Beating Microsoft partner Nokia to the punch, Korean handset giant Samsung has unveiled the first Windows Phone 8 (WP8) handset. The ATIV S handset was showcased at the IFA 2012 consumer electronics trade show in Berlin. It has a 4.8in display and runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor.
It’s that time of year again readers: Back to school. New shoes; new backpack; new Windows Phone 8 device?
Yep, they’re finally here – – those first Windows Phone 8 handsets, launched in that awkward window between the end of August and the annual Apple product frenzy that takes place in early September. As if Windows Phone champion Nokia didn’t already have enough to worry about, handset king Samsung delivered the Finn a ringing slap across the face by announcing its own WP8 unit six days earlier.
In an effort to consolidate its position as the third biggest player in the smartphone ecosystem, Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia has unveiled two devices running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform.The move comes less than a week after Samsung pipped Nokia to the post with a view of the first Windows Phone 8 device to be seen.
The decline of the once largest handset manufacturer in the world, Nokia, is showing little sign of abating as the firm posted a net loss of €1.41bn in the second quarter quarter of 2012. The loss is almost four times as much as that made by the Finnish firm in the same quarter a year earlier (€368m loss). The firm also saw a 19 per cent year-on-year drop in net sales, down to €7.54bn from €9.28bn in 2Q11.
Perseverance is the word which comes to mind following on from the release of Nokia’s 2Q12 results, and subsequent results call. Overall shipments marginally rose by one per cent to 83.7 million quarter-on-quarter, nothing like the huge drop in shipments seen from 4Q11 to 1Q12. Feature phones have performed better than perhaps expected, with shipments actually up quarter-on-quarter by four per cent to 73.5 million. Smartphone shipments were down by 14 per cent quarter-on-quarter, and although Lumia shipments hit a high of four million units, Nokia has still not plugged the gap in sales left by former Symbian devices. ASP for smartphones increased quarter-on-quarter by six per cent to €151, while the overall ASP decreased by six per cent owning to a decline in ASP for feature phones.
Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia will shut down two of its four regional sales offices in China as part of its restructuring plans. The news comes in the same week that the firm has slashed the price of its flagship Lumia handset, and the news does not bode well for the company’s 2Q12 earnings announcement, due to be held on Thursday.
A group of ex-Nokia executives has set up a start-up firm aiming to design, develop and sell MeeGo based smartphones. MeeGo is a free Linux-based mobile operating system project that was first announced at Mobile World Congress 2010 by Intel and Nokia. It was designed to go toe to toe with Android and iOS in the top end smartphone space.
Consumers have shown that they are willing to pay a premium for a smartphone if the device is good enough. But they have not been enticed by low-cost smartphones, as it seems that many consumers in developed markets view their smartphone as both a crucial part of their lives and a status symbol. And at the end of the day, if they’re stuck with a phone for a 24-month contract, they want a good one.
Microsoft has unveiled its latest operating system for mobile handsets, Windows Phone 8. The announcement was made in the same week as the firm launched its Surface tablet device, which runs on the Windows 8 operating system for PCs and tablets.
Scalado sounds like the name of a character from Goodfellas, the film based on the life of mobster-turned-informant Henry Hill, who died this week. Tony “Eraser” Scalado. If you want someone rubbed out, he’s the man. In fact, Scalado is a Swedish imaging company whose technology can be found in the handsets of all of the top five vendors.
Finnish handset vendor Nokia has announced sweeping changes among its top ranks and pledged to cut a further 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013 as it adjusts the reality of life as a mid-table vendor. The firm also said that it will drop the prices of its Lumia smartphone range in a bid to stimulate more enthusiasm from consumers, and announced plans to licence its mapping technology to other industries.
As the quest for talent and intellectual property continues apace, Nokia on Thursday picked up Sweden-based imaging specialist Scalado, securing itself a royalty revenue stream from the editing, enhancing, viewing and sending of images on mobile devices.
Korean vendor Samsung been crowned as the number one handset vendor, displacing Nokia after its 14-year reign.
Historically, there is evidence that Norse warriors were sometimes buried or sent off in a burning ship with a number of slave girls to accompany them to Valhalla. But to be fair to the Scandinavians, human sacrifice has never really been their thing, at least not recently. Still, when you’re a public company, rather than an invading tribe, sometimes these sacrifices have to be made — to appease the Gods of the stock market.
Nokia’s first-quarter performance reveals that it is suffering in the smartphone space, which is nothing new. Perhaps more worryingly for the firm, it now faces the grim reality that its dominance in the feature phone space is also in serious peril.