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Nokia reports loss in face of stiff competition

By Mikael Ricknas
April 19, 2012 10:45 AM ET

While the company has differentiated its existing products with design and unique apps, there is so much more it can and should do, according to Elop.

"We are just getting started with products that are great in the market right now, but we think we can do a lot better than that," said Elop.

In today's smartphone market, the availability of apps is very important, and here Windows Phone has been lagging the competition. But that is starting to change.

"We will soon have two-thirds of the top 100 applications from competing ecosystems on the Windows Phone Marketplace, and that continues to grow," said Elop.

To change its fortunes, Nokia is also to planning to strengthen the feature-phone line-up based on Series 40 during the second quarter.

"I think we need to do a better job with the feature-phone business," said Elop. That includes launching full touch products, he said.

Nokia also plans to increase savings in the Devices & Services unit, will sell more assets and share "further details as quickly as possible," it said.

At this point, it doesn't make much sense for Nokia to do anything more with Symbian, according to Roberta Cozza, principal analyst with Gartner.

"Nokia is not retaining customers with Symbian, as it thought it could do by making improvements. Instead Nokia should focus its resources on Series 40," said Cozza.

Even then, it will have a gap in its portfolio between the feature phones and the cheapest Windows Phones. So Nokia needs to evolve Series 40 and also continue to push down the cost of Windows Phone, she said.

"But all of this is going to take time," said Cozza.

During the conference call, Elop was asked about theexistence of a new platform that will take Series 40's place. But he declined to comment.

However, the acquisition of Smarterphone will help make Nokia's feature phones more competitive, according to Elop.

The success of product launches in the U.S. and China are key to a more rosy future for the Lumia family because the size of those two markets, according to Pete Cunningham, principal analyst at Canalys, who added that Nokia also needs to start shipping the Lumia 610 as soon as possible.

The Lumia 610 will go on sale first in the Philippines in the final week of April, and in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam in the following weeks, Nokia said on Thursday.

Nokia now has a clear sense of urgency to move its strategy forward even faster, it said.

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Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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