Nokia loses brand awareness as N97 'iPhone killer' launched

Somewhat hidden by the fanfare surrounding the launch of its new N97 flagship smartphone, Nokia is slipping down the league tables of handsets that appeal to teenagers. A new study across 30 markets involving over 110,000 teenagers indicates that, while retaining the top slot for the last three years, Nokia has experienced a year-on-year decline in popularity.

According to the study conducted by Global Habbo Youth Brand, only 21 per cent of teenagers named Nokia as the number one favourite, compared to 29 per cent in 2008. Nokia's recently announced drop in market share becomes even more apparent when looking at specific markets. Nokia is number one in only 13 countries, down from 15 last year.

Interestingly this list of 13 includes: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela. Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson registered #1 in nine countries but included a more impressive list: Austria, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

The new pretenders, Samsung, LG and Apple are chasing Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the global list, with all three brands having moved up in the league table since last year. Apple, at number five, did not appear in the global top ten last year. Blackberry also enters the top ten for the first time, representing the greater mainstream appeal of smart phones.

The new N97, which comes equipped with more software and storage than many low-cost notebooks in a bid to regain market share lost to the iPhone, is being launched in more than 75 countries for around US$800 before subsidies. Nokia's VP for the N Series, Jonas Geust, said that the device was not a niche product. "Clearly our ambition is to have a similar success to the N95 family." The N95 has sold more than 10 million units as of the end March, according to Nokia.

For more on this story:
Cellular News and Bloomberg

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