Nokia Fails to Impress Investors in Apple’s Shadow
On Wednesday, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) unveiled two smartphones that are designed to run Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) latest operating system. The new units are widely considered as Nokia’s final chance to capture a significant portion of the smartphone market from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). However, judging by the initial reaction of investors, the company fell flat on all measures.
At a press event in New York, Nokia introduced the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. Both units use the Windows Phone 8 operating system and feature Nokia’s mapping and location services. The 920 is the flagship product, featuring a 4.5 inch Gorilla Glass curved display. It will also have an eight-megapixel camera similar to Apple’s iPhone 4S, but will have a Carl Zeiss lens and image stabilization. “The Lumia 920 camera captures five to ten times more light than other smartphones,” said Jo Harlow, Nokia’s executive vice president. The Lumia 920 will also feature wireless battery charging. This option is also available for the 820, but only as an add-on.
Despite the new smartphone additions, shares of Nokia plunged nearly 16 percent to close at $2.38, its largest one day decline since June. Year-to-date, shares have fallen 50 percent. Many analysts were disappointed with the lack of information at the press event. Nokia failed to show off all the features of the new smartphones, and did not provide any information about pricing or carrier partners.
Jennifer Fritzsche from Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) explains, “Nokia introduced two new WIN8 smartphones (the 920 and 820) this morning, as expected, but the stock is trading off meaningfully on the lack of any positive surprises, carrier announcements or specific launch dates. We had expected that Nokia would announce AT&T (NYSE:T) as the exclusive launch partner for the 920 and likely T-Mobile and T as partners for the 820, but NOK provided no color on carrier partners. In terms of timing and pricing, Nokia only indicated that the phones are expected in select markets later this year. Given the lack of carrier partner announcements, indefinite timing, and no unexpected product announcements, we view today’s event as a disappointment.”
Nokia also declined to announce a release date for the Lumia 920 and 820, raising concerns that the smartphones would not be available in time for the holiday shopping season. Meanwhile, the Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 is expected to hit stores later this month.
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