**Editor’s note: Please click here for our list of September’s hottest selling smartphones to see how Nokia stacked up against the competition.**
Despite the fact that Apple has already sold millions of units of its new iPhone 5, might the company’s missteps open the door for Nokia to grab some market share?
The Finland-based handset manufacturer bought map provider Nayteq for $8 billion in 2008, in an effort to make its maps look different from those you’ll find on Apple and Android devices, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The company has taken to the Web to not-so-subtly jab Apple in blogs and in social media for the Silicon Valley giant’s recent map failings.
Beyond shortages of the device, the new Maps app which Apple developed for the latest version of its mobile operating system, dumping its use of Google Maps at the same time has been the biggest source of criticism on the iPhone 5. Users have found a lot of inaccuracies, so much so that CEO Tim Cook felt the need to apologize earlier this month.
Nokia, which is getting set to unveil a host of new devices operating on Microsoft’s Windows 8 software, believes its self-touted maps advantage makes now the time to pounce but it’ll take a lot of hard work and calls for an evolving marketing strategy, says one analyst.
The industry may have questioned the price that Nokia paid for Navteq, but the product has never been in question. They have a good level of detail especially in emerging markets where Nokia has a better market situation and a rich database of points of interest which is increasingly important,” said Wally Swain, senior VP of research at Yankee Group. “The problem has been that Nokias preferred distribution system bundled in Nokia smartphones has not been a successful monetization strategy for no fault of Navteqs. Broadening the distribution strategy such as the Amazon deal and perhaps deals with some of the wannabe alternate OS will be critical to making Navteq a success and filling in some of Nokias other cash flow holes.”
Nokia unveiled its first fleet of Lumia series phones a little less than a year ago to limited success. Its relatively new partnership with Microsoft and the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s Windows software got off to a decent start when the first Lumia smartphones particularly the 900 offering from AT&T showed decent sales numbers in their first month. The price was nice just $99 on contract but customers quickly forgot about Nokia as more Android offerings from Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others were released.
A release date for the Nokia 920 an exclusive for AT&T in the U.S. is likely imminent. Speculation making its round on the Web this week is that pre-orders will begin Oct. 21, but that hasn’t been confirmed by either the manufacturer or the carrier. The new device, aimed at both the business user and the general consumer, sports a 4.5-inch screen with HD resolution; a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor; and a new camera lens that is supposed to be one of the best in the industry.
Nokia was once the undisputed global leader in mobile phones, but got left behind once the smartphone revolution arrived. The company was slow to respond when Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007 and is a few years behind Google’s Android explosion. The Finland-based manufacturer teamed up with Microsoft last year in an attempt to deliver a third successful operating system to the market and return to prominence as a significant player in something beyond feature phones.
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