Belfast Telegraph

Analysts' thumbs down for smartphones sees shares tumble at Nokia

By Gideon Spanier

Shares at the troubled Finnish mobile giant Nokia tumbled by 13 per cent yesterday as analysts gave a thumbs down to its new range of Windows 8 smartphones.

Nokia staged a glitzy launch in New York rather than its native Helsinki to unveil two devices, the Lumia 920 and 820, which are the result of its alliance with Microsoft.

But analysts were not impressed with Nokia's decision to invest in high-quality camera technology as a way to stand out against better-selling rivals Apple and Samsung.

The Lumia 920, the flagship device, has "augmented reality" software which means that when you point the camera at a city street, it overlays maps and information about local restaurants and shops on the screen.

Users can also take photographs and video without a flash at night because the camera "is able to take in five times more light than competing smartphones", Nokia said.

Other new features include a wireless phone charger and a high-sensitivity touchscreen which can even be operated using gloves.

Some observers praised the Lumia 920. "The device is undoubtedly a desirable, impressive piece of kit," said David McQueen, a principal analyst at research firm Informa. "The company may have finally bottomed out in the smartphone market."

The stakes are high for Nokia's chief executive, Stephen Elop, as the company, once the market leader in mobile, has fallen badly in smartphone sales and also lags in the fast-growing tablet sector.

Amazon is set to unveil a new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet today and Apple is launching its iPhone5 next Wednesday.

Belfast Telegraph