Nokia delays the launch of N8 … again!

21 Sep 2010

Mobile giant Nokia has decided to delay the launch of its much anticipated N8 smartphone, citing final amendments that need to be made. The decision comes just days after the company’s Nokia World event in London.

The company stated: “To ensure a great user experience, we have decided to hold the shipments for a few weeks to do some final amends.”

The N8, which is understood to boast a 12-megapixel camera, was originally due to launch to consumers in June. This was then pushed back to September due to quality problems.

Nokia recently experienced a management overhaul, with its CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo being replaced by Stephen Elop. This was followed by Nokia’s lead of Mobile Solutions Anssi Vanjoki’s resignation just days later.

Competition pressure on Symbian

The 20-year-old Symbian operating system has been coming under competitive pressure from new entrants, such as the three-year-old iPhone for which the N8 was deemed to be Nokia’s fightback and lately Google’s Android operating system that has shown a remarkable near 900pc growth in just one year, from zero to nearly 18pc of all smartphones on the planet.

Google’s Android operating system is tipped by Gartner to become the second most used operating system on the planet after Nokia’s Symbian as early as next year. The two OSs will account for 59.8pc of mobile OS sales by 2014. Symbian will remain at the top of Gartner’s worldwide OS ranking due to Nokia’s volume and the push into more mass market price points. However, by the end of the forecast period, the No 1 spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar share level.

According to analysts at Informa Telecoms & Media, the pressure could force Nokia to adopt an alternative operating system, such as Android.

“Informa Telecoms & Media expects that the market share of Symbian, from total smartphone users, to drop significantly from 53pc in 2009 to 32pc in 2015,” Malik Kamal-Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, explained.

Informa even predicts Symbian will maintain its leading position until 2014, when it will be ousted by Android, which will become the new platform leader thereafter. In terms of sales, smartphones powered by Android are expected to surpass those of Symbian as early as 2012, with more than 142 million Android phones expected to sell that year versus 137 million for Symbian.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years