Desperate to be a player in the surging smartphone market, Nokia, in partnership with Microsoft, has had a last throw of the dice in an attempt to get back into the phone game and the market is not impressed.Minutes after a much heralded New York press conference where Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Windows OS based smartphones, shares in the struggling Finnish phone Company plunged 16%.
Present at the event was Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer who was light on Windows 8 details; instead he chose to hold off on information until the official launch of the new Microsoft OS which is scheduled for October 26th.
During the past six months Nokia has spent millions spruiking their Lumia smartphones only to see consumers ignore the devices in favour of an Android or Apple iPhone.
Ironically Nokia spent much of their time at last night’s event talking about the phone’s camera features; a strategy which has failed in the past for the European Company.
18 months ago when SmartHouse challenged Nokia management in Australia to explain why camera features in their N8 smartphone were more important than communication needs, the Company chose to ignore us claiming that our questions were “an insult to the intelligence of Nokia management”.
The Nokia phone which had a 12 megapixel camera was a dismal failure according to carrier executives in Australia.
At last night’s event, Nokia mentioned features such as Near Field Communications and wireless charging almost in passing according to AFP, who went on to claim the strategy to push the camera features of the new smartphones as being a “foolish strategy considering Nokia’s tendency previous strategy to focus on camera features hasn’t helped it make any serious ground on Apple and Android”.
While some journalists have fallen in love with the Nokia Lumia Windows based phones, buyers have shunned the devices. Gartner research shows that the Windows Phone operating system ran on less than 3% of smartphones sold in the second quarter.
The decline in Nokia’s share value stared even before Chief Executive Stephen Elop’s morning presentation for the new Lumia 920 and 820 had finished as analysts were not impressed with what he had to say.
Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, attributed the drop to worries about the launch of the new devices, which will likely go up against a new iPhone from Apple as well as new devices powered by the Google Android operating system.
The Lumia 920 will have an eight-megapixel camera similar to the iPhone 4S, but it will have a Carl Zeiss lens. Nokia claims that the new phones have brighter, more colourful screen presentations and that their Smart Shoot camera feature allows users to remove unwanted photo content, and its image-stabilization produces sharper, more colourful images and video in low light.
The 920 has a dual processor Snapdragon s4 chip from Qualcomm as well as what is described as a Pure Motion HD display and wireless battery charging.
The move by Nokia to release their new models ahead of the Windows 8 OS which powers the new devices was made according to analysts because of Apple’s pending launch of a new iPhone 5 on September 12th.
Nokia also faces stiff competition from the likes of Samsung and HTC who, in the wake of Apple’s big patent-suit win over Samsung, are now moving to invest more heavily in Windows devices in order to hedge their bets against legal attacks from Apple.