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Nokia appear to be having one of those days where they can’t get much of break from the financial institutions that help determine their fate. S&P has once again downgraded Nokia who now stand with a BB- rating—effectively making them “junk”.

Such a label is an indication to investors that sinking money into Nokia is speculative or high-risk.  What’s more, S&P indicate that further downgrades could be Nokia’s future should things not turn around quickly.

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We previously looked at Markets & Me, a stock portfolio management app for Windows Phone, earlier in the year. We praised the work by the developer, who managed to create a beautiful experience for those who are interested in checking out the markets, or who have a heavy inventory full of stock. You may have seen Windows Phone Central use the app while taking shots for other stories.

Version 2.0 has been in development for some time and we're pleased to relay the announcement that it has been submitted to the Marketplace. We expect the Markets & Me update to go live sometime next week. So, what's included in this latest release? 

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Nokia's stock is on the rebound

We don’t normally cover too much when it comes to company stock but Nokia was an interesting case only because it dropped so low in the last few months. In fact, it dropped to its lowest price ($1.63) in 15 years and made some investors edgy—after all, if you go too low the company becomes financially meaningless and can get de-listed.

Nokia though was always a mixed bag with analysts noting that Windows Phone 8 could be its savior because the company can be unleashed with limitations on hardware lifted. Combined with the drastic cuts in the company, which unfortunately translates into layoffs, investors are now coming around....

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In what has to be a slight sigh of relief for investors, Nokia stock (NOK) has passed the $2 mark today closing at $2.02 a share or a 9.78% jump since opening.

That’s up from its low just a week ago of $1.63 and could indicate renewed faith in the struggling smartphone company. From the look of it, most analysts and perhaps now investors think the worst is now behind Nokia. Having hit bottom, the company can only go up (or die trying).

That’s not to say all is healthy. Investors, analysts and even Nokia themselves are still predicting next quarters earnings to continue to be weak. A return to profitability is still at least a few months away, assuming the company has a hit with Windows Phone 8 and carrier deals for their devices.

In related news, the cuts at the company continue and friend of the site and class act Keith Nowak, who handled Nokia’s PR in the US, has unfortunately been let go today. Our best wishes to him in the future. You can read about Keith’s experience with Nokia on his personal blog—it’s a great read.

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Today Nokia revealed its interim financial results for Q2 2012.  Nothing too shocking, really.  Keep in mind that this is a company that was once the largest phone manufacturer in the world, driven by Symbian and feature phones. Nokia now has to find its place in the smartphone market, and this position will really depend upon the market success of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. 

With that in mind, Nokia shipped 4 million Lumia phones during Q2.  It may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to iPhone or Samsung (Android) numbers, but when you compare it against RIM’s latest quarter (the shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry phones), it shows some forward momentum. 

Overall, Nokia sold 73 million phones. That’s 69 million non-Lumia phones. The company’s huge challenge is to hang onto the low end of the feature phone market (under attack from Android) while also converting many of its Symbian smartphone users onto Nokia-branded Windows Phone products in the future.  It’s a tall order, but Nokia has a pretty good fighting chance...

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How low can it go?

Although Nokia has been catching headlines for their downturn in market performance, HTC too has also been feeling the pinch of poor profits.

Nokia yesterday finished the week off at $1.92 a share, falling below the $2 mark for the first time since September 1994. A lot can be made of that $2 number which is more of a psychological barrier than anything real but make no mistake, Nokia is feeling the financial pinch.

The drop seems to correlate with new rumors that Amazon may be making a go at its own phone which results in fears of tougher competition down the road.  Combined with the Mozilla news earlier this week, the Eurozone financial crisis, lagging sales of the Lumia line and no confidences from investors and you have a plummeting stock price. It’s a vicious cycle and often one not hinged on reality.

Seeking Alpha actually has a nice summary of the Nokia situation.  In short, they are still optimistic as Nokia should be fine for the next 12 months and they don’t foresee any more bad news for Nokia i.e. the worst may finally be out of the way. Nokia is poised to cut 10,000 jobs by 2013 and continue to restructure, reducing overhead costs in the long term. The question for would be investors is should you buy Nokia yet? At least for one contributor at Seeking Alpha, the answer is “almost” as the stock may still dip lower but a return to profitability status is expected sooner than later...

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Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.

In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).

Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.

So what does all of this amount to? There is a lot going on at Nokia including a dramatic reshaping of the company under CEO Stephen Elop driven mostly by market demands and the recent realignment of the company around Windows Phone. Analysts and equity firms have been downgrading Nokia stock for weeks now and this is their response which equates to massive cutbacks both in terms of people and facilities, potentially saving the company a lot of money during these tight times.

