After introducing Microsoft's
According to IDC, Nokia's share in worldwide mobile phone shipments declined from 30.7% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 26.6% for the same period in 2011 -- a far cry from the 40% it held way back in 2008.
So, is China the key to the revival of Nokia's fortunes? Let's find out.
Riding the dragon
Going by the available figures, that seems a distinct possibility.
China is the world's biggest mobile-phone market, with the number of users close to a staggering 1 billion. According to IHS, smartphone sales in China are expected to top 120 million units this year, an astounding 85% jump from last year's figure of 65 million units.
But Nokia has also made a conscious effort on its part to customize the phones to suit the Chinese audience. The company has formed ties with online China-based companies such as Baidu, SINA, Sohu.com, Renren, and Tencent to incorporate their services and develop localized applications for its devices. But that wouldn't come without...
That's right -- competition. Nokia's share of the smartphone market in China fell from 42% in the first quarter last year to just 20% in the fourth quarter, and it lost the No. 1 crown to Samsung in the process. At the same time, Google's
And that's not the end of it, as Nokia would need to watch out for other smartphone makers, such as Samsung, ZTE, and HTC, which are in the process of introducing their own Windows-based smartphones.
The Foolish bottom line
Nokia's survival in the near future largely depends on how it performs in China. The company's strong sales network, coupled with its strong brand loyalty in China, should work in its favor.
Nokia might be on the verge of a turnaround through Lumia's debut in China, but there are more opportunities out there for you, too. You can take a good look at some of these by accessing The Motley Fool's free report: "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution." You can access this report for a limited period by clicking here -- it's free. Get it before it's gone!
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Fool contributor Keki Fatakia does not hold shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nokia, Baidu, Google, Microsoft, Sohu.com, SINA, and China Mobile, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.