It has been fashionable to paint Microsoft as laggards in the race for the world’s mobile users. However, two important developments this month could result in Windows being the dominant technology ecosystem in the developing and emerging markets.
The most significant was Microsoft’s launch of a $20 Nokia phone targeted squarely at aspirant consumers in the developing world. The new product has an affordable price tag and features ideally suited to places with unreliable power and limited connectivity such as a month-battery life and a flashlight. Read more
Nokia, the Finnish telecoms group, asked the Delhi High Court on Thursday to release factory assets frozen by tax authorities this year, as it prepares to hand its mobile devices unit to Microsoft.
Back in September Microsoft announced plans to buy the loss-making business from cash-strapped Nokia for €5.4bn. But in India, the deal faces a small complication: a $321m tax dispute in which Nokia’s local assets were frozen. Bank accounts have subsequently been released but fixed assets – including a factory in Chennai – remain stuck in limbo. Read more
Apple and Nokia’s latest quarterly results always throw up something interesting – usually in different directions, as the Finnish phonemaker declines and the US tech giant forges on.
So here’s one nugget from the recent reports: in revenue terms year-on-year, Apple added the equivalent of Nokia’s entire China services and devices business in just one quarter. Read more
Not long ago, the future for Nokia looked merely bleak. In developed markets, Apple and others were outselling the Finnish company with advanced smartphones, leaving Nokia to play catch-up. In emerging markets, Nokia clung on to its market by selling so-called feature phones – simpler, slimmed down smartphones.
Then things got bleaker. With the advent of cheaper handsets running Android, customers in emerging markets began to buy advanced smartphones, too – and not Nokia ones. So, can Microsoft’s €5.4bn purchase of Nokia’s phone business pay off – and how important are emerging markets? Read more
While many multinationals see emerging markets as the future, Nokia might prefer to look elsewhere.
The Finnish phonemaker’s full year results are, on balance, grim. Any positives that can be taken out are mainly in the US. The negatives: Asia, LatAm and, especially, China. Read more
It’s hard to know which was worse: Nokia’s third quarter overall, or its results in China. Let’s say… China.
Why? Well, the Finnish mobile company has made a big effort in the country, but it’s Q3 results show that it’s far from paying off. Read more
With the shock of the Apple-Samsung verdict still reverberating around the smartphone world, here comes a sharp reminder of the fact while these two giants may have their problems, life is much harder for their competitors.
Shares in Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) plunged on Tuesday after it reported a record first-half net loss. The company, the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision, is only one chunk of the Taiwanese parent group’s empire. It’s not the bit that works for Apple: FIH’s customers are Apple’s hard-pressed rivals, led by Nokia. Enough said. Read more
For Nokia, any glimmer of hope is good news. The Finnish phonemaker and networks company on Thursday announced its Q2 results. Despite sales falling 19 per cent and a loss of €826m, its shares were up 14 per cent at one point.
So where’s the positive news coming from? Not China, certainly – yet. Despite high hopes for the country, it was the worst performing region by net sales. Read more
If last week’s chief executives travel plans were anything to go by, mobile phone makers are getting serious about China.
So which models are selling in China and which way is the market going? Chart of the week takes a look. Read more
If proof were needed of the importance of China to mobile phone makers, follow the chief executives. Both Apple’s Tim Cook and Nokia’s Stephen Elop have been in the country in the last few days – Cook to put Apple’s case in trademark disputes, Elop to launch a new smartphone.
Both companies need China – but they are coming from very different positions. Read more
Nokia, which has had its fair share of troubles in developed markets, plans to close its mobile money business in India. The financial service allowed user to pay bills, transfer money and make purchases using their mobile phones.
“The mobile financial services business is not core to Nokia so we plan to exit the business,” a spokesman for the company told Reuters. While it may not be core to Nokia – which only launched nationwide services late last year – analysts said the business has incredible scope for growth because it bridges the gap left by India’s massive dearth of banking infrastructure. Read more
For a company that started out selling rubber boots, Nokia is used to change. The announcement on Thursday that it is closing its factory in Cluj, Romania, with the loss of over 2,000 jobs, and is reviewing its operations in Hungary and Mexico, reminds us that some changes are driven more by necessity than choice. Read more