Finally I have found some time to put my thoughts on the biggest development of this year in the Mobile Industry. This development will change the way mobile industry is structured and specifically its direct impact the future of 4 of the biggest mobile players – Apple, Nokia, Google & Microsoft.
It started with a memo (only in public domain but I guess Nokia and Microsoft must be working behind the scene from some time – NokiaWP7 like product cannot be conceptualized overnight), someone at the top of Nokia noticed that the market share leader is in serious trouble.
As Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop (an Ex Microsoft) has his memo leaked that speaks of Nokia standing on a ‘burning platform’, everyone started speculating on what this will mean for Nokia.
Finishing his memo with: “Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved? This is what I have been trying to understand” highlights the fact that finding a solution isn’t going to be as simple as opting to ditch MeeGo (although there are rumours circulating that this is exactly what is going to happen), moving Nokia’s offices away from Finland, firing all of the management or cosying up with Microsoft or Google.
(It requires fundamental changes on how Nokia operates and keeps ahead of the competition from now on. After all, Nokia had a huge head start over the competition when it launched its first Symbian Smartphone over ten years ago. Nokia even launched its first tablet way back in 2006, which had the potential to be as big as the iPad but…. it failed to capitalize on this head start.)
As soon as the memo leaked Google’s VP, Vic Gundotra, started adding oil to the fire with saying “two turkeys do not make an eagle.”
It was clearly meaning – Nokia hardware with Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS won’t make a good smartphone. And Vic was pretty much correct in the sense that Nokia is late to the party and Microsoft is in no better position. Google is in a much better spot with its Android OS. But it would be wrong to declare this partnership already failed especially post the news of NokiaWP7.
Soon after the partnership initiative between the software giant Microsoft and Nokia got going, the web is flourishing with the leaks regarding the outcome of the giant’s alliance. Among them, one of the leaks claims to have exposed some of the Nokia Windows Phone 7 concepts developed as a part of the partnership.
Well, even if the images are just conceptual ones, the real outcome of the Nokia Microsoft partnership may be somewhere closer to it. In the partnership, Nokia will be contributing its expertise on developing user friendly hardware while Microsoft will be putting its efforts on the software front.
Also, counting Microsoft out makes no sense. With Steve Ballmer firing all the guns and with the fastest selling new product in the history – a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console Kinect is a huge consumer success. So, with a new, flattened Nokia and a new partnership with Microsoft, these turkeys might develop enough arsenals to take on Google and Apple.
This smartphone market with its new dynamics will heat up the mobile technology war and it would be interesting to see how these companies take on each other in near future.