Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) Fights for its Place in the Feature Phone segment - Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

As it waits for the launch of its new smartphone Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK)’s Lumia 920 as soon as its partner Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) is ready with its Windows Phone 8 mobile software, Nokia is not sitting idle.

On Wednesday the European handset maker launched two of its Asha series feature phones - Asha 308 and 309 - mid-range phones which would retail at about $99 and with enough features and capabilities to keep that segment of the population interested.

Though these kinds of phones do not garner the kind of attention that smartphones, these form the bread-and-butter devices for Nokia and are profitable too.

Will NOK Rebound After The Latest Slump? Find OutHere

The long delay in the release of its new smartphones has already started tongues wagging about the future of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft.

It has also placed a question mark over Nokia's ability to break into the smartphone market in any significant way.

Apple has already released its new iPhone 5 and is selling it in record numbers. On Wednesday market leader, Samsung Electronics released its new Galaxy Note 2 and has been claiming it would surpass Apple's iPhone 5 in its sales.

The initial excitement over a phone from Nokia that sustained the rise in its stock price in July and August has all but faded.

In the world of mobiles and tablets, part of the driving force behind their success is the hype surrounding them and the desire to own the latest new gadget as soon as it is out.

The launch of the Asha range of phones is a vital strategy for Nokia as it is in the low-end segment that it has to compete with regional manufacturers who peddle their low-cost phones running on Android.

While it has lost the premium segment to Apple and Samsung, it cannot afford to lose the mid and lower segment where it still has some clout.

Shares of NOK are up over 1.50% in Thursday’s session.

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