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Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) & Peers: There Are Differences

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)In a recent ad for the Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920, the current flagship Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, the two partners take aim at both Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The 60-second spot is reminiscent of the ads that helped make Samsung the top producer of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones and the iPhone’s top contender in the space. In 2012, Samsung figured out that even if your device has legitimately competitive features, unless people give it a chance, it won’t much matter. With the Lumia 920 in a very similar position, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s trying to take a page from the Samsung playbook and get in the running.

Source: Nokia.

Similarly situated
Below is a list of common elements between where Samsung was when it rolled out the Galaxy S III and where the Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Lumia line is today:

Popular with reviewers: Just as Samsung had gained traction inside the tech world with the Galaxy S III, the Lumia 920 was the Engadget Reader’s Choice Smartphone of the Year for 2012. This type of support usually means that the device has the technology chops to compete. Without a significant platform from which to spread the word, however, the device will never reach its potential. Enter the advertisers.

A significant technology partner: Just as Samsung was stuck with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Nokia is stuck with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for the operating system. These relationships have both benefits and weaknesses for the hardware manufacturers. While Android and Google’s native applications are becoming increasingly popular with users — especially in the U.S. — there is a reason that Samsung is developing its own OS. For Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), the partnership rescued it from its own failing smartphone OS, and gives it the potential to leverage Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s huge business presence. Again, this is all dependent on users giving the device a chance.

A differentiated product: If you take for granted that those who have come before have set the standard to beat, the Lumia knows who it must beat. Just as the Samsung ads took aim at the iPhone by pointing out all of the technology advantages it possessed, the Lumia is attacking both the iPhone and Galaxy as the established players on the block. The Lumia possesses some critical points of differentiation, but unless consumers see the device as different and worth checking out, it won’t necessarily matter.

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