3 New Products That Will Take This Company Higher
Zain is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) became a victim of its own success by being too complacent and rigid at a time when the environment around it was rapidly changing. Now the company is trying to turn its business around and regain some of the market share it lost to Apple and Samsung. This month, Nokia announced three new products that I believe will help with its turnaround.
The Budget Device
Nokia’s first-quarter results showed disappointing performance from its mobile phones segment as shipments declined 21% year-over-year and 30% sequentially to 55.8 million for the quarter. Within Mobile Phones, Asha full-touch smartphone shipments declined 46% quarter-on-quarter to just 5 million units. CEO Stephen Elop had promised that Nokia would revamp its features and Asha smartphone lineup and that’s where Nokia has started. On May 9, Nokia unveiled a new $99 phone from the Asha series in an event held in India where Asha phones are already very popular. The Nokia Asha 501 is a touch-screen device with Internet capabilities and comes with built-in social media apps including Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Twitter and LinkedIn and also includes 40 free Electronic Arts games. The phone’s colorful design mimics Nokia’s high-end Lumia phones.
In more good news, Nokia's Asha 501 comes with a deal sweetener for customers. Facebook is collaborating with Nokia and various telecom operators to offer data discounts or free access to Facebook for Asha 501 buyers. Facebook’s user growth in developed markets has started to mature. Facebook added 54 million monthly active users during the first quarter of the year, out of which just 10 million came from North America and Europe. Facebook understands that there is still a huge number of potential new users who are out there in the emerging markets, and by offering free access to its services, Facebook aims to get more users hooked to the social network.
The U.S. Exclusive
In a bid to widen the distribution of its flagship products in the United States, Nokia announced the Lumia 928 which would be exclusively available on Verizon (NYSE: VZ) wireless, the largest nationwide wireless carrier in the United States. The phone is quite similar to Nokia’s previous flagship, the Lumia 920, which was launched in the U.S. exclusively on AT&T just six months ago but comes with a few important differences. First, the 928 has a new outer body with rectangular edges as opposed to the round edges on the 920. The phone also has a physical camera button. Second, the Lumia 928 comes with a Xenon flash on its camera that helps it take awesome still-shots even in low-light conditions. All in all, the Lumia 928 is a slight upgrade on the 920 and gives millions of Verizon wireless subscribers the option to get a top-notch Nokia Windows Phone, and should help Nokia’s sales numbers in the U.S. market.
This is good news for Verizon as well. There is no doubt that the Windows Phone is steadily gaining traction. Before the Lumia 928, Verizon only had two noticeable Windows Phone products in Lumia 822 and HTC 8X, both of which are quite old. Thus the Lumia 928 is a great addition to Verizon’s offerings and could help the network attract new subscribers as well as satisfy existing ones.
The New Global Flagship
In an event held in London, Nokia unveiled its latest global flagship device, the Lumia 925, which would be available exclusively on T-Mobile in the United States and on various other networks globally. The Lumia 925 is also quite similar to the Lumia 920 but addresses a major criticism against its predecessor, its bulkiness. The 925 is much lighter than the Lumia 920 and comes in an aluminum frame which gives the phone a stylish, premium look. The 925 also features an excellent camera with an improved lens technology. The phone also features a camera software upgrade to bring better picture quality. With the improved hardware and software, Nokia claims that the 925 camera captures “the best low-light images.” However, its one drawback as compared to the Lumia 920 is that it does not come with built-in wireless charging; buyers would have to purchase a separate accessory cover for that.
Nokia understands that it’s not going to be easy to turn its business around; however, the company is moving in the right direction. Nokia’s Asha 501 is a great phone at an incredible price and should be very popular in emerging markets especially due to its free Facebook offering. The Lumia 928 comes with a refreshing design and a great camera and will be a great Windows Phone for Verizon customers in the United States. With a sleek and stylish design and an amazing camera, the Lumia 925 will also bring increased sales as Nokia’s latest global flagship phone. I believe that these great new products will help Nokia to turn its business around.
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