Will Nokia Find its Niche in the Smartphone Market?

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Analysts at Argus Research took stock of this proposal and found it encouraging; the firm raised its recommendation on Nokia’s shares from Hold to Buy and increased the price target to $6 dollars. The stock closed on Tuesday at $3.57.

Nokia also thinks it can fend off BlackBerry. Company executives have said, according to Bloomberg, that with its partnership with Microsoft it can win over business users, a segment that was once BlackBerry’s stronghold. Nokia’s newest smartphones, including the two Lumia phones introduced this week, come with Microsoft’s Excel, Word, and PowerPoint pre-loaded and run on the company’s mobile operating system.

“The importance of winning the business audience on a scale of 1 to 10 is easily an 11,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas told Bloomberg. Business customers are an important source of growth. A large number of corporate accounts carry a lot of clout when wireless carriers decide what handsets to offer; a single account can bring thousands of individual users to a carrier’s service, which for the carrier means more users who typically favor expensive devices and rack up higher phone bills. But even this niche market is full of competitors.

Together, Apple’s iOS and Android hold a 78 percent share of that market, and it would be imprudent to dismiss BlackBerry. While the company has been hit by a slew of ratings downgrades and its stock price has slide correspondingly, the company’s $199 touch-screen Z10, which will not go on sale in the United States until mid-March, has been described by Bloomberg’s Rich Jaroslovsky as “handsome, intuitive to use and a whiz at multitasking.”

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