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‘Nokia Is Back’ And Ballsy; ‘We’re Not Sorry We’re Not Apple’

Nokia’s beaten-down top dogs opened their annual Nokia (NYSE: NOK) World show in London Tuesday morning with a blunt and rousing pep talk and a direct riposte to their competitors.

We’re not going to apologise for the fact that we’re not Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) or Google or anybody else — we’re Nokia and we’re unique,” markets EVP Niklas Savander said.

“Nokia’s going through a tough, challenging transition and we have a LOT more work to do. But we have laid the foundation for success.”

Bullish, Savander mocked Apple’s Scott Forstall for borrowing Nokia’s corporate slogan to talk about iPhone recently: “Connecting People is more than just a feel-good tagline — it’s our mission.” In return, standing on stage in front of Nokia’s developer community, Savander borrowed back a Steve Jobs catchphrase and took aim at iPhone 4…

One more thing,” he said, before talking about Nokia’s flagship new N8 handset: “They perform — day in, day out — no matter how you hold them.

“In the past quarter, people bought far more Nokia phones than Apple and Android combined. On average, people buy 260,000 new Nokia smartphones every day — that’s more smartphones sales than any other company by far — period.” The N8, which has been taken on by over 100 carriers globally, is the first Nokia handset to be released with the re-engineered Symbian 3 OS on which Nokia’s smartphone future will depend, and Nokia expects to ship at least 50 million.

But, in services, too, Savander also dared to declare: “Contrary to popular perception, Nokia — not Google (NSDQ: GOOG) — is the leader in mobile navigation, functionality quality and reach. Ovi Maps is far, far less hungry than the Google service. Why? Because it’s optimised for mobile use.” He also said Ovi Maps offers walking navigation that Google Maps does not.

On location sharing, Savander said over 800 million people will use GPS-enabled phones by 2013. “Soon, everything on the internet will have a location coordinate — it is a space that we intend to OWN.”

In fact, Google launched walking navigations for Android’s Google Maps last week, and no phone manufacturer is necessarily winning the location-sharing game ahead of dedicated services like Foursquare themselves.

“I recognize that we haven’t been as competitive as we want to be in smartphones. Well, that’s about to change. Today, we shift in to high gear in Nokia’s fightback in smartphone leadership.” Nevermind the past, Savander said: “Today is about the here and now, about three words. NOKIA IS BACK.”

EVP Ansi Vanjoki, who received warm applause after his resignation was announced on Monday, told delegates in another confident address: “The reality is that Nokia invented the smartphone.

Nokia’s “fightback” amounts to four new handsets — the N8 entertainment smartphone, mid-market C6 and C7 phones targeted at social network users, and an E7 corporate communicator — packing Symbian 3.

Full coverage at our Nokia channel on

12 Responses to “‘Nokia Is Back’ And Ballsy; ‘We’re Not Sorry We’re Not Apple’”

  1. melodiousthunkk

    “He also said Ovi Maps offers walking navigation that Google Maps does not.”
    What is Savander talking about? I use Google Maps on my Nokia E71x, and it offers routing for driving, walking, and public transport. True, it does not offer turn-by-turn voice navigation, but neither does Ovi Maps for my phone. The “Free Navigation Forever” slogan does not apply to my model which is nine months new. Google Maps on the E71x offers far more functionality (accuracy, powerful search, Latitude, Buzz) than Nokia’s “competitive” product which intends to “OWN” location coordination.

  2. Was this guy waving a white flag during his speech? Palm CEO made similar kind of statements when they released webOS, they were out of business and sold less than 12 months later. Goodbye Nokia, you are now face to face with the reality of the tech industry which is how long you can be relevant for. You had a good run, sell up while you still have some dignity.

  3. The smartphone was invented by Palm. For years, I begged Nokia to support the Mac via a desktop app that lets me sync with my Nokia phone. No go. They said the Mac was not worth their time. Now, with my iPhone, all I can say to Nokia is ‘not worth my time.’

  4. As a recent Nokia customer, who is so disgusted with their flagship product, I can tell how pathetic their product is. Its 2 to 3 years old technology and honest much lower in quality than Samsung or Pantech. Nokia is a goner

  5. @zato

    You mean like they copied the front-facing camera, video call, touchscreen or even the grind-icons scheme? Oh wait. Those have been on Nokia phones for years before Apple even thought of making an iPhone. Or maybe, you will tell us Apple first came up with the smartphone concept too?

  6. Instead of showing braggadocio I believe the best thing is to execute and let the actions speak for themselves.
    If you are right you don’t need to raise your voice, if you are wrong you have no right to raise your voice.
    Nokia should just let their devices do the talking and the rest will follow.

  7. Hopefully, Nokia has finally woken up but talking in an arrogant manner is not what is needed. They need to recognize their weaknesses, understand why the competition has literally eaten their lunch and why consumers are looking to other makers for their devices. Who cares who invented the smartphone? That sort of entitlement statement doesn’t do anything for future sales.