Nokia is waging war and making a beachhead first is foremost to the Finnish firm's near-term goal of at least surviving in the smartphone territory, which at the moment is presently dominated by Apple and Android handsets.
But unlike other device vendors, the former mobile phone leader has opted not to join the Google ecosystem in safely re-establishing itself with global consumers that seem to closely associate mobile computing with two words nowadays - again Apple and Android.
Shortly after he was appointed Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop saw it fit to align his once mighty firm to a tech giant where he used to work - Microsoft, and the partnership between the two companies was forged in early 2011 with Nokia fully upbeat that the decision will eventually the road for its recovery.
The world had a first taste of Nokia in Windows mobile OS late last year and general reception of the products, according to news reports, were not exactly exciting. Millions of Lumia were sold but Nokia's rivals shipped tens of millions in quarters that easily dwarfed the company's annual revenues.
To date, the shift to Windows remains a questionable gambit on the part of Mr Elop yet he appears adamant that Windows Phone 8 and future Lumia iterations would eventually prove path breakers for Nokia.
And for that to happen, Nokia handsets need to capture at least "five per cent of the global smartphone market by the end of the first quarter 2013," Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytic told The Associated Press on Monday.
Failure to do so, Mr Mawston warned, would only lead to more market woes for Nokia, which prior to its sliding stature was the toast of the mobile phone industry for straight years.
Where the company stands now is but a shade of its former self, analysts said, and as of the September 2012 quarter it was quietly eased out from the top five of the world's biggest smartphone maker.
Samsung, which this year emerged as the overall leader in both the mobile phone and smartphone markets, chalked up global smartphone shipments of more than 56 million units in Q3 2012, keeping the crown it snatched from Apple and Nokia earlier, research firm IDC said on its new report.
Apple was next, IDC said, with nearly 27 million of iPhones pushed out in the same period, with Canada's Research in Motion, China's ZTE and Taiwan's HTC rounding up the top five.
Glaringly absent from the list is Nokia, which according to CNET crashed out of the elite club for the first time in so many years and further threatening its survival since going into a free-fall five years ago.
The constantly receding Nokia market share pointed to only one strong suggestion, IDC senior analyst Kevin Restivo said, the Microsoft was gamble was not paying off, at least in the past 18 months.
"Nokia's share losses have meant gains for competitors ... and the company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia," Mr Restivo was quoted by CNET as saying in a statement.
And the new IDC data also laid out a new troubling concern for Mr Elop, analyst said, in which the giant smartphone players were not the only ones eating up on Nokia's market pie - Asian handset vendors such Huawei, HTC and ZTE were now crawling in on the remaining profitable sphere of Nokia's business, the feature or dumb phones.
These brands are easily undercutting Nokia sales in the Asia Pacific region because they make and sell cheaper phones, AP said.
With the ways things are slowly moving for Nokia, analysts are doubtful if the company would see some inroads by early 2013 or at least carve out a sizeable slice of the 700 million smartphones that research firms said global consumers would scoop by the end of 2012, notwithstanding the Windows 8 rollout last week.
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