Newswires telecom reporter Roger Cheng reports:
With Nokia (NOK) cutting its financial targets for the second time in three months, it isn’t surprising that the mobile handset giant cited competition in the high-end smartphone market as a chief culprit for the disappointment.
Nokia has been stubbornly slow in taking large strides forward with its smartphones. Take its recently unveiled N8, a multimedia powerhouse that a few years ago would’ve been eagerly snapped up. It’s the first device to run on the new version of the Symbian operating system. Symbian 3, however, isn’t the quantum leap many industry observers say is needed to match the likes of Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG). Despite a few upgrades and a bit more polish, the platform is showing its age relative to iOS or Android.
The competition is taking its toll. Nokia on Wednesday warned that second-quarter revenue from its mobile devices and services business would fall at the lower end of its previous guidance of EUR6.7 billion to EUR7.2 billion, citing disappointingly lower average selling prices and device volumes.
Despite a wide lead in the handset business, Nokia continues to cede market share in the high-end segment. In the first quarter, Symbian’s share of the smartphone market slipped to 44.3% from 48.8% a year ago, according to research firm Gartner. Both the iPhone and Android operating systems saw their share jump at its expense. The trend is likely to continue into the second quarter.