What is going on in Nokia smartphones?
As you probably know, three years ago, Microsft has bought Nokia smartphones division for approximately 7 billion dollars. We have seen a few Nokia smartphones since that moment under the Lumia branding and they were not anywhere near success and fame that Nokia mobile phones used to have in the 2000s. Is Nokia ready to deliver some new smartphones to do the world in 2016? Let’s find out.
On the other hand, Windows Mobile failed to be a big celebrity as it supposed to. Market share for this platform in 2016 is below 2% and this is very low, especially if we compare it to strong competitors such as iOS and Android. The plan to shake up the smartphone market with premium Nokia smartphones wasn’t as successful as Microsoft hoped.
Things haven’t been easy for Nokia either. Back in 2012, Nokia sold 20-25m units, and to break even 50m units had to be sold. Nokia was ahead of Blackberry in some markets, but Android and iPhone pressed their devices at the bottom of the market. In that time, Android has sold around 450m units and iPhone sold 143m. The company was struggling and running out of cash, so Microsft decided to help. The main reason for this decision was to continue the distribution of Windows based smartphones. By purchasing Nokia, Microsoft prevented the only big Windows Phone OEM from exiting the market.
After selling the smartphone division, Nokia continued to live, focused on three businesses: network infrastructure software, mapping and location intelligence (HERE), and advanced technology development and licensing.
Are Nokia smartphones still in business?
Nokia was the leading mobile device manufacturer in early 2000’s. It was a synonym for a cell phone. After a some time spent searching for a new phone that you want to buy you we would probably all end up with one of the Nokia models, right? Not to mention my excitement when I first got my brand new 3310. Ah, those were the days!
What Apple (one of the best smartphone manufacturer in the world) has now, Nokia had a half decade ago: a combination of the best camera with the best building materials. Exactly what iPhones have today, dressed in aluminium and with an outstanding camera. This is what Nokia N8 had in 2010. Nokia N8 was ready to be launched in early 2010, and if it were released it would have been one of the first smartphones with 720p video recording. Unfortunately, delays of the new Symbian version pushed the release forward to September, and it continued, so we have seen Nokia N8 too late.
The bottleneck of Nokia smartphones was the operating system. Anssi Vanjoki was in charge in Nokia smartphones division after Nokia’s CEO stepped down in 2010. Vanjoki dismissed the idea of jumping to Android as a short-term solution. “That was no better then”, as he said “peeing in your pants for warmth in the winter.” Eventually, Nokia was forced into making a switch from Sybian devices and chose Microsofts Windows Phone as the platform for the future Nokia smartphones. Sadly, after a lot of struggle, Nokia ended up their mobile era.
Can we expect to see new Nokia smartphones in future?
Not long after selling their smartphone division to Microsoft, Nokia announced their Android-based tablet! Nokia N1 was released in January 2015 and had tremendous success. The first batch selling 20,000 devices sold in just 4 minutes!
Rajeev Suri, the Nokia CEO, seems to give up on saying that his company will not return to the smartphone market. Even if he had a few denials last year, Suri now says the company is planning on putting its name on new smartphones starting 2016. There is one problem with this scheme. Nokia won’t be the one producing the handsets. The company will only design the devices and use their name on them. The task of building the devices will be fulfilled by other suitable partners that Suri is hoping to find.
Nokia smartphones still have significant brand recognition on the market, and if we add nostalgia to the mix, they could make quite a comeback. And we could even accept smartphones that are not actually made by Nokia, as long as they deliver quality. Foxconn, it the licensee for the N1 tablet, could be an attractive choice.
We should not be expecting new Nokia smartphones before the second half of this year because terms of the deal with Microsoft doesn’t allow Nokia to be the one producing and branding smartphones. Since the N1 tablet runs on Android 5.0, we assume and hope that future Nokia-branded smartphones will go with Android as well. And we can’t wait to see them!