rebound year, or at least that was the plan.
last year by
Research In Motion
in smartphones, Nokia got the message and finally plotted its own
. But now, already two years late to the touch-screen trend, Nokia looks to be dragging it out a bit.
Supplies of the hotly anticipated Nokia N97 touch-screen, qwerty keyboard smartphone will be sparse when the device debuts in June, and big players like
aren't expecting to start selling the phone until July, says GC Research analyst Tero Kuittinen.
The thin supply and delays will mean that Nokia sells 300,000 N97 phones in the second quarter, and not the 1 million Kuittinen was looking for. Kuittinen downgraded Nokia to neutral Monday.
Nokia says there's been no change to its plan for the introduction of the N97 in the second quarter.
But the thin supplies and potential delays of the N97 are just part of the problem for Nokia, says Kuittinen.
The new crop of lower-priced touch-screen phones that the company has planned for introduction in the third quarter is looking more like a fourth-quarter event, he says. And to make the affordable-phone delay even worse, Nokia is focused too much on the expensive models.
Nokia's "2009 road map skews too much toward high-powered, extravagantly expensive smartphones," Kuittinen wrote in his research note.
Nokia declined to comment on speculation about unannounced devices.
Part of Nokia's resurgence was built on the company's ability to make up for lost time in the touchscreen smartphone race. This new focus was to be particularly important in the U.S., where its business has all but vanished in the past three years. Nokia's strength was thought to be a balanced attack. The No. 1 phone maker was going to offer a multitiered approach with phones that could outflank the competition with smartphones in a range of prices.
Maybe 2010 will be Nokia's year.