Could New 'Mikia' Phones Unseat Apple (AAPL)?

August 26, 2011 7:29 AM EDT
And so it begins.

Less than 48 hours after Steve Jobs relinquished his role as CEO of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), speculation surrounds who the company to take Apple down a peg or two will be. Today, the winner is Nokia (NYSE: NOK).

According to Bloomberg, Nokia's partnership with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), and its pending launch of Windows 7-equpped smartphone, may just be strong enough to take mobile market share from Apple.

Microsoft's new Windows 7 mobile is codenamed "Mango," and will be launched on Nokia phones in the fourth-quarter with a stable of 30,000 applications at launch. Though Nokia recently announced the launch of three Symbian OS-based smartphones, the Espoo, Finland mobile giant will retire the operating system soon.

One Finnish software developer said that things which were a challenge for Nokia on Symbian in the past are a "walk in the park" on Windows Phone.

But investors haven't responded with such enthusiasm. After Nokia CEO Steven Elop announced a partnership with Microsoft in February, shares began to slump. From the announcement in mid-February, Nokia stock has slipped nearly 50 percent to yesterday's close of $5.89.

Nokia and Microsoft have also struggled to gain consumer attention. With Apple's iPhone and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android-based smartphones dominating the market, Microsoft only retained a 1.6 percent market share for it's OS, according to Gartner. Further, Nokia saw its market share drop from 37.4 percent to 20.9 percent in the second quarter.

Finally, Nokia may also help Microsoft out with Windows Phone. Upgrades may include things like adding navigation, improving cameras, audio quality, and battery life. With Android potentially losing luster as more and more users adapt, and Apple's Jobs news calling future devices into question (though there's probably years of planned launches already in the works, so nothing should shift any time soon), Nokia and Microsoft may have just the combination to increase presence and profitability.

Look out world, here comes "Mikia."

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Could New 'Mikia' Phones Unseat Apple (AAPL)?
Bob Hyde on 2011-08-27 17:49:43
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