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Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK) Resurrection: Mission Impossible?

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Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), a fallen giant (mainly due to the birth of new-age technology), remains one of the biggest mobile phone companies. Since the invention of the first smartphone just over five years ago, Nokia has struggled to keep up with the competition in the new market segment. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung have taken a huge chunk of the market, while Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and HTC continue to battle Nokia for the third spot. Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has not helped, with Windows Phone holding barely 3% of the smartphone platforms market share.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)

Top 5 smartphone operating systems, shipments, and market share, 1Q13 (units in millions)

Operating System 1Q13  ShipmentVolume 1Q13 Market Share






Android 162.1 75% 90.3 59.1% 79.5%
iOS 37.4 17.3% 35.1 23% 6.6%
Windows Phone 7.0 3.2% 3.0 2% 133.3%
BlackBerry 6.3 2.9% 9.7 6.4% -35.1%
Linux 2.1 1.0% 3.6 2.4% -41.7%
Symbian 1.2 0.6% 10.4 6.8% -88.5%
Others 0.1 0.0% 0.6 0.4% -83.3%
Total 216.2 100% 152.7 100% 41.6%

Data Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, May 2013

The good news for Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), though, is the fact that, despite the slow progress of the Windows Phone platform, there is at least some growth, which indicates increasing popularity. But, it will take a lot of time before Microsoft’s platform can stand a chance to mount any significant challenge to the two leaders, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Additionally, Samsung is also plotting to adopt it’s own operating system, Tizen, while Firefox has also made progress in coming up with a free proprietary platform. This adds to the challenge faced by Nokia in rebuilding its empire.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) recently refreshed its line of Lumia phones, launching the Lumia 928 this month, and also announced that the Lumia 925 will be launched globally within a few months. The Finnish giant is looking to broaden its market share in the U.S., which is dominated by the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones. BlackBerry 10 has also taken a considerable chunk of the U.S. market since launching in January, but has thus far disappointed compared to initial targets. BlackBerry shipped 6.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013, following its early romp in the U.K. and Canada. Windows Phone shipments stood at seven million, representing a 133.3% increase year-over-year. BlackBerry’s shipments declined 35.1% from last year. It was the only decline among the top four platforms in the smartphone industry. Google’s Android, on the other hand, shipped 162 million units, largely attributed to Samsung Galaxy phones and HTC shipments, while Apple’s iOS sold 37.4 million units.

The most interesting statistics illustrate that, apart from Android, which increased its market share from 59.1% to 75% year-over-year, Windows Phone was the only other platform to register growth in market share, increasing from 2% to 3.2%. Both iOS and BlackBerry registered declines, along with the rest of the players. In terms of growth rates, Windows Phone registered the highest figure with 60% growth rate, while Android was up 26.9%. If Windows and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) can maintain that growth rate, their market share could be in double digits with the next three years.

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