Nokia takes on smartphone rivals

Nokia is set to fight back in the hotly contested battle for the smartphone market as the vendor predicts it will start growing faster than rivals RIM this year and by 2011 will be on par with both RIM and Apple.

Recently appointed executive vice-president and head of the mobile phones Rick Simonson told the Economic Times, that revenue erosion is already occurring for RIM. “In the second quarter of the fiscal 2010, the sales of our E-series range of smartphones was over three times that of RIM’s figures, and we are growing faster than them everywhere, except in North America.”
Last year the smartphone sector continued to represent the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market. The big winners in smartphone market share last year were Apple and RIM with both reporting around 50% year-over-year growth in unit sales, and both companies posted their highest share of the smartphone market.
While Nokia's market share suffered at the hands of tough competition, it still held the top spot with a 39% share, but Simonson warns 2010 will be fought and won on value-added content propositions.
“I can even make a prediction for 2010: In Latin America, we will grow faster than them [RIM]. By 2011, our efforts will start producing results, as we will be at par with Apple and RIM in smartphones. Not only we draw level with them, we will also win the war because, in addition to email, we will be adding content, chat, music, entertainment and several other features, which will soon become very critical for success of any company in this space,” Simonson said.  

He claimed that Nokia will have the upper hand due to its open platform Symbian operating system coupled with an open distribution model that is not restricted by geographical or technology boundaries.



“An open system enables us to work faster at beating competition in the pockets we are not doing too well, by doing things differently. That is precisely why 14-15 operating systems cannot survive,” he said.

Simonson added that there was “definitely not enough room for more than 4-5 operating systems. Scale is critical”.
Meanwhile, Nokia has escalated its patent dispute with Apple, filing a complaint with the US federal court over allegations that Apple has infringed several "implementation patents" that cover everything from camera sensors to touchscreens. The lawsuit follows Nokia’s complaint filed with the International Trade Commission last week and the ongoing lawsuit over GSM patents. Nokia’s ITC complaint requests that the commission  bans imports of  a comprehensive range of Apple mobile product including the MacBook through to the iPhone for infringing its device patents.