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March 22, 2012

Comments

Anthony Hopkins

Update: with Nitroid for Nokia N9 Android has been implemented and avaiable for Nokia phones already. This means Nokia N9 now covers: MeeGo, Android, and unconfirmed rumors says also Windows Phone can be launched. So tha would be triple boot phone. Having one phisical construction can serve 3 different systems, so more users, less development costs, bigger incoms, bigger revenue, more happy users and developers - this wow IMHO. Not selling this model to certain markets it is worse then unfair. I also think artificial discrimination of markets is against equal acces to market, equal competition, and a form of discrimination of customers because of their preferences to buy MeeGo and Nokia N9?

kevin

@cycnus.
In a capitalistic system, companies are created to make profit by selling products/services that provide users with some benefits (i.e., helps the user to do a job). Because the sum can often be greater than the parts, companies also partner together (in an ecosystem) to help each other make profits by providing users enhanced benefits from the synergism/integration. If users don’t get any benefits or enhanced benefits, they should not buy (or repeat buy) the products/services, and the companies get no profits.

So it should not be surprising that an ecosystem allows one part of it to drive purchases to other parts of it, and makes it hard or sometimes impossible to use content/services from those outside the ecosystem. The intended user benefit is that ease-of-use/simplicity or capabilities are greatly enhanced since most parts of the ecosystem are better integrated together. An obvious example is airline alliances for ticketing, scheduling, and frequent flyer miles. One can travel by using many unaligned airlines, but one can benefit from an alliance via a single ticketing action, shorter overall travel time, quicker boarding/closer gate locations, and quicker free flights.

Now if the ecosystem BOTH blocks you from going outside AND doesn’t provide any added benefits, then you are trapped. Thus, before you choose to enter into an ecosystem, you need to assess the combined benefits. You try to pick the airline alliance, and maximize your use of it because it will benefit you the most. And users should pick the “phone” ecosystem that will benefit them the most.

Apple’s ecosystem does block you from acquiring apps outside (except via jailbreaking) and from using a few third-party services that Apple already provides, but it does NOT block you from acquiring media content (movies, music, ebooks) elsewhere, or from using Windows PCs. In return, mainstream consumers agree that the added benefits of simplicity and security from the ecosystem, and added capability (i.e,, iTunes Match) from using all Apple devices are worth it. Because many services are available on Windows PCs (iTunes, App Store, iTunes Match, parts of iCloud), most people don’t find Apple’s ecosystem to be a trap.

Ecosystems have always been around, though not articulated. Just a few years ago, silly as it may seem, people didn’t buy Macs because you could not easily sync contacts with Blackberries or Nokia phones – Macs were outside those ecosystems, but Windows PC were inside.

In 2010, the Nokia Board realized that in 3-4 years, the ecosystem would matter to people more than just the phone hardware when they were paying good money for a phone. (Today, it clearly matters little to featurephone users, or voice-only users, or SMS users.) Soon though, most people will begin to see a personal computer in their pocket and in their living room, not just a phone or TV. And there are a huge number of benefits when one can use/access/etc the same content across all of their many-sized personal computers. The Nokia Board realized that their Symbian/Ovi ecosystem would not be or become competitive in the 2012-2013 world of many-sized personal computers. Apple and RIM were not interested in allowing other handset makers into their ecosystem. So the choice was Android or Microsoft. And I've written on another thread about the reasons why I think they chose Microsoft.

Finally, your example of BMW and clothing is flawed, as there is no clearly understood benefits from aligning the two. But if wearing reasonably-priced BMW-labeled clothing enabled me to lease and drive a BMW car for free, then I and many other people would be willing to do so.

