Home » "smart" feature phones » Nokia under transition (as reported by the company)

Nokia under transition (as reported by the company)

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Core information:

Note and updates: stock price is up 3.17%  as per above (those numbers are in US$)
– see more: Nokia trying the first Lumia month in China with China Telecom exclusive [March 28, 2012]
– Nokia seeks to retake China market share [Reuters, March 28, 2012]: “Shares in Nokia rose 3 percent to 4.116 euros, helped also after Sweden’s Swedbank lifted its rating to “buy” from “neutral”.
– Are Nokia’s Largest Shareholders Betting on a Turnaround With New Releases in China? [Wall St. Cheat Sheet, March 28, 2012]

279 institutional firms indicated owning shares of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) in both Q3 2011 and Q4 2011. These firms reported owning a total of 348.305 million shares on 09/30/2011 and 382.757 million shares [out of 3.74B, i.e. ~10%] on 12/31/2011. The shares closed at $5.66 on 09/30/2011 and $4.82 on 12/31/2011, for an aggregate market value of $1.971 billion and $1.845 billion, respectively.

– Nokia: The Recovery Begins; One Analyst Turns Bullish [Forbes, March 30, 2012]

… Town Hall Investment Research analyst Jamie Townsend this morning upped his rating onNokia to Buy from Avoid.

His view: for Nokia, the turnaround has begun. And for that he credits the company’s still unfolding new relationship with Microsoft, and its decision to adopt Windows Phone 7 as the operating system for its high-end smartphones.

“Our renewed enthusiasm is primarily driven by Nokia’s smartphone business and our belief that long term the company is now poised to slowly reestablish itself as a meaningful player in smartphone markets around the world,” Townsend writes in a research note. “While we believe that Q1 and Q2 2012 will continue to show the struggle between the death of Symbian and the rise of WP7, we also believe the pieces are now in place for a gradual reversal in the market share losses experienced in the last three years. Specifically, we are expecting positive unit surprises in the U.S. and Western Europe over the next two quarters, albeit coming off a very low base and expectations. While only a wild card right now, we also believe that some sort of partnership between Microsoft, Nokia and RIM is now a real possibility.”

“We believe that there are two issues for RIM that relate to NOK,” he writes. “First, we believe that RIM is now where NOK was approximately a year ago. There was no longer any doubt as to the declining state of the smartphone business but also no clear path to recovery. As we know from Nokia’s last year, the recovery required bold action and the a long lead time to the actual point of product improvement. We believe investors should wait until the recovery is clear which in our view is not yet the case with RIM, but is now on the near horizon for NOK.”

“Second, RIM management on the quarterly conference call made it abundantly clear that the company is seeking a new partnership that will allow it to enhance its consumer appeal but allow it to focus its attention on its core historical strength with the enterprise,” he adds. “We believe that this strategy carries a number of risks, but also believe that Nokia/Microsoft represents the most likely candidate for such a partnership. We have no data points to support that this will happen or that Nokia/Microsoft would want it to, but believe it to be a real possibility over the next six months. Should it occur we believe it would be perceived as a meaningful positive for NOK shares.”

NOK this morning is up 7 cents, or 1.2%, to $5.49.

End of updates

According to the below excerpts from the Nokia 2011 fiscal year report [March 8, 2012]

Current strategic business units, their responsibilities and accountabilities:

[F-9] As of April 1, 2011, the Group’s operational structure featured two new operating and reportable segments: Smart Devices and Mobile Phones, which combined with Devices & Services Other and unallocated items form Devices & Services business.

As of October 1, 2011, the Group formed a Location & Commerce business which combines NAVTEQ and Nokia’s social location services operations from Devices & Services. Location & Commerce business is an operating and reportable segment. From the third quarter 2008 until the end of the third quarter 2011, NAVTEQ was a separate reportable segment of Nokia. As a consequence, Nokia currently has four operating and reportable segments: Smart Devices and Mobile Phones within Devices & Services, Location & Commerce and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Prior year segment specific results for 2009 and 2010 have been regrouped and recasted for comparability purposes according to the new operational structure.

[F-26] Nokia’s reportable segments represent the strategic business units that offer different products and services. The chief operating decision maker receives monthly financial information for these business units. Key financial performance measures of the reportable segments include primarily net sales and contribution/operating profit. Segment contribution for Smart Devices and Mobile Phones consists of net sales as well as its own, directly assigned costs and allocated costs but exclude major restructuring projects/programs and certain other items that are not directly related to the segments. Operating Profit is presented for Location & Commerce and Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia evaluates the performance of its segments and allocates resources to them based on operating profit/contribution.

Smart Devices focuses on smartphones and smart devices and has profit-and-loss responsibility and end-to-end accountability for the full consumer experience, including product development, product management and product marketing. ([52] Nokia’s portfolio of smartphones covers price points ranging from around EUR 100 to more than EUR 500, excluding taxes and subsidies. During 2011, we shipped approximately 77.3 million smartphones.)

Mobile Phones focuses on mass market feature phones and related services and applications and has profit-and-loss responsibility and end-to-end accountability for the full consumer experience, including development, management and marketing of feature phone products, services and applications. ([54] Nokia’s portfolio of feature phones covers a wide range of price points from the Nokia 100, our most affordable device which costs about EUR 20, excluding taxes and subsidies, through to devices with more premium features costing upwards of EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies. During 2011, we shipped approximately 339.8 million feature phones.)

Devices & Services Other includes net sales of Vertu, spare parts and related cost of sales and operating expenses, as well as intellectual property related royalty income. Operating expenses of Devices & Services Other also include common research and development. Other income and expenses include major restructuring projects/programs related to the Devices & Services business as well as other unallocated items.

Location & Commerce develops a range of location-based products and services for consumers, as well as platform services and local commerce services for the Group’s feature phones and smartphones ([96] in support of our strategic goals) as well as ([96] a portfolio of products for the broader Internet ecosystem, including products for our direct competitors) for other device manufacturers, application developers, Internet service providers, merchants, and advertisers. Location & Commerce also continues to serve NAVTEQ’s existing customers both in terms of provision of content and as a business-to-business provider of map data ([56]providing comprehensive digital map information and related location-based content and services for mobile navigation devices, automotive navigation systems, Internet-based mapping applications and government and business solutions). Location & Commerce has profit and loss responsibility and end-to-end accountability for the full consumer experience.

Nokia Siemens Networks provides a portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including managed services, consultancy and systems integration, deployment and maintenance to operators and service providers.

[F-71] Nokia Siemens Networks B.V., the ultimate parent of the Nokia Siemens Network group, is owned approximately 50% by each of Nokia and Siemens and consolidated by Nokia. Nokia effectively controls Nokia Siemens Networks as it has the ability to appoint key officers and the majority of the members of its Board of Directors, and accordingly, Nokia consolidated Nokia Siemens Networks.

Business and segment information:

2009 2010 2011
Devices & Services
Net sales (EUR in M) 27853 29134 23943
Operating profit (EUR in M) 3564 3540 884
Gross margin 33.10% 29.90% 27.70%
Operating margin -1% 12.20% 3.70%
Volume (units in M) 431.8 452.9 417.1
ASP (EUR) 64 64 57
Smart Devices
Net sales (EUR in M) 12649 14874 10820
Gross margin 37.20% 30.80% 23.70%
Contribution margin 11.40% 9.30% -3.80%
Volume (units in M) 67.8 103.6 77.3
ASP (EUR) 187 144 140
Mobile Phones
Net sales (EUR in M) 14644 13696 11930
Gross margin 28.50% 28.00% 26.10%
Contribution margin 15.30% 17.00% 12.40%
Volume (units in M) 364 349.2 339.8
ASP (EUR) 40 39 35
Location & Commerce
Net sales (EUR in M) 756 869 1091
Operating profit (EUR in M) -594 -663 -1526
Gross margin 82.70% 80.60% 80.40%
Operating margin -78.60% -76.30% -139.90%
Nokia Siemens Networks
Net sales (EUR in M) 12574 12661 14041
Operating profit (EUR in M) -1639 -686 -300
Gross margin 27.10% 26.80% 27.10%
Operating margin -58% -5.40% -2.10%
Nokia Group
Net sales (EUR in M) 40984 42446 38659
Operating profit (EUR in M) 1197 2070 -1073
Gross margin 32.40% 30.20% 29.30%
Operating margin 2.90% 4.90% -2.80%

The overall market situation and the related Nokia strategies and actions:

Devices & Services:

[87] In 2011, the global mobile device market benefited from continued strength in key growth markets, such as the Middle East and Africa, Greater China and Latin America and, according to our estimate, industry mobile device volumes increased by 11% during the year. Smartphones continued to capture the major part of the volume and value growth, as well as the public focus, in the mobile device market. We estimate that our mobile device volume market share was 26% in 2011, compared to an estimated 32% in 2010, with the decline primarily driven by market share losses in the smartphones segment.

