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Nokia is past its best-by date, warns analyst

Standard & Poor's: Glory days unlikely to return

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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. ®

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