Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) unveiled its new line of Windows 8 Lumia smartphones yesterday, and in so doing, had hoped to show the world a new generation of smartphone technology. However, in the middle of all the specs and facts that Nokia released concerning its new Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 PureView phones, they chose to withhold certain key facts that could hurt them in the market.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) touted the improvement in the camera technology in the Lumia 920 model, along with new and improved mapping services, wireless charging, and a lot of other technical improvements to the devices, over their predecessors. These facts, figures, and obvious advancements definitely caught the attention of journalists and possible customers alike.
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However, the facts that Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) left out of its presentation of the new devices, and in fact, refused to give a straight answer when asked directly about them, may have hurt the company even more than a launch of these products could have helped them. Nokia showed off its new products, and made a great effort to demonstrate how great they were, but left out the details on how a customer might obtain them.
None of the speakers at the event could say when or where the new phones would be available for purchase. One person asked Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO, when the new models would be released, and Elop replied with a round about answer that indicated they were not releasing specific dates for the actual release of the phones. He said vaguely that the phones would be released during the fourth quarter. When a second journalist asked Mr. Elop if the Lumia models would be marketed in China, again a vague answer that China was an important market, but Nokia was not offering specific about the release, was given.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a source intimate with the matter, reported that Nokia would be able to release more details within a week. However, the lack of candor and honesty on the part of Nokia today, helped contribute to a huge drop of 13% in the company’s share price in the market. This dip in price can not go without notice. The Finnish company is already in dire straights, as they attempt to compete with players like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930) in the smartphone market. They have been losing this battle badly for several years now, and have long since toppled from their post as the number one handset maker in the world.
How does this product launch compare with say, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s launch of a new iPhone? When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the iPhone 4S, last October, they released the price of the handset, the carriers who would have access to distribute it, and also the date it would be officially available for purchase. By doing this, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lays all of its cards on the table for investors, consumers, and the press to see. This open candor and willingness to share information on how to obtain the new models is key for the customer.
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is withholding the information that everyone in attendance at the event, along with millions of potential customers, really wanted to know about these new products. While they may consider it playing a safe hand and keeping their cards close until the last possible minute, few others in the tech or business world agree with them. While they may be playing their cards close, and even possibly trying to hide a few up their sleeve, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has an ace in the hole, in regards to reaching out to the customers, investors, and press.