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Nokia & SE Report Dismal Q3, iPhone Enhances Free Apps

Gordon Kelly by

Nokia & SE Report Dismal Q3, iPhone Enhances Free Apps

It's Friday afternoon, you have the attention span of an ADD ant and there's a rash of mobile news about that really doesn't warrant numerous lengthy articles. What to do? It's your TR Friday round-up!

Firstly highlighting Google to be the financially invincible freak it is, both Nokia and Sony Ericsson have demonstrated it is perfectly possible to have disastrous quarters during economic hard times. The former has ran headfirst into a wall (which then fell on it) after reporting losses of over $1bn dollars (though largely from a write-down) along with a drop of 21 per cent in year on year sales. Most importantly however overall market share has also dropped again this time to 35 per cent (it had been as high as 44 per cent).

As for Sony Ericsson, it ran into a wall, the wall fell on it then was rebuilt only to fall on it a second time. It lost a proportionately far greater $224.7m during its summer quarter and saw revenue nearly half from $4.2m in 2008 to $2.4m. Even worse news is the drop in sales to 14.1m units, a collapse of 45.1 per cent year on year. $678.8m in outside funding has been brought in to try and secure the future of the business, which currently has $1.3bn in cash.

In more positive news, developers for Apple's iPhone received a shot in the arm today with announcement that in app purchasing has been expanded to free applications. This should mean an end to the string of 'Lite' app versions in the store and means users can simply pay to upgrade a free app to the premium edition inside it rather than having to download a whole new version.

Lastly, two API expansions should could have some interesting mobile knock-ons. The first sees micro-blog Twitter begin to roll out 'lists' this week which will allow applications (both mobile and computer based) to organise their followers into manageable groups (for example, sane, insane, dull and unmissable). This should slowly replace the proprietary list systems introduced in apps such as Tweetdeck.

Secondly, ingenious though currently underused 'computational knowledge engine' Wolfram Alpha is to open up its API enabling its integration into websites and mobile and desktop applications. This could be just the boost the service needs since we don't tend to surf over to a dedicated website to do some complex mathematics, but adding this ability into, say, a maths programme or mobile maths app makes far more sense. Personally, I'd like to see it seamlessly blended into Wikipedia.

Update: The Wolfram Alpha app has gone live in the App Store for a monstrous £29.99. It claims to be much more than just a browser shortcut describing itself as "the ultimate replacement for almost any kind of calculator or reference book - and much more". Then again, you could just use the already iPhone optimised Wolfram Alpha site for free. The choice is yours...


Nokia Q3 Financial Results

Sony Ericsson Q3 Financial Results

In App Purchasing via MacRumours}


Wolfram Alpha

Go to comments


October 16, 2009, 7:27 pm

"As for Sony Ericsson, it ran into a wall, the wall fell on it then was rebuilt only to fall on it a second time." Gordon, making Friday afternoons in the office that little bit more bearable... :)


October 16, 2009, 7:29 pm

I am to entertain/please/irritate/alienate (delete as appropriate)


October 16, 2009, 7:38 pm

That's not "overall" marketshare, it's "converged devices" marketshare, which they define as Nseries and Eseries in the report. So the 5800XM, to chose a very conspicuous example, apparently doesn't count towards it. Actual overall marketshare is still static at 38%.


October 16, 2009, 7:50 pm

(That's not to say that the continued slide of the Nseries and Eseries brands isn't bad news for Nokia, just that their ability to sell cheap phones in cheap times is clearly being put to good use to offset it.)

notbenjamin 1

October 16, 2009, 7:53 pm

I have a soft spot for both of these companies - my first phone was a nokia 3330 and the best phone i ever had was my Sony K810i - recently though the phones i've had by them have left me a little underwhelmed :( Still, the worst phones by either of them are probably still better than my LG renoir...


October 16, 2009, 8:15 pm

16.4 million smartphones in just one quarter alone is still an impressive number. Down year to year, but more or less static quarter to quarter.

Robert King 1

October 16, 2009, 8:40 pm

Revenue halved to $2.4m??? They really are in trouble if that is true.


October 16, 2009, 9:10 pm

Nokia's phone division actually made a profit of 785 EUR million! The loss was due to them writing off the value of Nokia Siemens Network, the joint venture between Nokia and Siemens.


October 16, 2009, 9:13 pm

Apparently the abrupt de-valuing of Nokia Siemens Networks ate a lot of it.


October 17, 2009, 1:48 am

I wish the editors would do some proper research before making outlandish statements! I'm no Nokia fan but these are over simplistic and sensationalistic views are just bad reporting.

