Nokia to bring Windows Phone to ME
Finland’s Nokia Corp, the world’s largest mobile phone maker by volume, plans to bring its Windows Phone to the region in the second half of 2012 as the device will not support Arabic when it is first launched in the European market this quarter, a top executive said.
“We will launch and start selling this quarter in Europe, because Windows Phone has the language support for European countries. However, it doesn’t support Arabic until second half of next year. We won’t say it’s a launch in this region because it needs Arabic,” Tom Farrell, Nokia’s general manager of Lower Gulf — a region comprising United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman — told Zawya Dow Jones in a recent interview.
Farrell said that Nokia will become “more competitive” in the smartphone segment over the coming 12 to 18 months. The mobile phone maker said in February that it will make Microsoft’s Windows Phone its main smartphone platform, part of a strategy overhaul that aims to claw back the ground it has lost to rivals like Apple Inc with its iPhone and the surge in phones based on Google Inc’s Android.
“We expect to get a lot stronger in the future, especially when we primarily start the Nokia-Microsoft proposition. The Nokia proposition ‘for the Arab Gulf region’ will come in the second half of next year and over the next two-three years Nokia Microsoft will become the primary smartphone competitive play by Nokia in the market place,” said Farrell.
Nokia has seen its global handset market share drop to 22.8 per cent in the second quarter from 30.3 per cent in the same period a year ago. In the smartphone market, Nokia’s old Symbian operating system has had an even more dramatic fall, down to 22.1 per cent in the second quarter from 40.9 per cent last year.