Nokia has had a pretty woeful last 12 months, there’s no getting around that fact. Ever since they announced the move from their own open source Symbian platform to Microsoft’s Windows Phone as their smartphone OS their share price has been in free fall. This is certainly not all Microsoft’s fault, but both companies need to start working more closely together for their now intertwined mobile fortunes to improve.
It has taken Nokia a year, but they finally have a good selection of smartphone on the market at very competitive prices in their Lumia range. The Nokia Lumia 710 is a very capably smartphone for the price, and the way the networks are subsidising the Lumia 800 (O2 have it free on £21.50/mo) makes it a very attractive option to those wanting a full-featured smartphone on a budget. And with the Lumia 900 appearing next week on these shores, they finally have a smartphone to compete with the likes of the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S2. But that doesn’t appear to have helped their earnings estimates.
One continual problem for Nokia is that they do not have control of the operating system. By putting their lot in with Windows Phone – they have aligned their future with the Redmond-based software giant. But Microsoft has not committed to aligning their mobile future with Nokia yet. Windows Phone 8 will be coming out at the end of the year, but Microsoft has so far stayed non-committal on whether the latest Nokia Lumia smartphones will be getting the upgrade. And Nokia can’t commit to the upgrade because they don;t have access to the software yet – which is a major problem for those looking into buying Nokia.
Nokia wasted most of the last 12 months by finishing with a dead platform, but as of now no-one knows whether Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) is also dead – with no upgrade path to Windows 8. This is holding back both the sales of Nokia Lumia smartphones and the emergence of the Windows Phone platform.