Please stop with anything Apple is god, anything Nokia is bad. You're beginning to sound like children in a playground.

Geoff Richards

October 17, 2009, 3:43 am

@AlmostDone - I fail to see the "outlandish statements" to which you refer. Nokia lost 913m euros in Q3 alone, their first loss of the 21st century from what I read. That's pretty bad, but is in no way Nokia-bashing and iPhone worshipping.

If you read the site regularly you'd see that there are plenty of Nokia handsets we like: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...


October 17, 2009, 4:07 am

@Geoff, they lost due to write off. That is a difference. They would have made a profit regardless. It is like MS writing off a billion for RROD, it is purely an accounting thing.


October 17, 2009, 2:54 pm

Geoff, that's not true. The operating loss was &#8364426m largely driven by a write off of &#83641,107m on the NSN division. NSN are NOT the division of Nokia responsible for handset sales.

The handset division actually made a profit of &#8364785m Euros, sold 108 million phones of which 16.4 million were smartphones. Sure, they dropped 0.5 million form their smartphone sales (probably because the N97 is poor) but they did OK.

I think that's the point. You guys need to understand that Nokia aren't just a handset company - farkl180 is spot on here.


October 17, 2009, 9:45 pm

It's a wonder there aren't Apple adverts all round the edge of this website.


October 17, 2009, 10:00 pm

@xenos - couldn't agree more. Apple loves such fanboy coverage as this:




Coverage is neutral, stop inciting and GROW UP!


October 17, 2009, 10:49 pm

&#8364785m for handsets in a downturn is a very healthy profit, hardly dismal as the title makes out.

Also you say SE have already had a turn around but the new flagship handsets just came out in western Europe and will hit the States later in the month and the new Xperia 3 smartphone is supposedly coming in mid-November and just awaiting an official announcement so it doesn't dent early Satio enthusiasm.

Also Xperia 3 is going to actually be ahead of the playing field at release which is, I think, a first for SE. Usually they announce cutting edge features (Satio) but release it 9 months later and the competition like LG/Samsung announce and release the same or better in that time.


October 17, 2009, 11:59 pm

@Gordon - LOL.

Seriously though those articles haven't caught my attention before because I have less than no interest in reading about iPods. It's their computers and their consistently high reviews, I understand they are a good all round product at the time of purchase but things like the plastic constantly snapping on the white polycarbonate laptop models where your palm rests at the edge, this must happen to thousands upon thousands of units as all my friends ones are broken in the same places. The hard disks are also weak and give out after a couple of years.

Should that be mentioned in an updated review later on? Perhaps when the product is still on sale and it&#8217s a well known fault? I mean who knows I don't mind the money from fixing all the broken ones I see. I see things from a different perspective I guess, if I buy a top-spec product I want it to last for 5 years not 1 or 2. I'm not so impressed by the shininess of something to let it cloud my judgement about the long term reliability of it. I always buy components with a 3/5 year warranty, specifically because you then know it&#8217s DESIGNED to last that long. It really pi**es me off that most of the rest of the World doesn't think like that. Apple somehow seem to embody that throw away mentality, regardless of their claimed green credentials. (That might be to do with the 1 year warranty on all of their excessively priced hardware).

So no offence but there's a lot more news out there about Apple products that doesn't come from Apple.

Also I think the Satio looks shit hot, if its anything like my P1i it will last me 2/3 years and I will never have a single problem with it. It will also probably be bombproof, my P1i has taken some SERIOUS abuse over the last couple of years. It irritates me that you said 'expect it to be underwhelming'. Hardly objective. And how many people do you know that have had to replace their iPhones for various reasons? I think the majority of people I know with one are on their second, one is on his fourth!

It&#8217s not only Apple that&#8217s guilty of this kind of waste but they are heavily publicised as selling wonder products when in actual fact they are scrooges charging the highest margins possible and selling a hardware product that quite frankly doesn&#8217t justify the price they are demanding; in terms of backing that product up with a reasonable warranty for the said device, be it a phone, mp3 player or computer.

Sorry for suggesting you were in bed with them, maybe you just like their nice shiny toys!? ;-)


October 18, 2009, 12:10 am

@xenos - we're going to have to agree to seriously disagree. From your tone I down you have owned a MacBook, let alone owned one for a serious length of time to talk about your points from direct experience (I am a Windows user as it happens). Furthermore, hard disks are supplied by third parties so your gripe is with them, not Apple.