In February 2011, we announced our new strategy for our Devices & Services business, which has three core elements.

First, in smartphones, we announced our partnership with Microsoft, discussed below, to bring together our respective complementary assets and expertise to build a new global mobile ecosystem for smartphones. Under the partnership, formalized in April 2011, we are adopting and licensing Windows Phone from Microsoft as our primary smartphone platform. We launched our first Nokia products with Windows Phone under the Lumia brand in October 2011.

Second, in feature phones, our strategy continues to be to leverage our innovation and strength in growth markets to connect the next billion people to the Internet and information. Through our investments in developing assets designed to bring a modern mobile experience – software, services and applications – we believe we have the opportunity to connect the “next billion” aspirational consumers around the world to the Internet and information, especially in key emerging markets.

Third, we believe we must also invest to take advantage of future technology disruptions and trends. Through ongoing research and development, we plan to explore and lead next-generation opportunities in devices, platforms and user experiences to support our industry position and longerterm financial performance.

The competitive landscape for that is the following:

[60] The mobile device market continues to undergo significant changes, most notably due to the broad convergence of the mobile telecommunications, computing, consumer electronics and Internet industries. With the traditional feature phone market continuing to mature, a major part of volume and value growth in the industry has been in smartphones offering access to the Internet. Additionally, other large handheld Internet-centric computing devices, such as tablets and e-readers, have emerged, trading off pocketability and some portability for larger screen sizes, but in many cases offering both cellular and non-cellular connectivity in the same way conventional mobile devices do. Due to their larger size, such devices are not replacing conventional mobile devices, but are generally purchased as a second device. Nevertheless, larger-screened Internet-enabled devices have captured a significant share of consumer spend across the broader market for mobile products and digital content and in different ways. For example, some competitors seek to offer hardware at a low price to the consumer with the aim of capturing value primarily through the sale of content.

The increasing demand for wireless access to the Internet has had a significant impact on the competitive landscape of the market for mobile products and digital content. Companies with roots in the mobile devices, computing, Internet and other industries are increasingly competing directly with one another, making for an intensely competitive market across all mobile products and services. At the same time, and particularly in the smartphone and tablets segments, success for hardware manufacturers is increasingly shaped by their ability to build, catalyze or be part of a competitive ecosystem, where different industry participants, such as hardware manufacturers, software providers, developers, publishers, entertainment providers, advertisers and e-commerce specialists are forming increasingly large communities of mutually beneficial partnerships in order to bring their offerings to the market. A vibrant ecosystem creates value for consumers, giving them access to a rich and broad range of user experiences. As a result, the competitive landscape is increasingly characterized in terms of a “war of ecosystems” rather than a battle between individual hardware manufacturers or products.

At the heart of the major ecosystems is the operating system and the development platform upon which devices are based and services built. In smartphones, our competitors are pursuing a wide range of strategies. Many device manufacturers are utilizing freely available operating systems, the development of which is not paid for from device sales revenue or software license fees. The availability of Google’s Android platform has made entry into and expansion in the smartphone market easier for a number of hardware manufacturers which have chosen to join Android’s ecosystem, especially at the mid-to-low range of the smartphone market. For example, some competitors’ offerings based on Android are available for purchase by consumers for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been traditionally dominated by feature phone offerings, including those offered by Nokia. Accordingly, lower-priced smartphones are increasingly reducing the addressable market and lowering the price points for feature phones.

In general, we believe product differentiation with Android is more challenging, leading to increased commoditization of these devices and the resulting downward pressure on pricing. In addition, there is uncertainty in relation to the intellectual property rights in the Android ecosystem, which we believe increases the risk of direct and indirect litigation for participants in that ecosystem. Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are among competitors which have deployed the Android operating system on their smartphones. Samsung is among our strongest competitors, competing with us across a broad range of price points.

Other companies favor proprietary operating systems, including Apple, whose popular high-end iPhone models use the iOS operating system, and Research in Motion (RIM), which deploys Blackberry OS on its mobile devices. Both Apple and RIM have developed their own application stores, through which users of their products can access applications.

Apple, which has already gained a strong position in the market for high-end smartphones and tablets, has also used the strength of its ecosystem to further expand its offering of digital content through other interfaces such as television sets. Similarly, Google has sought to extend the Android ecosystem with its Google TV Internet-based television service.

Nokia currently offers smartphones based on the Symbian, MeeGo and Windows Phone operating systems, and we are transitioning to using Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform. Users of Symbian-based Nokia products can access digital content and third-party applications through Nokia Store, while users of our Windows Phone devices can access the Microsoft-run Marketplace for digital content and third-party applications. The Windows Phone operating system is also being deployed on smartphones by others, including HTC and Samsung.

The significant momentum and market share gains of the global ecosystems around the Apple and Android platforms have increased the competitive barriers to additional entrants looking to build a competing global smartphone ecosystem, such as Nokia with the Windows Phone platform. At the same time, other ecosystems are being built which are attracting developers and consumers, and which may result in potential fragmentation among ecosystem participants and the inability of new ecosystems to gain sufficient competitive scale.

We also face intense competition in feature phones where a different type of ecosystem from that of smartphones is emerging involving very low-cost components and manufacturing processes, with speed to market and attractive pricing being critical success factors. In particular, the availability of complete mobile solutions chipsets from low-cost reference design chipset manufacturers has lowered the barriers of market entry and enabled the very rapid and low-cost production of feature phones by numerous manufacturers in China and India, which are gaining significant market share in emerging markets, as well as bringing some locally relevant innovations to market. Such manufacturers have also demonstrated that they have significantly lower gross margin expectations than we do.

We also face competition from vendors of unlicensed and counterfeit products with manufacturing facilities primarily centered around certain locations in Asia and other emerging markets which produce inexpensive devices with sometimes low quality and limited after-sales services that take advantage of commercially-available free software and other free or low-cost components, software and content. In addition, we compete with non-branded feature phone manufacturers, including mobile network operators, which offer mobile devices under their own brand, as well as providers of specific hardware and software layers within products and services at the level of those layers rather than solely at the level of complete products and services and their combinations. In the future, we may face competition from established Internet companies seeking to offer smartphones under their own brand.

Our competitors use a wide range of other strategies and tactics. Certain competitors choose to accept significantly lower profit margins than we are targeting. Certain competitors have chosen to focus on building products and services based on commercially available components and content, in some cases available at very low or no cost. Certain competitors have also benefited from favorable currency exchange rates. Further, certain competitors may benefit from support from the governments of their home countries and other measures which may have protectionist objectives.

Transition:

[88] Year 2011 was a year of transition for Nokia. Prior to the announcement of our partnership with Microsoft in February 2011 and the adoption of Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform, the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems were our primary smartphone platforms. Following our announcement of the Microsoft partnership, we expected to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come and to ship one MeeGo device. However, the demand for our Symbian devices began to deteriorate. The consequent decline in our Smart Devices net sales and profitability was a result of both a decline in our Symbian smartphone volume market share and pressure on pricing as competitors aggressively capitalized on our platform and product transition. Towards the end of 2011, the competitiveness of our Symbian devices continued to deteriorate as changing market conditions created increased pressure on Symbian, which further adversely affected our Smart Devices net sales, profitability, market share and brand perception. In certain markets, there has been an acceleration of the trend towards lower-priced smartphones with specifications that are different from Symbian’s traditional strengths, which has contributed to a faster decline in our Symbian volumes than we anticipated. We expect this trend to continue in 2012.

