Last week we reported how Nokia is planning for its smart revival and as was expected, it has unveiled an arsenal of Smartphones at the Nokia World 2010 event in London to take on the likes of Android and IPhone. The new devices include previously-announced N8 phone, C6, C7 and long-awaited next model in the E-series of business phones, the E7, all of which run on Symbian^3.
Quick look at the devices
As expected, these entire devices are packed with smart features and the one which has impressed me the most is Nokia E7. E7 is the first development in the E-series since 2007 and is aimed at business users. It features a full QWERTY keyboard, a 4-inch, 640×460 pixel touchscreen with Nokia’s new ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility and an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video. 16GB of storage memory, 350 MB of internal memory makes it a powerful business phone.
The C6 and C7 phones are smart, sleek and compact. With emphasis on updates from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and an inbuilt email client to support Yahoo and Gmail accounts, it seems that they are specifically built by keeping the social networking enthusiasts in mind. Nokia C7 has a 3.5-inch AMOLED display, 350 MB of internal memory, 8 GB of storage memory and uses Nokia’s ClearBlack technology. C6 is the least expensive of the four Symbian^3 powered devices with a 3.2-inch AMOLED touch screen,340 MB of Internal Memory and 8 GB of storage memory. Both the C7 and the C6 come with an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and can shoot videos in HD (720p).
The N8 is touted to be an entertainment powerhouse and world’s best camera phone. It features a 12 megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p HD video, 16GB of built-in storage and an HDMI out which gives it the ability to connect to a surround sound system at home. No doubt, with all these impressive features on-board, it sounds much like an “ultimate entertainment” Smartphone, at least on paper.
Not just any other Nokia launch
This launch event is unlike any other past events. And reasons are in plenty.
- A decade ago, Nokia was one of the most successful European companies. It captured the emerging markets for mobile phones and built one of the most powerful brands of all times. But things are no longer the same. Recently Nokia has been in news for all not-so-good reasons. It has drawn a lot of flak from the critics, industry experts for being not-so-innovative. The profit margins have been shrinking and so have the market shares. Nokia shares have fallen by 47% since the launch of Apple’s IPhone in 2007.The Company’s brand, once deemed as the coolest one is finding it hard to connect with the people. In a ranking of global brands by Millward Brown Optimor this year, Nokia ranked No.43, dropping by 30 places in 12 months.This event gave it a chance to stand up and demand the notice of everyone, an opportunity to announce the shift into high gear in its fight back to Smartphone leadership.
- Nokia is in the middle of a major management revamp, with the departure announcements of its chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, soon-to-resign chairman Jorma Ollila and its top internal candidate for the CEO post, (also known as ‘Steve Jobs’ of Nokia) Anssi Vanjoki. This event was an opportunity to promote itself and pacify its investors by reinforcing their belief in the company.
- The 4 devices presented in the event are a stepping stone for the next Symbian^4 release. Nokia is banking high on Symbian but it is also aware of the competition lurking in the form of Google’s Android, Apples’ iOS, Windows phone 7.According to some analyst forecasts Google Android, is set to pass Symbian in market share by 2014. So Nokia can no longer continue as a sleeping giant. This event allowed it to vent its aggression thus showing its competitors that it is ready to fight back.
So what’s next?
Sure, it will not be easy for Nokia to regain the lost market share. More difficult will be to change the perception of people about the company. But there is nothing definite about the technology. Remember that amazing turnaround by Apple to become the Most valuable company. It has happened before and there is no reason why it cannot be repeated. But Apple had someone like Steve Jobs to steer it through. Whether Stephen Elop, the new Executive can do the same with Nokia, we will have to wait and see.
Nokia can still emerge as a tough competitor in Smartphone market. What do you think?