I've tried the Satio and in my opinion it's nothing remarkable. Much like flagship Samsung handsets it's lovely hardware, poor software. I'd like to see a Sony Ericsson revival, but I can't see anything to get excited about until the Android Xperia X3.

For the record - not that it matters - the only Apple product I own in an iPhone. I'm a huge fan of Windows 7 too so I can't see a Mac sneaking its way into my life any time soon.


October 19, 2009, 9:54 pm

I've seen so many broken ones I don't think I want to experience having my own if I'm totally honest. The aluminium ones are a different kettle of fish though, all the case problems are gone from users I know of with them. I still wouldn't trust the hard drives after a year though. Apple put them together, its clearly their job to put a decent drive in there its not up to the manufacturer if Apple stooge on them.

Tried the Pre today, it lagged to hell. Nice OS though. X3 very interested in but Android + Exchange = slightly hit and miss atm. Symbian works with it perfectly and is rock solid in my eyes. Whats an iPhone without 3rd party apps? Apple aren't even selling the best bit about that phone, they just realised what nobody had done yet :) Its head and shoulders above the competition I've actually tired so far I totally agree, but I'm after something else for business that's a bit more robust and won't mind being dropped occasionally. If the Satio really is no good I will probably look at one tbh, it ticks the boxes ;P I take it you probably have Exchange set up, how do you rate it?

Windows 7 is going to cause mayhem, its superb. Just a shame about the whole Vista thing.


October 20, 2009, 1:12 pm

@Xenos - Technically, you should never trust any hard drive; they're the most likely thing to go wrong on *any* computer. I can't help thinking that that £300 machine from the supermarket may be using a cheaper, lower quality drive than my iMac... I've seen HDDs go in dozens of generic PCs, only once or twice in a Mac. Everything electrical *can* go wrong.

Regarding your dropping of phones, I'm a clumsy bugger, I've dropped every phone I've ever owned. Sony Ericssons are awful, drop then on carpet and the screen's screwed. Palms, Nokias, HTC - all dropped, all broken screens. My iPhone, on the other hand, dropped the pavement and not so much as a scratch on the screen. If you want a robust phone - without going for one of the specialised rugged phones that create a noticeable bulge in your pockets - the iPhone would get my vote.

What's an iPhone without 3rd party apps? Easy, history can tell us that that would be the original iPhone, which even though it was lacking technologically in some areas, still went on to do rather well I believe.

"I've seen so many broken ones I don't think I want to experience having my own if I'm totally honest." That's also the reason that most people switch *to* Macs in the first place :)


October 20, 2009, 8:26 pm

Apple still offers no better warranty than those cheap supermarket computers though do they?

Power supplies are actually the most common component to fail, hard drives second. I actually have stock of macbook power supplies lol.

I dropped my P1i on a tiled floor from head height, same in a carpark, its been stood on and thrown at walls. Its also been out in *gasp* heavy rain. I believe iPhones are hydrophobic aren't they? The only thing that even scratched it was the carpark fall. Cheap SE's yeah I get it everybody says they are crap but this one is obviously not quite the same.. My previous phones, all Nokias - I used them until they broke and it was always from dropping them so agree for the most part.

I say you were lucky with your iPhone Cub, but try it again if you want to be sure! I do agree though I said they are head and shoulders above the competition, I am thinking about getting one but still not quite convinced.

I forgot to mention the slot loading CD drives on the polycarb macbooks. I think its cheek apple still sell them considering the flaws on that model. They were perceived as being high end, when in reality they were pretty much average. Everything I have heard about the aluminium ones points to good improvements in long term reliability.


October 20, 2009, 8:29 pm

PS. Who is going to buy the Wolfram Aplha app? :-O


October 20, 2009, 11:58 pm

@xenos - It's no worse... If you pop into an Apple store you'll get a lot more assistance with your broken machine than if you went back to Tescos though, or even attempted to phone the manufacturer... Certainly if you wanted to extend your warranty Apple care is among the best value you can get.

I stand corrected, I've just known more HDD failures.

My SE P910i, despite being the best smart phone I'd owned pre-iPhone, was the worst built, got through 2 of them.

Funny how I and my many friends that have iPhones have just been lucky with our shiny, pristine, but your friends with broken Apple Laptops represent the majority... ;-)


October 22, 2009, 12:21 am

And my friends with broken iPhones :)

I grant you that walking into an Apple shop you do get FAR better support than in a supermarket yes, or probably even PC World for that matter.

I got pissed off with the P910i, took the keyboard off, it was quite fragile yes. I'm stuck now not sure what to upgrade to lol.

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