To endeavor to maximize the value of our Symbian asset going forward, we expect to continue to ship Symbian devices to specific regions and distribution channels, as well as to continue to provide software support to our Symbian customers, through 2016. The software support for our Symbian customers was outsourced to Accenture commencing from September 2011. As a result of the changing market conditions, combined with our increased focus on Nokia products with Windows Phone, we believe we will sell fewer Symbian devices than previously anticipated.

Towards the end of 2011, we launched the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710, our first smartphones based on the Windows Phone platform. During 2011, we also launched the Nokia N9, which was the outcome of efforts in our MeeGo program. Since the start of 2012, we have continued to bring the Lumia experience to several more geographies, including the United States, where we have launched the Nokia Lumia 900, the first LTE device designed specifically for the North American market, which is available exclusively through AT&T. In late February 2012, we announced our intention to bring the Lumia 900 to markets outside the United States and introduced the Lumia 610, our lowest cost Lumia smartphone to date.

During the first half of 2011, our mobile device market share decline was further negatively affected by weakness in our feature phone portfolio primarily due to a lack of a dual SIM offering. During the second half 2011, however, the competitiveness of our feature phones improved when we introduced several dual SIM devices, as well as the new Nokia Asha range of feature phones, which offers a more smartphone-like user experience. These new additions helped us recapture some market share in the feature phone segment.

Year 2012 is expected to continue to be a year of transition, during which our Devices & Services business will be subject to risks and uncertainties, as our Smart Devices business unit continues to transition from Symbian products to Nokia products with Windows Phone and our Mobile Phones business unit continues to bring more smartphone-like features and design to our feature phone portfolio. Those risks and uncertainties include, among others, continued deterioration in demand for our Symbian devices; the timing, ramp-up and demand for our new products, including our Lumia devices; further pressure on margins as competitors endeavor to capitalize on our platform and product transition; and uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment. Mainly due to these factors, we believe that it is not appropriate to provide annual financial targets for 2012.

Longer-term, we target:
• Devices & Services net sales to grow faster than the market, and
• Devices & Services operating margin to be 10% or more, excluding special items and purchase price accounting related items.

Partnership with Microsoft:

[F-26] In February 2011, Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring together the respective complementary assets and expertise of both parties to build a new global mobile ecosystem for smartphones. The partnership, under which Nokia is adopting and licensing Windows Phone from Microsoft as its primary smartphone platform, was formalized in April 2011.

The Group is paying Microsoft a software royalty fee to license the Windows Phone smartphone platform, which the Group records as royalty expense in its Smart Devices cost of goods sold. Nokia has a competitive software royalty structure, which includes annual minimum software royalty commitments and reflects the large volumes that the Group expects to ship, as well as a variety of other considerations related to engineering work to which both companies are committed. The Group expects that the adoption of Windows Phone will enable it to reduce significantly its operating expenses.

In recognition of the contributions that the Group is providing, the Group will receive quarterly platform support payments from Microsoft. ([90] In the fourth quarter of 2011, we received the first quarterly payment of USD 250 million (approximately EUR 180 million).) The received platform support payments are recognized over time as a benefit to our Smart Devices costs of goods sold. The total amount of the platform payments is expected to slightly exceed the total amount of the minimum software royalty commitments.

The Microsoft partnership also recognizes the value of intellectual property and puts in place mechanisms for exchanging intellectual property rights.

[89] We are contributing our expertise on hardware, design and language support to the Microsoft partnership, and plan to bring Nokia products with Windows Phone to a broad range of price points, market segments and geographies. We and Microsoft are closely collaborating on joint marketing initiatives and on a shared development roadmap on the future evolution of mobile products. The goal for both partners is that by bringing together our complementary assets in search, maps, locationbased services, e-commerce, social networking, entertainment, unified communications and advertising, we can jointly create an entirely new consumer proposition. We are also collaborating on our developer ecosystem activities to accelerate developer support for the Windows Phone platform on our mobile products. Although Microsoft will continue to license Windows Phones to other mobile manufacturers, the Microsoft partnership allows us to customize the Windows Phone platform with a view to differentiating Nokia smartphones from those of our competitors that also use the Windows Phone platform.

Specific initiatives include the following:

  • Contribution of our mapping, navigation, and certain location-based services to the Windows Phone ecosystem. We aim to build innovation on top of the Windows Phone platform in areas such as imaging, while contributing our expertise on hardware design and language support, to help drive the development of the Windows Phone platform. Microsoft will provide Bing search services across our mobile device portfolio and will contribute its strength in productivity tools, advertising, gaming, social media and a variety of other services. We believe that the combination of navigation with advertising and search services will enable better monetization of our navigation assets and create new forms of advertising revenue.
  • Joint developer outreach and application sourcing to support the creation of new local and global applications, including making Windows Phone developer registration free for all Nokia developers.
  • Planning towards opening a new Nokia-branded global application store that leverages the Windows Marketplace infrastructure. Developers would be able to publish and distribute applications to hundreds of millions of consumers that use Windows Phone, Symbian and Series 40 devices.
  • Contribution of our expertise in operator billing to ensure participants in the Windows Phone ecosystem can take advantage of our billing relationships with 112 operators in 36 markets.

Strategy for the trend: Continued Convergence of the Mobile Communications, Computing, Consumer Electronics and Internet Industries

[90] Value in the mobile handset industry continues to be increasingly driven by the convergence of the mobile communications, computing, consumer electronics and Internet industries. As consumer demand and interest for smartphone and tablets with access to a range of content has accelerated, new opportunities to create and capture value through innovative new service offerings and user experiences have arisen, with a greater emphasis and importance on software and ecosystem-driven innovation, rather than standalone devices. These opportunities seek to capitalize on various elements of ecosystems such as search services, maps, location-based services, e-commerce, social networking, entertainment, communications and advertising. Capturing these opportunities requires capabilities to manage the increased complexity and to provide an integrated user experience where all these various elements interact seamlessly either in one device or across multiple devices and electronic products. We expect these new opportunities to continue to emerge in 2012.

We believe that we are well-positioned with our new strategy and partnership with Microsoft, including our collective goal to build a new global mobile ecosystem for smartphones, to capture a number of these opportunities.

In Mobile Phones, we plan to leverage our innovation and strength in growth markets to connect the next billion people to the Internet and information. We also plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems for our feature phones.

Strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Competing on an Ecosystem to Ecosystem Basis

[91] The increasing importance of ecosystems is, to a large degree, driven by the convergence trends mentioned above and the implications for the competencies and business model adjustments required for longer-term success. In the market for smartphones, we have seen significant momentum and emphasis on the creation and evolution of new ecosystems around major software platforms, including Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android platform, bringing together devices, software, applications and services. A notable recent development has been the increased affordability of devices based on the Android smartphone platform, which has enabled them to compete with a portion of the market that has traditionally been dominated by feature phone offerings. As Android is available free of charge and a significant part of the source code is available as open source software, entry and expansion in the smartphone market has become easier for a number of hardware manufacturers that have chosen to join Android’s ecosystem. Additionally, the success of an ecosystem and its ability to continue to grow may also depend on the support it lends to different kinds of devices. With multiple products available to suit different needs, such as mobile devices, tablets, computers and televisions, there is demand for greater seamless interaction between these devices. A number of vendors across different ecosystems are pursuing multi-screen strategies to capitalize on these opportunities.

Our partnership with Microsoft brings together complementary assets and competencies with the aim of creating a competitive smartphone ecosystem. We believe that together with Microsoft we will succeed in attracting the necessary elements for the creation of a successful ecosystem and that by extending the price points, market segments and geographies of our Windows Phone smartphones, we will be able to significantly strengthen the scale and attractiveness of that ecosystem to developers, operators and partners.

