Nokia Loses Market, Drops Symbian, Partners with Microsoft

Nokia is going through radical changes. It has a new Canadian CEO (Stephen Elop), rethinking its market strategy and desperately looking to enter the mobile services market. All this is in the backdrop of Nokia loosing 10% market share to its competitors in just 2 years.

The smart phone market is dominated by Google (Android) with a market share of 32.9% and a remarkable 614% growth rate, Apple with a 16% market share and a growth rate of almost 90% and RIM with a market share of 14.4%. Nokia even though still managed a 30.6% market share, it is fighting to stay relevant within the highly competitive smartphone market.

Nokia had been pinning its hopes on the success of a new series of smartphones sporting its new Memo and Symbian^3 Operating Systems along with using the current market share to push their services under the Ovi banner. The market reception for Symbian^3 has not been terribly bad but Android and the iOS have been making great strides within the smartphone arena. Ovi was initially planned to rival RIM’s BIS and BES offerings but did not gain any traction.

Android and the iOS operating systems have come a long way within the past 2 years. The pace of development for Android has been exceptional while Apple has also been busy adding new features to the iOS. Both the platforms are mature and feature rich.

Luckily for Nokia their new CEO who also happens to be a former Microsoft employee is willing to challenge the status qou within the company and looking to make drastic changes. A memo sent by him to the company made a lot of waves when it was leaked over the internet where he was quoted as saying “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience.”

Nokia has recently announced that is is dropping the development of the Symbian operating system for the smartphone. They have partnered with Microsoft and will be using the Windows Mobile operating system for their new phones. They will also be laying off a significant portion of their workforce.

Nokia dropping the Symbian operating system is being seen as an admission of defeat. Nokia spent billions of dollars on the development of the operating system. The share value for Nokia dropped 9% when investors heard about the news.

The future for Nokia seams uncertain. They have the right man at the helm but it remains to be be seen how the changes made by him will effect their future.

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