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TheStreet Open House

Nokia Needs Lumia 920 to Shine

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's hard to fault investors for having abandoned phone giant Nokia (NOK) and what was once a prominent company -- one that was in a fast-growing market. With chronic self-inflicted wounds, the company essentially handed over the phone market to Apple (AAPL) and Samsung. But with renewed excitement stemming from Nokia's Lumia 920 running on Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone 8, investors want to know does Nokia now deserve a second look?

For Nokia, I'd like to think that the company can revive its fortunes with its new phone, but it's hard to discuss the prospects of the Lumia 920 without first considering its predecessor, the Lumia 900 -- particularly for how the company botched the launch. After getting its tail kicked by Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry, which then gave way to Apple's iPhone, Nokia needed a spark.

Enter the Lumia 900, a device billed as Nokia's "corner-turning" product and its first phone launched in partnership with Microsoft. It was supposed to be the company's "saving grace."

Except it was launched on Easter, April 8 on this year! Yes, the holiday that all but guaranteed that a significant portion of stores would be closed. It was remarkable how two prominent companies in Nokia and Microsoft could have gotten something so important, so incredibly wrong.

What made Nokia's gaff so eye-opening was that the company was already playing catch-up to not only Apple, but also Samsung and could ill-afford such unforced errors -- particularly as Apple was executing flawlessly. Nokia has lost close to 80% of its value during the course of the past five years after having once enjoyed almost 50% of the global smartphone revenue.

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