Strategy for the trend: Increased Pervasiveness of Smartphones and Smartphone-like Experiences Across the Price Spectrum

[91] During the past year, we saw the increasing availability of more affordable smartphones, particularly Android-based smartphones, connected devices and related services which were able to reach lower price points contributing to a decline in the average selling prices of smartphones in our industry.

This trend affects us in two ways.

First, it puts pressure on the price of our smartphones and potentially our profitability, as we need to price our smartphones competitively. We currently partially address this with our Symbian device offering in specific regions and distribution channels, and we plan to introduce and bring to markets new and more affordable Nokia products with Windows Phone in 2012, such as the Nokia Lumia 610 announced in February 2012.

Second, lower-priced smartphones put pressure on our higher-end feature phone offering from our Mobile Phones unit. We are addressing this with our planned introductions in 2012 of smarter, competitively priced feature phones with more modern user experiences, including software, services and application experiences. In support of our Mobile Phones business, we also plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems.

Strategy for the trend: Increasing Challenges of Achieving Sustained Differentiation and Impact on Overall Industry Gross Margin Trends

[91] Although we expect the mobile device industry to continue to deliver attractive revenue growth prospects, we are less optimistic about the gross margin trends going forward. The creation and momentum of new ecosystems, especially from established Internet players with disruptive business models, has enabled handset vendors that do not have substantial software expertise or investment in software development to develop an increasingly broad and affordable range of smartphones and other connected devices that feature a certain user interface, application development and mobile service ecosystems. At the same time, this has significantly reduced the amount of differentiation in the user experience in the eyes of consumers. Our ability to achieve sustained differentiation with our mobile products is a key driver of consumer retention, net sales growth and margins. We believe that as it becomes increasingly difficult for many of our competitors to achieve sustained differentiation, overall industry gross margin trends may be depressed going forward.

Through our partnership with Microsoft and development of the Windows Phone ecosystem, we will focus more of our investments in areas where we believe we can differentiate and less on areas where we cannot, leveraging the assets and competencies of our ecosystem partners. Areas where we believe we can achieve sustained product differentiation and leadership include distinctive design with compelling hardware, leading camera and other sensor experiences and leading location-based products and services. Other ways for us to differentiate our products include using our localization capabilities, global reach, strong brand and marketing. We believe that our first Lumia devices reflect a number of these new and differentiated experiences on Windows Phone. We expect to continue to introduce new and more differentiated products from our Lumia product family in multiple markets throughout 2012.

In the Mobile Phones business, we believe our competitive advantages – including our scale, brand, quality, manufacturing and logistics, strategic sourcing and partnering, distribution, research and development and software platforms and intellectual property – continue to be important to our competitive position. Additionally, we plan to extend our Mobile Phones offerings and capabilities during 2012 in order to bring a modern mobile experience – software, services and applications – to aspirational consumers in key growth markets as part of our strategy to bring the Internet and information to the next billion people. At the same time, we plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems.

Finally, we believe that we must invest in new projects to drive differentiation and take advantage of future technology disruptions and trends. Through ongoing research and development, we plan to explore and lead next-generation opportunities in devices, platforms and user experiences to support our industry position as well as our ability to further differentiate over the longer-term. For example, new web technologies such as those commonly referred to as HTML5 may lead to less operating system-centric ecosystems. It is important to be able to drive such industry developments, which we believe will define the future of our industry.

Strategy for the trend: Emergence of New Business Models

[92] We believe that the traditional industry monetization model – capturing the value of the overall experience through the sale of a mobile device – will continue to dominate in the near to medium term. However, we are also seeing the emergence of new indirect monetization models where the value is captured through indirect sources of revenue such as advertising revenue through applications rather than the actual sale of a device. These indirect monetization models could become more prominent in our industry in the longer-term. Accordingly, we believe that developing a range of indirect monetization opportunities, such as advertising-based business models, will be part of successful ecosystems over the coming years. Obtaining and analyzing a complex array of customer feedback, information on consumer usage patterns and other personal and consumer data over the largest possible user-base is essential in gaining greater consumer understanding. We believe this understanding is a key element in developing new monetization opportunities and generating new sources of revenue, as well as in facilitating future innovations, including the delivery of new and more relevant user experiences ahead of the competition.

The exploration of new revenue streams is a key element of our partnership with Microsoft. We are jointly developing new services with Microsoft to drive innovation and new sources of revenue from our ecosystem. We believe that our ability to understand the specific needs of different geographic markets and consumer segments and to localize services and applications appropriately will be a key competitive differentiator. To support this, in the coming years we plan to invest in local advertising platforms to further enhance and enrich our localized offerings. Supported by our scale, we believe that we have the opportunity to deliver more compelling and relevant local services and to build new monetization models for Nokia and the Windows Phone ecosystem.

Strategy for the trends in: Supply Chain, Distribution and Operator Relationships

[93] The industry in which we operate is one of the fastest growing and most innovative, with a broad range of industry participants contributing product and technological innovations. In particular, the role of component suppliers has grown in importance. At the same time, much of the value creation for consumers has shifted from hardware to software. Nevertheless, we believe that there continues to be substantial room to innovate in hardware. From that perspective and in order to deliver market-leading innovations and sustainable differentiation through hardware, it is critical to have good relationships with high quality suppliers. With good supplier relationships, allied with the strength of our world-class manufacturing and logistics system, we believe we are well-positioned to deliver high-quality hardware as well as to respond quickly to customer and consumer demand.

Amid rapid change in the industry, we have also seen new sourcing models emerge. Especially in smartphones, our competitors have shifted from traditional multi-sourcing strategies where you have multiple suppliers for each component, to more focused sourcing strategies where they integrate key strategic suppliers closer to their operations as well as use advance cash payments to secure supply for several quarters in advance in order to have more unique and differentiated components as well as more predictability in their sourcing. This means that we also need to look for new and more innovative ways of sourcing key components, particularly in our Smart Devices business.

Our own manufacturing network continues to be a valuable asset, especially in our high-volume Mobile Phones business. We realized, however, that we need to adjust our manufacturing to meet the lower overall demand for our products and increase our speed to market for our mobile products. In 2011 and in February 2012, we announced our plans to adjust our manufacturing capacity and renew our manufacturing strategy to focus product assembly primarily in Asia to better reflect how our global networks of customers, partners and suppliers have evolved. The changes included the closure of our manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania at the end of 2011. We also announced planned changes at our facilities in Komárom, Hungary, Reynosa, Mexico and Salo, Finland. These three facilities are planned to focus on smartphone product and sales package customization, serving customers mainly in Europe and the Americas, while our smartphone assembly operations will be transferred to our facilities in AsiaBeijing, China and Masan, South Korea – where the majority of our component suppliers are based. With these adjustments to our manufacturing network, we are aiming to continue to generate meaningful benefits relative to our competitors.

As in any global consumer business, distribution continues to be an important asset in the mobile device industry. We believe the breadth of our global distribution network is one of our key competitive advantages. We have the industry’s largest distribution network with more than 850,000 points of sale globally. Compared to our competitors, we have a substantially larger distribution and care network, particularly in China, India and the Middle East and Africa.

During 2011, the importance of operator-driven distribution increased. Whereas in the past operators dominated distribution only in the large western markets in Europe and the United States, they have recently been growing their share of distribution in large growth markets such as China, a traditionally strong market for us. We have been historically more successful where our mobile products are sold to consumers in open distribution through non-operator parties. It is therefore increasingly important to not only have a large number of points of sale globally, but also to have good relationships with key operators in each region.

Strategically, we want to be the preferred ecosystem partner for operators. By creating a new global mobile ecosystem with Microsoft and focusing on driving operator data plan adoption in lower price points with our feature phone offering, we believe we will be able to create a greater balance for operators and provide attractive opportunities to share the economic benefits from services and applications sales compared to other competing ecosystems, thereby improving our long-standing relationships with operators around the world.

