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« The Nokia CEO 'Burning Platform' memo at Engadget, doesn't ring true to my ears.. | Main | Smartphone Bloodbath 2010: Now Final Numbers Q4 and Full Year 2010 - and each rival awarded their final grades »

February 09, 2011

Comments

HCE


I don't necessarily disagree with the notion that Nokia needs to transition its dumbphone customers to smartphones and I don't doubt that there are a lot of people who will not jump from an essentially free dumbphone to paying several hundred dollars or more for a smartphone. Those people need something relatively expensive if they are to make the jump to smartphones and if Nokia does not provide that low-priced smartphone, someone else (most likely Samsung) will.

Nokia's plans had this in mind all the time. Use Symbian for their lower-end smartphones, use MeeGo for their higher-end ones and use a Qt-based UI and development environment to "unify" the two. So, the user-experience is the same on Symbian as well as MeeGo phones and thanks to the common Qt-based SDK, you have the same apps available on both.

Now something seems to have gone wrong. Perhaps MeeGo has been horribly delayed, perhaps the delay is in the Qt stuff or perhaps it is something else entirely but it does not look as if Nokia will get their platform of the future together anytime soon. So, it looks as if they have decided to use someone else's OS for some of their phones - and going by the rumors on the web, it looks as if Nokia will go with Windows Phone 7 as the OS of choice for their high-end phones.

Tomi, you think that this is some big disaster and I cannot see why. It is not as if anybody suggested that Nokia were going to chuck both Symbian and MeeGo overboard and go with Windows Phone 7 as their sole smartphone OS. That, I agree, WOULD be a disaster. However, what if they kept Symbian as their OS of choice for low-end smartphones, dumped MeeGo and used Windows Phone 7 for their high-end? What do they lose here? The only thing they lose is app-compatibility between their low and high-end smartphones. Frankly, is app-compatibility that important? You talk about Samsung's bada strategy approvingly but there is no app-compatibility between Samsung's low-end bada platform and their higher-end Windows and Android phones. Why is it such a big problem if Nokia does the same?

The only downside I see to this that Nokia will no-longer control its app ecosystem. However, it does not mean that the Ovi store is dead. If Nokia goes with Android, there is nothing preventing them from selling Android apps through the Ovi store. If they go with Windows then maybe Nokia could negotiate a deal with Microsoft that will let the Ovi store sell apps for their Windows phones. I'm pretty sure that Mircosoft would be willing to make such an arrangement in return for Nokia's undivided commitment to Windows as their primary high-end phone platform. Pretty much every other Windows phone manufacturer is in bed with Android as well and Windows is getting second-class treatment.

Finally, there's the issue of MeeGo being abandoned. So what if it is? Maybe it is further from completion than we have so far believed. Maybe Nokia feels that creating yet another ecosystem would be too hard. Maybe they feel that they cannot afford to see whether or not MeeGo will succeed. Heck, maybe MeeGo is not being abandoned after all - Nokia may have decided to go with a three OS strategy. After all, Samsung is doing it now.

Anyway, enough speculation. All will probably be clear in a couple of days.

- HCE

gous

Michael Mace is one of those outsiders that seem sympathetic towards Nokia. His short analysis is at http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2011/02/nokia-excess-of-cleverness.html

choice excerpt:"If Windows Phone is in Nokia's future, I think we'd see it at the high end, paired with QT. So we'd get a hybrid OS with Microsoft's plumbing and Nokia APIs."
What's your take on that?

saurabh

Tomi

I am a Nokia User. Why you may ask?

Cos' I have experienced the joys of 3315 (changing covers, playing snake), the fun of clicking pictures 3320, the messaging of N71, the music of N85, the robustness and N-Gage of N95.

In between all these phones I got myself a Razr, a Corby and an Iphone V1(2007) and yet after all these phones I am back to N8.

And after using it since Oct 2010, I have not had one glitch, I am satisfied with the phone, Sure it needs a browser fix but I have opera
Sure the Social sucks but I have the Socially.

I agree it could do with better Memory Management but I have Xplore and Mobi-Guard to take care of the inner works. Its fun killing off processes and setting up bootup applications.

I used the GPS for a 12 Hour drive once in India where the GPS Sat ranges are notoriously poor and N8 was my savior it never did bleep and die so the battery is good.

I love playing NFS and taking Golf Swings. I enjoy building blocks in Tetris and Flinging birds during my spare time is a treat.

Not to forget the FM Transmitter which gives me the ability to play my own music on my Car's FM Tuner.

My wife want's my Nokia cos she is crazy about the Gem Swapping Bejeweled, My Bro want's my Phone for it clicks amazing pictures.

Why would people Bash Up Nokia? Nokia's Dead? I do not think so.

I am confused.. What about you ?? :)

I hope The new CEO does not kill of Symbian OS Platform now that it is somewhat reviving under the flagship of N8.

Cheers,

Tony A.

There is a mistake: Palm/WebOS is very much Linux based...

Kwak

@Tomi (the author): I think you are terribly wrong! All your thery is based on the number of unit sold, you give absolutely no consideration to the benefit per unit.
Nokia is selling many dumbphone... Well ! But while Nokia is making 1€ benefit per unit sold, Apple is making 200€. And still, Nokia has absolutely no hope to make a single euro after it's dumbphone is sold, Apple is still making 10€ per unit per month from all the environment around.
So maybe Nokia is selling dumbphone and selling them well but being happy of this and completely neglecting the high end market is just a very short term view. Neglecting the decreasing market share is just madness. You are just like a dude jumping from a skyscarper and saying at every floor crossed: "up to here it's ok, up to here it's ok". But don't you think that it is the landing that does really matter ?

