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"Loser." That's the word that kept coming to mind when I thought of Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) over the past few months, and that's why I sold my shares 11 days ago.
Some explanation is required here. It's not that I think of Nokia and its people as losers, or its products as shoddy or unimpressive. To the contrary -- I've been mostly happy with the Nokia handsets I've owned over the years. When I think of Nokia as a "loser," I think of it as a loser of:
- Market share
- Developer share
Nokia has suffered poor financial results as it bleeds its share of the smartphone market to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) , Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) , and now even Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) with its new Droid handset. Developers, meanwhile, are racing to create software for the iPhone and Android handsets.
They're smart to do so. A new report from Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple produced $1.6 billion in operating profit from its iPhone division last quarter, easily besting the $1.1 billion Nokia produced over the same period.
Wait, it gets worse. Last night, Gartner released new data that shows Nokia lost three percentage points of smartphone market share worldwide. Not surprisingly, Apple and RIM gained, with Research In Motion adding 4.9 percentage points and Apple 4.2 points.
Either way, Nokia is losing. With lower profits and less market share, and facing tough competitors who have the backing of a very large and very powerful developer community, the mobile king sits atop a threatened throne. You'll have to pardon me if I refuse to wait around for the coup.
But that's my take. Now it's your turn. Is Nokia teetering toward irrelevance? Or, at 13 times projected earnings, is this telecom titan too cheap to ignore? Please vote in the poll below, and then leave us a comment explaining your thinking.