Saturday, October 29, 2005

2005 Nokia Games Summit

Lee Epting, Vice President of Forum Nokia, has written an excellent summary on 2005 Nokia Games Summit. Read the article at Gamasutra.

Nokia strengthens services

This was an interesting piece of news. It is about Nokia developing their service offering for mobile operators. Operators can get cost-effective services without big infrastructure investment and Nokia can take advantage of scale benefits. I.e. develop the service once and then sell it multiple times. More.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Nokia rulez! smart phones

Canalys, a research company, has found that Nokia’s smart phone shipments have risen by 75%. Massive growth! This is the stuff that Nokia should be doing more. Could future actually look bright for Nokia? Maybe they could grab the emerging markets and now developing smart phone markets...

According the report, Palm and RIM are in trouble and some other sources have speculated that coming Nokia mobile phones (due to launch in 2006) are going to put hard price squeeze on the competing couple. Palm and RIM already closed and unlikely pact by introducing RIM’s BlackBerry email software on Palm’s Treo 650. Read more at Silicon.

Nokia slithering into Indians' awareness

Only 5 percent of people in India are able to speak English. Nokia wants to grab the whole of Indian mobile market, and therefore they embrace Indians’ with culturally targeted ad campaign that uses five regional languages. Nokia can connect you with your native tongue, excellent. Article from Indian Television.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nokia goes deeper into growth markets

Nokia introduced two new mobile phones for emerging markets. Nokia 1255 and Nokia 2355 (still loosing track with all these numbers) are value phones that pack quite a lot of mobility power. Nokia 1255 has classic block design and Nokia 2355 sports folding design.

These low-end mobile phones won’t be introduced on developed markets, which is great so they won’t further erode Nokia’s brand. On the other hand, Nokia is making a big bet on getting that little finger of a emerging market consumer. Here’s hoping that everything just fine. More at this Nokia press release.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nokia ratings changing

Industry analysts are not able to make up their minds about Nokia’s future. Good indication of this can be found from Newratings site some analysts have upgraded their ratings while some have downgraded. Everybody seems to agree on one thing, Nokia has to improve their high-end products to maintain their brand image.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Nokia L'Amour!

Let me introduce you the Nokia L'Amour Collection...
Nokia 7360

Nokia 7370

Nokia 7380

Now we got that out of our system. Don’t they just look nice and arithmetic, but who can keep up with all these model numbers? Mark my words auto industry experience is going to be very handy here. Once upon time there were multitude of car models, which had only number signature. Is it boring or what? “I am driving my 320i and man it rocks!”

Make it more individual for god’s sake! For example, Nokia L’Amour Collection mobile phones could have been called – Cupid, Fortuna and Venus – now that would have been individualizing! Why stop that world famous Finnish industrial design on physical product level, go deeper and by the look of the 7380 – a faceless number again – some of you will... They could also have some cool Finnish names (or is that cool at all, help me, I'm bit lost with what is cool these days) like Muoti, Onni, Ilo etc. (now you must know how that goes).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Vertu luxury phones

Vertu is handmade luxury phone that sells for up to 90 000 USD. As a subsidiary of Nokia, Vertu uses Nokia technology as the base for their products. Vertu brings in the luxury by embedding the phone case with tiny diamonds and by using special materials like gold and platinum. Actual phone is not about product performance therefore it doesn’t boast with camera or with latest software. This phone goes for the style and wealth. Other mobile phone manufacturers have also noticed the value of having a very high-end phone model in their product slate. Motorola and Samsung are taking steps to introduce their luxury versions. Article by Guardian but spotted at Taipei Times.

The 10 best phones ever

Nokia made the list with three mobile phone models, which just about reflects company’s market share. So the models that made the list were: Nokia Cityman, Nokia 8210 and Nokia 8800. Check the whole list and commentary at Independent.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Nokia "Number One" in Taiwan

You must be aware of the strange affection that Chinese feel with the term ”Number One”. There is just nothing better than being better than all the rest. Number Ones’ enjoy high social status because everybody do give the respect for such an excellent standing. This also works in commercial arena. If you are the Number One on any single field, no matter how miniscule, then you better use that to your advantage while pushing out your marketing message. So, the title probably told you that Nokia is now the Number One in Taiwan after being battered by Motorola during past eight months. Check the statistics and the story over Digitimes.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Nokia results

Nokia was able to top estimations but wasn’t able to surprise markets, hence the stock price tanked. No matter what they do, they seem not to be able to stop the slide of average prices. However, Nokia competitors are improving steadily so financial markets look at the situation smelling blood. Nokia is not in jeopardy because their product margins still clearly top their competitors’ figures.

