updated 09:35 am EDT, Tue September 14, 2010
Nokia goes after iPhone claims at Nokia World
Nokia executive VP Niklas Savander used much of his presentation at Nokia World today to criticize Apple, downplay Google and boast of questionable sales figures. He claimed that people bought 260,000 Nokia phones each day during the summer, or more than "Apple and Android combined." The figure is expected to grow as the N8 is poised to move over 50 million devices alone in its total lifespan.
The claim is dubious. Google has stated that it activates 200,000 new Android devices every day, almost all of which are smartphones. Apple, meanwhile, activates 230,000 iOS devices each day. While a significant number of these are iPads and iPod touch players, the largest percentage of activations remains with the iPhone, giving the combination of Apple and Google a lead over Nokia even when discarding non-phone devices.
Despite the error, Savander was confident enough to attack both rivals. He accused Apple's Scott Forstall of copying Nokia's "connecting people" slogan in the promo video for the iPhone 4 and said the slogan wasn't just a "feel-good tagline" for his company but "our mission, our passion." The VP went on to take a potshot at the iPhone 4 antenna by claiming the N8 and other smartphones would always perform "no matter how you hold them."
He insisted Ovi Maps trumped Google Maps Navigation for GPS services since its use of offline map caching meant it was better suited to real use. However, he inaccurately claimed that only Ovi Maps had turn-by-turn walking navigation, not having paid attention to the release last week of Walking Navigation on Android.
Regardless, Savandar was unapologetic and said Nokia was "not going to apologize" for not resembling Apple or Google, although he simultaneously admitted that Nokia had lagged behind others in the industry.
"Nokia's going through a tough, challenging transition and we have a lot more work to do," he said. "But we have laid the foundation for success. I recognize that we haven't been as competitive as we want to be in smartphones. Well, that's about to change. Today, we shift in to high gear in Nokia's fightback in smartphone leadership."
The company faces an uphill struggle to maintain even the numbers that Savander mentioned. Nokia is still bleeding market share both in smartphones and in phones as a whole, much of it directly to the iPhone and Android hardware. Nokia's departing mobile leader Anssi Vanjoki asserted at the event that Nokia had "invented the smartphone," but since 2007 it has been late to most of the additions that have defined the smartphone landscape, such as multi-touch, an advanced web browser and a simple, unified mobile app store. Most of its catch-up efforts are occuring today, with both the imminent N8 release as well as the releases of the C6-01, C7 and E7.