Nokia has previously lost 24% of its market share losing out to Samsung for top manufacturer. With the continued stampede of iPhone and Android, Nokia will be relying on Windows Phone 8 and its increasingly popular Lumia line to save it from financial despair. 

Nokia stock is currently trading at $2.79 a share which is near it's 52 week low of $2.61. It will be curious to see how the market responds to these proposed cutbacks and restructuring.

Source: Nokia

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Whether you're a heavy stock stalker, or are a simple human being who purchased Facebook shares for fun, you'll want to check out Markets & Me for Windows Phone. So what is Markets & Me all about? It's primarily a stock portfolio management and tracking app that keeps the user up-to-date with alterations in a number of markets.

Markets & Me packs some unique functionality, which compliments the usual stock checking and management. Latest financial headlines are pulled down from Reuters and company events are available in an intuitive view. Specific regions can be selected for this calendar, which will alter what economic events available.

Positions of the user can be imported / exported to the cloud (via SkyDrive), existing Google portfolios can be integrated, and there's a personal interactive chart of stock performances to boot. It's a fairly feature-rich experience with everything the average Joe needs while on the move.

The app boasts a rich Metro interface, which reminds us of Weather Flow and the like. As one can tell with the above shots, Markets & Me isn't an ugly duckling. The app is completely free for the time being, with future versions possibly introducing a premium experience. Version 1.1 is already heading through the Marketplace checks, which will apply a number of bug fixes and improvements.

Check out a quick demonstration of the app in action below.

You can download Markets and Me from the Marketplace for free.

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We're not too sure what to make out of AT&T running out of the HTC Titan I and Titan II online but if you head to their site, you can see for yourself.

Now we could explain away the original Titan becoming unavailable -- after all, AT&T would probably be happy to put away any stock on that device for it's bigger and better sequel. But even the Titan II is not available, which makes us wonder if HTC is having some component or production issues (or maybe they just forgot to make more, instantrimshot).

Could the Titan II be selling so well that they can't keep up? Obviously, we doubt that though we do have reports of general increases in Windows Phone sales due to the Lumia 900 (insert the whole "rising tide lifts all boats" idiom here) and maybe, just maybe the Titan II is seeing an uptick in purchases too.

Heck, it should. It's a great Windows Phone and a great smartphone, rocking the largest camera available on the market. Which reminds us, why have we not seen a single commercial boasting that fact? Seems like an easy sell to us but what do we know...

For those interested, Amazon Wireless still has the Titan II in stock, which is a reversal from a few weeks ago. It's also listed at the $149.99 price point. Natch. No word on supplies at local stores either, so your mileage may vary.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, kylengai, for the heads up

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According to Nokia's U.S. president Chris Weber, sales of the Lumia 900, which recently launched in the states, has been outpacing supply. We've covered how the LTE Windows Phone has been out of stock more-so than anything else, which is having an effect on other markets looking to stock the device.

It would appear as though the sellout on AT&T is indeed due to demand and not simply a case of not stocking anywhere near enough units for launch, with little demand / interest present.

"Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that. The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that."

As well as discussing AT&T and how the Lumia 900 is selling, Weber also touched on actual AT&T retail store support for the Windows Phone.

"Generally, we’re seeing very good support. It’s a work in progress."

It would appear as though Verizon is on Nokia's goal list for the future with the understanding that having the CDMA carrier on-board as well as AT&T would certainly boost growth for both the manufacturer and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, no details were revealed surrounding Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" upgrades for Lumia smartphone owners.

"Both Nokia and Microsoft understand the importance for consumers to keep their devices fresh and updated. Without any announcements being made, we're working to make sure people have fresh and updated experiences on any device they may have."

Microsoft has come a long way since Windows Mobile and the NoDo rollout following MIX'11. Nokia has a lot riding on the Lumia family of Windows Phones to rebuild the strong brand the company had many years ago when bricks were still being held to our ears. Will we see "Apollo" on our current devices? We can't possibly say, but we wouldn't rule the possibility out.

Source: PCMag; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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While we've already seen signs that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 is doing well. The Windows Phone has reached the top of Amazon.com's Best Seller list and finding the Lumia 900 in-stock has been a bit of a challenge.  Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was out shopping for the Lumia 900.  

Even with the connectivity glitch, sales seem brisk and Nokia is scrambling to keep up with demand. Nokia spokesperson Karen Lachtanski states,

"We are producing more devices to satisfy demand as quickly as possible.”

