Bloomberg News

Nokia Falls as New Handsets Match Expectations: Helsinki Mover

February 27, 2012

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) declined the most in a month as the company unveiled handsets at Mobile World Congress that matched the lineup expected before the show.

The world’s biggest mobile phone maker by volume fell as much as 6 percent to 4.07 euros, the biggest intraday drop since Jan. 27, and traded down 5.2 percent at 4.10 euros as of 12:59 p.m. in Helsinki.

Nokia announced the 189-euro ($254) Lumia 610 today, aimed at extending its line running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone into the mass market and building volume to reclaim market share from handsets using Google Inc.’s Android. Nokia also unveiled a global version of the Lumia 900, announced last month with AT&T Inc. in the U.S. Other products included a handset with a 41- megapixel camera sensor, and three Asha low-end models. All were anticipated in industry blogs, analyst reports and news stories.

“It’s a case of buy the rumors, sell the facts,” said Lars Soederfjell, a Stockholm-based analyst with Bank of Aaland. “There were basically no new products the market didn’t know about. I am a little bit surprised the reaction was so negative.”

Nokia rose to a four-week high on Feb. 24 after saying it would announce “significant industry news” at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today. The company returned to the trade fair with products for the first time since 2009.

‘Tough Competition’

“They will get really tough competition from the Asian vendors,” including Huawei Technologies Co., Soederfjell said. “Still, I think the 189 price point is low enough to make this product sell.”

The Lumia 610 is the most important product for Nokia to stop its market-share slide, said Michael Schroeder, a Helsinki- based analyst with FIM Bank.

Nokia’s share of smartphones sold dipped to 12 percent in the fourth quarter from about 30 percent a year earlier as Windows Phones failed to take up the slack from Nokia’s declining Symbian line, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

“The price is maybe a bit higher than I expected but it’s still quite a good product in driving Windows Phone down toward lower-volume segments,” Schroeder said. “I think they could stabilize the market-share slide in summer or early autumn but more is needed for the company to turn up again.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana ben-Aaron in Helsinki at dbenaaron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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