Market Insight

Nokia Confirms Commitment to North America with the Lumia 900

January 11, 2012

Wayne Lam Wayne Lam Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices & Networks
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Nokia recently announced the arrival of its newest flagship product for the US, the Lumia 900. This premium product features a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, an 8-MP wide angle rear camera, a wide angle front-facing camera, a single core 1.4GHz Qualcomm integrated application and baseband Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM.  More importantly, the Lumia 900 represents Nokia’s first LTE product and it will be running Windows Phone.

In comparison, the Lumia 800, which Nokia debuted last October and released in Europe later in 2011, lacks a front-facing camera, has a smaller screen size (3.7-inches), and doesn’t support LTE.  Thus, Nokia has clearly tailored this phone specifically for the US market.  Even Canada will only be receiving the 800 version of the series.

Smartphones shipments in North America are expected to grow to 207 million units in 2015, up from 47 million in 2009, totaling over one fifth of the entire smartphone market each year during this 6 year span. Clearly North America is a very lucrative wireless market, giving Nokia the chance to stop bleeding market share and start growing again. Nokia is aggressively seizing this opportunity by providing a phone specifically for the market.  It will differentiate itself from the majority of the smartphones currently on the market by utilizing Windows Phone rather than Android as the OS. 

But Nokia’s aggressive push doesn’t stop there.  The premium wireless market is currently saturated by high-end smartphones, making it more difficult for a new high-end smartphone (such as the Lumia 900) to gain share.  However, the low-end smartphone market is rife with opportunities since few OEMs offer phones specifically for this market.  Consequently, this underserved area of the market has offers strong growth potential.

Nokia is demonstrating a strong commitment to penetrating the US market with a localized version of its flagship product alongside a product designed for the growing low-end smartphone market.  The inclusion of LTE and a larger display in the 900, designed to go head-to-head with Android handsets, offers consumers a device with similar specifications to Android handsets, but with an alternative OS.  Furthermore, the 710 is perfectly suited for conquering the growing, low-end segment of the market.

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