Sam

There must be something wrong with me - I think Symbian (Belle) is the best mobile operating system to date. Why? Because I want a phone that enables me to take and receive calls, text and MMS (in all variants). I want sportstracker, media player with equaliser and quality sound, bluetooth file transfer, USB mass storage, DAB, offline maps, a proper camera (N8), voice dialling, internet radio, iplayer, video without conversion, mobile hotspot and tethering etc etc. I'm not bothered about a bunch of shitty game apps loaded with advertising. And I want a phone that looks a bit different. I thought Nokia would insist on keeping all these things with their wp implementation but they haven't, and as far as I can see the only OS that does is symbian. WP7 and iOS are closed systems and go against the Nokia grain.

If I were CEO of Nokia I would offer the lumia with symbian, WP7, android (+ even meego) and let the customer choose. I can't see any technical reason why that shouldn't be possible. Apple did it with their macbooks and look where it got them.

peter

sam,

you are not alone. most nokia loyal consumers think the same way as yours.

you may simply ignore Baron95 who lives a low value life by taking tips from dark world in exchange of attacking any postings which might blame Steven Elop.

When Steven Elop is kicked out in May, Baron95 will be gone too.

New CEO should keep all of what made nokia success and execute it flawlessly.

Due to Elop's disruption of nokia execution, following improvement needs to be accomplished immediately for Symbian Belle:
1. supporting higher screen resolution such as 800x480, 1024x640, 1280x800;
2. port browser from Meego to Symbian, optimising on html5 support and gpu acceleration;
3. add nCloud to share contact,appointments, favorites,songs, photos, videos,streams, docs, gps locations, emails, etc among PC, nokia devices

Coupling with absolute advantage over its competitors: offline world GPS maps, 41MP camera, zero loss stereo sounds, nokia is easy to return to the top of the mobile world.

Regards,
Peter

anobserver

@Baron95

The examples given on automatic messaging optimization and synchronization are very relevant -- state of the art ecosystems must provide similar functions. I do not known whether Android and WP are up to par yet, Symbian and Bada have nothing comparable.

However, you go overboard with other aspects: "how you'd go about moving your photos, music, video, books, apps"

Simply via USB.

And HDMI for the TV -- as you cannot really copy any kind of files to a TV set, only show them. This of course is not synchronization, but you are asking about "moving", not syncing. Notice that Apple has always been adamantly refusing to implement USB transfers and HDMI ports in its mobile devices.

Notice too that the Apple approach works wonderfully but encloses one in an Apple environment. Have a linux PC? Out of luck. A non-Apple-TV set? Out of luck. An Amazon reader? Out of luck. An additional Android phone? Out of luck. Which also means you have difficulties sharing with anybody who is not part of the Apple ecosystem.

Besides, moving apps to a PC does not yet make sense other than as a backup (can you easily run iOS apps on a Mac?) It will be very interesting to see what happens with Windows 8 and WP8.

In this perspective, your remark that iOS is for "high value users in advanced economies" and "Symbian is a Jungle OS" are quite right. The entire Apple ecosystem is only valid for (a) high-spending consumers (b) who have a substantial and homogeneous computing infrastructure (PC, tablet, smartphone, tablet) running in (c) a high-performance, affordable network infrastructure (WLAN+3G). In other words: wholly unsuitable for heterogeneous environments or developing countries. I am afraid that from this perspective WP does not bring much.

SoVatar

@Baron,
I despise your choice of language. Go and get hired by Fox News, this is where your vicious comments fit in.

Do you really believe that only first world city dwellers make profitable customers? Maybe if you are Apple, but there is a whole world out there that use mobile devices for their livelyhood. And smart corporations are very able to make a profit catering to these customers.

Not every company should try to suck as much money as possible out of a customer.e. This greedy thinking just lead to the near total meltdown of the Western economies where profits go into private coffers while losses are paid by us common taxpayers.

cycnus

@Kevin,

I agree with you on that part. That's the part that nokia also have it right.... OVI store, OVI music Unlimited, OVI sync, OVI Chat.

