New Smartphones Aren’t Enough to Resurrect Nokia Market Share

Remember when everyone you knew had a Nokia flip phone? Nokia wants those days to return, but with smartphones. It unveiled three new smartphones at Nokia World London today. PCWorld has more on Nokia’s newest hopefuls:

Nokia’s new devices include the business-focused Nokia E7, the consumer-oriented C7 and a revised version of the Nokia C6. All three devices feature Symbian^3 OS, the latest iteration of Nokia’s smartphone OS first introduced this year on the Nokia N8.

The Nokia E7 features a 4-inch widescreen AMOLED 640-by-360 resolution capacitive touch display, and a slideout keyboard…16GB onboard memory; 256MB RAM; an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p high-definition video capture; Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity; HDMI out and a micro USB 2.0 port. Nokia claims the device will provide nine hours of talk time over GSM networks, and five hours over WCDMA…the E7’s European suggested retail price is about $637.

The social-networking focused C7 comes with Facebook, Twitter and Webmail integration on the device’s home screen. The C7’s display is a 3.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a 640-by-360 resolution. The device also has a thin profile at 0.41 inches, slightly larger than the iPhone 4’s 0.37-inch profile. (It will cost around) $430 in Europe.

The smallest of the bunch, the Nokia C6 features a 3.2-inch…touch widescreen with a 640-by-360 resolution…front-facing camera for video calling, and a rear-facing camera with 8 megapixels, dual LED flash, 720p video capture and 2X digital zoom. The smartphone has a miniscule 340 MB internal storage, but includes microSD card support for another 32GB. Other features include GPS, 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity; FM stereo radio; and a 3.5mm A/V connector. Nokia claims the C6 has 11.5 hours of talk time over GSM networks. The C6…will sell for about $335 in Europe.

Nokia will also release the N8. From Ars Technica:

(Nokia VP and new phone presenter Anssi) Vanjoki described the Nokia N8 as a breakthrough multimedia device with a top-notch camera. It has a 12MP sensor, Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash, and a mechanical shutter. Although he acknowledges that it still can’t rival a dedicated digital camera, he contends that the N8 has a better camera than any other smartphone. To demonstrate its efficacy, he showed a series of impressive photos that were taken on the device.

The new Nokia lineup doesn’t sound that much better than anything already on the market. There’s not enough innovation in the lineup to lure consumers away from their iPhones and Droids. So what will Nokia compete on with these new phones? Price? According to Bloomberg,

Nokia said in July that the operating margin in devices could fall as low as 7 percent in the third quarter as it prepared to release the N8. The margin was 12.5 percent last year and 18.2 percent in 2008. In July, Nokia posted a 40 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Where will Nokia get the volume from to make up for a low-priced phone, if they do choose that strategy? With their current batch of underwhelming devices, I don’t know how Nokia will find its desired niche in the smartphone market.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.