No one wants to be in Nokia (NYSE: NOK) CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo's shoes next week when he must face angry shareholders who are looking for answers on how the world's largest handset maker will combat increasing competition from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and others.
Analysts said Nokia's annual shareholder conference, scheduled for May 6, may be the last one for Kallasvuo unless he can turn the company around and introduce a compelling competitor to the Apple iPhone before the 2010 holiday buying season. So far, Kallasvuo's track record is not particularly strong--the company has not had a hit in the smartphone arena since 2006, and just last week Nokia delayed the launch of the Symbian^3 software platform. In addition, investors are concerned by Nokia's continued inability to strengthen its presence in the U.S. market. According to Strategy Analytics, Nokia has just 7 percent of the U.S. market.
In addition, earlier this month Nokia reported a sharp rise in profits in the first quarter but the firm missed analysts' estimates--thus driving concerns about Nokia's smartphone strategy. In the first quarter, Nokia shipped 107.8 million units, up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter and down 15 percent from the fourth quarter. Nokia had 21.5 million smartphone shipments in the quarter, up 57 percent from the year-ago period and 3 percent sequentially.
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