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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Nokia Oyj Report

has had better years than this, and may again return to its winning ways.

But the current expectations for the Finnish phone shop, which will post third-quarter earnings Thursday, have fallen quite low.

The global recession, a lack of popular smartphones to defend its turf from

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report

and

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

and a chronic inability to strike partnerships with U.S. telcos have made Nokia a laggard in a hot sector.

Even old rivals like

Motorola

TheStreet Recommends

(MOT)

and

Palm

(PALM)

have enjoyed success, in part from Nokia's weakness. And now,

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report

Android mobile phone software has been the

fastest-rising player

in the smartphone industry and predicted to take second place to Nokia in 2012.

How bad has it been for Nokia? JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall predicts that Nokia's market share has dropped to 34.9%, down from the 39% level the company had just a year ago.

Next year should be better for Nokia. For one thing, the company, although late, finally broke from its stubborn tradition of ignoring consumer trends like touchscreens. Nokia also threw aside some of its own projects in favor of partnerships and new technologies.

For example, Nokia

unveiled its first netbook

Tuesday, a Microsoft Windows 7-powered, Intel Atom-based device that

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Best Buy Co., Inc. Report

will sell for $299 with a two-year $60 a month data contract with

AT&T

(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

.

Nokia Booklet's Price Problem

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Nokia also introduced the first of a line of Linux-based Maemo smartphones that effectively act like palm-sized computers.

But for now, analysts are expecting Nokia to post adjusted earnings of 18 cents a share on sales of $14.2 billion in the third quarter. Two key areas for investors will be phone shipments and prices. Nokia is expected to sell 108 million phones in the quarter at an average selling price of $91.

Nokia shares are roughly flat for the year, and well behind the big stock market gains of Apple, Palm and Motorola.

Nokia reports earnings before the bell Thursday.