Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) became a victim of its own success by being too complacent and rigid at a time when the environment around it was rapidly changing. Now the company is trying to turn its business around and regain some of the market share it lost to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. This month, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) announced three new products that I believe will help with its turnaround.
The Budget Device
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s first-quarter results showed disappointing performance from its mobile phones segment as shipments declined 21% year-over-year and 30% sequentially to 55.8 million for the quarter. Within Mobile Phones, Asha full-touch smartphone shipments declined 46% quarter-on-quarter to just 5 million units. CEO Stephen Elop had promised that Nokia would revamp its features and Asha smartphone lineup and that’s where Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has started. On May 9, Nokia unveiled a new $99 phone from the Asha series in an event held in India where Asha phones are already very popular. The Nokia Asha 501 is a touch-screen device with Internet capabilities and comes with built-in social media apps including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) , Twitter and LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) and also includes 40 free Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) games. The phone’s colorful design mimics Nokia’s high-end Lumia phones.
In more good news, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s Asha 501 comes with a deal sweetener for customers. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is collaborating with Nokia and various telecom operators to offer data discounts or free access to Facebook for Asha 501 buyers. Facebook’s user growth in developed markets has started to mature. Facebook added 54 million monthly active users during the first quarter of the year, out of which just 10 million came from North America and Europe. Facebook understands that there is still a huge number of potential new users who are out there in the emerging markets, and by offering free access to its services, Facebook aims to get more users hooked to the social network.
The U.S. Exclusive
In a bid to widen the distribution of its flagship products in the United States, Nokia announced the Lumia 928 which would be exclusively available on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) wireless, the largest nationwide wireless carrier in the United States. The phone is quite similar to Nokia’s previous flagship, the Lumia 920, which was launched in the U.S. exclusively on AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) just six months ago but comes with a few important differences. First, the 928 has a new outer body with rectangular edges as opposed to the round edges on the 920. The phone also has a physical camera button. Second, the Lumia 928 comes with a Xenon flash on its camera that helps it take awesome still-shots even in low-light conditions. All in all, the Lumia 928 is a slight upgrade on the 920 and gives millions of Verizon wireless subscribers the option to get a top-notch Nokia Windows Phone, and should help Nokia’s sales numbers in the U.S. market.
This is good news for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) as well. There is no doubt that the Windows Phone is steadily gaining traction. Before the Lumia 928, Verizon only had two noticeable Windows Phone products in Lumia 822 and HTC 8X, both of which are quite old. Thus the Lumia 928 is a great addition to Verizon’s offerings and could help the network attract new subscribers as well as satisfy existing ones.