Credit firm cautious on Nokia

Credit agency Fitch Ratings isn’t confident in Nokia’s ability to profit from its new Windows Phone 7 devices in the short term.

While the firm is buoyed by the launch of two Lumia smartphones last week, it notes it is still too early to call whether Nokia’s alliance with Microsoft will truly pay off.

“The successful launch of a full Windows Phone product suite in 2012 will be an important step to stabilizing the rating,” a company statement reveals, referring to a previous downgrade in Nokia’s credit rating to BBB-.

Damningly, the credit firm states it sees nothing in the Lumia devices' “functionality or price to take on the competition,” and notes that the rate of decline in Nokia’s smartphone sales “picked up after Nokia announced plans to ditch the Symbian platform.”

That rate of decline is laid out in third quarter shipments figures. While Nokia’s shipments fell 38% year-on-year to 16.8 million units, Apple shipped 17 million (up 21%), and Samsung topped them all with a whopping 120 million.

Fitch believes the changed smartphone landscape increases the risk to Nokia launching a whole new range of devices, noting that “past experience shows how fast-changing technology can result in a successful handset manufacturer quickly losing market share.”

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