Nokia Motorola oligopoly

In Finnish current news TV-program – A-plus – Nokia CEO commented that he couldn’t see any barriers to such mobile market development, which would be Nokia and Motorola dominated while smaller companies would wither away.

To me the interesting part of this kind of out-of-context comment comes in thinking, what would this market oligopoly look like? Nokia is churning more and more mass phones without a special twist for the consumer. Motorola has newfound enthusiasm in industrial design, which used to be Nokia’s monopoly. We are too far from that, but let’s wait couple of years and eventually we’ll get there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nokia breaks 200 million in China

Nokia has rolled out its 200 millionth mobile phone in China. This shows company’s manufacturing strength (strong). Actually, Nokia is now the biggest mobile phone manufacturer and exporter in China. Check more on this in this article.

Does anyone remember quaint little textile company called Levi Strauss & Co? They had the image and they had the manufacturing. They lost their image by diversifying into low-end products (trying to improve their market share) and by loosing ground for more cost-effective manufacturers. They still haven’t been able to make a real comeback.

I see the biggest threat for Nokia in this manufacturing and volume-based business model. They are in danger to slide off from the image map of consumers. Soon everybody has a cheap Nokia and the real money comes from short product runs and light development cycles, just like fashion. Could it be?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Nokia and Motorola on the rise

Bloomberg speculates with the financials of Nokia and Motorola. Back-to-school sales should push both companies higher. These two giants are bashing their smaller rivalries and mass-grab (yeah, that’s my term) market share from left and right. Analysts seem to favor Motorola but I would say that Nokia’s product slate is better for the holiday season. We’ll see how this ends, might not be pretty...

Just as I was saying...

Nokia is brewing something in their cooperative cauldron, as they are working with KDE to bring open source browser into Nokia mobile phones. As I said in a prior comment, The lack of good browser has been the Achilles heel of Nokia’s Internet enabled mobile phones. Luckily things are about to be mended. Read more about Nokia's KDE connection over here.

Nokia Eseries Link

Here is a link to an old comment on Nokia Eseries.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Nokia N70 + T-Mobile + Opera

T-Mobile has set up an offering, where stylish Nokia N70 is packaged together with Opera browser. With Opera, UK-user can take Nokia N70 for quick surf into the web, use email and instant messaging. N70 mobile phone happens to have two-megapixel camera, video calling functionality, FM radio and even more stuff. Read the full press release here.
This sounds like Opera is slowly making inroads into being a big Nokia partner. If they manage to convince mobile operators of their usefulness, then they will not have too big a river to cross for making it warm and cozy with Nokia. Nokia is notorious of their lack of excellent Internet browser and they do need to improve their offering on that arena to satisfy user demand.

Opera stands as a strong candidate as they are relatively independent and not in anybody’s camp specifically. Or maybe I should say that as they already have single default browser contracts with Nokia (e.g. Nokia 9210i Communicator), then they might strengthen their foothold with Nokia.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Nokia Design Awards

Nokia is wooing students in Benelux countries by offering cool testing environment. Nokia Concept Lounge introduces some of the designs that have come out of this project.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nokia's long march in China

Nokia started new joint venture with Chinese company called Putian Communication. Joint venture will develop TD-SCDMA products. Most surprising fact in this news is that Nokia will only have 49% of the joint venture. I suppose that Chinese legislation is reason for such share structure. More over here.

Email geared mobile phones from Nokia

Nokia launched three new mobile phones – E60, E61 and E70 – these phones are based on same technology but have slightly different features emphasis. In Europe they will sell in price range of 350-450 euro without mobile operator subsidies. Nokia said that they are following sociological trends, meaning that people move more and more while at work and they need a mobile phone to support that way of life/work. I spotted this news on print version of Helsingin Sanomat so no link today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mobile email usage growing

Nokia and TeliaSonera have commissioned a survey about mobile email usage. Guess what? Surprisingly mobile email usage is growing steadily. Details.