Strategy for the trends related to: Speed of Innovation, Product Development and Execution

[94] As the mobile communications industry continues to undergo significant changes, we believe that speed of innovation and product development are important drivers of competitive strength. For example, a number of our competitors have been able to successfully leverage their software expertise to continuously bring innovations to market at a pace faster than typical hardware cycles. This has placed increasing pressure on all industry participants to continue to shorten product creation cycles and to execute in a timely, effective and consistent manner.

In February 2011, we announced our new strategy, including changes to our operational structure, company leadership, decision-making, ways of working and competencies designed to accelerate our speed of execution in an intensely competitive environment. The changes to our ways of working fall into six categories:

  • globally accountable business units;
  • a revised services mission;
  • local empowerment;
  • simplified decision-making;
  • a performance-based culture with consistent behavior; and
  • a new leadership structure with new leadership principles.

We believe under the new operational structure and with these new ways of working we can deliver noticeable improvements to our speed of innovation, product development and execution of both our Smart Devices and Mobile Phones business units.

Strategy for the trends related to: More Active Licensing Strategies of Patents and Intellectual Property

[94] Success in our industry requires significant research and development investments, with intellectual property rights filed to protect those investments and related inventions. In recent years, we have seen new entrants in the industry as new ecosystems have lowered the barriers to entry. In 2011, we saw intensified and more active licensing and enforcement strategies of patents and intellectual property emerge through a series of legal disputes between several industry participants as patent holders sought to protect their intellectual property against infringements by new entrants. It is not only traditional industry participants that have sought to safeguard their intellectual property; non-manufacturing patent licensing entities owning relevant technology patents have also actively been enforcing their patents against new entrants. These companies’ sole business model is to buy patents from the innovators and to maximize the value from those patents. As a result, the industry’s focus on patents and intellectual property has increased significantly and patent portfolios have become increasingly valuable for industry participants. Increased activity has also created lucrative opportunities to monetize patents by selling them to others. We expect this trend to continue in 2012. We believe we are well-positioned to both protect our existing business as well as generate incremental value to our shareholders through our industry-leading patent portfolio.

We are a world leader in the development of mobile devices and mobile communications technologies, which is also demonstrated by our strong patent position. During the last two decades, we have invested more than EUR 45 billion in research and development and built one of the mobile device industry’s strongest and broadest intellectual property right portfolios, with over 10 000 patent families. In 2011, we continued to work hard to enforce our patents against unlawful infringement and realize the value of our intellectual property. Our 2011 initiatives included, among other things, the signing of a patent license agreement with Apple, which we expect will have a positive financial impact on our future business, as well as capitalizing on strong market conditions by divesting several hundred patent families in a series of transactions to non-manufacturing patent licensing entities. Despite such divestments, we have maintained the strength and size of our patent portfolio on a stable level of approximately 10 000 patent families.

Strategy for the trends related to: Uncertain Global Macroeconomic Environment

We are currently experiencing a time of great global macroeconomic uncertainty. This uncertainty can cause unprecedented and dramatic shifts in consumer behavior, which can have significant effects on the mobile device industry. These effects could include, for example, consumers reducing the amount they are willing to spend on mobile products, which would negatively affect industry average selling prices, or consumers postponing purchases of new products, which would negatively affect device replacement cycles. These types of shifts in consumer behavior could potentially have a material adverse effect on our net sales and profitability in 2012.

While negative to the industry overall, we believe that the impact of any dramatic shifts in consumer behavior could be mitigated to a certain extent by our global distribution network, geographically well diversified supply-chain, relatively fragmented customer space and the breadth of our offering, which covers a wide range of price points. Furthermore, during our ongoing transition to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform our financial position has continued to be relatively strong. We continuously monitor the strength of our financial position and assess its adequacy in different net sales and profitability scenarios.

Additionally, we have identified and implemented certain precautionary measures designed to limit the possible immediate direct negative consequences resulting from the potential deterioration of the economic situation within the eurozone.

Restructuring in accordance with all that:

[F-64] In April 2011, Nokia announced plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4 000 employees by the end of 2012, as well as plans to consolidate the company’s research and product development sites so that each site has a clear role and mission. In September 2011, Nokia announced plans to take further actions to align its workforce and operations, which includes reductions in Sales and Marketing and Corporate functions in line with Nokia’s earlier announcement in April 2011. The measures also include the closure of Nokia’s manufacturing facility in Cluj, Romania, which – together with adjustments to supply chain operations – has affected approximately 2 200 employees. As a result, Devices & Services recognized a restructuring provision of EUR 456 million in total.

In 2010, Devices & Services recognized restructuring provisions of EUR 85 million mainly related to changes in Symbian Smartphones and Services organizations as well as certain corporate functions that were expected to result in a reduction of up to 1 800 employees globally.

[96] The factors and trends discussed above influence our net sales and gross profit potential. In addition, operational efficiency and cost control are important factors affecting our profitability and competitiveness. We continuously assess our cost structure and prioritize our investments. Our objective remains to maintain our strong capital structure, focus on profitability and cash flow and invest appropriately to innovate and grow in key strategic areas.

We expect that the adoption of Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform will enable us to reduce significantly our operating expenses. For example, the Microsoft partnership allows us to eliminate certain research and development investments, particularly in operating systems and services, which we expect will result in lower overall research and development expenditures over the longer-term in our Devices & Services business.

We announced in 2011 that we are targeting to reduce our Devices & Services operating expenses by more than EUR 1 billion for the full year 2013, compared to the Devices & Services operating expenses of EUR 5.35 billion for the full year 2010, excluding special items and purchase price accounting related items.

We have announced a number of planned changes to our operations during 2011 and 2012 in connection with the implementation of our new strategy in our Devices & Services business and the creation of our new Location & Commerce business. The planned changes include substantial personnel reductions, site and facility closures and reconfiguration of certain facilities.

Initially, we announced that we are focusing our restructuring work primarily on the research and development teams to ensure that we correctly allocate resources for the new strategy at appropriate cost levels. In addition, we agreed to outsource our Symbian software development and support activities to Accenture, which resulted in the transfer of approximately 2 300 employees to Accenture.

We later announced that we are accelerating structural change in other parts of the organization in order to ensure that we are responsive to the changing dynamics in our industry. This phase includes the alignment of our markets organization and other supporting functions. For sales, this includes a move to simplify our model based around four regions, twenty areas and additional local offices that serve individual countries or territories.

We also announced plans to adjust our manufacturing capacity and renew our manufacturing strategy to reflect how our global networks of customers, partners and suppliers have evolved, including the closure of our facility in Cluj, Romania, the review of our manufacturing operations in Komárom, Hungary, Reynosa, Mexico and Salo, Finland and the transfer of smartphone assembly operations to Beijing, China and Masan, South Korea.

With respect to combining NAVTEQ and our Devices & Services social location services operations to form our Location & Commerce business, we announced a plan to capture potential synergies and opportunities to increase effectiveness through automation. The planned changes in the Location & Commerce business are estimated to affect approximately 1 300 employees.

Since we outlined our new strategy, we have announced total planned employee reductions of approximately 11 500 employees, as well as the transfer of approximately 2 300 employees to Accenture as noted above.

The planned measures support the execution of our strategy and are expected to bring efficiencies and speed to the organization. In line with our values, we are offering employees affected by the planned reductions a comprehensive support program. We remain committed to supporting employees and the local communities through this difficult change.

As of December 31, 2011, we had recognized cumulative net charges in Devices & Services of EUR 797 million related to restructuring activities in 2011, which included restructuring charges and associated impairments. While the total extent of the restructuring activities is still to be determined, we currently anticipate cumulative charges in Devices & Services of around EUR 900 million before the end of 2012. We also believe total cash outflows related to our Devices & Services restructuring activities will be below the level of the cumulative charges related to these restructuring activities.

In the past, our cost structure has benefited from the cost of components eroding more rapidly than the price of our mobile products. Recently, however, component cost erosion has been generally slowing, a trend that adversely affected our profitability in 2010 and 2011, and may do so in the future.

