Carriers To Cuddle Up To Nokia In War With Apple

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Phone carriers who claim that they have been “screwed” by Apple over terms for the sale of their iPhone are set to start cuddling up to Nokia who are set to take on Apple say insiders after the Finnish company announced new netbooks, smart phones and an Internet tablet.

One Telstra executive said recently that dealing with Apple was difficult. “We make very little money and they screw us on terms. Yes the phone is popular, but we make very little on data because it has Wi Fi and our interface for BigPond and Telstra services is not the opening menu that a user sees”.

Earlier this week Nokia, who account for 37% of global mobile-phone sales compared to Apple’s 2% share, launched several new products that will see them compete head on with Apple.


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Nokia claim that they aim to capitalise on increased demand for notebooks and netbooks and that they are a logical choice to partner with phone carriers.  

In announcing their new netbook Nokia pointed out Gartner research that showed that the market for PC netbooks grew 27% in the second quarter.

Demand for for mobile handsets fell 6% over the same period.

Gartner says Apple’s share of the smartphone market soared to 13% from 3% in the second quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, while Nokia’s slipped to 45% from 47%.

 

Nokia Chief Executive Officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo claims that the phone market is changing from a focus on hardware to services as games, music, and navigation. “It’s not simply fighting against your competitors like Apple, it’s claiming new ground. It’s claiming no-man’s land,” Kallasvuo told BusinessWeek.

More major announcements are expected on Sept. 2-3, when Nokia hold their annual Nokia World event. “We are on the attack,” says Nokia Executive Vice-President Anssi Vanjoki, who oversees global sales. “We had a more peaceful moment, and now we are really aggressive.”

In the PC market Nokia has announced the Booklet 3G netbook which comes with 12 hours of battery life and the ability to connect to broadband mobile networks via a built in 3G Sim card.

BusinessWeek said that by launching the Booklet 3G six months or so before Apple’s expected offering, Nokia has a chance to exploit its connections with telecom operators and redefine the market. “When Apple announces its first version, Nokia could announce a second version,” says N. Venkat Venkatraman, a professor at Boston University who follows the technology industry. Nokia still must convince sceptics that the Booklet can set itself apart in the already crowded netbook field, much less dazzle users in comparison with Apple’s forthcoming product. “It’s a very interesting introduction, but there are a lot of big questions,” says Bob O’Donnell, a vice-president at market watcher IDC.

 

Nokia is also positioning itself as something of the anti-Apple in its approach to software developers. In contrast with its American rival, who maintains tight control over the software in its products, Nokia has begun to encourage users and developers to fool around with its operating systems. “When one person or one entity controls all the elements, it limits innovation,” says Executive Vice-PresidentVanjoki, in a jab at Apple. “History shows that competitors who behave this way never make it to the big leagues in terms of how many people are using their products globally.”

 

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