The Two Have Been Competing for Years

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-04-23 Print this article Print

Each company, Mawston added, has been forced to compete in segments where the pressure from Apple and Android is least intense, and both can benefit there€”€œprovided they don€™t get caught up in a race to the bottom on pricing.€

In recent years, RIM and Nokia have failed to create truly exciting high-end smartphones that are a fraction as compelling to U.S. users as the iPhone. RIM€™s latest answer to this, under the charge of new CEO Thorsten Heins, is a multi-part strategy that includes Mobile Fusion€”an evolution of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server that enables enterprises to support Android and iOS devices, along with BlackBerry handsets€”and BlackBerry 10, a new platform and device mix that RIM says will be hit, though it€™s still far off.

€œThe competitive environment has become increasingly challenging,€ Heins said during RIM€™s March 29 earnings call, adding that RIM€™s plans were €œnot without risks and challenges, and there is no guarantee of success.€

Nokia€™s comeback strategy includes a new line of devices with an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship, tied to Microsoft€™s new Windows Phone OS, which is very much still growing its ecosystem.

To help penetrate emerging markets, Nokia is launching devices, such as the Asha feature phone, in India. However, the biggest prize is still North America. In the United States, Nokia launched a Lumia 710 on the T-Mobile network and, weeks later, the higher-end Lumia 900, a Long-Term Evolution- (LTE-) enabled phone with a $99 price tag, on AT&T. The Lumia 900 was generally well-received, with analysts mostly agreeing that it accomplished what it need to: not take over the party, but get Nokia through the door.

After warning investors of a disappointing first quarter, during which it shipped 2 million Lumia units, Nokia announced April 19 that its net sales declined 29 percent year-over-year and it posted a net loss of approximately $2 billion U.S. dollars.

€œOver the last year, we have made progress against our new strategy, but we face challenges as we move forward,€ Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said during the earnings call.

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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