LONDON-Nokia is back!
Well, it's sure enough trying. So said the head of sales for the company in an opening address at the Nokia World 2010 conference here. And bringing the company back are four new smartphones that Nokia launched at the show: the N8, the C6 and C7 siblings, and the E7 business-oriented device.
Nokia came out swinging at the event, taking shots at Apple, Google and others, and jokingly hinting at the possibility of an improved relationship with Microsoft now that the company has hired Microsoft Business Division president Stephen Elop, who will join the company on Sept. 21.
Niklas Savander, executive vice president of markets at Nokia, kicked off the event and drove home the point that Nokia is a global company. This is important, as the majority of Nokia's 1.3 billion users are international and in emerging markets-that is, outside the United States.
Indeed, Purnima Kochikar, Vice President, Forum Nokia & Developer Community at Nokia, said when she attends developer events at locations all around the world she walks into packed houses and feels like a rock star, "but back home in Silicon Valley, not so much."
Savander poked fun at the competition, particularly, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software at Apple, who said of the company's OS, "it's all about connecting people," However, "for Nokia, connecting people is more than just a feel good tagline; it's our mission," Savander said.
"Yes, Nokia is going through a tough challenging transition," Savander said. "We have a lot of work to do. We're not going to apologize for not being Apple or Google or Samsung or anybody else,"
Moreover, Savander said Nokia will continue to provide a variety of devices to meet different needs, tastes and budgets. "We'll continue to expose smartphone features because everyone, not just the well off, should have access to smartphone features."
In addition, Savander said Nokia sells more smartphones than anybody else. "Last quarter, more people bought Nokia smartphones than Apple and Google combined." He said 260,000 Nokia smartphones are sold daily.
"Today we shift into high gear in Nokia's fight back in smartphone leadership," Savander said.
Nokia's executive vice president of mobile Solutions, Anssi Vanjoki, who recently announced his intent to step down, then took the floor to show just how Nokia is beginning to fight back in the smartphone market against the hot platforms from Apple and Google.
Vanjoki announced a family of smartphones powered by the new Symbian platform that brings significant enhancements in speed and ease of use. The new devices, which are tightly integrated with enhanced Ovi services and apps, reinforce Nokia's vision of a mobile industry that is increasingly being defined by socially connected, location-based devices and experiences, he said. The latest version of the Symbian platform brings more than 250 new features and improvements and retains the familiarity enjoyed by millions of smartphone users worldwide;