There was a time when the Windows Phone UI did not have any committed manufacturers backing it. And it was Nokia, under its new leader Stephen Elop, which put its hand up to strategically partner with them and adopted the Windows Phone platform and integrated it in their line of smartphones, even deserting the self developed Meego in the process.
Interestingly, in the short duration since the deal, Nokia is no longer the market leader it was and also has been rapidly losing sales in markets globally to players like Samsung and Apple. With their stock prices tumbling by over 90% in the past five years, they seem to be getting into deeper trouble and might soon be cash strapped if their current southwards journey continues.
Though Microsoft, which has its sight set on the handheld (read smartphones and tablets) market, which is set to become the most lucrative, as the world increasingly gets mobile. Microsoft is already pumping $1 billion a year to Nokia for using the Windows Phone platform. And there are indications suggesting that Microsoft will be willing to pump in further if the need arises. Though, there are rumors doing the rounds that Microsoft might buy out Nokia, analyst and research firms seem to strongly disagree and even we feel that Microsoft was never a great hardware company and they would be better off it. But in case Nokia is cash strapped, you can expect Microsoft to help them out in the form of a inter-company loan or an equity stake in the company.
The big question obviously remains, “Will Nokia be able to turn it around like Apple did?” Well to answer that, Nokia has been there and done that and with the kind of hardware the Finnish vendor is able to churn out combined with the beautiful Windows Phone UI, they certainly can head northwards and turn things around. But heading to the top of the league now seems to be a distant dream.
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