For Nokia survival is at stake on September 5th: here’s why

For Nokia survival is at stake on September 5th: here’s why
Nokia and Microsoft are gearing up for probably their most important event in mobile in just two days, on Wednesday, September 5th, the unveiling of the new Windows Phone 8-based Lumia smartphones. For Microsoft the event is important, but for Nokia it’s critical - it might be the company’s last chance to get traction in an Android-iOS dominated industry. If the new devices don’t win consumers’ hearts, the Finns headed by Canadian ex-Microsoft manager Stephen Elop who said crossed off all backup plans, might become the biggest failure in the history of the mobile industry.

"This is very high stakes," Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said. "Nokia bet everything on Windows, and if this doesn't succeed the next step might be having to do what's best for shareholders, and that might include selling off key assets or selling the whole company."



What’s coming

But analysts still have hopes for Nokia’s upcoming devices. The Finns are expected to introduce the Lumia 920, a 4.5-inch state-of-the-art cameraphone with colorful design and their revolutionary PureView imaging technology combining many pixels into one for outstanding low light and overall performance. But expectations are that the PureView technology on the Lumia 920 will be a watered down version of the original, and we’re yet to see whether Nokia delivers on the camera front.

The other handset that Nokia is planning to unveil is the Lumia 820, a more affordable device with no PureView camera magic, but still with that same good-looking and colorful design.

Microsoft’s part of the collaboration, Windows Phone 8 on the other hand, brings faster performance and a more customizable home screen as an advantage.

The facts

While everything looks good on paper for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and Nokia’s devices, customers aren’t queuing up to buy Lumia smartphones.

Nokia managed to sell a decent but not impressive 7.2 million Lumia devices globally all through June. The Windows Phone platform’s market share grew, but only very slightly, to 3% from the 2% it had last year.

Investors are also worried and Nokia has lost 70% of its market evaluation since Stephen Elop shattered the industry with his announcement to go all Windows Phone on February 11th, 2011. Worst of all, Nokia is burning through its cash reserves at a shocking rate - it has bled over 3 billion euros in the last 18 months. It’s slashed its global workforce by 10,000 jobs and sought additional funding by selling off various assets.

Five years after the iPhone launched, Nokia, the company that is said to have invented the smartphone, and a market leader dominating the industry for nearly 14 years, nosedived to 10% smartphone market share from 50% in 2007.

The timing

With all this in mind, it becomes clear how much is at stake on September 5th, when Nokia and Microsoft announce the new Lumias. But is the event timed right? Looking for an example for such a big launch in the past, we see that Samsung has managed to time its Galaxy S III launch just right this year, with months for its flagship to rule the market with no big rivals to challenge it.

Nokia doesn’t enjoy the same privilege - its launch could be obscured by the immense hype in all media surrounding the announcement of the Apple iPhone 5 in just a week after the joint Nokia-Microsoft event. And it’s not only Apple. Pretty much every big company has or had a massive event in the beginning of September. Google-owned Motorola is trying to eclipse the Finn with its own event on the same date, and Amazon will unveil new devices the next day. Nokia better bring something truly revolutionary.

Conclusion: The carrier card

Finally, the outcome of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 Lumia story will depend a lot on the approval from U.S. customers. Stephen Elop might have broken Nokia’s carrier relationship in Asia, but in the States, all major carriers are ready to embrace the new Lumias - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are all expected to either sell the devices or support the platform.

Will Nokia’s make-or-break event make the splash all Finland is hoping for? There sure are a lot of ifs, but it seems like this is the one big shot for Nokia. Will it make it? Why or why not? Chime in with your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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70 Comments

1. 09wbd03516

Posts: 140; Member since: May 30, 2012

In order nokia to survived, you should remove the something poison inside of it, such as Stephen Elop

10. MeoCao unregistered

I'm very disappointed after seeing the prototypes. Nokia needs a new revolutionary design that sparks the excitement in every1 and not these recycled things.

21. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I want you to tell that to apple which recycled a design for 2 years in arow,

25. MeoCao unregistered

Yeah, I don't like Apple but I know Apple recycled success. Nokia is recycling failures. Lumia 900 is a huge flop, an outdated device from the start marketed as a premium 1. The bad image of 900 will be transferred to the new 920. Nokia must break with the past (Lumia name, old design..) and bring a revolutionary new lineup.

32. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

wp7 didnt passed the expection of users...lumia design it is outstanding not ordinary design and it received good user review

45. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

hahahaha funny how you use the word "revolutionary". As if something truly "revolutionary" came to iphone 4s when it was released. Siri? is that it? A gimmicky feature? Dual-core? oh please. 8-MP camera? Nokia had 12MP camera when iphone only released 5MP. 512 ram? HA-HA. Iphone 5? What do you think would come and be labeled as "revolutionary"? The new in-cell display technology? OH did apple made that? NO. If there's a revolutionary companies in the mobile world, i'll give it to four. NOKIA, SAMSUNG, AND LG, and SONY. Oh, did I just mention the original mobile OEMs? yup. I just did. The only revolutionary thing apple made was releasing a phone with a huge screen way back 2007. After that? pleaasseeee.

46. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Well, that stupid feature garnered even more sales of the iphone. Whatever it is, people just don't want to buy WP. That's all there is to it. Doesnt' look like anything will change that. Oh, WP8 will? What, all those millions of people were just waiting for dual core processors :)

49. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Funny how you mock WP. ahm, let's just see after a year or two. What? You're mocking dual core? :)) Hey, here's a news for you. Believe it or not, WP don't really need a multi-core CPU. They've just supported it because consumers asked for it. again, WHAT? Your iPhone will be having a quad-core processor? For what? To support a vintage OS that's lighter than symbian? :)) It doesn't even need a dual-core processor. Talk about people not wanting to buy WP. Hey, did you just missed the news? WP is in continuous growth. Oh, wait, where's iOS? There, slowly declining and vanishing together with the years.. Oh well, many people would still be hyped to buy iPhone, because of it stands out as a status symbol, at least in emerging markets. But people like us(tech obsessive), if you're one of us, will be knowledgeable enough to know what to choose. :)

53. Ueliton

Posts: 34; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Well said!

62. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Time will tell whether Nokia will survive and do well in the market. For me its a tragic if Nokia, the true innovator of cell phone should fail. I would not have switch brand if Elop did not make that burning platform announcement. I might even stick around to try their wp phone instead i trade in my nokia C7 for a motorola milestone 2 that same week. Why? I felt betrayed and vowed i will never buy a WP phone.

64. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

true.. well said!! iPhone is for "Status Symbol" while android and Windows Phone and even BlackBerry are for multitasker!!! even symbian is better than iOS when in terms of multitasking and user-friendly OS ( i got lost navigating on an iPhone many times 5 times i guess.. im even an iPhone fan)

66. sakib.ahsan

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

I agree with you buddy. The problem is there isn't a lot of people like us (tech obsessive). I really want WP8 to succeed. And Microsoft has the ecosystem (skydrive, hotmail and even bing) to do it. If nothing it will encourage ios and android to be even better then they are.

71. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

"What? You're mocking dual core? :)) Hey, here's a news for you. Believe it or not, WP don't really need a multi-core CPU. They've just supported it because consumers asked for it. " No, I'm saying it will change nothing. No one asked for it but the nerds, and they already bought the SG3. Oh wait, even my parents without any help whatsoever bought it as well instead of the iphone or windows phone. "Talk about people not wanting to buy WP. Hey, did you just missed the news? WP is in continuous growth. Oh, wait, where's iOS? There, slowly declining and vanishing together with the years.." Yeah, from 0 to like 4 million phones this year, *world wide*. Whoopie s**t. "But people like us(tech obsessive), if you're one of us, will be knowledgeable enough to know what to choose. :)" Yes, and for me, Android. Seeing how Google is the least evil of apple and MS helps as well.

57. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

well u should not buy it stay with apple or android wht whtever u like this is ur brain in the BOX that dont think out sides grid of icons

50. moroninc

Posts: 193; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

Apple had huge success marketing its brand as a premium product, minimalist design was a big in 2007. now that Apple has started suing every tom d**k and harry that makes a smartphone.. not very good for their image and their lack of innovation was exposed as it sends our the wrong msg to the buyer.

