Nokia is past its best-by date, warns analyst
Standard & Poor's: Glory days unlikely to return
Nokia shareholders hoping for the golden days to return are waiting in vain, a gloomy prognosis from analyst research from Standard & Poor's concludes. ‘Nokia glory days are unlikely to return,’ say the analysts.
The reason? Twofold, really. One is that S&P think Nokia can’t differentiate itself from rivals sufficiently; all Windows Phones look pretty much the same, by order of Microsoft. They also don’t think the user interface gives a sufficient advantage over Android or iOS. That’s a point with which this reporter, for one, politely disagrees.
The other is that Nokia’s meteroic rise to the top of the pile in the 1990s was down to several factors. These included being at the right place at the right time when GSM became a global standard; Nokia’s friendly UI; and a focus on low-cost mass market phones when there wasn’t yet a mass market. S&P also cite the ability to personalise the devices with customisable covers – a stroke of genius which many people overlook.
But history doesn't repeat itself. Instead, the Finns are as trapped as they are liberated by their relationship with Redmond. The analysts said:
Nokia appears willing to compete on price but given its limited scope to reduce the bill of materials (the hardware specifications being dictated by Microsoft) this will lead to a squeeze on profit margins.
Longer term, with Windows Phone, we believe Nokia can at best stabilise its smartphone market share at around 10 to 15 per cent.
The advice appears in the European Telecomms survey which is very interesting indeed. If you haven't already clocked it, then you must. ®
Arn't S&P the people who said the sub-prime mortages were AAA rated? They must know what they are talking about?
Whether Windows Phone is good, bad or indifferent...
... isn't the issue. The issue is that Nokia cannot hope to compete on the same terms as the Chinese OEMs. It's a Windows Phone and nobody cares what the hardware is - least of all Microsoft.
Indeed. They tried desperately hard to suggest Nokia would have some special advantage over other WP7 licensees (while Microsoft simultaneously tried not to spook them).
Now they've launched it's hard to see any insider advantage in the product, just another WP7 phone with the same software stack, the same battery life, the same everything. Mostly just a different casing you love or loath and a logo few still respect. Even the Nokia map app that was supposed to bring them huge licence fees is never even commented on!
Meanwhile all the others can throw out essentially the same phone in a different case and see how it sells, with Android and proprietary OS builds to fall back on. Even the ones doing 'contractual obligation' releases to keep the Microsoft attack dogs at bay aren't dependent on take up.
Nokia has no independent future.