Can Nokia Tolerate A Taste of its Own Medicine?
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By now everyone knows about the rough patch Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is going through and this is probably the toughest time this Finnish smartphone manufacturer has ever faced. After taking a huge beating from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android-powered smartphone from Samsung, Nokia turned towards Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) with a hope to reclaim its lost glory. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was Nokia’s medicine to come out of its ill health. Let’s take a look at how well this medicine is working.
The Sour Taste of Windows Phone 7 OS
Nokia was all set the take on the competition with its latest range of Nokia Lumia handsets, powered by Windows Phone 7 OS until recently when Microsoft made an announcement mentioning the launch of its latest edition of mobile OS – Windows Phone 8. The software tycoon is ready to roll-out its newest version of smartphone OS in the fall and sad part about the news is, this new OS will not be available to the existing range of Nokia Lumia handsets. Ouch! Little did Nokia know that its own medicine would taste so sour!
Boom!! Baam!! Bang!!
Nokia has already shipped more than 2 million Lumia handsets worldwide. With the announcement of the new OS not being available to the current Lumia handsets, the consumers are sure to put a halt on their purchase decisions. They will like to wait and get the taste of the latest. In such a situation, Nokia is about to take another blow and this time the blow comes from its own medicine. However, the only relief is that Microsoft is going to provide the existing Lumia users with a decent upgrade – Windows Phone 7.8. This update will include a lot of Windows Phone 8 features such as improved camera function among many. Despite the upgrade, existing Lumia users will have reasons to complain as they won’t get to enjoy the apps built for Windows Phone 8 on their older Windows Mobile platform, though Windows 8 will support all Windows 7 apps.
But, why is the new OS not available to the existing Lumia handsets? Well, the issue is of hardware compatibility. The Lumia range of handsets does not meet up to the specifications required to run the new Windows OS and it is also not possible for Nokia to update the hardware configuration for the handsets. Never the less, Nokia is doing its best to make the Windows 8 “feel” available to the existing Lumia users as far as possible.
More reasons for Nokia to feel scared
And now, Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to unveil the ‘King of all problems’ – Microsoft’s new Windows 8 will also be available to other rival phone makers such as Samsung and HTC. Double Ouch! Samsung, the currently market leader with a 29% worldwide share, is now surely going to be able to maintain its dominance in the market and HTC, which is in the fifth position with a 5% worldwide market share, will definitely have a better chance is moving up the ladder. With the new Windows OS being available to these players, the competitive advantage Nokia was banking on is gone. All this is surely to push back Nokia’s dream to recover in the coming few months. For all we know, this might act as the final blow to take down Nokia.
As competition stiffens, all the players are gearing up for the future. Apple’s latest innovation ‘Siri’, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and HTC One are surely to pose as additional threats to the company. Reiterating what I have said previously also, Nokia is in a deep mess and its chances of coming out as a winner is becoming dim with each passing day.
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