2010 was a hell of a year for Nokia. It barely maintained its position as the largest producer of mobile phones in the world; lost out to Android as the largest smartphone OS; had a mixed reaction to its flagship N8; installed its first non-Finnish CEO; saw its Q4 pre-tax profits fell by 22 percent and today we have learned that the Finnish company has spent almost $4 billion in research and development in 2010.
Research results by Bernstein Research has revealed that in 2010 Nokia’s Devices & Services department spent $3.9 billion on R&D which is around three times the average spent by its rivals such as HTC, RIM, Microsoft and Apple. When you look at the chart (below) visualising the spending on R&D it becomes clear how much more the Finnish company is spending on new and emerging technology.
The first question you must ask is: “Where is all the money going?” Well that’s a pretty hard question to answer, though another chart provided by Bernstein Research gives us some indication. It shows that a sizeable chunk was spent on Symbian and a lot more spent on hardware, design and test and integration. MeeGo is also mentioned as are Nokia Research Centres. Despite this break down it is hard to know in what direction Nokia is headed and how this massive spend on R&D will help it in the future.
It is safe to say that Nokia has been left standing as others around them dominated the smartphone market in the past two years. However with MeeGo a possible saviour in 2011, this spend on R&D could point to Nokia attempting to re-establish itself at the top of the mobile phone market. Nokia currently holds a number of valuable patents in relation to GSM, CDMA and LTE and with this type of spending we could be seeing as revolutionary technology coming our way in the coming years. We may also learn more at Nokia's Strategy Briefing for 2011 next Friday, 11 February.
Source: All Things D