Nokia once ruled the handset market but, in handset years, it’s been eons since those days and Nokia has fallen well behind Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android software. Last week, the Finnish company took another step backward, sliding behind Samsung.
That wasn’t good news for CEO Stephen Elop, who is coming up on his two-year anniversary in the post, a time frame that has found Nokia’s shares dropping down to sell at 70% less than the price it was at when Elop took over, the Wall Street Journal reports. Elop’s future with the company may hang on today’s announcement of the Nokia's Windows 8 Lumia Smartphone, which the company has been teasing for days in an attempt to steal even just a little of Apple's iPhone 5 thunder.
The new Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 range boasts "the best pictures and video ever seen on a smartphone," a touchscreen said to work with gloves and fingernails, wireless charging (also coming to Virgin Atlantic business lounges and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), NFC and Nokia Maps integration and “access to more than 150 playlists that span all major genres as part of an all-you-can-eat pro bono offering,” Engadget reports.
And, of course, consumers can create their own playlists, while US customers are getting a free streaming music service as an added sweetener. Along with all that, Bloomberg notes, consumers will also be able to browse an expanded app library incuding content from, yes, Bloomberg, plus Michelin, Angry Birds and other digital brands.
Joe Belfiore, the manager of the Windows Phone Program at Microsoft, demonstrated the new Lumia phone at a press conference in New York Wednesday morning, showing off “the customizability of the … interface by sliding tiles around the screen and resizing them, so you always have quick and easy access to whatever apps you use most often,” according to Business Insider.
Belfiore also showed off a number of new photo features, including one that allows you to put images together into one larger image and another that allows users to back up their images to “SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud solution,” the site notes. "We have clearly put our best efforts, our best engineering, best innovation and intellectual property into these products," Elop told the Journal. But will it be enough to keep him in the leadership chair?
"Most of our 10,000 members own Nokia shares, and there is a lot of disappointment with the company and its management," said Timo Rothovius, chairman of Finland's Shareholders Association for small investors, told the Journal. "People are especially disappointed with Stephen Elop."
The group will push for Elop’s dismissal if the new Lumia fails to ignite consumer interest, the Journal reports. One suspects they won’t be the only ones.