Friday, December 09, 2005

Nokia Flagship Stores

Nokia has plans for opening several sales points at world’s shopping capitals. What is interesting in these stores is that they will be located in high-profile locations in world’s major shopping destinations. Complete Nokia products portfolio and access to N-Gage Arena will be showcased at these locations. Today they opened the first Nokia Flagship Store in Moscow, Russia.

To me this looks like extravagant start for Nokia’s goal to improve their channel and customer relations. This way Nokia can create high-end image for their products in selected markets. It is not about sales volume but voyeurism. Soon we will have those paparazzi pictures showing some celebrities walking out from Nokia Store and tabloids will scream – XXXXX $ VERTU BOUGHT BY... Offering outstanding customer service for selected few is an excellent approach to PR. Answer me this – what is N-Gage Arena doing in this palette? Read the complete press release here.

Forum Nokia S60 3rd Edition Challenge

Nokia’s purpose is to encourage development on fields like – enterprise, music, location-based and Flash applications for the Series 60 platform. Competition has some neat prices (sadly just for the winners) – money, fame and memberships. If you can create something stunning with C++ or Flash, you must act now because the registration is open until 15th of December. Read details over here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Is Nokia leaving India?

Just as I posted about Nokia’s “We move not” assurances for China, it seems that it is India that really needs those assurances. Nokia is planning an investment in India that would benefit from special tax brakes for example in a form of toll free imports. All is well on planning board, but now Indian governmental bureaucracy is taking its toll and licenses are still in the making. Nokia is getting nervous and possibly scouting alternative locations for their investment. Read more here.

Nokia and Foxconn

Now I spotted news that supports my previous comment. Nokia’s supply agreement with BenQ is about to run over the finish line. This Forbes article is not able to verify any information but points to the possibility that jump to Foxconn might be ahead. Read more here.

Nokia in global politics

India is growing as a mobile market area. In size it will be similar to China. Nokia has been investing heavily on China and now Chinese are wondering whether India’s growth will draw Nokia’s investments, especially research and development, from China to India.

To ease this tense situation in international politics, Jorma Ollila has been assuring that Nokia will not do any drastic relocation moves between these two countries. I suppose it means that Nokia’s capital spending is going to grow, because they have to invest heavily in both countries. Read more here.

Nokia aims for stronger channel and customer relationship

I just posted a brief rant comment about Nokia handling their US distribution channel with remarkable stupidity. Now I noticed a piece of news saying that next year Nokia will focus on channel and customer relationships. Finally! If you want to read more about Nokia’s future plans (they pointed five separate goals) then follow this link.

Nokia brings video tone

Nokia has introduced a new consumer service product – video tone. It works so that whenever call comes phone will play chosen music video or animation. Service will run on Series 60 platform mobile phones.

Personally I think that animations and demos will be very popular. This will also be good market crack for companies. They can offer short mobile video advertising clips for free. Consumer would then promote company in surprising situations. Let’s have a term for these products, what about Movi (mobile video) and Moviad (mobile video ad) or what about Mad (mobile ad)? Read original article over here.

Nokia's Kallasvuo talks stock price up

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo from Nokia said in New York investor relations meeting that Nokia’s mobile phone sales would see continued growth while profit margins would remain stable. This and other improvements that Nokia has been able to pull through this year resulted into hefty stock price increase. Nokia stock price is now on its highest level in almost two years.

It was very interesting to notice that Nokia thinks that there will be over three billion mobile phone users by 2008 already. This growth has mostly come from developing markets in India, China, Russia and Brazil. Nokia has been doing exceptionally well on these markets.

Kallasvuo also expects Nokia to increase its market share during the coming year. New phenomenon on mobile market is the death of smaller mobile terminal manufacturers. According to Kallasvuo, it is imperative that companies gain the critical mass, in order to gain benefits of the scale. Companies with less than 15 percent market share will find it increasingly difficult to operate on the mobile market. Therefore three names seem to rise above others – Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nokia live TV

Anssi Vanjoki, an Executive Vice President and General Manager of Nokia Multimedia, was just a moment ago in live TV here in Finland. He was asked various questions concerning Nokia. Most dominating issue was Nokia’s TV endeavors.

According to Mr. Vanjoki, TV often creates a rhythm for our day, whether it is news or other programs that we watch. Therefore TV becomes important part of our lives. Nokia will try to make its move on mobile TV front and also remain important part of our lives.

What comes to various business models, he just referred to usual suspects – pay TV, ad TV and public TV. It depends on local market structure, which model will be successful. Finland will be the mobile TV test lab for Nokia. Already four operators and media companies have applied for the license to run a mobile TV channel.

