The past week dished out plenty of news relating to the mobile phone especially as earnings season kicks back into gear. Below we provide a few stories that caught our eye. Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) stock was volatile week after it announced disappointing earnings on Thursday. Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) stock also showed weakness due to a number of downgrades by credit ratings agencies. Sentiment surrounding Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has generally stayed positive, in part supported by the iCloud and new OS announcements at its WWDC even; however, the stock still lacks a catalyst in the near-term to drive the stock.
RIM stock declined by more than 10% in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq immediately following its release of fiscal year Q1 2012 earnings before slumping further on Friday. The Q1 results came below the previous outlook provided by the company, which also provided a weaker outlook for the coming quarter citing delays in new product introductions as the primary reason.  See our company analysis
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Things have not gone well for Nokia since the company announced its updated revenue guidance for the full year 2011 on May 31st.  Its stock has declined from $8.20 on May 31st to under $6 recently.
Last week, Fitch and Standard & Poor downgraded ratings on Nokia, which added to the problems for Nokia.   Fitch actually downgraded Nokia’s credit ratings by two notches to one step level away from junk territory.
A recent report commented that Nokia’s reign at the top of smartphone market will end this year with Samsung and Apple overtaking Nokia.  This is symbol for Nokia as it has remained at the top of the smartphone market since 1996.
Apples’ stock did not move much last week despite the announcement of iCloud and iMessage service . We believe the iCloud will help Apple strengthen its halo effect on other more valuable products like the iPhone, Mac and iPad. Also, iMessage could challenge the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service from RIM (see Apple iMessage to Take on RIM’s Blackberry Messenger).
This week Nokia and Apple settled two year fight on patents.  This news is considered positive by some analysts for both Nokia and Apple since it frees up resources for them, as patents lawsuits could otherwise take years to settle.Notes:
- RIM FY Q1 2012 earnings press release, June 16th 2011 [↩]
- Nokia lowers Devices & Services second quarter 2011 outlook and updates full year 2011 outlook, May 31st 2011 [↩]
- Fitch Downgrades Ratings on Nokia Corporation-Reuters, June 7th 2011 [↩]
- Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Lowers Ratings for Nokia Oyj, Reuters, June 9th 2011 [↩]
- Samsung, Apple to end Nokia’s smartphone reign, Reuters quoting Nomura as source, June 13th 2011 [↩]
- Apple Introduces iCloud, June 6th 2011 [↩]
- Nokia Settles 2-Year Fight With Apple on Patents, NYT, June 14th 2011 [↩]