Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) fall from its place of dominance in the mobile phone space has been well documented, both here and elsewhere. Once the leading name in the cellular phone market, the company finds itself today struggling to come to grips with a world where mobile computing represents the new norm and smartphones dominate the competitive landscape.

However, after it seemed like the market had given it up for dead, Nokia's shares have shown renewed signs of life over the last several weeks, rising an astounding 25% last week alone, fueled in no short measure by the supposed success of its recently launched Lumia 920 smartphone. Thanks to its partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) , whose Windows Phone software powers the device, it now seems that Nokia might finally have won itself a seat at the table in the burgeoning smartphone market.

And although this seems encouraging, the competition has never been fiercer in the smartphone space. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) still sit comfortably atop the smartphone market with their dominant iOS and Android operating systems, respectively. However, a win from Nokia could help usher in the Windows Phone as a viable third option.

All this amounts to Nokia's shares looking tantalizing from one angle, with its seeming recent successes, but also fraught with uncertainty and risk. In order to help investors crystallize their thinking on the beleaguered smartphone giant, the Fool recently published a special research note on Nokia, which covers all of the essential information investors need to understand when looking at the Finnish smartphone maker. To introduce our readers to the product, we included a free excerpt from the report. If you find this compelling, you can just click here to access the report in its entirety. Enjoy.

The three areas you MUST watch

  1. Lumia unit volumes: Launched on carriers around the world in November 2012, Nokia's Lumia phones must attain unit volumes over 10 million per quarter by the end of Q1 2013 to be a success.
  2. Successor device announcements: Nokia cannot stand still with its current devices. Rivals Apple and Samsung are very likely to release next-generation iPhone and Galaxy handsets in 2013. Nokia will need a successor to its flagship Lumia 920 with capabilities that are in line with, or exceed, that of its competitors.
  3. Nokia Siemens Networks: This joint venture has been a chronic money-loser for Nokia. Recent restructuring efforts and focused attention on profitable markets have improved its financial performance. That needs to continue in order to prevent Nokia Siemens Networks from being a drag on Nokia.


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