Will Nokia Find its Niche in the Smartphone Market?
Not just anyone can be Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and that has been a tough pill for many other smartphone manufacturers and mobile operating system designers to swallow. Since the iPhone was first launched in 2007, the device’s general design pretty much defined what a modern smartphone is. On the software side, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system has captured close to 88 percent of the worldwide platform market.
To compete with these giants, manufacturers like Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) want to carve out new niches for themselves, but unseating the Google-Apple duopoly will be no easy task. Nokia is betting that its partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will help its line of smartphones capture a larger share of the business market. Along with that plan, the Finland-based company is expanding further into the low-priced basic cellphone market to boost sales.
Together, these two avenues are where Nokia believes it can launch its comeback. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, Nokia unveiled two new low-priced basic cellphones and two lower-priced versions of its flagship Lumia Windows smartphone. These devices are aimed at helping the company expand its position in the market — or at least maintain its position as the second-largest maker of cellphones worldwide behind Samsung (SSNLF.PK) — and fend of challenges coming from Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE (ZTCOF.PK).
According to The New York Times, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said the new, lower-priced Lumia handsets allow the company to sell a full range of smartphones, a component it had been previously lacking. “These are less expensive devices, but they will move in much larger volumes,” said Elop, a former Microsoft executive…