The race is on - who will be the first?
Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is determined to pip Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) to the post and release its smartphone ahead of the iPhone maker.
Nokia has announced that it will soon be launching a new smartphone operating on Windows Phone 8 software. Everyone was expecting it to release the phone at its Helsinki trade show in the first week of September but the company has announced a media event jointly with Microsoft on September 5.
Though Nokia did not reveal any more details of the media event, everyone is expecting it to release its smartphone on that date.
Apple, it may be recalled, is widely expected to unveil its new iPhone on September 12.
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Nokia has had limited success with Windows mobile operating software, first seen on its Lumia series of phones in early 2011, but Chief Executive Stephen Elop has decided to go with Windows as the company's future strategy.
Elop is after all an alumnus of Microsoft, from where Nokia poached him in 2010 to turn around Nokia and help it face the stiff competition posed by Apple and Samsung.
Earlier this week, Elop had told reporters, “I don’t think about rewinding the clock and thinking about competing elsewhere....In today’s war … (between) Android, Apple, and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows phone.”
In sales of mobile handsets Nokia is lagging behind Apple and Samsung, both of which have made giant strides in the smartphone segment, where they are fighting for market share.
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In the second quarter of 2012, Nokia sold 4 million Windows phones, compared with Apple's 26 million iPhones and Samsung’s 50 million smartphones.
On Friday, Nokia shares rose 3.8 percent to close at $2.74 on the NYSE. In the last one month the stock has risen more than 58 percent.