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Nokia refresh amid revamp

posted 14 Sept 2010, 11:37 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 14 Sept 2010, 11:40 ]
The world's largest handset manufacturer added three models to its smartphone range, claiming new momentum amid a shake up of its top management.
UK-NOKIA WORLD - Just days after announcing a change of leadership at the very top, and only one day its executive vice president of mobile solutions Anssi Vanjoki announced his resignation, the world's largest handset manufacturer Nokia hoped to throw the spotlight back on its products.

Neither the outgoing CEO Ollie Pekka Kallasvuo nor the incoming chief exec Stephen Elop attended the company's annual showcase conference. Sales chief Niklas Savander kicked things off with some hopeful words.

Niklas Savander, Nokia Executive Vice President Markets saying :

"For today is all about here and now. Nokia is back."

It was left to outgoing VP Vanjoki to outline the company's new smartphones - three touchscreen models called the C6, C7 and E7. The three new phones will all run an updated version of Nokia's Symbian software, as will the N8 - which is being billed as the ultimate smartphone. David Rivas is the vice president of technology managment at Nokia

David Rivas, Nokia Vice President of Technology Management saying:

"The N8 with its 12 megapixel camera is capable of doing the very best media capture. Indeed its not only going to transform blogging, I think its going to transform filmmaking as we know it."

Reporter Matt Cowan saying "So three new smartphones in addition to this one, the N8, which was previously announced. An updated operating system and some very bold claims. What does it all add up to?"

Ben Wood is the director of research at CCS Insight.

Ben Wood

"The challenge Nokia has right now is there is no question about its market share credentials, but where its losing out right now is mind share and value share. At the top end of the market, like all of the other players, they were caught off guard by Apple and more recently Google. Today was about the fight back, a suite of new products built on the Symbian 3 platform which they're going to need to be the foundation stone to Nokia's recovery into that value space, margin space that they need."

Nokia is still the global leader in smartphones in terms of units sold, but with competitors gaining ground the Finnish company is refreshing its offering in hopes of regaining momentum at the lucrative top end of the market. Still, with new chief executive Stephen Elop due to take his post in a week even this splashy event will do little to quell speculation about the company's future direction.

Matt Cowan, Reuters