Nokia today rolled out a spate of high-end smartphones at the kick-off of its annual Nokia World conference and is showing signs of a major company overhaul. Following on the heels of last week’s ousting of CEO Olli-Pekka Kalasvuo, who was replaced by Stephen Elop, Nokia today showed off what it believes is the future of its Symbian ^3 operating system.
In all, three new smartphones, the Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6, now join the recently launched Nokia N8.
“Today our fight back to smartphone leadership shifts into high gear,” said Niklas Savander, executive vice president of Nokia markets, in a statement.
The new phones feature a range of form factors, prices, features and colors, from full touchscreen to slider keyboard.
The company is billing the E7 as “the ultimate business smartphone,” which comes replete with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and secure access to corporate email inboxes and other personal applications. The E7 is equipped with a 4-inch touchscreen display featuring Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility, full keyboard and an 8-megapixel camera with flash. Nokia puts an ESPR of $635 before taxes or subsidies.
The Nokia C6 and C7 are smaller social/texting smartphones. The C7 sports a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and carries an ESRP of $430. The C6 sports a 3.2-inch AMOLED display with full touch capabilities and Nokia ClearBlack technology, with an ESRP of $335 before taxes and subsidies.
These latest phones come as Nokia has been aggressively pursuing a high-end smartphone competitor. The company has struggled to find its footing in a market that includes standouts such as Apple’s iPhone and various Android devices from HTC and Motorola.
But the tumultuous changes at the Finnish OEM don’t stop with hardware. The Wall Street Journal today quoted a Nokia spokeswoman as saying that Nokia Chairman Jorma Ollila, the executive credited with turning Nokia into the largest handset manufacturer in the world, plans to step down in 2012.
Shares of Nokia spiked Friday on news of Elop’s appointment but fell off on today’s smartphone announcements. At end-of-day Friday, shares of Nokia were selling for $10.20 on the NASDAQ stock exchange. After today’s unveilings, and the Journal report that Nokia would be losing Ollila, the per-share price sank to $9.80. That’s down from a 52-week high of $16 per share.
Check www.wirelessweek.com for updates out of Nokia World.