Nokia’s Fight


Chances are you have had at least one Nokia phone in your life if you were born sometime before 1990. Fast forward to today, it’s probably a Samsung, Motorola, HTC, RIM or Apple (smartphone). Even if it is from some other brand, I can bet that it is not a Nokia. Why? What happened? Nokia dominates the cellphone market around the world. Except the USA.

Nokia has noticed over the past few years their iron grip isn’t as strong as it was. It is becoming obvious that they are starting to panic. Android the Monster has invaded every land and the beloved iPhone has the minds and hearts of many especially here in the States. Blackberry still has a loyal user base and will not go down without a fight. Microsoft is making what looks to be a come back reminiscent of Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA. Palm has the highly respected WebOS. Where is Nokia? The Big 4 carriers in the U.S. do not carry many if any Nokia phones. The Makers of all the top operating systems are North American companies. The question is: Can you be a dominate force if you have little to no presence in the U.S.?

Nokia’s Market share is dwindling because the competition is better, to put it quite frankly. Even with the release of the new Devices such as the N8, C6 and N9 which look promising, no one will buy them here. Especially at unlocked prices which can be triple the price of something that is better, provided it is bought at the subsidized price from one of the major carriers.

“People tell me: ‘Oh yes, I remember my Nokia device. It was very reliable and very good. I haven’t bought one in a while,”’ Ms. McDowell said. “So I think the opportunity for re-entry is there.”-Mary T. McDowell from Nokia

So they do understand that they are as out of it as Microsoft. Both are looking to get back in the ring. But that’s not possible without the carriers. That is why Nokia has been running an application development contest with the award of 10 million dollars for the top apps! The applications that are developed are to be made specifically for the N8. AT&T are partnered with them in the contest.

“Nokia desperately needs a carrier partner if it wants a successful smartphone in the U.S. and AT&T will soon need some new hot handsets to counteract the likelihood that it will lose its iPhone exclusivity. However, the U.S. market doesn’t generally support the unsubsidized, full-price model found outside of the U.S. so at $549, the N8 won’t attract big sales numbers.” -GigaOm

Will AT&T carry the N8? Will Developers build applications for Symbian ^3, or are they too busy swimming in iPhone and Android money? If AT&T has this phone available, would you consider it?

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • will chambers October 7, 2010, 12:23 pm


  • jaamgans October 7, 2010, 1:23 pm

    No – they need to totally redesign Symbian first – its far too clunky for touch use as was designed for button use.

    • Jeff Hollaway October 7, 2010, 1:29 pm

      They are looking to use Meego on the newer handsets slated for next year but i say if Microsoft was late to the party, Nokia might as well not even show up. But I could be wrong.

  • Mario García October 7, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I would consider this phone if ATT didn’t cripple it or fill it with crapware like they did the E71x. One of the reasons I loved the iPhone is because Apple didn’t allow any “carrier customizations”, which really devalue the device.

  • Mario García October 7, 2010, 1:28 pm

    @jaamgans they did redesign Symbian for touch. This is not the same old Symbian from the N97 or 5800 (touch UI was very clunky on these devices). It is called Symbian^3 and it works really well.

  • cybergoose October 7, 2010, 4:38 pm

    Nokia started panicking years ago. Their smartphones suck because Symbian sucks. They keep threatening Finland with relocating, which they will do eventually anyway, so good, go. They’ve wasted millions essentially trying to copy Apple. WTF??

    They’d have to pull out something special and bug free to compete with Andriod and iOS. Compete, not copy.

  • Mechanimorph October 8, 2010, 3:14 am

    The Phone bloggers are just recycling their “Microsoft Phones are doomed” posts and replacing “Microsoft” with “Nokia”.

    Microsoft took some time and whipped up a new generation PhoneOS which is being released in a few days.

    Now we need another company for bloggers to aim at and provide unsolicited advice to, in order to save those poor Finnish buggers from themselves 😉

    • Jeff Hollaway October 8, 2010, 9:56 am

      Nokia isn’t doomed. They are just in a really, really, really bad situation. No Carrier support in the U.S. is a bad position to be in if you are trying make an impact. U.S. Holds influence over the entire market. Symbian is not liked very much here. Microsoft looks to be coming back with a Bang. I think it will do fairly well. I can’t wait to see what happens…

  • Ronald October 8, 2010, 6:40 am

    Ah, those were the days … any of you remember EPOC (ancestor of Symbian)?
    What great machines those PSION-handhelds (running EPOC) were! If only they’d have put a color screen and a GSM/GPRS-chip in one of those machines!

    For me a good calendar is very important (to manage my busy life at work & at home). The calendar on my Nokia E90 is OK, but the agenda on the PSION 3c was the best I’ve ever seen … and that’s since 1996. 8-/
    Even Apple can’t make a decent agenda for their iPhone. 🙁

    I’m still holding on to my old Nokia E90 … I’m on my second battery now, but the phone is literally faling apart now.

    I do hope Nokia will come with a proper replacement for my E90 communicator soon enough.

  • James D Wages October 8, 2010, 10:51 am

    Jeff, I liked your article, but you would have been more correct to have stated, “Except the US and Japan.” I’ve lived in Japan over 16 years and I’ve not seen anyone with a Nokia phone. Nokia has had a very hard time here:

    I myself have never owned a Nokia phone either, nor have I wanted to.

    • Jeff Hollaway October 8, 2010, 10:54 am

      @ James D
      That’s a good point. Japan is a whole other ball game when it comes to cellphones!

  • Ray Mackey October 8, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Nokia may not be at the top of their game when it comes to all singing, all dancing smartphones (which I do like !!), but the do make a superb “Phone”…..i.e one that makes and receives calls very very well. I sometimes think people overlook this basic aspect of what the phone should do. The iPhone is a terrible “Phone”, as are a lot of other top-end devices, but if you get something like a Nokia E72, you have a super phone, a decent calendar manager, an OK corporate email device and a battery that just keeps on giving….

  • Adam Scinto October 8, 2010, 7:21 pm

    Great article Jeff! I’ve been thinking about Nokia often with the N8 and N9 which look like stunning devices from a hardware perspective but it’s the software that lets us down.

    They need focus on the software side of the house.

  • anson October 10, 2010, 3:59 pm

    i would consider Nokia/the n8 if it ran android. BUT as the Nokia CEO has stated multiple times… nokia will never adopt android.


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