updated 11:45 am EST, Mon January 4, 2010
Nokia claims new hardware and services key
Nokia will catch up to and hopefully beat Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry within the next year, its mobile division chief Rick Simonson said in an interview published today. He acknowledges that a gap has existed that has led to a loss in market share but is confident when telling the India Times that the losses have stabilized and that Nokia is actually recovering quickly. He points out that sales of Eseries phones like the E75 are three times larger than for the BlackBerry and that both it and the iPhone are relatively narrow focus devices where Nokia's broader focus could help it win.
"By 2011, our efforts will start producing results, as we will be at par with Apple and RIM in smartphones," Simonson claims. "Not only [will] we draw level with them, we will also win the war because, in addition to e-mail, we will be adding content, chat, music, entertainment and several other features, which will soon become very critical for success of any company in this space."
He also dismisses talk that the deficit in apps versus the iPhone is an issue and argues that Nokia's sheer scale, as well as its use of the multi-vendor Symbian platform, should convince developers to write for its phones. App downloads so far sit at about two million per day and put it behind only Apple.
The responses while important nonetheless underscore a deficit in Nokia's performance. Although still the largest single smartphone maker, it has repeatedly lost share to two of its newest competitors and is behind Apple in apps despite the iPhone occupying only a small fraction of the smartphone market versus Nokia's 200 million. Critics have also observed that key Nokia services like the unified Ovi Store and Comes With Music have failed to gain ground while most of Nokia's touchscreen phones outside of the 5800 XpressMusic have had lackluster sales.
Most of Nokia's hopes are placed on Symbian^3, which should finally give it multi-touch and an interface built more for touchscreens from the start.