Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) shares rose by more than 2% in trading this morning, as investors rallied behind the troubled Finnish handset maker. At time of writing, the company’s shares were trading for $4.05, almost 2.5% above its opening level. Nokia shares have risen by almost 50% since lows of $2.60 per share last November.
In an Australian press event hyping the company’s new range of smart phones, Steven Elop, the Nokia CEO, expressed his confidence in the models, and hinted at where the company might be going, including a reference to a Nokia tablet. The executive highlighted some of the strengths of the Nokia smart phone range.
“The Lumia product, using Windows Phone software works better than anything else with the Microsoft systems like the Exchange mail capability or SharePoint, and of course we’re therefore aggressively going after the business marketplace as well.” The company is trying to play to its strengths by integrating with the Microsoft technology, who already dominate enterprise IT purchases. The Australian comments were originally recorded by the Guardian.
The first weeks of 2013 have not been as kind to Nokia Corporation, however, shares began falling at the end of January in anticipation of the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BB10 launch. Nokia and Blackberry are likely to spend the next year battling for third place in the smart phone market. In the last month, share have fallen by more than 3%.
On the day of the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) launch, the team in charge of Nokia social media efforts took it upon themselves to snidely attack the new Canadian handset models. The team published a tweet which read “Blackberries make a great snack, but for the world’s best business smartphone, try a #Lumia.” A picture of the company’s smart phone accompanied the jibe.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) is well known for its ad campaigns which hits at its biggest rivals, though that barb was pointed at the company it will be most directly competing with. Nokia will compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for market share, but it will battle with Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) for survival.
One interesting fact from the company’s fourth quarter financial results was this: the Lumia range was not the company’s top selling smart phone line. Nokia technically has three separate ranges of smart phones, Lumia, Symbian, which was abandoned in 2011, and Asha which has been knocking around since 1999.
The company’s Asha line sold 9.3 million units in the fourth quarter, more than double the 4.4 million Lumia units shipped. Symbian models moved to the tune of 2.2 million units. The figures may be a bit embarrassing for Nokia, though it does give a feel of where the company is coming from, and where most of its revenue originates.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has a CEO that is willing to make tough decisions, and is defending his company aggressively. That won’t be enough to bring the company to the top of the smart phone market, though it has been enough to bring the company back from near oblivion. The battle between the firms for third place will be an interesting one, and their first quarter results will be hotly anticipated.