August 2010
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Day August 27, 2010

Bond market discounting Nokia's credit rating

The world’s largest mobile-phone maker’s bonds are trading as if Nokia’s rating has been cut, with spreads over government debt widening as the company strives to develop devices with the same mass appeal as the iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and devices based on Google Inc.’s Android software.

There’s a “significant amount of risk overall with Nokia’s business model,” said Scott Shiffman, who directs bond research at Chapdelaine Credit Partners in New York. “Credit spreads should move wider over time and ratings will continue to move lower. We think the ratings agencies will play catch-up to the business deterioration.”

via Nokia’s Credit Rating in Jeopardy on Falling Profit, Bonds Show – Bloomberg.

Management response continues to be that Nokia is “by a very wide margin the largest supplier of smartphones and small computers in the world.”

Microsoft's billion dollar bonfire

Microsoft executives told Goldberg during a recent visit to company headquarters that the company, carriers, and manufacturing partners, would spend “billions” of dollars in the first year on marketing and development of Windows Phone 7. Another source estimated a $1 billion price tag for the launch, with half of it going to marketing.

via AppleInsider | Microsoft to spend over $500m to catch up to iPhone, Android.

Note the scale of spending here.  The number quoted is twice Apple’s yearly ad budget, for all its products.

$500 million is roughly the equivalent of Apple’s entire advertising budget for its 2009 fiscal year. In its 2009 Form 10-K filing to the SEC, the Cupertino, Calif., company listed $501 million in advertising expenses. Microsoft’s fiscal 2009 advertising budget was $1.4 billion.

But beside the unrepentant destruction of Microsoft’s shareholder wealth, one other thing jumps out at me: why are the operators and vendors going along with this?