Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu didn’t say that Nokia should go back to making boots in his note to investors on Wednesday, but he came pretty close. Citing Nokia’s inability to adapt in a fast-changing market, Ferragu cut his rating on Nokia stock to under-perform and dropped his price target from $7.33 to $4. “In a fast changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly,” the analyst writes. “The profit warning for the second quarter provided evidence that the next couple of years will prove very challenging, with the gross margin and market share trends of the last 4 quarters continuing, if not accelerating even more. The collaboration with Microsoft now appears to us unlikely to be successful, as Nokia’s brand is losing ground too fast and the window of opportunity for an alternative ecosystem is vanishing rapidly. Even modeling a scenario in which Nokia stabilizes next year leads us to believe that the stock will under-perform over the next twelve months.” Ferragu believes Nokia’s smartphone market share will be cut in half in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, dropping from 38% to just 19%, and he expects Nokia’s overall cell phone market share to slide from 35% to 30%.
It’s not the update you’ve been waiting for, rather it’s the update the will allow you to get the update you’ve been waiting for. Of course we’re talking about Windows Phone 7, and the small, quirky code bundle Microsoft has been attempting to rollout for the past two weeks. After halting the update to Samsung handsets back on February 23rd, the company resumed sending the software to users’ devices this week. And unfortunately, it looks like Windows Phone users with Samsung handsets are continuing to have issues — problems Microsoft admits via Twitter it is “aware of” and is “looking into.” The small package being pushed by Microsoft patches Windows Phone’s updater mechanism, preparing it for the more significant NoDo update that is set to bring copy and paste functionality, amongst other things, to WP7 later this month. Not the most impressive software rollout we’ve ever seen, but hopefully Microsoft and friends have this whole mess sorted out by the time NoDo is a gogo. More →