63. MeoCao unregistered

PureView is revolutionary, bring it on but not with 8MP, 20 MP is the minimum. Siri is a toy and it felt exciting at first, if Nokia has something similar it will help the new phone sales. Don't try to link your new phone with failures, use the refreshingly new design that makes people awe. The fanboys' support will not save Nokia them if they fail to do these things.

65. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

yeah.. i think pureview with 8MP is cheating.. i hope the rumored 21MP is true.. if they just put 8MP Pureview i think they should just put N8 Sensor to it.. atleast its 12MP and still one of the best cameraphone till now! i think Microsoft should buy that NINA voice assistant... and put it to WP8.. its par to siri and google now! they need to have a voice assistant now coz if they dont have one, they still lag behind android and iOS... even Blackberry is making its own voice assistant for BB10!! TellMe Sucks...and its not even use by people!!

67. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Yup, you got that right this time. "Siri is a toy". So, is that it? A toy? I'll buy a phone that's not just for gimmicks. I agree with you, a 8mp pseudo PV won't give a big boom in the market. Even me, a nokia fan, won't buy such thing for it's irrelevant to buy one. My n8's 12 MP satisfy me. What? who says that i'm linking new phones with failures? What are you talking about. You're the one linking it. What just happened? You forgot what you commented? :O I'm satisfied with nokia's designs. They're the best in terms of phone designs. Next is sony, then htc, followed by LG. If you're getting sick with nokia's design, why aren't you getting sick with apple's? In terms of designs, how can you differentiate iphone 4 with 4s? The only innovation in the design that will come to iphone 5 is the screen size. Nothing more, nothing less.

69. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

Well said. Boring apple

31. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Design is fine, all Nokia needs is a more powerful flagship and more apps.. In addition Microsoft should take more advantage Xbox live mobile. How about some exclusive Orignal Xbox games for WP? I think that would sale some phones but, the hardware needs to be powerful to handle cool stuff that would attract new customers who are going with other devices. Hopefully the Lumia 920 can deliver or at least hold Nokia over until something does.

33. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

u seen the samsung specs of ATIV well nokia wont have issues with those heavy specs

11. kunyuk

Posts: 56; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

And wp.

13. 09wbd03516

Posts: 140; Member since: May 30, 2012

wp is fine but make more os would be better

23. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

The rate at which Nokia is losing cash seems much greater than what it is expected to earn. This is presuming Windows Phone's market share might still increase but at snail's pace. What will it be? 4.5% next year? iPhone and Android tasted success really rapidly bcoz they had something different and desirable to offer. WP offers simplicity and elegance perhaps, but nothing groundbreaking in terms of features....

28. dr_fajardo12

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

geek's consumers are like 5% of the market, nokia needs a cellphone that earns girls, moms, kids hearths. nokia needs a beutifull designs, good camera, good games and nice looking UI.

43. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

maybe geeks are 5% but this geeks have children moms wifes aunts and so on and from 5% it can grow to 50% influence on the market

30. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The problem with staking your fortune to MS is that you become dependent on MS for your survival. WP was a work-in-progress compared to Android through WP7.8. Only iDevice fans will accept an OS that is dated before the handset ships. The problem for Nokia this time around is that the Lumia handsets with WP8 on them won't be able to sell until WP starts to ship, which is when - late October, 2012? Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple is going to call it) will have been selling for a month (September 21 is supposed to be the ship date).

2. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2349; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Lets hope so..cause samsung's w8 phone. Is looking very sharp..... although I want too see, what's all this "pureview" about :)

3. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Is there a point we stop rehashing the obvious? Yes, Nokia has nose dived. Yes Nokia is all in on an as yet unproven OS worldwide. Yes, WP 8 is the end game for Nokia. They were pointing to WP 8 even before they released their WP 7 devices. No one on Phone Arena doesn't know this, unless you registered recently or are waiting on thee braille version of the web site. There is still the Nokia name, worlwide distrubution, and Microsoft's backing going for it. The first Lumina devices were very well received. Nokia will survive if these devices launch well, they continue to grow in China, they convert even half of their fan base, and they follow up in 2013 with other devices that give a little flair and fun. At this point it is just seeming to be cheap thrill writing. If Nokia fails, then that is news. If they succeed, that will be better news. This story no longer news.

6. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Dang it... *the braille version* *Lumia*, not Lumina. PA, Why can't we edit our posts? You guys can edit your articles. No fair.

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