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Friday, June 10, 2011

The problem for Nokia is Nokia itself!

What do mean with that?

For example:
1) Two years ago Nokia released a fantastic mobile phone called Nokia N900 (running Maemo5).
Nokia said at that point "we are not ready for the consumer market we have to develop it more before we try to sell a lot of them", Nokia started with Maemo6 and later they started the project MeeGo together with Intel.

2) Now Nokia do the same with tablets, they have to construct the perfect tablet before they release it, it is not so Agile.
Time to market I say!!

3) Nokia now think MeeGo have some year before it good enough, Nokia now change strategy from MeeGo to Ms Windows.
I say release phone instead of invent no strategy all the time like this new MS Windows strategy.

4) Nokia also killed Symbian before they have something new to show Nokia Symbian fan, I think it is very strange!!
I think it a big mistake, many Nokia Symbian fan(they don't even know the phone run Symbian) love the phone, next time they want buy a new phone they want a new similar phone, a phone they know and understand, lika my mother I believe.

3 comments:

Iwan said...

Ove,

I think that Nokia made a wise decision going for WP7 or they could have gone for Android as an alternative.

Nokia became the biggest in the market because their phones where the best. Every little feature was quality.
This was in a market where few could afford smartphones, masses could afford dumb-phones and in the western world they could afford feature phones.
Everybody would buy a Nokia because it was the best quality for the price.

They never innovated and they never meddled with the operators who had a tight grip on the mobile market. Not Nokia. So developing applications for the phones might have been easy with proper tools and JavaME, but getting your app on a phone was cumbersome and costly. Nokia never invested in an eco-system until it was too late.

Then came Apple with the iPhone, an initially mediocre phone but build on a whole new concept of touch, sexy design and shortly after introduction an eco-system everybody new from the iPod.

Even though everybody and his mother bought an iPhone, Nokia did not innovate their phones, not even imitate. The Koreans (Samsung, LG, HTC) did, based on Windows Mobile they released crappy phones, but they were making a name for themselves. New concepts for affordable prices. And sort of an eco-system. It's (almost) always good to bet on Microsoft.
But Windows Mobile never even came close to what Apple was doing, but it was still ahead of Symbian, at least in the perception of the consumer. There was at least touch and everybody wants a touch interface.
Nokia continued to build superior quality but forgot to see what the market wanted. Forgot to read the reviews. So their first slew of touch enabled phones had resistive touchscreens, although all reviews pretty much slaughtered every piece of hardware that had resistive touch instead of capacitive. You can get away with low end phones, but your flagships should be up to the standards.

Then came Android. Open, free and very close to what Apple offered with Google creating an eco-system based around their web-based offerings. Again, eco-system is the key. And in the case of Android the eco-system was open to everybody and on top of that everybody could create their own eco-system based on Android phones. The Koreans loved it, Sony Ericsson embraced it, but Nokia stuck with Symbian and OVI. What does that mean? OVI? It's definitely not catchy. Same goes for Symbian, Maemo and Meego. Those are not names the current consumer of smartphones thinks anything about. No good logo either, and OVI was for Nokia, not Symbian. Maybe not on paper, but surely in the minds of the masses.

So now Nokia needs to catch-up with Apple and the Android world. Definitely it could be with Android as the OS, but I can see why Nokia wouldn't want that. Android is just like all Google products very much created by developers and although it is all open and everything, everywhere there is Google.
There's no way that Apple would allow Nokia to put iOS on Nokia phones.
But there was another new kid on the block, or an old player that also had to reinvent itself. Two big players that desperately needed to get a stronghold in this market that was going to be dominated by iOS and Android.
The interesting part is I think that Nokia is primarily a HW vendor capable of building quality phones and put them in the market. It's market share is still dominant (low end phones) so if Nokia can make dumb phones smarter but still for a low end price it can dominate the smartphone market, but only if it can be ahead of the Android phones. Which are still nowhere to be found in the low end market.
Microsoft is a SW maker, Xbox aside, they dominate the consumer market for now. They own a big share of the console market and they are bringing the PC and the console together and are very pervasive in the living room as such. Microsoft is looking for the third realm where it's consumers are spending their time in the digital world, on the go.

(There will be more, my comment was too long, sorry)

Iwan said...

Another problem Microsoft has is taking its strategy outside of the US. All the cool stuff they have is for the US market. This is where Xbox Live has all the services. The rest of the world is too fragmented to be of interest to invest in it seems. Nokia is already there, but not in the US so much.

So it makes perfect sense for the two to join forces.

From a consumer perspective I think that MS is more capable of building an eco-system than Nokia, especially because it will not only be Nokia that will thrive on it, but also the Koreans and Sony Ericsson. Pretty much everybody but Apple (I think that Motorola will release a WP7 phone as well).
Especially when MS integrates XBLA into this eco-system as well. They've already shown games that run on the Xbox and the phone where you can play the same game on either system.

Furthermore, as a developer I would love to use MS tools again. MS is known for the quality and usability of their development tools. They're superior.

I (still) develop in Java and for mobiles JavaME. Always in NetBeans because it was the best, but there's no innovation there. Nokia moved away from their own tools to NB and now to Eclipse. The tools are decent but not like MS.

(There will be more, I'm not allowed to post more than 4096 charactes as comment)

Iwan said...

So what about MeeGo? Well, you see it's two HW companies that do MeeGo, Intel and Nokia. This doesn't mean anything to Joe Average. Nokia is already known to have missed the boat and Intel is nerdy with CPU's and all.
They should drop the name, MeeGo is better than Maemo, but still. They should not emphasize the OS at all. That is intimidating to the average person. They should focus on that it has everything the competition has but better and integrated.
Strike a deal with Facebook and Twitter to have native apps that are tightly integrated with the phone's normal features, when you buy the phone, don't rely on people to have it later installed. Same goes for WhatsApp, my wife didn't want an iPhone and all of her friends told her to get an Android because they thought WhatsApp was not on iPhone.
Integrate it and make it more seamless integration and provide from day one pre-installed.

Btw, I didn't want my wife to get an Android because Google doesn't verify the apps enough so it becomes a valid platform for malware (already happened), so I got her an iPhone because at least Steve makes sure that every app is trustworthy. My wife is a consumer, I didn't want to become her tech support.
I think MS will keep a tight grip on the app store and provide the same (sense of) security as Apple does with WP7. Nokia should do the same with MeeGo.

I think the N9 is an xtremely sexy phone. The N8 is sexy as well, but the N9 is really awesome looking. Nokia should provide the option just like Lancia did with the Ypsilon, to get it in every RAL color ordered or get one in a few stock colors.
I think the N9's only flaw is that it was mentioned, emphasized even, by Nokia first and then everybody else that it was on MeeGo. A brand with a nerdy in-cling I think and they really need to work on that logo. This not a logo the 21st century consumer goes for.

But this is just my view on the issue.

I always bought Nokia because they build the best phones. Now I also want to use apps and I think as a consumer I'm really well of when Nokia drops its proprietary Symbian and doesn't waste time and effort on building a phone, an OS and an eco-system to sustain the phone and OS but instead concentrates on the phone and let somebody else focus on the other two.
WP7 means to me, that I get great quality phones that integrate probably very well with the rest of my digital world which for me is based on my Windows laptop and my Xbox.
This is also why I am waiting for Windows 8 tablets to arrive (and see how they do) although when Amazon releases a tablet I'll buy it because I love my Kindle and I'm a big fan of Jeff Bezos.

Iwan