To help Nokia keep pace with inventory demands, Nokia is seeing more customers opt to update their Lumia 900's to address the connectivity issues than exchanging them.

“The inventory situation is primarily a function of demand because we are seeing that most customers are opting to keep their units and simply update via Zune."

We are already seeing inventory of the black Lumia 900 being replenished and based on comments and AT&T retail store reps, the cyan model should be back in stock any day.

So far, it would appear that Nokia's re-entry into the North American market has gone well.  And expect the momentum to continue when the white Lumia 900 launches this weekend.  Let us hope that they have plenty of the white models on hand.

source: AllThingsD; Thanks, VaultBoy, for the tip!

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The Lumia 900 (both black and cyan) has gone out of stock according to the product listing at the online AT&T store. Nokia has recently confirmed a memory management issue with the Lumia 900 running on AT&T that would kill the data connection, rendering the Windows Phone almost useless for owners while on the go. 

Since the announcement was made Nokia has offered $100 on the bill of affected AT&T and Rogers customers and has also begun rolling out the firmware fix for the connectivity bug days early. There have been reports that the U.S. carrier has been pulling handsets from shelves in favour of models with the update already installed. We haven't heard anything official but this could explain why the handset is temporarily "out of stock".

 

The amount of Lumia 900s left for shipping could have been snatched up by a relatively high number of orders. Then again, AT&T has publicly stated that the Lumia 900 has been selling beyond expectations (even the cyan case was listed as out of stock). We'll not know the exact numbers, but for now it'll be an anxious wait for the second batch of handsets to be made available for orders to run through.

Let us know if you've been able to find any Lumia 900 devices locally or if you've seen that the Windows Phones were pulled due to the update issues.

Source: AT&T; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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There are reports being circulated on the web that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 has sold out of pre-orders. We've received several tips from readers indicating they've received notification that reads along the lines of,

The items in your order are currently out of stock and will be shipped when inventory becomes available. When the items in your order ship, we'll send you an email with the ship tracking number(s).

Before you panic and think that the AT&T warehouse has run out of Lumia 900's remember, the phone is backordered because it hasn't been released yet. As we understand things, because the Lumia 900 hasn't been released yet i.e. stocked on shelves, the system sees the phone as "backordered" or not in stock.  We still are expecting the Lumia 900s to ship within the next few days and for AT&T to have plenty on hand at the retail stores on April 9th (along with the HTC Titan II).

Of course there is always the slight chance that AT&T became so overwhelmed with pre-orders that the supply just isn't there--who knows what the response so far has been to Nokia's latest effort. It's possible, but unless Nokia had a very tight supply we don't really think that has happened yet. Still, we'll keep an eye on this for any further developments.

We've got a discussion going on over in the WPCentral Forums on all this or you can express your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks, everyone, for tipping us on this!

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Australian carrier Optus appears to have sold out of Lumia 800s, according to a report by WPDownUnder. The black version of the Windows Phone has vanished from the website, after launching just two weeks ago. While the cyan version remains listed, it's interesting how Optus completely removed the product listing in favour of a "SOLD OUT" label - much like what O2 UK did.

After a short discussion with a member of the support team through the live chat, WPDownUnder was able to confirm that the Lumia 800 black has sold out, but no information is available as to whether this is due to high demand or low initial stock numbers. We would like to believe this is the case of the former as Optus still lists the product as available on their Business website.

Either way, this is positive news for the platform with signs of a strong start showing in Australia. Unfortunately, no details were shared with regards to when the carrier expects to introduce more stock.

Source: WPDownUnder

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According to a report at e's Phoneblog and Kauppalehti the Lumia 800, which launched in Finland yesterday, has been selling at a fairly fast rate. Jonne works at Gigantti (an electronics retailer) and states that while he doesn't know the exact Lumia 800 sale figures at the store, he has sold more handsets than he did N8s within two days of the Symbian handset being launched. 

Elisa's Executive Vice President, Henri Korpi, told Kauuppalehti today that they have sold out of Nokia's mid-range Windows Phone in some of their stores. Still no numbers provided, but we are expecting to see some positive feedback should figures become available. What makes this story extra special is that Lumia 800 buyers in the land of Nokia are braving snow storms (-27°C) to reach retailers. Now that is dedication.

