Nokia shares down after handset launch
NOKIA AND Microsoft took the wraps off their most powerful smartphone yesterday, but the new Lumia failed to impress investors and shares of Nokia – which once dominated the mobile phone market – plummeted 13 per cent.
The Finnish company and the world’s largest software maker showcased the device yesterday in what may be their last major shot at reclaiming a market lost to Apple, Samsung and Google.
Microsoft and Nokia hope the new Lumia – with a bigger screen and cutting-edge camera technology – will be a potent weapon in the mobile industry war, but investors said it lacked “wow” and gave it a quick thumbs-down. Some analysts said Nokia’s reticence on dates and prices did not help.
The phones – the Lumia 920 and 820 – will feature what Nokia says is the best camera and mapping systems available, as well as innovations such as “tap and pay” technology and wireless charging.
The handsets, with a Qualcomm dual core processor, go on sale later this year in select markets, expected to include Europe and the US. They face intense competition from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Huawei and Google’s Motorola.
New York analysts claimed the phones were not a big step forward. Research group Canalys said Nokia’s lack of refreshed hardware design would make it harder to communicate its innovative features, such as its location applications. Analysts at CSS Insight said it was “hard to see Lumia 920 beating [Samsung’s] Galaxy S III or [Apple’s] expected iPhone 5”.
They added: “Success depends on keen prices, good channel support, clear differentiation and defections from iOS and Android, especially as new Lumias are unlikely to ship before the new iPhone.”
Shares in Nokia dropped more than 12 per cent after the new phones were announced, ending the day at €1.99.– (Financial Times/Reuters)