But if you read Elop announcement he said that's only part of the ecosystem. And microsoft have a better ecosystem that nokia don't have. Elop said that Nokia doesn't have PC, TV, Tablet, etc..... In other word... Elop is saying that in the future our choice of Smartphone would be based on our PC, TV, Tablet, etc.

Let me rephrase this : Elop said.... if you had Windows 8 PC, you might want Windows 8 Tablet, and you might want Windows 8 Smartphone because
1. the metro UI make you feel that these all devices were the same, thus learning curved is ZERO.
2. the services you can use in Windows 8 PC will be connected/Shared with Windows 8 Tablet and Windows 8 Smartphone

Elop Said.... Windows 8 PC would not fail.... because Microsoft is a monopoly, and therefore getting in Windows Phone and Windows Tablet right now is essential.

...... In which I think the thinking were flawed....
because.... as i said...
many of iphone user use PC/Linux
many of symbian user use PC/Linux
etc......

zlutor

@Baron95: Have you ever used an N9? Have you ever seen on working? It is a damn good phone - most probably the best Nokia ever made... That could have been the cash cow of Nokia in 2011-2012 with proper marketing...

N9 could have easily buy time for Nokia until they can release a killer WP phone - if Elop really wants to fight 'the war of ecosystems'...

Of course, that is not a real option for Elop - regardless the financial loss it cause for Nokia - since killing a relative successful product is not as easy as than declaring it DOA... :-(

So, exclusive WP strategy might be good idea in longer term but currently there could have been found more sustainable option...

Anyway, time will tell the truth...

kevin

@cycnus:
More iPhone (and Symbian) users today use a Windows PC because Windows has 90% of the PC market, and also because much of the iPhone ecosystem is available on Windows (iTunes, iCloud, iTunes Match, etc). Linux users are mostly geeks and tinkerers, people who value open systems and flexibility more than ease-of-use and simplicity, and thus don't care as much for the benefits of the Apple ecosystem.

But note that the majority of Mac owners also own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. And it is believed that the popularity (halo effect) of the iPod, iPhone and iPad has caused Mac sales to outgrow the Windows PC for something like 25 straight quarters (that's over 6 years of market-beating, and mostly double-digit, year-over-year growth).

In the future, as smartphones increasingly have the same capabilities of PCs/ tablets, and share more and more of the same content, the choice of PC/tablet will have greater impact on choice of smartphone and vice versa.

Finally, Nokia was on the right track with Ovi, but its execution (technical, marketing, leverage) was poor. The Android Market (or Google Play) also suffers from lackluster execution, such that though Android dominates the smartphone market in terms of units sold, its app sales are only about 40% of iTunes, and its media sales are never even mentioned.

BetterWorld

@Baron95: There are many better and more commonly used ways to sharing files, photos, videoes, messsages, etc. through applications like Dropbox, Facebook, Youtube, Skype, etc.
You would agree that some of them are best in the class and available on almost all handset /OS you can think of. Even if you have the trendiest handset, you are almost always using Dropbox, Facebook, Youtube, Skype, etc on your mobile. iTune was a great invention and iCloud is a great application, but there are cool alternatives too, and the good thing is that they all are available on all the handset / OS!

Nokia can't expect to copy Apple and hope that they become better than them.

Unfortunately, you dont understand Tomi Ahonen & Nokia Fans. We never said that change was not required at Nokia, but we stressed that it wasn't wise to copy Apple & its strategies. The need was to invent a new way to start impressing our customers.

Tomi always talked about milking Symbian and not divesting abruptly. Meego was one way where Nokia could have differentiated itself. It wasnt a problem to ensure all common apps to be available on Meego too.


kevin

@anobserver:
Why use USB when you can use Wifi or cellular (3G, 4G)? Android people criticized the iPhone for that (before iOS 5 changed things).

