My friend, Ranesh Kumar considered picking up a new Nokia handset before he heard about the new Motorola Droid. Just last week, he bought two Motorola Droids from Verizon, one for himself and one for his fiancée.
Ranesh was a Nokia fan for a long time and had owned few Nokia’s including an E70. But he made the transition to Verizon for a decent deal on a Voyager two years ago (because he likes qwerty keyboards and that was the only one he liked at the time). Ranesh couldn’t wait for a decent Nokia device to hit the market he liked, so he took the plunge. When he tested out the N97, he was terribly disappointed with the overall OS and decided to hold out for the Christmas season of this year to see what was around the corner and settled on the Motorola Droid running the Android 2.0 OS.
Nokia is readying the release of their flagship handset, the N900. Unfortunately, Nokia posted it’s first loss in 10 years.(We know Nokia Siemens Networks was to blame.) The problem wasn’t lack of phones worldwide but the Chinese “bandit” or known as “shanzhai” manufacturers eating away at Nokia’s bottom line. Several of these manufactures including Shenzhen Evien Co., Ltd., SZ Telstar Co Ltd., T-Link Industrial Development Company Limited, ZTE Corp., Lenovo and Huawei Tech have already infiltrated the Chinese market with a variety of cell phones. This doesn’t include big boys like HTC and Dell, among others that are making a splash into the worldwide market.
Nokia is the largest mobile phone manufacturer but is feeling the confined spaces of the Mobile market more than ever. RIM’s Blackberry (the business mainstay), Apple’s iPhone (of course) and Palm’s Pre (and soon to be Pixi line), have all cut into Nokia’s overall market share. Not to mention Google’s Android is having huge success with HTC building some great quality phones and across other manufacturers too. While still fighting off fierce competition in the high end cell phone range, Nokia has to contend with middle and low end all at the same time. A feat never before performed for his Helsinki, Finland company.
Step in Maemo: Nokia decided to strike back with the flagship N900 which runs its latest OS based off of Linux called Maemo. This new handset is set to change the direction for Nokia in the mid to higher end device range. Nokia began shipments on November 10th and are expected to hit retailers shortly, for an estimated price of EUR 500 ($746.00 USD).
Will Nokia be able to break through the obstacles of intruders into its once dominant domain? The N900 comes packed with plenty of features WAY ahead of phones in its class: ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of total application memory. widgets, contacts and shortcuts all on the desktop,. Pictures and videos taken with the 5Mpx Carl Zeiss camera automatically are tagged where they were taken, SMS and IM, standard built-in 32 GB storage is big enough to store up to 7,000 songs or 40 hours of DVD-quality video, and it can be expanded up to 48GB with an external microSD card.
The phone is amazing and packs an MMA like punch compared to other phones in the market place at this time, but Nokia will have to bring the beautiful Maemo OS down to the mid and perhaps even lower range handsets to regain what market share has already been lost. If anyone can do this, Nokia can and with the N900, where they proved that they are listening to the consumer.