Friday, August 05, 2005

Nokia Looking to Improve U.S. Performance

India's Financial Express carries a Bloomberg article about the challenges Nokia faces reviving its fortunes in the U.S. market.

According to Gartner, Nokia, the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, has seen its U.S. market share fall to 14.3 percent in Q1 2005, putting it behind Motorola, LG and Samsung. Motorola, riding the success of the Razr, leads the market with a 34.5 percent share.

Neil Mawston at Strategy Analytics said, "They’ve been losing in western Europe, in North America, and they’re practically non-existent in Japan. He attributed Nokia's fall from favor due to its lackluster image. "When consumers buy their first device, it will likely be a Nokia. But when they look for a more sophisticated device, consumers often move to a competitor."

As announced earlier in the week, CEO Jorma Ollila is stepping down next June 1, 2006. His replacement Olli-Pekka Kallasvuom "has the challenge of updating the portfolio in the US and improving the relationship with the biggest operators there, said Erkki Vesola, analyst at Mandatum in Helsinki. "Officially there’s no friction there, but if you look at the vendors Verizon usually favors, Nokia’s not favored."

Vesola also pointed out that "Nokia was slow to note a consumer preference for ‘'clamshell' or folding mobile phones as compared with open- faced 'candy bar' models."