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Nokia Week in Review (Week of July 30)

August 3, 2006 in Wireless Industry News

Nokia stayed quietly under the radar this week, with only a slight peep (one press release). The wireless industry, however, is always full of drama. In this entry: the N93 Golf Edition, the FCC, and problems for Motorola/Sprint.

First things first: in terms of financials, Nokia started the week at a stock price of $19.90 per share, only to close Thursday at a disappointing $19.64.

The biggest news from Nokia was the release of the Nokia N93 “Golf Editiion.” While you might be thinking a green and white colored N93 emblazoned with the likes of Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie, it’s actually not that impressive. The Golf Editiion is a sales package that includes the N93 (now called a “muiltimedia computer”), a 1 gigabyte miniSD card, *Pro Session Golf* application, golf instructional DVD and a Get Started Guide. So what’s so cool about this “new” N93?

The included Pro Session Golf application, officially released by Nokia, can actually be used to capture a (sucky) player’s swing for detailed analysis. Of course, I don’t think the software preforms the analysis – you have to take it to a golf instructor anyway. Who probably owns one of those fancy golf swing video analysis machines. So I guess that makes the Nokia N93 Golf Edition kind of redundant.

While Nokia is sitting pretty on the sidelines with it’s Golf Phone, a gigantic war is about to break out in the US – a bidding war to be exact. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will be auctioning off a nice big cut (90 Mhz) of the radio spectrum (also known as the “airwaves”). And if you weren’t already aware, Verizon operates its wireless network with only 42 Mhz of the spectrum. So this is a Big Deal.

With more of the radio spectrum available, there’s more room for competition. Of course, the more players in the market, the better prices, services, and potentially technology are available for the consumers. Unfortunately, this will come at the expense of the big four wireless providers: Cingular, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, and Tmobile.

Meanwhile, Motorola reported that the war in the Middle East could disrupt operations at one of its manufacturing plants in Israel. The company also maintains a country headquarters in Tel Aviv. Sadly, the news caused a slight decline in Motorola’s stock price in after hours trading.

And finally, Sprint announced second quarter earnings today, reporting a lower than expected profit, a shrinking market share, and a slower third quarter. Shares of Sprint dropped 14%. Ouch.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week for another Nokia (and wireless industry) Week in Review!

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Another Week in Review.

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