“Nokia looked like they launched a camera today, not a smartphone” | FT Alphaville

“Nokia looked like they launched a camera today, not a smartphone”

Between Helsinki and New York, the latest Nokia product launch with Microsoft did not go down terribly well on Wednesday. Here’s the Nokia share price, trading below €2 at pixel…

It seems that a key feature of the new Nokia Lumia range, due to hit stores this autumn, will be something called Synaptics ClearPad capacitive touchscreen sensing technology.


capacitance (kəˈpæsɪtəns)
— n
1. the property of a system that enables it to store electric charge

From the launch blurb…

Previously, people were unable to use their smartphone touchscreens with gloved fingers or long fingernails, requiring them to remove their gloves, or awkwardly position their fingers with long nails in order to operate their phones. For the first time ever, ClearPad Series 3 technology instantly optimizes the touch experience by automatically detecting the presence of skin, gloved fingers, or fingernails, giving users a seamless multi-touch experience regardless of input methods.

Clearly, market participants know alternatives already exist to Synaptics’s techno-wizardry.

There’s the Etip glove – £30 from North Face…

Or a more traditional, cost conscious option…

Here’s some crushing snap commentary from one of the better sector watchers — Neil Campling at Aviate Global…

Running into the much hyped event, PR was certainly built up to expect a significant breakthrough in product from Nokia today. Given we have the biggest consumer product cycle being showcased this time next week (Apple iPhone5), it was clear Nokia’s new products would have to raise the bar ABOVE the iPhone to gain traction. Problem for Nokia is – it doesn’t. Problem for Nokia, is Apple has the biggest consumer product cycle (across both hardware and software) ever just around the corner.

Looking at the presentation from Nokia, there is much focus on the use of maps, and taking photos. Yes, we have been here before and this feels very similar to Nokia presentations over many years. There is a lack of innovation here, the presentations have been beset with problems (audio video cut out, live streaming crashed), and there is simply NOTHING here to make an Android or iPhone user switch. The release of the new Nokia Lumia 920 in a range of colours (red, gray, yellow, black) is reminiscent of Dell’s attempt to restore PC market share by introducing Laptops in a range of colours – which didn’t work.

Why buy Nokia on 15x 2014 P.E. when you can own Apple, which trades on 10.8xP.E. for 17% top line growth?

Quite frankly Nokia looked like they launched a camera today, not a smartphone.

Related link:
Nokia shares fall despite new smartphones – FT.com