2 of 6
Nokia: Still on top, but for how long?
Nokia: Still on top, but for how long?
Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo holds up the company's first mobile telephone, the Mobira.

The Finnish giant can still claim the world's largest share of mobile phone sales, with close to 40% of the market. But Nokia (NOK) is still trying to figure out how to best compete in a world of iPhones and Droids.

"They're still globally number one, but a lot of that is driven by sales in emerging markets. There's not much more share they can gain," says Soumen Ganguly, a principal at consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company.

While Nokia has their closest competitors beat by very large margins when it comes to sales, their designs look dated, allowing competitors like Apple (AAPL), HTC, and Motorola (MOT) to make compelling cases for consumers to switch to their phones.

"Nokia is steadfastly devoted to their handset DNA. That doesn't take into account the emerging trends," says IDC's Llamas.

For years, the company has used Symbian as its smart phone operating system of choice. But the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 gave consumers a taste of how much software can make a difference when it comes to their phones.

"Apple just totally blindsided them. They didn't get it. They weren't software people. They left you with a clunky user interface," says Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Research

Nokia recently announced that, going forward, its high-end N-series smart phones will be powered by a Linux-based operating system called MeeGo, a joint effort by Intel and Nokia that aims to give Nokia the software that it should have had three years ago in preparation to battle the iPhone.

Nokia faces a major challenge in that it will need to entice developers to create apps for MeeGo. Apple and Android (GOOG) have both reached a phase beyond simply focusing on the number of available apps at their stores, leaving Nokia at a significant disadvantage.

NEXT: Sony Ericsson: Stuck in Walkman withdrawal

Last updated July 09 2010: 6:21 PM ET
More Galleries
5 biggest share buybacks of 2014 Stock repurchases are booming. These five companies are ready to spend over $79 billion on buybacks. More
10 horrifying corporate mascots McDonald's Happy is part of a long lineage of creatures great and small that shill for products and mortify consumers. Mr. Mucus, anyone? More
5 best cities to launch a career The top spots in the U.S. for new grads to land a job -- and actually enjoy life -- according to financial site WalletHub. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.