How Do The Consumers View Nokia's New Phone: A Small Market Study

Sep. 17, 2012 12:16 PM ETNokia Oyj (NOK)AAPL, GOOG1 Comment
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When Nokia (NOK) announced its new phone, many analysts and investors provided their opinions about the company's announcement. Along with many analysts, I argued that the phone was great but the marketing was weak. There were also a lot of people who felt that Nokia's phone lacked the "wow" factor and that it wouldn't be able to capture the interest of audience in a market dominated by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung. There were even people claiming that Nokia was finally done for and the company's new line of phones wouldn't save it from a certain death.

While analysts have their own opinions regarding Nokia and its products, I wanted to see how the consumers, the everyday people see Nokia and its new line of phones. Obviously, the consumers don't always agree with analysts when it comes to products. When Apple introduced its iPhone 4S to the market, many analysts thought that the phone offered very little improvement over the company's older flagship phone and that it wasn't very revolutionary. But again, the phone sold like nothing. The consumers disagreed with the analysts on that one.

How can we know what the consumers think of Nokia's latest announcement without going out and asking hundreds of people? Well thankfully, the technology is on our side on this one. I found full video of the introduction of Lumia 920 on YouTube (GOOG). Underneath the video, there are multiple ways one can offer feedback about the video such as writing comments and voting on the video. I took a note of all the positive and negative comments about the phone in the comments section to see how the consumers are taking the new phone. The results were impressive even for a Nokia bull like me.

As of the time of writing this article, the video has been viewed by 63,992 people. Out of these people, 1,579 voted on the video with 1,543 "likes" and 36 "dislikes." Basically, 98% of the people who viewed this video judged it positively. Of course, some people might simply vote on the quality of the video such as the clearness of the sound rather than the content of the video. That's why I also looked at the comments underneath the video.

At the time of writing this article, there were 531 comments underneath the video regarding the video. Pretty much all the comments were about the content of the video and many people offered feedback about the Lumia 920 phone that was being introduced in the video. Of these comments, 87% were positive or very positive regarding the phone with more than 100 comments actually mentioning that the writer of the comment has the intention to buy this phone. Here are some example comments (note that I am posting them as it is with the exception of correcting them for grammar and spelling):

"Achievement unlocked: Beat the iPhone."

"Makes the iPhone 5 look like ****. Honestly the crowd should have been as enthused as the iPhone 5 launch. By far the best phone I've ever seen. From the camera, screen, customization, and everything it's just perfect. I just need to have it in my hands."

"The phone is truly innovative (at last, Nokia), although, I feel so sorry the presentation had lots of slip-ups that would have probably never happened in an Apple keynote."

"Amazing. Both Nokia and Microsoft are building something new from the ashes. Surely the most innovative smart phone out there."

"The Lumia 920 is going to be that product that delivers us from Apple!"

"A great story about two great companies who were left behind. While we wondered what they can do together, they have come back with a punch to Apple and Samsung. In India, it makes much more sense to go with Nokia than Apple."

"I'm selling my iPhone 4s to get this baby. Oh no, not anymore iPhone, I had enough of it."

"Right now I have an Xperia from 2011, I'm starting to get tired of it and planning to get a new smart phone. I've grown tired of the Android operating system and have thought about buying an iPhone. But after seeing this video, I've changed my mind completely. This is by far the best smart phone I've ever seen. It had even more revolutionary new features than the iPhone was in 2007. I will definitely buy this smart phone when it`s released."

"After watching the iPhone 5 media event, I'm surely getting rid of my iPhone 4 and going for Nokia Lumia 920. Thank you Nokia for awesome the innovations to enjoy."

"My next smart phone will be the Lumia 920."

"I tried to stick my hand inside the computer monitor screen just to grab the Nokia Lumia 920."

Some might think that I picked the most positive comments because I'm a Nokia bull. First, nearly 90% of the comments under the video were positive and it wasn't difficult to find positive comments about the phone. Second, as much as I'm a Nokia bull, I am also an Apple bull. In fact, Apple makes up a much larger percentage of my portfolio than Nokia. I believe that there is room for both companies to grow significantly in the market of smart phones where 1 to 2 billion people are expected to enter in the next decade.

It looks like the consumers, the actual people who will buy the products did not rate Nokia's new phone that badly. Most of the negative analyst reviews seem to be exaggerated. It looks like a lot of the consumers actually ignored the bad marketing by Nokia and focused on how great the product is. While I don't think Nokia will sell more high-end smart phones than Apple anytime soon, I think that the company will sell a lot of Lumia 920s and its turnaround will be successful.

Of course there is no such thing as completely safe investment, and the investors should use caution while making investment decisions. Nokia's turnaround story is still full of hardships and what-ifs. The company will still have to deliver the product it promised and the consumers will have to be happy with the product after purchasing and testing it. There is still a lot of work to do for Nokia before we can say it's clear. For now, all we can say is Nokia had a good start.

Disclosure: I am long NOK, AAPL, GOOG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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