Nokia has Good News and Bad News for Shareholders

Finland-based Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has both good news and bad news for its shareholders, which have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride of stock price fluctuations over the past few months. Both sets of news are regarding its popular Windows Phone OS-powered Lumia series of smartphones. In 2012, ailing Nokia lost its position as the world’s largest smartphone producer by volume, after holding the spot since 1998, according to the BBC. Since then, Nokia has switched all the smartphones it produces from its proprietary Symbian operating system over to Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system.

Nokia Lumia 920The bad news is that the AT&T (NYSE:T) exclusive Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone is experiencing widespread connectivity problems after a recent firmware update, according to Latinos Post. Lumia 920 owners have hit social media, particularly Reddit, to complain about the problems the update has caused. (Firmware updates are not generally reversible, so Lumia 920 owners have to wait until a fixed firmware update is released.)

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The update that caused the problem is called “SW 1232.5957.1308.0001.” It was supposed to improve automatic display brightness adjustments, enhance proximity sensor settings and offer general performance improvements. Instead, it looks like the performance enhancements ended up messing up the phone’s ability to lock onto and maintain a cellular signal.  Users report an inability to send or receive texts, off-and-on reception in areas previously established to have good reception, and some phones freezing.

The good news is that the Nokia Lumia 720 has been released early in Italy, one of the strongest markets for smartphones powered by the Windows Phone OS, according to WMPoweruser. The phone was supposed to only hit the market in early April, but Nokia’s online store in Italy–Nstore.it–has already started offering it for €349.90 (approximately 448.64 USD). The mid-level Lumia 720 features the distinction of “the slimmest Lumia ever” and packs the expected hardware.

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Nokia Lumia 720The phone’s 4.3 inch screen is WVGA, it has a good 6.7 megapixel camera and 8 GB of storage is standard, but the RAM in it is only 512 MB, on par with an iPhone 4 from 2010. Nokia has always taken the approach of trying to produce relatively affordable phones that appeal to a very wide audience. A company cannot hold onto the title of largest phone manufacturer in the world by shipments for 14 years straight without doing this. The Lumia 720 should meet a warm reception in Italy and eventually the rest of the world when it is officially released.