Nokia to produce 450 MHz GSM phones

Ericsson announced that they would offer GSM networks technology, which is using the 450 MHz radio spectrum. Meanwhile, Nokia announced that they are going to start offering GSM mobile phones that use that same spectrum.

The reason for such a move is that many developed countries are coming into a situation where the good old 450 MHz spectrums are being abandoned – almost free asset waiting to be used. On the other hand, many developing countries are still in midst of mobile investment and 450 MHz spectrum gives the biggest coverage for the buck (insert any local currency here).

Is it strange that these two neighbors are making such a move – on the very same day? YES it is. Notice that Nokia said nothing about networks and Ericsson limited its ambitions solely on networks. This news was first brought to me by Australian IT.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Nokia crushes Motorola on 3G arena

The had fine article, written by Tero Kuittinen, about Nokia’s advance on the third generation mobile phone markets. Fitting as it is, European mobile manufacturers are doing well in Europe and Motorola is falling behind.

This Christmas, European mobile phone operators are widely expected to start major sales push towards higher generation services. This bodes well for Nokia, because they have been fast to introduce new products that can already be used for planning the Christmas sales campaigns. Motorola has been slower, so it is difficult for European mobile operator to create campaign because major physical part of their campaign is still missing.

Article goes further to analyze product portfolios of Nokia and Motorola. Very interesting to read and not very flattering from Motorola's point of view. Read the article here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Nokia CEO Ollila sees growth

In a Financial Times interview, Ollila commented the state of mobile phone market. He believes that this and next year will be years of strong growth. This growth comes from unexpectedly strong demand in mature markets and from emerging markets.

Ollila compares different market areas and sees trend in market development cycle. Now Middle East, the Gulf and Africa are at same state as seen in Latin America couple of years ago and even earlier in China. He goes on to say that their market stance is very strong because of their excellent product slate.

I think that what we see here is Ollila building pressure for his successor. By giving out positive estimates even for coming year, he is ensuring that Mr. Kallasvuo has to slave to meet those estimates. Good for the share value. I did not check Financial Times but Reuters.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nokia 9500 Communicator review

Check out this wonderful product review of Nokia 9500 Communicator at All About Symbian.

Nokia software store Preminet

Nokia started a retail store that sells software. It is called Preminet. The big idea here is that consumers would have easier access to third party software. This would increase the customer satisfaction and user efficiency, therefore leading into increased software sales for the whole industry. If Nokia can educate all their customers about the limitless online software supply, they are holding a key to riches. This complements Nokia user interface in unprecedented way. Not happy with your mobile phone? Just load a bunch of software and increase your opportunities.

So what is there for mobile operators? Shop would have storefront image of the operator that is offering the subscription service. Every operator could organize the store in a way they wanted and there would not be the need to organize services with multiple third party suppliers, hence no need to check interoperability. Read the details at All About Symbian site.

New Nokia VoIP solution

Nokia introduced a new VoIP solution at Broadband World Forum 2005 in Madrid. This new technology enables convergence of fixed and mobile networks, therefore helping fixed-line operators making the jump to various mobile services. Read more details at Light Reading.

Nokia spy phone

Any Nokia 6600 model phone can act as a spy phone. Indian company Aglaya offers software that can turn phone into two-way spy channel. Phone works like a normal phone, but if you call into it with a special number, it will automatically answer without any voice or visual alerts. This is a handy way to eavesdrop into conferences, private business meetings and your workers private life.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nokia antivirus collaboration

Widely discussed piece of news comes from Nokia and Symantec. They will be working together to protect high-end mobile phones that happen to have virus-prone operating systems. I think Nokia is making a good move here. As people are migrating from older generation towards Series 60 and higher platforms, there will be wider and wider breeding grounds for digital gremlins. But Symantec???

Thank you for all who ran the news, next time I just pick one you guys. :) This was just to show that no matter how many information sources one has the basic idea still remains.

Delay for 770 Internet Tablet

MarketWatch had short piece saying that Nokia has to postpone their wireless Web surfing device. Don’t worry though - they solemnly declare that the device will come out from the factories before Christmas.