Source: Kauppalehti.fi (translation), via: e's Phoneblog

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T-Mobile U.S. is set to launch the Lumia 710 in just under a week's time (for just $49.99 - not available for pre-order), and the stores are now starting to receive units (as can be seen above). The 710 is Nokia's first Windows Phone to launch in the states, and will mark the birth of a huge marketing campaign

With how Nokia has tackled Europe and the far east, it'll be interesting to see how the 710 is received in the U.S. and how the manufacturer pushes the handsets out the doors to consumers. Of course, we're still waiting on the Lumia 900 announcement, which will be the brother that's just finished working out at the gym.

Source: TmoNews

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Yesterday we published an article that went into the confusion surrounding O2 and the Nokia Lumia 800, specifically the product page of the handset being no longer available on the web store, but is being pushed out in high street carrier stores. We contacted O2 and popped in-store to see if we could dig up any information that would explain the situation, and we came away with the possibility of the carrier dropping support, or simply being out of stock for the website.

O2 has since contacted us to clarify (third time lucky!) what's actually happening. Turns out, the carrier is set to continue to support Nokia's handset -- and Windows Phone for that matter. They've simply sold out on the web store, so fear not if you're after the Mango device and are tied to the network. An official statement from O2 can be found below:

"The Nokia 800 is currently out of stock online but is available in O2 stores - it'll be back in stock online soon. Customers who've already purchased Nokia 800's without O2 apps pre-installed will be able to download them separately - we will be including them on Nokia 800's later in 2012."

Popping into your local O2 store should result in a Lumia 800 purchase. While this doesn't explain why the representative would state that the carrier is dropping support, it does send a strong message to customers that O2 is behind the platform. 

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Hot on the heels of that analyst calling for RIM to adopt Windows Phone OS comes this report from the Wall Street Journal which claims that Nokia and Microsoft considered making a joint bid for RIM in recent months. Nothing of course is actually in the works nor are there any impending announcements, but reportedly Microsoft and Nokia regularly meet with RIM to discuss industry and partnerships--which shouldn't be to much of a surprise. But now that reports are swirling that both companies are at least considering such a bid is certainly enticing.

The WSJ suggests that Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie is not seriously considering a bid until the company sees how their new OS, not expected till late 2012, performs on the market. Presumably if the OS does well, no sale. But if the company continues to sink in market share, running into the arms of a Microsoft/Nokia partnership could be an emergency 'Plan B'.

So for now, it looks like RIM will try their hand at Blackberry 10 but they appear to be lining up the life-boats in case it all goes south. Certainly having Microsoft-Nokia on the sidelines could only mean good things for Windows Phone. But for now, we wait. As an interesting side note, Amazon reportedly attempted to get talks started on a take-over of RIM but was rejected. Even more interesting of a side note? We found a story here on WPCentral from January 2009 which said if RIM's stock drops low enough, Microsoft will "snap them up". In other words, this may not be that new.

Source Wall Street Journal

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So for all of you who were waiting on AT&T to get a fresh new batch of coveted Titans, your day has finally come. At least on the website (we can't vouch for your local store) AT&T is now listing the device as available.

Previously, stores and even AT&T online had massive shortages of the top of the line phone. Supply was either tight due to high sales or more likely, HTC not being able to fulfill orders to AT&T. Now it looks like HTC has finally ramped up production and hopefully that also translates into store availability too.

Let us know if you placed your order or if your store received any significant stock in comments! Also don't forget to check our review of the Titan here.

Head to the AT&T store right now. Thanks, Tommy F., for the tip!

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware of the excitement surrounding the Palm Pre. And that that quickly turned the long-awaited carrier-supported versions of the Treo Pro into a red-headed stepchild. (The same sort of thing happened when the Treo Pro was announced not long after the Treo 800w first became available, much to the chagrin of a number of 800w owners.)

Of course, all that affects the bottom line.

Last week, Palm announced that its revenue for the third quarter would be $85 million to $90 million. Wall Street had been expecting $150 million for the quarter.

Today, Palm has put 18.5 million shares of its stock back on the market, giving it at least $49 million more in cash and increasing its stock price a bit. Palm's main investor, Elevation Partners, likely will use a chunk of that money to buy back that stock at the higher price, thus making all the investors a little happier and keeping the company afloat (or as Dieter notes over at PreCentral.net, on the metaphorical ropes), at least for now.

So what's it all mean? Basically, the future of Palm (at least for now) appears to be solidly resting on the Palm Pre. And that directly affects Windows Mobile, which we're still expecting to be supported on the Treo line. So let's keep our fingers crossed for our WebOS cousins, shall we?

Electronista and Information Week

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