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Nokia vs Sony Ericsson

Both feature in the top five mobile makers in the world. But whose tills are ringing the loudest?

The market leader in mobile handsets, Nokia, was started in 1865 as a wood pulp mill in Finland, and currently claims to have a 40 percent share of the global device market. Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between the Sony Corporation and telecommunications company Ericsson, started much later, in 2001, but quickly began to pose competition to Nokia.
While Nokia has steadily manufactured a wide range of mobiles to reach out to the average-income group as well as the high-end level, Sony Ericsson has concentrated on establishing itself as the best producer of music-compatible mobile phones.

Nokia N96 vs Sony Ericsson C905

Currently though, both are engaged in creating a buzz and building a fan following for their latest offerings – the Nokia N96 and the Sony Ericsson C905. The widget-savvy, snazzy phones are all set to hit the market later this year. So why should you own either of them?

The N96, which will be out in October, features a five-megapixel camera, 2.8-inch display screen and 16GB of internal storage. The C905, also slated to be released in the fourth quarter of the year, boasts a much better picture quality. With features similar to a Sony camera, including an in-built 8 megapixel camera, face detection and two photo flashes, the phone has a slightly smaller 2.4-inch display screen. Its internal storage capacity of 160MB is also much lesser than the N96.

While both have all the latest technologies including GPS, Wi-Fi access and GPRS, the C905 scores over the N96 in terms of battery standby time. While it can operate for approximately 380 hours, Nokia’s battery will run for around 220 hours.

As fans of the two brands wait eagerly for the devices, popularity contests between the two are all over the internet. In a comparison on GSM Arena, the N96 has bagged 24,135 votes so far, while the C905 trails far behind with just 7,892 votes. But the N96 has its critics.

“I’ve been waiting for this phone for a long time, since the time of its announcement last February. But now that Apple has released the iPhone, I have decided not to buy it any more. Nokia should not let people wait for a long time because it’s bad marketing,” says one comment on the site.
“Well what’s a brick without great battery life? A very useless one,” says another.

It is also possible to buy both the phones through the internet, though they are not yet officially released. You can be the proud owner of a C905 by shelling out $300, and an N96 by forking out $350.

Both the companies announced their second-quarter results recently. While Nokia presented earnings which were above expectations, Sony Ericsson posted a 97 percent drop in Q2 earnings, and said it would slash 2,000 jobs worldwide in a move to cut costs.
While Nokia’s profit fell 61 percent from the same period a year ago, it said that sales rose 4 percent to around $21bn. Four in 10 mobile phones sold worldwide are now made by the company, it reported.
Sony Ericsson meanwhile announced plans to cut annual costs by $474m, after sales dropped by 9 percent to around $4.4bn. Net income fell to around $9m from around $330m a year earlier. The company blamed the decline on tougher market conditions, higher development costs and negative effects from exchange rate fluctuations.

In spite of the losses, both the companies have much to look forward to in the future.
According to market research agency IDC, vendors shipped 306 million handsets during the second quarter of this year, a 15 percent increase on the year before.

Regionally, as well, the mobile market is growing exponentially. According to Philip Schilling, director of planning at OMD Digital in Dubai, the UAE had 7.9 million phones in 2007, resulting in a penetration rate of 187 percent (that’s because many people had more than one phone), one of the highest rates in the world.


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