Apple’s LTE blunder gives Nokia a leg up

Europhobic iPhone shunned by speed-hungry smartphone consumers

Tags: Apple IncorporatedFinlandGermanyNokia CorporationSwedenUSA
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Apple’s LTE blunder gives Nokia a leg up Nokia’s Lumia 920 sold out in Germany soon after its debut.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 3, 2012

Nokia Oyj may find a much-needed revenue boost in European markets, as consumers eager for next-generation Internet speeds rule out the Apple iPhone, reported Bloomberg.

Apple's handset, while compatible with the LTE networks of major US providers, is not operable in most European countries above certain speeds. This is because the ultrafast LTE networks operate at a range of different frequencies and those used by many European carriers differ from US operators', against which Apple products are tested.

In the approach to the holiday season, loss-making Nokia, whose recently launched Lumia 920 is powered by Windows 8 Phone, could benefit from Apple's oversight.

"A fast Internet connection is a must so I knew I wanted a 4G phone," said Tommie Johansson, a 41-year-old software developer in Stockholm. He favoured the Nokia Lumia 920.

Apple and Android-based handsets account for almost 90% of the European smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics. Nokia, once the smartphone market leader, chases the remaining share alongside also-declining BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) and others.

"The Lumia's LTE connectability is going to help Nokia stand out to holiday shoppers," said Johan Eidhagen, general manager of Nokia in Scandinavia.

To win back customers Nokia will still have to compete with Samsung handsets, which are compatible with European networks.

Nokia shares rose 21% in the past two weeks following the Lumia 920's sellout performance in Germany. The stock is still down almost 90% since Apple's first iPhone was introduced five years ago.

"There is clearly strong demand among European consumers for 4G phones," said Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics in London. He predicts Nokia will sell 5 million Lumias in the fourth quarter, up from 2.9 million in the previous three months.

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