Don’t you think that it is bit naive to try to influence the markets this way? So what if it comes out, there is no way that they are able to churn enough devices to meet the gadget hunger of present buying masses. By the way, software problems were the cause of delay. Article at MarketWatch archives.

Also CommsDesign had its version of the news and it is not behind archive and free member access. Price will surely be a factor that makes people give a second consideration for this gadget. I mean this in positive sense...

Nokia camera contest

In my recent drive to publish old news about Nokia, the latest is the camera phone contest that Nokia is running in collaboration with some internationally famous photographers who act as a jury to judge the shots that are enrolled to the competition. Go and put your Nokia in good use. Read more about the article over go and zdnews.

Nokia image down and volume up

Alyce Lomax at The Motley Fool wrote about Nokia sending mixed signals to the markets. On the other hand, Nokia seems to be doing exceptionally well with their latest push to the emerging markets. Nokia’s strategy on these markets seems to be to churn out cheap phones that will grab market share.

Don’t you think it’s funny, how the price of this emerging markets general phone model seems to be hovering around 100 euro? On Finnish markets, where we have no operator subsidised cheap mobile phones, you can fetch basic phone models under 30 euro and we are talking about new phones, not second hand. So we are really talking about a phone that has excellent margins.

On the downside are the recent delays with new phone models. Nokia hasn’t been able to deliver some high-end models to the Christmas market. Nokia is loosing on the image and gaining on the volume. Read more over here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Billion phones and hundreds of models

This is old Nokia news already but I just wanted to make this simple calculus. After achieving the total sales of one billion phones with bit over four hundred phone models, we get 25 million phones as the average sales volume for one phone model. That is pretty nice total amount.

In the future, I suggest that we see this average figure to fall steadily, because the mobile market segments are more and more diverse and in order to have better market reach, one has to serve up more and more phone models and despite of mobile phone manufacturers’ efforts, sales volumes for one single mobile phone model will fall.

Nokia 6101 again

Some time ago, Nokia introduced a 6101 model and I wrote about the ubercoolness of the phone. 6101 has a VGA camera, but when you think of it, who wants to have a lousy VGA camera?

Express audio messaging system was also launched with this phone model. This happens to be much more interesting feature. No more text messaging as you can talk message (can anyone see talksage or talge word forming here) to your friends. Only thing I wonder is that why is it that this Xpress word was chosen?

Press would have done the trick just fine as well as tens of other terms. Maybe I already answered to the question... Well, anyhow, see the phone over here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Nokia XpressMusic

Nokia shines its armor on the music front and launches new brand feature that tells people which of Nokia phones are optimized for music. From now on you must know that if it reads XpressMusic, it plays cool. From PC Magazine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nokia 3250 images leaked and everybody freaked

Nokia 3250 images have leaked at promotional event in Berlin. Net went crazy about this news. Device looks cool and casual but it also combines some wonderful features. I spotted many sources running the story and I wasn’t even looking.

Nokia was quick to react and officially launched the product during the following day of the slip, winners are indeed made by fast dice casting. Whole different story whether it can be called a leak if it happens in a big PR happening in the first place.
Here you can take an official look at the Nokia 3250 mobile phone.

Cingular Wireless selling Nokia 9300

Getting on the sales list of Cingular is a major improvement for Nokia’s public appearance in the States. Nokia’s brand has been bit out of touch to the USA market, but now improved distribution and coming slate of products will help to turn the page, hopefully...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Nokia sells eRefill to Chinese Jiangxi Mobile

Jiangxi Mobile Telecommunication Co. Ltd. bought Nokia’s SMS-based solution for micropayments. As people are able to add money to their subscription accounts, the older voucher-based prepaid card mobile service will get a serious competition. I would say that eRefill could have strong impact on Asian markets, where the prepaid model is widely used. This deal happens to be Nokia’s first delivery of eRefill to Chinese markets so we just might be on the brink of change in business model. Article can be read in detail over here.

Nokia opens 3G service development center in Taiwan

Nokia opened a mobile content development center in Taiwan, in association with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry. Taiwan was chosen as the testing ground for such operations because of the strong innovation and development capacity. Time will tell us what kind of 3G service products Nokia comes up with in Taiwan. Read more information about the news in this article.