When asked, how come Nokia Multimedia has been so profitable, he answered that they have been investing on developing basic infrastructure and technology and these investments have now started to pay back, because mobile market is maturing and so are mobile services.

Interviewer Arto Nyberg asked whether intellectual property is a problem with mobile TV. Mr. Vanjoki brushed aside this question by stating that they are merely trying to enable mobile TV technology. They would not take any liability of actual content. Viruses will remain a problem though, since these mobile TV capable phones are practically small computers with mobile phone feature.

Another guest in the show was Olli Rehn, EU’s Enlargement Officer. When Arto Nyberg pointed out that Nokia’s issues with Turkish mobile phone operator Telsim, could have been discussed while negotiating Turkey’s EU membership – Mr. Rehn agreed that this kind of intellectual and jurisdictional matters have been on agenda. Seems like Nokia is getting some high level backing for their efforts to regain their money from Telsim. Turkey also remains as an important market area for Nokia.

These were the key issues discussed, also some more philosophical and personal matters were discussed like does digitalization destroy history and how does Mr. Vanjoki keep in touch with his family as he has such a busy traveling schedule? Answers? Paper burns and mobile phone...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Nokia goes Wi-Fi

All Nokia handsets that use Symbian Series 80 OS will have wireless local area network capability. Not only Series 80 phones have the capability also growing number of Series 60 phones incorporate wireless Lan. Read more about the story.

Nokia stops developing N-Gage

Finally it came! Nokia announced that they are not continuing the development of N-Gage. They will sell it though – now there is soothing declaration for first time N-Gage purchasers. We see N-Gage to die after this announcement. Nokia will focus on music and mobile TV for couple of coming years that is the official reason, why we see N-Gage to go. More.

Nokia searching direction

Nokia 770 discarded Symbian and embraced Linux. Nokia 6708 discards Symbian Series60 platform and embraces Symbian v7.0 OS. Slight changes but quite sizeable tremors inside Nokia’s streamlined production machinery. This shows that costs are not defining production and design framework anymore, hence, Nokia is going after consumers with new and innovative products. Let’s see what buying public will say about these moves. Already Nokia 770 has drawn some criticism because of lacking mobile phone feature.

Nokia N80 – household wonder

Nokia has unveiled its N80 mobile phone. What’s special in this model is that it has Universal Plug and Play feature. This means that N80 can control other consumer electronics like DVD players and TVs. Find more about Nokia N80 from here.

Solid growth for Nokia in China

Bloomberg has a short news clip about Nokia’s performance in China. Company’s deliveries in China have risen 77% during the first 9 months of the year. Article.

Nokia Corporation description

Wikipedia has an article about Nokia. It is a company profile that tells about Nokia’s history and corporate culture. Good briefing, maybe I should put some effort on improving the article.

Nokia mobile phone design decliningm

Harry Choi, the head of Samsung’s design, says that Nokia’s mobile phone design has declined from what it was couple of years ago. Choi says that Samsung’s market share in Europe has started to increase because of their new distinguishable mobile phone line.

I must agree with Harry Choi. Recently, I would say, Nokia has been excelling on low-end phones. There you don’t emphasize the design but price and functionality. When your wallet fattens up, you start to pay more attention into personality and uniqueness, therefore factors like price and functionality get a competitor. This mid-section is not in Nokia’s pocket anymore. There is certain staleness in their phones, which are clean and sleek, unable to step out of the Nokia trademark look and feel. Nokia’s L’amour collection is there to fill the gap, but is it too little too late? Oh yeah, one more thing - give those phones names already!
Check the original article over here.

Nokia N90 doing well in US

David Watkins, Director, Imaging Business for Nokia North America has commented N90 to sell well and market response having been overwhelming. Phone has been launched but is still in limited supply. Read more about the Nokia N90 over here.

Nokia rejects BenQ for Foxconn

I was working for a high technology organization in Taiwan during years 2001 and 2002. It was evident that during those years Foxconn was working on every front to upgrade their Nokia supplier status. Foxconn wasn’t core component supplier. Instead, they provided parts that were very low on the food chain, parts like keyboards and cases. Even in cases Nokia had their own hands so margins that were up for the grabs for Foxconn were very limited.

Now Foxconn has a new chance for life. BenQ bought the mobile unit of Siemens. This will catapult BenQ to whole new spheres with its market share, therefore making it direct competitor for Nokia. Would you buy phone supplies from your competitor? It is difficult to say what will happen but now it has been rumored that Nokia is indeed dropping BenQ and moving on to Foxconn. Congratulations Foxconn!