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New Nokia smartphone 'not ready until 2011'
(15/12/2010 09:41:20)

Nokia mobile phone users looking to upgrade their handsets to the highly-anticipated E7 model must wait until 2011.

Bosses at the Finnish manufacturer have announced the smartphone will not be made available until the start of the new year, despite suggesting that it would be launched by the end of 2010.

The news comes as a blow to Christmas shoppers who may have been hoping to snap up a version of the phone in time for the festive period.

Nokia has high hopes for its latest foray into the smartphone market, as it looks to suppress the increased popularity of its iPhone and BlackBerry rivals.

It is thought that the E7 will mainly target the business market with its high-end specifications, meaning it is more likely to be competing with Research In Motion's BlackBerry than the iPhone in this case.

In the third quarter of 2010, Nokia remained the biggest-selling smartphone manufacturer in the world, but its market share slipped considerably despite the release of the N8 model.

Figures from Gartner suggested that the firm's influence fell from 44.6 per cent in the second quarter to just 36.6 per cent.

Nordea Bank analyst Sami Sarkamies told Bloomberg that the delay is likely to be more damaging to the company's reputation than its sales in this instance.

"Recent communication has been that they would start shipping in December as promised," he remarked.

"We're talking about an image loss, however, as this isn't a volume model and wouldn't have had a major impact on the fourth quarter."

Recent analysis by ABI Research has suggested that nearly half of smartphone users plan to use their gadgets for retail purposes.

The firm discovered that people with Nokia, iPhone, BlackBerry and other devices will complete Christmas shopping on their mobile phones, while 53 per cent will utilise the gadgets for online banking.

Senior analyst Mark Beccue believes the findings indicate how influential the technology has become in recent years.

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