Rating: Nokia might face a takeover bid from Facebook, too
As Apple has just dropped Google Maps in favour of its own technology, it’s becoming clear that Nokia is also targeting location as a prime differentiator. So suddenly there’s a major focus on mapping in the mobile industry, Interestingly, this move into location seems to be allied with an attemptby Nokia to gain more share of the business mobile market sector. Three senior analysts with Informa Telecoms & Media have shared there views on the recent developments at Nokia with GoMobile News.According to Dave McQueen, a principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, “Location has to be an important differentiator for Nokia having paid $8.1 billion for Navteq five years ago and there is still no discernable ROI.”
He continues, “Nokia’s mapping offers a better experience than Google’s, plus new applications like Nokia Maps, Drive, Transport and City Lens should be at the forefront of its marketing.
Apple dropping Google Maps also makes this space interesting.
The company is hoping to gain market leadership in music and imaging, notably with its PureView and now the purchase of Scalado (see here).
All these have to combine with better smartphones using new materials, new technologies and location-based services to provide stronger points of differentiation, whilst making them available at a range of price points.”
Mark Newman, chief research officer with Informa, also believes that location is becoming key for Nokia.
He says, “For some time now Nokia has believed that its location capabilities could be an important differentiator. But the question is whether mobile phone users or the developer community also see this as a major advantage that Nokia has over its competition.
“It is also interesting to see that Nokia is hoping to use location as a way into the business market. Nokia says that it wants to “extend its mapping technology to multiple industries.
Nokia has struggled for a long time with its enterprise strategy but it looks as if its new thrust is going to involve more of a push into the M2M sector and developing a revenue stream outside of the sale of devices.”
Significantly, all of these changes in Nokia’s circumstances are making a prime target for a takeover bid possibly from Facebook, Julian Jest, a research analyst with Informa, argues.
Facebook, has plenty of cash to invest as a result of their recent IPO, Jest points out. “In regards to its business in the mobile space, Facebook has not had much success, and may be considering new strategies, including developing their own phone.”
Jest continued, “Nokia has an excellent history of producing attractive, well built handsets, including the current crop of (W7 Mango) Lumia devices.
Despite the backing from Microsoft to implement the Windows Phone 7.5 OS, Nokia’s revenue has been on the decline and its credit rating cut.”