By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The Australian office of Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone vendor which is struggling against Apple and Android devices, has appointed a new general manager.

Chris Carr is the new man at the helm of the once mighty supplier, which is still yet to determine a strategy for combating the enormous impact that Apple, HTC and Samsung have had on the smartphone industry.

Carr is replacing Emile Baak, who is returning to Europe. It is unknown if Baak is being retained by Nokia. During his tenure as Nokia’s Australian general manager, Nokia has slipped in the public perception from the country’s most respected mobile phone provider to a niche player with an obscure operating system.

Conversely, Apple has harnessed the public’s imagination with its app-friendly iPhone products and HTC has emerged as a genuine contender, with the Taiwanese brand consistently releasing well-reviewed and popular handsets.

Nokia’s descent into irrelevance was best highlighted at the recent launch of its N8 camera phone. At this event, no representative of Nokia Australia, including Baak, could provide any insight into the company’s smartphone strategy. When asked if Nokia had a strategy at all, both Baak and product demonstrator Stephen Wright avoided the question.

In a breathless statement delivered by their PR agency, Carr agreed that Nokia has a lot of work to do.

“It’s an exciting but challenging time ahead for Nokia both locally and globally.  We’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m confident we can continue to deliver solutions that people want, build on our footprint and strengthen mindshare, particularly at the high-end.”

To read more about Nokia's lack of a smartphone strategy, click here.