release Symbian phones in
2012 and is obligated to support them for two years, according to a report,
keeping Nokia tied to Symbian until at least 2014. In April, Nokia's Australian
managing director, Chris Carr, told the tech site Australia IT that Nokia is
contractually obligated to support new devices for two years-and the phone
maker has already committed to releasing new Symbian phones in 2011 and 2012.
Nokia's stock price has tumbled and analysts issue increasingly pessimistic
research notes about the company's future, speculation over an acquisition has
only increased Just last week, Elop denied rumors of an imminent $19 billion
takeover by Microsoft. "Nokia is not for sale," Elop reportedly told an
audience during the Open Mobile Summit in London, according to The Wall Street
would continue to avoid the stock as Symbian smartphone sales are falling off
faster than expected and we are skeptical that new Windows Phone (WP) models
will be able to replace lost profits," Stephen Patel, an analyst with Gleacher
& Company, wrote in a May 31 research note. "Our checks suggest mixed
carrier support for Nokia's transition to WP."