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Nokia should stop selling smartphones

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Staff writer |
NokiaFor the first time in eight years Nokia is not on the Top 5 list of mobile phone vendors. The time has come for the company to shut down its mobile phones factories.

IDC's report states that vendors shipped 444.5 million mobile phones in the third quarter of 2012. That's a year-over-year growth of 2.4 per cent (they shipped 434.1 million units in Q3 last year), and smartphones increased from 127.7 million units in the Q3 2011 to 179.7 million, and that's a 45.3 per cent increase, more than analysts were expecting.

The Korean electronics giant Samsung is the leader of the worldwide smartphone market with its Android phones and has 35 percent market share in a single quarter with 56.3 million devices shipped. Galaxy III is company's flagship product but Samsung's all products are doing very well too.

Samsung's enemy No1, Apple, is also doing very good job: the company shipped 26.9 million devices during the third quarter - a 15 percent share of the market. We must bear in mind that iPhone 5 wasn't available until the last week of the 3Q 12, but its sales helped Apple a lot.

The third place belongs to Research in Motion (RIM), another big company that can't compete with the developments in the smartphone industry. They shipped 7.7 million units for market share of 4.3 percent. This is poor performance comparing to Samsung and Apple but even poorer comparing with RIM itself: a year ago the company shipped 11.8 million units and that was 9.6 percent of the smartphone market.

The fourth spot is reseved for the Chinese company ZTE. It shipped 7.7 million units, and that's a respectable growth on the year-ago quarter of 83 percent. It's ZTE's first enter on the Top 5 list. HTC from Taiwan ended on the fifth place with slightly worse result of 7.3 million devices, but year-to-year comparison is much worse: the company shipped 12.7 million devices a year ago.

And where's Nokia? The company shipped 6.3 million smartphones and that's an insultingly small number for one of the icons of the mobile phones industry. And it's even more sad that the company can't blame anyone but itself for such outcome.

It had Symbian operating system, a very promising system that was the heart of some of the best mobile phones of their time. It was the operating system that meant to be today's Android, although there were some wrong steps such as lack of quality apps, but it was declared dead out of the blue. It simply ceased to exist and with it a whole range of mobile phones, not just Nokia's.

Then, Nokia used to have robust mobile phones, simple to use and with good design. But, the company was greedy. At one moment the company had so much models on the market that there's was almost impossible to remember them all. And it turned once simple design to its opposite, some models deserve to be on the Top Ugly list. (Do you remember 7600, 3620 and the mother of all ugly phones 7500?)

Nokia's decision to embrace Windows Phone operating system was a surprise if you were living under the rock, in any other case it was clear from the beginning what the ex-head of Microsoft's Business Division, Stephen Elop, will do. The phones with Nokia name on them and Microsoft inside are on the market for one year now and the result of that move is visible: Nokia is going down very fast.

So, what's the verdict? Nokia has two choices. The first is to embrace Android and try it's luck with it. It would be the first logical step, any analyst would say that. However, we are saying that it should stop making smartphones because it's too late. Just look at the numbers: Nokia - 6.3 million, Samsung - 56.3 m, Apple - 26.9 m. Let's say it clear: Nokia will no be the leading phone company ever again. The company should increase the shipment five times and there's no power in the world that can do that.

The conclusion is clear: sell mobile unit and save the network business. And, before that, find a new CEO who has no connection with Microsoft.

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