A report by Ovum shows that a significant number of smartphones are now using more powerful hardware for graphics and video processing, moving to ARM Cortex A8 and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. However, Ovum analyst Tim Renowden says Nokia appears to be lagging behind the performance curve, with a specification gap opening between it and rivals.
"Extra hardware grunt provides a significant boost to user experience", he says, "but Nokia is struggling to keep pace with its rivals in this respect, with only the niche N900 handset sporting a next-generation chipset. Clock speed isn’t everything (efficient software plays a big role in overall usability) but the majority of Nokia’s current smartphones run on ARM11 at below 500MHz, with an anaemic 128MB of RAM: a point that most other platforms have abandoned. Nokia’s mainstream models are lagging significantly behind the cutting edge: the current market high-end is a Snapdragon chipset at 1GHz, with 448MB of RAM (the HTC HD2), and other manufacturers are queuing up to announce handsets with equivalent specifications."
"Another area where Nokia is struggling is screen resolution and technology. Of the 20 handsets with highest screen resolution, Nokia has just one – again, the N900. Its touchscreen handsets typically use resistive screens rather than the capacitive type favored by most consumers, and it is the only major manufacturer still producing multiple smartphones in the candy bar/numeric keypad form factor."