Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have been partnering in the smartphone battle, which might make sense. Microsoft – which is a favorite stock in 95 of the hedge funds we track, the sixth-most-held stock in U.S. hedge funds – has been late to the smartphone wars with its Windows Phone operating system, and Nokia was getting lapped in the smartphone wars by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung in gaining handset market share. Nokia had a foothold in the low-budget and mid-range feature phones in emerging markets, but neither company has made much inroads in established markets since the iPhone debuted in 2007.
However, over the last few weeks, both companies have reported seeing some progress in market share when it comes to the Lumia handsets that run the Windows Phone 8 OS. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) were trying to spin their relative lack of apps in the Windows Phone marketplace compared to more established platforms like iOS and Android. The two companies were touting their 130,000 “quality” applications and noted that Windows Phone has surpassed the 1 billion-download mark of those apps.
Brian Biniak, vice president of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) for app development, maintains that the business model with Windows Phone apps and Lumia handsets is consistent for apps and developers as it has been with the OS and the handsets – quality. “Our attitude and it sums up the entire strategy with Windows Phone is to take it slowly, do it right and aim for quality first. It’s not about quantity – we’ve no interest in trying to catch up by playing the volume game. We want the best apps in the world that will create a halo around the new devices,” Biniak said.
Is slow and steady winning the race for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)?