The currency volatility of the Japanese yen and United States dollar against the euro continued to put pressure on our costs in 2011. During 2011, we were able to manage the currency volatility driven cost pressure with an appropriate level of hedging and by managing our sourcing towards more favorable currencies. Our currency exposure profiles have not changed significantly and continued currency volatility of the Japanese yen and US dollar against the euro may negatively affect us in the future.

Location & Commerce:

[97] Our Location & Commerce business aims to positively differentiate its digital map data and location-based offerings from those of our competitors and create competitive business models for our customers.

In the fourth quarter 2011, we conducted our annual impairment testing to assess if events or changes in circumstances indicated that the carrying amount of our goodwill may not be recoverable. As a result, we recorded a charge to operating profit of EUR 1.1 billion for the impairment of goodwill in our Location & Commerce business. The impairment charge was the result of an evaluation of the projected financial performance of our Location & Commerce business. This took into consideration the market dynamics in digital map data and related location-based content markets, including our estimate of the market moving long-term from fee-based towards advertising-based models especially in some more mature markets. It also reflected recently announced results and related competitive factors in the local search and advertising market resulting in lower estimated growth prospects from our location-based assets integrated with different advertising platforms. After consideration of all relevant factors, we reduced the net sales projections for Location & Commerce which, in turn, reduced projected profitability and cash flows.

Location & Commerce’s resources are primarily focused on the development of:

(i) content, which involves the mapping of the physical world and places such as roads and points of interest, as well as the collection of activity data generated and authorized for use by our users;

(ii) the platform, which adds functionality on top of the content and includes the development tools for us and others to create on top of it; and

(iii) applications built on the content and platform.

Our Devices & Services business is a key customer of Location & Commerce. Devices & Services purchases map and application licenses from Location & Commerce for its Nokia Maps service sold in combination with GPS enabled smartphones.

Competition:

[61] With respect to digital map data and related location-based content, several global and local companies, as well as governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, are making more map data with improving coverage and content, and high quality, available free of charge or at lower prices. For example, our Location & Commerce business competes with Google which uses an advertising-based model allowing consumers to use its map data and related services in their products free of charge. Google has continued to leverage Google Maps as a differentiator for Android, bringing certain new features and functionality to that platform. Apple has also sought to strengthen its location assets and capabilities through targeted acquisitions and organic growth.

Location & Commerce also competes with companies such as TomTom, which licenses its map data and where competition is focused on the quality of the map data and pricing, and Open Street Map, which is a community-generated open source map available to users free of charge. Aerial, satellite and other location-based imagery is also becoming increasingly available and competitors are offering location-based products and services with the map data to both business customers and consumers in order to differentiate their offerings.

Strategy for the trend: Location-Based Products and Services Proliferation

[97] A substantial majority of Location & Commerce net sales in 2011 came from the licensing of digital map data and related location-based content and services for use in mobile devices, in-vehicle navigation systems, Internet applications, geographical information system applications and other location-based products and services. Location & Commerce’s success depends upon the rate at which consumers and businesses use location-based products and services. In recent years, there has been a strong increase in the availability of such products and services, particularly in mobile devices and online application stores for such devices. Furthermore, as the use of the Internet through mobile devices has been growing rapidly, the anchor of the Internet is moving from the desktops to mobiles. This shift is making location-based content a key element of most Internet experiences. We expect this trend to continue, but we also expect that the level of quality required for these products and services and the ability to charge license fees for the use of map data incorporated into such products and services may vary significantly. By combining our NAVTEQ business with our Devices & Services social location services operations, we believe our Location & Commerce business will be better positioned to capture emerging business opportunities with a broader offering which is no longer limited to digital map data.

Strategy for the trend: Increasing Importance of Creating an Ecosystem around Location-Based Services Offering

[97] Creating a winning ecosystem around our Location & Commerce’s services offering will be critical for the success of this business. The longer-term success of the Location & Commerce business will be determined by our ability to attract strategic partners and developers to support our ecosystem. Location & Commerce is aiming to support its ecosystem by enabling strategic partners and independent developers to foster innovation on top of their location platform. We believe that making it possible for other vendors to innovate on top of Location & Commerce’s high quality location-based assets will further strengthen the overall experience and make our offering stronger and more attractive.

Strategy for the trend: Emergence of the Intelligent Sensor Network

[98] Mobile Internet devices are increasingly being enabled with a rich set of sensors such as a GPS, a camera and an accelerometer which enable interaction with the real world. This interaction also enables the collection of large volumes of rich data which, when combined with analytics, enable the development of increasingly sophisticated, contextually-aware devices and services. We believe the combination of NAVTEQ with our Devices & Services social location services operations will enable Location & Commerce to participate in this industry development and seize new opportunities to deliver new experiences that bridge the virtual with the real world.

Strategy for the trend: Price Pressure for Navigable Map Data Increasing

[98] Location & Commerce’s net sales are also affected by the highly competitive pricing environment. Google is offering turn-by-turn navigation in many countries to its business customers and consumers on certain mobile handsets at no charge to the consumer. While we expect these offerings will increase the adoption of location-based services in the mobile handset industry, we also expect they may lead to additional price pressure from Location & Commerce’s business customers, including handset manufacturers, navigation application developers, wireless carriers and personal navigation device (“PND”) manufacturers, which are seeking ways to offer lower-cost or free turn-by-turn navigation to consumers. Turn-by-turn navigation solutions that are free to consumers on mobile devices may also put pressure on automotive OEMs and automotive navigation system manufacturers to have lower cost navigation alternatives. This price pressure is expected to result in an increased focus on advertising revenue as a way to supplement or replace license fees for map data.

In response to the pricing pressure, Location & Commerce focuses on offering a digital map database with superior quality, detail and coverage; providing value-added services to its customers such as distribution and technical services; enhancing and extending its product offering by adding additional content to its map database, such as 3D landmarks; and providing business customers with alternative business models that are less onerous to the business customer than those provided by competitors. Location & Commerce’s future results will also depend on Location & Commerce’s ability to adapt its business models to generate increasing amounts of advertising revenues from its map and other location-based content.

We believe that Location & Commerce’s PND customers will continue to face competitive pressure from smartphones and other mobile devices that now offer navigation, but that PNDs continue to offer a viable option for consumers based on the functionality, user interface, quality and overall ease of use.

Strategy for the trend: Quality and Richness of Location-Based Content and Services Will Continue to Increase

[98] Location & Commerce’s profitability is also driven by Location & Commerce’s expenses related to the development of its database and expansion. Location & Commerce’s development costs are comprised primarily of the purchase and licensing of source maps, employee compensation and thirdparty fees related to the construction, maintenance and delivery of its database.

In order to remain competitive and notwithstanding the price pressure discussed above, Location & Commerce will need to continue to expand the geographic scope of its map data, maintain the quality of its existing map data and add an increasing amount of new location-based content and services, as well as using innovative ways like crowd sourcing to collect data. The trends for such location-based content and services include real-time updates to location information, more dynamic information, such as traffic, weather, events and parking availability, and imagery consistent with the real world. We expect that these requirements will cause Location & Commerce’s map development expenses to continue to grow, although a number of productivity initiatives are underway designed to improve the efficiency of our database collection processing and delivery. In addition, we will need to continue making investments in this fast paced and innovative location-based content and services industry, for instance through research and development, licensing arrangements, acquiring businesses and technologies, recruiting specialized expertise and partnering with third parties.

Restructuring in accordance with all that:

[F-64] In September 2011, Nokia announced a plan to concentrate the development efforts of the Location & Commerce business in Berlin, Germany and Boston and Chicago in the U.S., and other supporting sites and plans to close its operations in Bonn, Germany and Malvern, U.S. As a result, Location & Commerce recognized a restructuring provision of EUR 25 million.

Nokia Siemens Networks:

[99] Nokia Siemens Networks’ has a broad portfolio of products and services designed to address evolving needs of network operators from GSM to LTE wireless standards, a base of over 600 customers in over 150 countries serving over 2.5 billion subscribers and one of the largest services organizations in the telecommunications infrastructure industry. The company’s global customer base includes network operators such as Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Softbank, Telefonica O2, Verizon and Vodafone.