Apple doesn't include USB and HDMI ports on its handheld devices because they take up space and make the phone bigger or thicker. (It's also why Apple is pushing a new nanoSIM standard that is 1/3 the size of the tiny microSIM.) Apple also eschewed direct USB transfers because its devices don't reveal a file system (which studies show for most people is complex). Its iPhoto and iTunes software on the PC/Mac also hide the file system.

From the capitalist point-of-view, I don't see why Apple should make it as easy for any other phone/tablet to work with the Mac as it is for iPhone/iPad. Microsoft didn't make it easy for Windows PCs to work with iPods, iPhones, iPads. Instead, Apple had to write its own PC software to do so. Why did Apple do that? Because Windows PCs were dominant.

In any case, DoubleTwist freeware makes it possible to use Android phones with iTunes media (and through it, with other Apple devices), plus you can always use USB transfers for media on Android. And Kindle books can be read via the Kindle iOS app. (In the converse, Apple has no desire to make its iBooks readable on Kindle readers because Apple's core business is selling devices not iBooks. iBooks exists to provide content for iOS devices; guarding against the possibility that Amazon could pull its Kindle app from iOS.)

Again, if the Apple ecosystem doesn't suit your needs, don't buy Apple devices. It's not for you. Even Steve Jobs said that the market will decide (he was talking specifically about the lack of Adobe Flash, but its the same principle). For hundreds of millions of people however, the benefits of the Apple ecosystem far outweigh the costs, and they keep buying new iPhones to replace older iPhone, as well as other Apple devices.

anobserver

@kevin

"Why use USB when you can use Wifi"

Useless without a file transfer software, which brings us back to iTunes & co.

"or cellular (3G, 4G)"

Because it is a heck lot more expensive.

We could transfer via Bluetooth as well -- but again not on the iPhone...

The lack of alternatives or fall-back solutions is a distinctive feature of Apple products, and makes things cumbersome when one is not fully immersed in an Apple environment. To give another example: much has been made of the use of mobile phones in the Arab spring. Think a bit about the difference it makes to have a phone where you can quickly exchange data in the street via a SDcard, Bluetooth, or plugging it into a standalone computer at home via USB vs. one that requires the Internet and 3G to be running or a WLAN with the specific sync software to be present to do anything like that?

"Apple doesn't include USB and HDMI ports on its handheld devices"

The iPhone does have an USB port -- your argument on space is invalid. As for HDMI, Apple prefers using its proprietary connector, which requires using adapters (more expensive than standard cables, of course).

"It's also why Apple is pushing a new nanoSIM standard"

Other reasons lurk in the background -- such as making it very impractical for people to exchange SIM cards from one device to another (operators and Apple would love that).

"I don't see why Apple should make it as easy"

That is true. The commercial strategy of Apple makes perfect sense -- to the chagrin of its competitors, who are unable to have one that stands on its feet.

"DoubleTwist freeware makes it possible to use Android phones with iTunes media (and through it, with other Apple devices), plus you can always use USB transfers for media on Android."

Currently, Android looks like the better alternative that supports cloud transfers, universal standard connectivity features, and support for heterogeneity. Its offering is not as well-integrated and polished as iOS though.

"if the Apple ecosystem doesn't suit your needs, don't buy Apple devices."

That is exactly my position. The point is that Apple enthusiasts are always touting Apple products as the alpha and omega, the optimum, the solution to every need -- and they are not.

@Baron95

"In other words, the only consumers that count - the profitable ones."

As already stated by SoVatar, this is simultaneously callous and myopic.

These are not the "only profitable" customers, they are the _high-margin_ ones; one can be profitable with low-margin customers (MicroMax anyone?)

