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The past 12 months have not been kind to Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , which has seen its stock value plummet more than 50%, never recovering from its changeover to a Windows phone platform a little more than a year ago. Despite the partnership with Microsoft, Google's Android continues to eat Nokia's lunch, particularly in emerging markets. Now, problems are emerging with its Lumia 900 smartphone. First, reviews averaged out to be only so-so; then a software glitch was discovered lurking within the spanking-new device. Things are looking pretty dark for Nokia. So dark, in fact, that it makes me wonder about how other companies who have contributed to the Lumia will be faring in the days to come.
The new device teardown craze, always popular with Apple products, recently allowed an inside look at the Lumia 900, showcasing the contributions of companies such as Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) , Broadcom (NYSE: BRCM ) , and Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU ) . By far, the biggest participant in the Lumia's creation is Qualcomm, which supplied five chips for the device. Though the fiasco has so far left Qualcomm unharmed, it's fair to say that the company has a hefty stake in the success of Nokia's latest smartphone.
Though the other two companies contributed much less to the Lumia, it is conceivable that they may suffer by association. Broadcom, which has enjoyed a nice rebound in its stock of nearly 25% so far this year, supplied the Lumia's Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combination chip, while shares of Micron Technology, the company whose NAND memory resides in Nokia's smartphone, lost almost 30% of its value over the past year, and was just starting to rise out of the depths in 2012 when the Nokia issues arose.
I would be very surprised if either Qualcomm or Broadcom were negatively affected by Nokia's latest troubles. Both are huge companies with a large customer base, including, of course, Apple. In other news, Qualcomm is giving Broadcom a run for its money by putting recently acquired technology to work in the Wi-Fi chip sector, which Broadcom currently dominates.
Micron Technology may be looking to grow, and rumors are gaining steam regarding that company's wish to acquire Japanese company Elpida Memory. Elpida, another supplier for the Lumia, filed for bankruptcy in February; its acquisition would help prop up Micron's portion of the DRAM market by up to 14%.
As for Nokia, it is certainly a shame to see a company that pioneered the smartphone market fall to such seemingly insurmountable depths. Although Nokia's bad luck probably won't rub off on its sector-mates in any permanent way, look for dips, especially with the larger companies, which may represent a good entry point for the savvy tech investor.
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