Geographical diversity provides Nokia Siemens Networks with opportunities in both emerging markets, which may experience rapid growth, and developed markets where it believes its technologically advanced products and services portfolio provides a competitive advantage, while the geographic diversity of its customer base reduces exposure to fluctuating economic conditions in individual markets.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ net sales depend on various developments in the global telecommunications infrastructure and related services market, such as network operator investments, the pricing environment and product mix. In developed markets, operator investments are primarily driven by capacity and coverage upgrades, which, in turn, are driven by greater usage of the networks primarily through the rapid growth in data usage. Those operators are targeting investments in technology and services that allow them to provide end users with fast and faultless network performance in the most efficient manner possible, allowing them to optimize their investment. Such developments are facilitated by the evolution of network technologies that promote greater efficiency and flexibility.

In addition, those operators are increasingly investing in software and services that provide them with the means to better manage end users on their network, and also allow them additional access to the value of the large amounts of subscriber data under their control. In emerging markets, the principal factors influencing operator investments are the continued growth in customer demand for telecommunications services, including data, as well as new subscriber growth. In many emerging markets, this continues to drive growth in network coverage and capacity requirements.

The telecommunications infrastructure market is characterized by intense competition and price erosion caused in part by the entry into the market of vendors from China, Huawei and ZTE, which have gained market share by leveraging their low cost advantage in tenders for customer contracts. In recent years, the technological capabilities of those vendors, particularly Huawei, has improved significantly, resulting in competition not only on price but also on quality.

The pricing environment remained intense in 2011. In particular, the wave of network modernization that has taken place, particularly in Europe but increasingly in other regions including Asia Pacific, has experienced some aggressive pricing as all vendors fight for market share.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ net sales are impacted by those pricing developments, which show some regional variation, and in particular by the balance between sales in developed and emerging markets. While price erosion is evident across most geographical markets, it continues to be particularly intense in a number of emerging markets where many operator customers have been subject to financial pressure, both through lack of availability of financing facilities during 2011 as well as profound pricing pressure in their domestic markets.

Pricing pressure is evident in the traditional products markets, in particular, where competitors may have products with similar technological capabilities, leading to commoditization in some areas. Nokia Siemens Networks’ ability to compete in those markets is determined by its ability to remain price competitive with its industry peers and it is therefore important for Nokia Siemens Networks to continue to reduce product costs to keep pace with price attrition. Nokia Siemens Networks continued to make progress in reducing product and procurement costs in 2011, and will need to continue to do so in order to provide its customers with high-quality products at competitive prices. There is currently less pricing sensitivity in the managed services market, where vendor selections are often largely determined by the level of trust and demonstrated capability in the field.

In November 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks articulated its regional strategy, identifying three markets, Japan, Korea and the United States, as its priority countries where it will target growth. The Middle East and Africa, where political, financial and competitive pressures have led to particular weakness in 2011, will be the focus of turnaround efforts. In the remaining regions, Latin America, China, Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe, Nokia Siemens Networks goal will be to defend market share and find areas for future profitable growth.

Over recent years, the telecommunications infrastructure industry has entered a more mature phase characterized by the completion of the greenfield roll-outs of mobile and fixed network infrastructure across many markets, although this is further advanced in developed markets. Despite this, there is still a significant market for traditional network infrastructure products to meet coverage and capacity requirements, even as older technologies such as 2G are supplanted by 3G and LTE. As growth in traditional network products sales slows, there is an emphasis on the provision of network upgrades, often through software, as well as applications, such as billing, charging and subscriber management, and services, particularly the outsourcing of non-core activities to companies

The competitive landscape for that is the following:

[70] Conditions in the market for mobile and fixed network infrastructure and related services improved, but remained challenging and intensely competitive in 2011. The market continued to be characterized by mixed trends as growth in mobile broadband and services was offset by equipment price erosion, a maturing of legacy industry technology and intense price competition.

Industry participants have changed significantly in recent years. Substantial industry consolidation occurred in 2007 with the emergence of three major European vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks. The break-up of Nortel occurred in 2009 when it entered bankruptcy protection and many parts of the business were sold, including the wireless carrier unit, Metro Ethernet Networks, and its GSM business. In January 2011, Motorola Solutions completed its separation from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. In April 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks acquired the majority of Motorola Solutions’ wireless network infrastructure assets.

During 2011, the competitive environment in the telecommunications infrastructure market was characterized by continued overall growth in global network operators’ capital expenditures in Euro terms, mainly attributable to the Japanese, Chinese, APAC, North East Europe and Latin American markets. Growth in capital expenditures declined in the Middle East and remained relatively unchanged in the European and North American markets in Euro terms in 2011. Increased smart phone usage drove increased investments in the United States and European wireless markets. The vendors from China, Huawei and ZTE, continued to grow their market share but at a slower pace than in previous years and continued to challenge Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia Siemens Networks’ ability to compete with low-cost vendors primarily depends on its ability to be price competitive and, in certain circumstances, its ability to provide or facilitate vendor financing. In recent years, the technological capabilities of the Chinese vendors, particularly Huawei, has improved significantly, resulting in competition not only on price but also on quality. In addition to the major infrastructure providers, Nokia Siemens Networks also competes with Cisco and NEC.

In the Networks Systems business, the decline of 2G (GSM, CDMA) continued in 2011, whereas investments in 3G continued and increased worldwide. Also, fourth generation (4G) LTE trials and pilots continued strongly as operators continued to merge towards next generation LTE and all-IP networks. Within the LTE segment, leading vendors are competing based on factors including technology innovation, network typology and less complex network architectures as well as integration towards all-IP networks.

Growth in wireline and wireless broadband services sped up optical and wireless network upgrades in developed markets. In addition, the related investment in mobile backhaul networks continued to increase due to data traffic increases in the operator networks.

In services, which remained the fastest growing part of the industry, competition is generally based on a vendor’s ability to identify and solve customer problems rather than their ability to supply equipment at a competitive price. Competition in services is from both traditional vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei, as well as non-traditional telecommunications entities and system integrators, such as Accenture and IBM. In addition to these companies, there are also local service companies competing, which have a narrower scope in terms of served regions and business areas.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ Business Solutions business unit assists network operators in transforming their business, processes and systems to enhance the customer experience, drive new revenue and improve operational efficiency to enable them to successfully address the challenges and opportunities of mobile broadband, smartphones, tablet computers, multi-play offerings, service innovation and new growth areas. In this area, Nokia Siemens Networks faces competition also from information technology and software businesses like Accenture, Amdocs, HP, IBM and Oracle, which are active in areas such as the service delivery platform market and business insight and analysis services.

Certain competitors may receive governmental support allowing them to offer products and services at substantially lower prices. Further, in many regions restricted access to capital has caused network operators to reduce capital expenditure and has produced a stronger demand for vendor financing. Certain of Nokia Siemens Networks’ competitors may have stronger customer financing possibilities due to internal policies or government support. While the amount of financing Nokia Siemens Networks provided directly to its customers in 2011 remained at approximately the same level as in 2010, as a strategic market requirement it plans to offer this financing option only to a limited number of customers and primarily to arrange and facilitate such financing with the support of export credit or guarantee agencies.

Strategy for the trends in: Mobility and Data Usage

[100] Over recent years the two most evident trends in the telecommunications market – the rise in use of  mobile services and the exponential increase in data traffic – have converged. One result is that services once regarded as available primarily, if not exclusively, through fixed or wireline network are increasingly in demand from wireless networks also.

Alongside traditional voice and data services, such as text messaging, end-users access a wealth of media services through communications networks, including email and other business data; entertainment services, including games and music; visual media, including high definition films and television programming; and social media sites. End-users increasingly expect that such services are available to them everywhere, through both mobile and fixed networks, and a wealth of new devices, optimized to allow them to do so, have become available including tablet computers, highly sophisticated multimedia smartphones, mobile broadband data dongles, set-top boxes and mobile and fixed line telephones.

