Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) CEO Stephen Elop once vowed to produce a device that rivals the standards of the iPhone. In early 2011, Elop joined hands with his former employer Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to change the fortunes of Nokia with the help of Windows Phone platform. Since then, the company has rolled out five models of Lumia that run on Windows Phone 8, but sales haven’t demonstrated the same enthusiasm. Nokia sold 4.4 million Lumia smartphones in the crucial Christmas quarter, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold a record 48 million iPhones in the same period.
Elop said his first target is to get a double-digit market share. The company has a whopping $1 billion marketing budget, so you can’t blame marketing efforts if sales remain poor. According to Kantar Worldpanel, Nokia Lumia sales have helped Windows Phone boost market share in the quarter ending February. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s mobile OS now accounts for 4.1 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, up from 2.7 percent in the same quarter last year.
Android remains the most popular smartphone operating system with 51.2 percent market share, followed by iOS with 43.5 percent. Lumia also helped Windows Phone nab 6.7 percent of the British smartphone market, 13.1 percent in Italian market, 6.8 percent in Germany and 5.9 percent of Mexican smartphone market. Delay in the launch of Z10 and Q10 smartphones caused BlackBerry to remain poor all over.
Stephen Elop has his eyes fixed on BlackBerry’s 80 million customers. Both companies are struggling as they try to transition from traditional handsets to smartphones. It means big shift for BlackBerry’s corporate clients as they have to buy new smartphones and replace old servers that were used to operate the older handsets. Elop said that any head of IT would think hard about the investments they make in business mobility, so they will consider the next generation.
His efforts are paying off. The Mall of America recently dumped BlackBerry for Lumia. Sports Direct has followed the same route by adopting Nokia Lumia. However, turning Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) around would never be easy for Elop. When he took charge as CEO, the company had €40 billion in revenues, €1.2 billion of profit and over 120,000 employees. Now revenues have declined to €30 billion, profits turned into a loss of €2.3 billion and the company last year laid off 10,000 employees to prevent bleeding cash.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s Elop believes that the dominance of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) can be broken with enough hard work. Talking about the Samsung Galaxy S4, Elop said it’s not a technology war. Smartphone companies should focus on making life easier, faster and creative.