Besides, everybody is swooning at Apple because it is highly profitable with highly expensive products with a high margin sold to high spenders. As impressive as Apple products, marketing and commercial strategy are, I would be more impressed if they managed to product high quality products at low prices for everyman -- something the Chinese or the Koreans will probably do in a few years...

cycnus

@Kevin,

That's my point.
Apple could make an ecosystem in Windows PC and Mac.
Nokia could make an ecosystem in Windows PC and Mac and Linux(through USB-mode).
Android could also make an ecosystem in Windows PC and Mac and Linux(through USB-mode)
That's why the Windows 8 PC would make user buy Windows Phone is flawed.
Because the Ecosystem is not the way Microsoft/Balmer/Elop pictured it.

and I don't think the OVI failed because the marketing was poor.
I think OVI failed because Nokia were too conservative on the hardware specs that make it harder for developer to innovate. For example Nokia first symbian^3 generation CPU&RAM&GPU were too weak... 680MHz CPU??? 256MB RAM?? Why not 1GHz CPU + 512 MB RAM in that era. The price different of GPU & RAM would be less than US$ 10... (hint: see ifixit teardown price). And now when everyone talking about Arm Cortex A8 1.2GHz as the low end, dual core Arm Cortex A9 as the mid end, nokia make Arm 11 1.0GHz as their top of the line. Nokia might have the most efficient OS, but they using the wrong CPU to power it......................

Anyway,
that was my thought on what has been wrong with nokia.
if nokia manage to put 1GHz arm cortex a8 with Nokia n8
and put a dual core arm cortex a9 with nokia 700 and nokia pureview 808.
symbian would surely kick some ass.

Louis

@anobserver: It should be obvious by now that "having a USB port" is not some kind of universal requirement for a successful platform, any more than "supporting film" is for cameras. Your very long posts seem to ignore two facts: (1) Dropbox, Instagram, AirPlay, iCloud, Facebook, etc., etc., etc. expanded the number of people sharing files and other media exponentially; (2) all these things appeared first on Apple's platforms.

There isn't really any debate about what is more "generative" between late 2000's Apple-style platforms and late 90's Nokia-style platforms. There's not really any debate about what has profit potential either. Tomi's written hundreds of thousands of words describing how to win the 90's, but Nokia is wisely trying to get it's footing today.

The only interesting discussion is whether Nokia should have gone with Android (yes, in 2009, but maybe not in 2011).

anobserver

@Louis

You have two misconceptions:

1) The new way of doing things (à la Apple and iCloud) invalidates all previous connectivity approaches, which can be dispensed of.

Wrong.

The requirements to exchange data peer-to-peer (without going through a centrally managed cloud system), in a cost-effective way (avoiding expensive 3G/4G tariffs), in an heterogeneous environment (no assumption about having common cloud/sync software), although they might not be predominant, are relevant today, just like they were 10 years ago.

2) I consider USB/Bluetooth/etc more important than new cloud-based approaches as a requirement.

Wrong.

I stated it explicitly: I need both, and that is why I consider Android as currently the best overall platform since it covers all cloud-based approaches and direct connectivity features.

"The only interesting discussion is whether Nokia should have gone with Android"

Honestly, I put this in the same category as "should it have gone Meego", "should it have gone smoothly from a strong Symbian to WP". The interesting discussion is what can Nokia do now.

cycnus

I agree with anobserver,

In some part of the world where internet connection is not as good as in Europe/USA/(partof)Asia, a good USB and Bluetooth can save the day.

I also already point out that in the developing country the Automatic Photo Printing booth is EVERYWHERE... UNlike in Europan/USA that computer with a printer is a common.... without USB+Bluetooth for file transfer is a failure in this market.

The problem with nokia+WP7 right now is:
Nokia want to sell the WP7 in the low end market in which not all of them will be using data plan, so android with bluetooth and USB will win this market.

As what baron said, go for high end, Nokia+WP7 can't beat Dual-core/Quad-core devices with 720p display. So, Nokia is tossed with WP7 device.

kevin

@anobserver: Good discussion. We mostly agree; my main point is that Apple has chosen based on its set of priorities; it’s not haphazard.