The widespread availability of devices has been matched by a proliferation of products and services in the market that both meet and feed end-user demand. These continue to drive dramatic increases in data traffic and signaling through both mobile access and transport networks that carry the potential to cause network congestion and complexity. During 2011, this increase continued to gain momentum as more users moved towards smartphones and tablets and even more devices that require constant connectivity were introduced to the market.

While the growth in traffic is clear, it has not been met by corresponding growth in operators’ revenues from data traffic, where growth appears to be slowing. This presents operators with a challenge: to cope with the growing traffic load within networks, it is fundamental that operators continue to invest in their networks, but within the financial constraints that their current business models dictate.

This means that while the addition of capacity, speed and coverage is crucial, it is critical that networks are built efficiently and effectively in a manner that optimizes capital investment and delivers networks with architecture sufficiently flexible to cope with evolving requirements.

During 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks recognized the centrality of mobile networks to the future development of telecommunications and announced that it would place mobile broadband at the heart of its strategy, articulating an ambition to provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks and the services capability to make all elements work together seamlessly. Nokia Siemens Networks said it expected to increase investment in mobile broadband.

Also during 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks launched the network architecture designed to equip operators to meet the challenges they are facing. “Liquid Net” architecture provides flexibility across networks to adapt to changing customer needs instantly, using existing resources more efficiently. This optimizes capital investment and allows operators to seek new revenue opportunities. Liquid Net uses automated, self-adapting broadband optimization to remain constantly aware of the network’s operational status, as well as the services and content being consumed, to ensure the best user experience. Liquid Net consists of three areas: Liquid Radio, Liquid Core and Liquid Transport.

Strategy for the trends in: Managed Services and Outsourcing

[101] There has been an acceleration in the development of the managed services market as operators increasingly look to outsource network management to infrastructure vendors. The primary driver for this trend is that managed services providers are able to offer economies of scale in network management that allow the vendor to manage such contracts profitably while operators can reduce the cost of network management. The outsourcing trend is also underpinned by many operators taking the view that network management is no longer either a core competence or requirement of their business and are increasingly confident they can find greater expertise by outsourcing this activity to a trusted partner that can also improve quality and reliability in the network.

Nokia Siemens Networks believes that this trend will continue and that it could in future be driven by financial imperatives of its customers facing slowing revenue growth but a continuing requirement for capital investment in their networks, a dynamic that has the potential to threaten their profitability levels. This results in some operators aiming to control their operating expenditure. In those circumstances, the outsourcing of the management of their network to infrastructure vendors, such as Nokia Siemens Networks, can be an attractive option.

In emerging markets, such as Africa and India, price pressure and competition in the end-user market has increased the financial pressure on many operators, which in turn has resulted in a similar trend as operators have looked to control and cut costs through outsourcing network management.

The trend towards network management outsourcing is evident in every region of the world and has intensified. Nokia Siemens Networks believes that this trend generates its own momentum in the market as vendors can increasingly demonstrate their capabilities with reference accounts and operators are exposed to their competitors taking steps that can enhance profitability and improve network quality and reliability.

In the announcement of its new strategy in November 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks reaffirmed its commitment to services, and will continue to aim to support mobile operators with high end services and will seek to maximize the potential of its global delivery model, with its global network solution centers in Portugal and India which offer the benefits of scale and efficiencies both to Nokia Siemens Networks and its customers.

Strategy for the trends in: Customer Experience Management

As operators in many markets see the growth of net new subscribers slowing or even stopping, they are increasingly focused on leveraging the value of the subscribers they have. As the acquisition of new subscribers to networks in such markets can be both difficult and expensive, customers look to limit “churn”, where end users transfer to a rival service provider, as well as to increase the revenue derived from each user through the addition of value-added services, such as access to media and entertainment and social networking services. This often requires that operators invest in software and solutions that allow customers to enjoy an improved experience. One of the key foundations for this improved end-user experience is understanding an end user’s behavior and preferences, which in turn allows the operator to tailor service offerings to the individual consumer. This not only includes services and applications, but also bespoke billing platforms and identity management solutions.

Nokia Siemens Networks continues to develop and enhance its offerings in this area, and in November 2011 announced that its Customer Experience Management unit would be a lead business area in its new strategy. Nokia Siemens Networks believes it has the industry’s leading subscriber database management platform, complemented by flexible billing and charging platforms and other software and solutions that provide its customers with the tools, flexibility and agility required to respond to a rapidly changing end-user market. Nokia Siemens Networks also provides business process and consulting services that help to lead its customers through business transformation opportunities.

Strategy related to: Motorola Solutions Acquisition

[102] In April 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks acquired the majority of the wireless network infrastructure assets of Motorola Solutions for a total consideration of EUR 642 million. The acquisition increased Nokia Siemens Networks’ global presence and expanded its position and product offerings in key markets. See Item 4B. “Business Overview – Nokia Siemens Networks – Motorola Solutions Acquisition.”

Trasition to a: New Strategy and [the corresponding] Restructuring Program

[103] Nokia Siemens Networks’ focus is on becoming the strongest, most innovative and highest quality mobile broadband and services business in the world. Rather than targeting the full spectrum of telecommunications equipment and services, Nokia Siemens Networks is the first of the telecommunications companies to refocus on providing the most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence that maximizes the value of those networks and the services that make it all work seamlessly.

In November 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a new strategy, including changes to its organizational structure and an extensive restructuring program, aimed at maintaining and developing Nokia Siemens Networks, position as one of the leaders in mobile broadband and services and improving its competitiveness and profitability. Nokia Siemens Networks expects substantial charges related to this restructuring program in 2012. See Item 4B. “Business Overview—Nokia Siemens Networks—New Strategy and Restructuring Program” for a description of the main elements of the new strategy.

Year 2012 will be a year of transition for Nokia Siemens Networks as it implements its new strategy and restructuring program. Accordingly, Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks believe it is currently not appropriate to provide annual targets for Nokia Siemens Networks for 2012. Additionally, the macroeconomic environment is making it increasingly difficult to estimate the outlook for 2012.

Longer-term, Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks target Nokia Siemens Networks’ operating margin to be between 5% and 10%, excluding special items and purchase price accounting related items.

Nokia Siemens Networks targets to reduce its annualized operating expenses and production overheads, excluding special items and purchase price accounting related items, by EUR 1 billion by the end of 2013, compared to the end of 2011. While these savings are expected to come largely from organizational streamlining, the company will also target areas such as real estate, information technology, product and service procurement costs, overall general and administrative expenses and a significant reduction of suppliers in order to further lower costs and improve quality.

Nokia Siemens Networks plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 17 000 by the end of 2013. These planned reductions are designed to align the company’s workforce with its new strategy as part of a range of productivity and efficiency measures. These planned measures are expected to include elimination of the company’s matrix organizational structure, site consolidation, transfer of activities to global delivery centers, consolidation of certain central functions, cost synergies from the integration of Motorola’s wireless assets, efficiencies in service operations and company-wide process simplification.

Nokia Siemens Networks has begun the process of engaging with employee representatives in accordance with country-specific legal requirements to find socially responsible means to address these reduction needs. Nokia Siemens Networks will continue to share information in affected countries as the process proceeds. In order to reduce the impact of the planned reductions, Nokia Siemens Networks intends to launch locally led programs at the most affected sites to provide re-training and re-employment support.

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6 Comments

  1. […] Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [March 13, […]

  2. […] [Nokia press release, June 22, 2011] – Biography of Michael Halbherr [Nokia Leadership Team] – Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [this blog, March 11, 2012] from which I will copy here the following strategic statements: As of […]

  3. […] the Cloud, April 7, 2012] – Sharp-er Hon Hai / Foxconn [Experiencing the Cloud, March 31, 2012] – Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [Experiencing the Cloud, March 11, 2012] – The future of Windows Embedded: from standalone devices […]

  4. […] from Nokia: a company move to taking data as a raw material to build products [April 7, 2012] – Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [March 11-30, 2012] – Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on software and web […]

  5. […] for what they called “taking advantage of future technology disruptions and trends” (see Nokia under transition (as reported by the company) [this same blog, March 11, […]

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