When Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) unveiled its new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones earlier this week, the company’s already barely visible share price took a few more lumps. The phones were generally well-received by tech reviewers, but investors were disappointed that the company offered neither an availability date nor a price for the new products. All the company said is that the phones would be out by the end of the year.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) plans to launch its new Windows 8 operating system on October 26th, and the Windows Phone 8 launch is expected on the same date. What about the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820? If Nokia can’t have its phones ready on that date, perhaps Samsung Electronics will have its Galaxy S3 model ready to run Windows Phone 8. Surely if Nokia was shooting for that target date the company would have said so.
And what about Nokia’s deal with Verizon Wireless, the joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Deutsche Telekom? Verizon has confirmed that it plans to do something with Nokia, but it won’t provide any details. Verizon did say that it would offer phones running Windows Phone 8, but declined to name the suppliers.
If Nokia had offered a ship date and a price, Verizon would very likely not be so coy. After all, Nokia already sells current Lumia models through AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile. Wouldn’t Verizon want to one-up its competitors by being the first to announce availability of the new Nokia phones?
It’s also impossible to leave out Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and its Android operating system. Given Samsung’s courtroom loss to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the Korean company may be looking to make a splash with a new Windows Phone 8-based Galaxy. There are plenty of people who expect Apple to continue chipping away at Google through proxies like Samsung. If you’re Samsung that gets tiresome after a while.
And if Samsung decides to put a lot of muscle behind a Windows phone, Nokia could be toast. Samsung has already displaced Nokia as the world’s largest maker of mobile phones.
There’s really not an awful lot of reason for Nokia investors to celebrate. Still, Nokia’s shares are up more than 6% today, a leap of $0.15, to $2.62 in a 52-week range of $1.63 to $7.38.