- So I reiterate that Apple products are not for everyone; they are for mainstream consumers, who, no matter how much we engineers wish they were, are just not technical. For example, surveys show that mainstream consumers use Google as their Web starting point, don't know/care about URLs or bookmarks, and put all their files on their PC desktop. Ease-of-use and aesthetic design matter greatly to mainstream consumers.

- All companies, especially Apple, make choices for their targeted set of consumers. They make trades and leave things out to achieve multiple prioritized objectives. Apple's set includes ease-of-use, display clarity, battery time, size/weight, cost, aesthetic design/quality, time to market, and core use cases. Other companies have different priorities (and possibly different targeted set of consumers).

- Thus, Apple has chosen to hide the file system on iOS (and even some OS X apps) because of ease-of-use. No out-of-the-box USB file transfers. Intentionally limiting to iTunes sync for ease-of-use. Yes, there is loss of flexibility. (You are technically correct that there is USB (but no space-occupying USB mini-B or micro port). However, since the USB is hidden in the 30-pin connector, which is tied to iTunes, there is really no USB file transfer capability.)

- And Apple has chosen to put some of the HDMI circuitry into an external adapter, and not in the device because it’s not a core use case, and it saves space. Yes, it’s an added cost for those who want it.

- As for your margin comment: Apple is doing just that for iPad and MacBook Air – high quality product at low price. It’s competitors have chosen not to make an equivalent quality product at the lower price because they have no margin; thus, the price is as low as it can get for that level of quality. The market has spoken – one could possibly conclude that the added flexibility and ports that were added by some of the competitors did not drive product sales. And only Amazon was able to sell a lower quality product at a much lower price, but still way below the iPad units sold. Apple’s choices and ecosystem were preferable.

kevin

@cycnus:
As I said, Ovi failed due to poor execution in technical, marketing, and leverage (and possibly more). You’ve expounded on some of the technical. I think even if they had gotten all of the technical right, Nokia still failed to properly market, and failed to properly leverage Ovi across products.

SoVatar

@Baron, you are misinformed, it's not even funny.

Om my more than 2 year old N900 I do have apps. However, I don't need many as the browser is able to access the www like a desktop PC. Using Pixelpipe I was able to post pictures immediately to facebook (which I don't use), and to any website / web service. I uploaded to a blog site regularly. Or I use drop box or another (linux) cloud service to share any kind of file I want. I send the pics to a cloud service and to my multimediaserver, and the server enables the picture to be watched on any TV screen in my house. And using google voice I can use sms not using my carrier if I choose to do so. And I am able to send files via bluetooth to many other smart phones and tablets, but for sure not to i-devices or WP7 devices. And not to my Kindle Fire due to the Fire's lack of bluetooth.

I refuse yo buy an N9 as I do not support Nokia's current course. However, my son bought one, and it is an excellent phone and computer. He can actually talk on the phone (I know, this concept is sooo yesteryear), text, facebook, tweet, etc. He also has dropbox to share files, some kind of streaming music service. The maps app is excellent and doesn't need a data plan, so it even works in the Jungle where you think users like him live.

Like Fox News knows the truth so do you. Everyone must think like you do as you are always right. If something does not fit your point of view it must be wrong, backwards and Jungle. We get that, thank you very much.

karlim

Damn, I go away for a few days and such an interesting discussion ensues.

Well, except for the fact that nobody wishes to discuss the fact that Tomi himself posted not an easily deniable datapoint that shows that his "Elop effect" was a pure invention. In his best trafficked anti-Elop post that made its way to slashdot. Heck, Tomi posted 2 posts after my backed up by numbers Q, without a single comment in more then a week. Burying his head in the sand - maybe it will go away. As Earendil Star did too... And those burned Nokia shareholders who do not know the answer why they still hold Nokia stock and rant here. Except to lash out at the world, and ease their pain for their own poor decisions

Anyway, t'was a bit off topic rant. Getting back in a few days for this, very interesting discussion

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