I am just asking the questions: where the heck is the Nokia App-store, where the heck is going the Nokia music store, why the heck the newest Nokia N8 has the same CPU than the 1st iPhone, and why the f*ck do I need to wait 5 minutes before the music player is getting loaded and launch on my Nokia phone?

Nokia is at the moment just destroying its excellent reputation it had. As it was for Microsoft, people are more and more considering Nokia phones as slowish and buggy crap (and they are not that wrong): At the moment, Nokia is doing so "well" than they are even loosing the Finnish market! You are just pointing at Windows Phone 7 "bad" results, it is mostly due to the fact people people got struggling for years with buggy Vista and sluggish Windows CE. So bad, that people now don't even dare to approach a Windows phone in the shop (whatever good it could be) since they can't even imagine it could be something else than the crap they've been used to for years.
Just keep go on, (ex)Nokia guy ! And then, same as Microsoft, you will never be able to get a good reputation anymore, and thus whatever good (or excellent) could be your product.

Michael Molin

Nokia needs a new form factor to be innovative - forget about sliders - that's not for touchscreens which are the current trend. Dual-touchscreen N76 with a swivel. Nokia Cell Computer.

Anvarzhon Zhurajev

Good rant about the low end. Some white lies detected, while its usage is clearly for literary reasons: surely, many more people drank Coca-Cola than used a Nokia phone, and the gap between Android and Symbian is definitely not closing, but opening wider with skyrocket speeds.

But the author is right that Nokia will not abandon Symbian. What most observers do miss is that Nokia should not totally change platforms, when there is more than enough possibilities to maintain Symbian AND Meego AND WP7 AND Android. I am sure this Elop will announce.

Jim. H

Yes, Symbian is for the low price smartphone market. But now Android is also getting into this market. The selling price of the cheapest Andriod phone is only around 100 euro now, even cheaper than some S40-phone.

As to Meego, I do not believe Nokia can ship a Meego in a month. Mr Elop stated clearly, only 1 meego phone will go to market by the end of this year. This is way too late. iPhone 5 may be release in the middle of this year.

Nokia should continue S40, reduce, but continue symbian, take Andriod into account to fight againt in the high end..

Jim. H

BTW, Accroding to Canalys's data, in 2010 Q4, 33.3 million Andriod phones were shipped, only 31 million Symbian were shipped. I believe the gap will increase in 2011.

As a company, Nokia should make effort to increase the profit, not only consider how to sell more phones.

Fran

I have my doubts about Nokia and WP7, but if that's real this is the way it could work -this is from a developer's point of view-:

Nokia will continue with Symbian and Meego, and they will adapt QT to work with WP7 the same way it worked with the old Windows Mobile. They also could launch some WP7 devices and the get an ecosystem based on QT with 3 OS around it: Symbian, Meego and WP7. That way you get developers for QT and segmentation: Symbian for middle range devices, WP7 to fight against iPhone in a closed system, and Meego for top phones in an open environment.

danlebowski

I'm with adigitallife, maybe go one step further, Microsoft takes over smartphone development completely (like in buy the business) and brands phones as Microsoft (at least in US), hardware platform to be deliverd by Nokia somehow! Nokia to focus on dumbphones like MS and Apple can focus on smartphones now.

Alan

It is a big world with lots of different markets. Nokia will adopt WP7 for the US market - they have nothing to lose since they sold nearly 0 smartphones there before. It is a highly visible market, having no play in it reflects badly on the company. Symbian will remain for other markets, and MeeGo will be evaluated at the end of the year after there are phones with it in other markets. Elop's last quarterly call pretty much spelled this out.

As for the future of Symbian - if it's not competitive with iOS now it surely won't be in 5 years. Moore's law is in play in smartphones still. The original iPhone or the current iPod touch can be produced very low cost. In 2 more years it will be di rigeur to have excellent performance on any smartphone.

Ness Mess

well looks like your prediction turned out to be wrong. Stephen Elop is pushing forward for WP7 at Nokia. http://bbc.co.uk/news/business-12427680 Feels like Meego will be sidelined and Symbian will just totter along for sometime. I had been dismayed with their smartphone strategy for sometime, but if Nokia is going to use somebody else's OS they just wont have the charm for me anymore. Was planning to buy a MeeGo device on release, I think I'd just go with Android with a Samsung Galaxy. I still love my rugged old 6600 though and will keep it :-).

Simvalue

You were wrong :)

Juice

This is so sad, I think the decision to go anywhere near MS operating systems is a losing game.
Turns out that it is indeed possible for a CEO of major company to be ignorant on the actual core competence of his own company.
After almost 14 years of using only Nokia phones, and high-end smartphones the last decade I may need to seek something else in a few years.

grou

And now, what do you think ? Is WP7 only replacing Symbian or what ?

The partnership seems strong, Nokia will drop OVI etc...

bananabender

You are talking utter rubbish.

Nokia started as a timber company. They then branched into making paper and rubber goods including rubber boots and tyres.

Nokia only became a phone company in the early 90s.

Phones are now commodities. There is no profit in making them.

BTW. What does any MBA know about business?

blackberry wholesale

Everything that comes after met with skepticism, since the early users have been orphaned, without a migration path to the new platform. Meanwhile, the market evolved. Nokia has added insult to injury by leaving their old operating system Symbian.

eyez00

Ooops! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12427680

 Tomi T Ahonen

To all in this thread

I think this whole discussion is now an utterly moot point. Today we learned that Nokia will partner with Microsoft.

I was clearly wrong. This strategy is dead. No point really in us discussing it. I am sorry. If you feel there was an interesting point you wanted to make - please feel free to post at the blog I wrote about Nokia and Microsoft merger. But this is now clearly a pointless discussion thread. I am very very sorry, I really believed that Nokia understood what I wrote here.. Maybe their new strategy will work out who knows. But it won't be Symbian and MeeGo..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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