Is Nokia Primed For A Comeback In The US?
Nokia? What’s that? I’m sure there are young teens, and children who are receiving their first smart phones which have little memory of when Nokia dominated the mobile landscape. In fact, on the international level Nokia is still the top selling cell phone manufacturer. However, they’ve fallen by the wayside in the US to the domination of iOS and Android powered devices.
Nokia’s profits plummeted in 2010, which was definitely something new for the Finnish mobile juggernaut. Ever since, the company has been making moves here and there which could put them in a position to gain back some of the market share they’ve lost in the past year.
One of the signs from last year which made it seem Nokia was on the ropes, was the release of the Ovi Store. Critics blasted the effort, citing bad navigation and poor usability. Due to the harsh start, the Ovi Store looked dead in the water. However, Nokia has stuck with the Ovi Store and things are improving.
According to numbers released today, Nokia is claiming the Ovi Store is receiving 5 million downloads on a daily basis. In October 2010, they were claiming 2.3 million daily downloads, which improved to 3 million just a month later. The amount of developers and apps keep increasing at a healthy rate. They’re still drastically behind the App Store and Android Market in terms of number of developers and apps. However, improvement is always a good thing.
While they stayed invested in the Ovi Store, they’re going to move on from their traditional operating system, Symbian. Nokia has always used their in-house OS, however, it seems as though they realize they need help to combat with iOS and Android. They now have turned to Microsoft, and have partnered with them to release Windows Phone 7 powered devices as early as next year.
An ace-in-the-hole for Nokia is they have one of the largest, and reliable R&D departments in the mobile industry. They’ve always been known to release quality devices, a staple of the company which has even lasted during their recent decline. If they’re able to develop future devices which are fully optimized to implement Windows Phone 7, there’s a lot of potential for improved sales.
Another benefit Nokia has is they’re still the top cell phone manufacturer in the international arena. While 2011 will still more than likely present a decline for Nokia, they appear to be investing where they need to in order to make a rebound in the future. If their numbers can heat up internationally due to the changes, it isn’t beyond reason to think this will trickle to the US markets as well.
If Windows Phone 7 can provide the boost to their sales numbers around the world, and the Ovi Store can continue to improve upon their sales, a comeback isn’t too unrealistic. However, will all the changes be enough to fight back against the iPhone and Android devices? We’ll know soon enough.