Ronnie05's Blog

Chromebooks (Part IV): 10 reasons why Chromebooks haven’t really won a lot of admirers out there! (Not Yet!)

Contd from earlier posts: The cloud kisses the laptop, Subscriptions that might have changed the industry standards and Google’s own iPad Moment.

With Chromebook, Google has redrawn the boundaries of desktop virtualization. However, there apprehensions, the biggest being, Netbook as a category is loosing out to the Tablets. While Chromebook has the Cloud edge, could Google have done better with ChromeTab. Listing out a few neagtive thoughts and reactions behind the Chromebook…

1. While, Chromebooks can connect with external devices such as cameras (via USB) and headsets,it is maimed by the exclusion of Apple users. The millions of existing iPhone, iPad and iPod owners cannot use the Chromebook with those devices. That is one task the Chromebook can’t perform, and it is unlikely it ever will. Google will be looking at convincing Apple product owners that they need to switch, or forget the Chromebook. That is a huge unreachable market for a brand new product. (ZDNet).

2. Chromebooks retail at $349 at the least. Will people want to pay as much for such a light client device as they do for a fully loaded notebook running a traditional OS like Microsoft Windows? The Chromebook Series 5 is powered by a 1.66GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, and has a 16GB mSATA solid-state drive and 2GB of RAM. Those are netbook parts in a machine that’s priced at the level of low-end notebooks. (PC Mag)

3. As the recent Amazon Web Services outage demonstrated, cloud services can fail and customers can lose data (Information Week). Google itself has faced loads of Gmail incidents loosing valuable user data.

4. With Cloud centric OS’es, the race will be towards stealing access credentials, after which, it’s game over. Who needs to steal banking accounts, when you have Google Checkout? Or, who needs to monitor passwords, when they’re all nicely stored into the Google Dashboard?…Earlier today, I got asked by a friend- ‘How is Chrome OS from a security point of view, better or worse?’ I answered, ‘It’s better, but much worse. (Software Security at Kaspersky)

5. Google’s foray into hardware products have not really been successful. Need to look beyond the Nexus One and Nexus S? Has Google learned its lessons from its cell phone debacle? We’ll see.

6. We’d be forced to stick to a browser for hours. Is it not worth to wait 15 to 20 seconds for Windows 7 to boot on Netbooks and have the flexibility to work with any application? Microsoft came under heavy fire for taking advantage of its Windows operating system to promote Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, even though you can download any browser using the IE. Now how about sticking to the Chrome browser for the entire life cycle of your Netbook! That’s really not a good Idea. People often criticize ‘Apple’ for crippling their devices off the features and for controlling the third party applications to generate more and more revenue. If that is bad, then have a look at Google’s business model. They have outdone Apple in terms of crippling the usability. Google wants you to buy a Netbook with nothing but a Chrome Browser onboard. All the applications you’d run would be within the browser; all your family photos and videos would be directly saved on Google’s server, multitasking is out of question (yes, there will be a new tab but that doesn’t count as multitasking), and it will update automatically without giving you the option to decide whether or not you wish to download and apply the update.

7. There’s much to recommend the platform, we can confidently say it’s still years away from the replacing most business machines. Google offers ways of working around the platform’s limitations – it just unveiled a new local file manager, and Citrix is providing a desktop virtualization tool for running legacy applications – but these tools can take you only so far. Usability for instance without internet connected is short, and though HTML5 and Open standards platform address this issue, it still is a drawback that needs to be addressed. Aregister

8. The Chromebooks aren’t suited to things like video editing, and they’re quite limited when it comes to most multimedia or design tasks. But the problem goes beyond an inability to run certain applications. In many cases the ease of usage and a friendly interface is lacking and will take some time to come up on its steam.

9. Your computer has no hard drive. You can’t download them and move them somewhere else. You can’t change services. You have nowhere to go. That’s a lot of power to give one company, isn’t it? (SearchEngineWatch)

10. The Chromebook for all its cloud related advantages is not as trendy and path breaking as the iPad or the Android tablets. Could Google have been wiser to have worked on a ChromeTab as against a Chromebook. We will see that.

A survey by British website, Inquirer, asked its readers: Would they prefer to store their documents and data locally instead of surrendering it to a Google Chromebook and its cloud storage? Only a small minority of readers are tempted by the devices, vindicating my thought that netbooks in terms of form factors are not anywhere close to the Tablets. The result of the survey was that
7% prefered a Google Chromebook because they thought it would be useful for their purposes, just browsing the net.
4% liked it because it is ‘an inexpensive laptop’
16% would rather buy a tablet
47% prefer to keep personal documents on PC/Laptop, suggesting that perhaps the cloud, or at least Google’s cloud, has little appeal.
26% respondents didnot know what a Chromebook was. The 26% is a good number, because it means that 74% respondents know the Chromebook.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are skeptical. However, It’s worth remembering that the iPad similarly met with a barrage of criticism and did change how we think about computers.

Apple dominates profits with 57% profit share in Mobiles Globally

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on May 17, 2011

I had first blogged about the wealth, margins and profit distribution between smartphone makers 9 months back. Read Global Smartphone markets: Of disruptive competition and wealth distribution.

Asymco has come out with another sequential set of figures that focus on share of margins and profits for 8 of the largest smartphone vendors in the world.

1. The ever familiar change of guard in smartphones is a cliche.With Nokia Loosing out on a YoY and Sequential growth and high rises from the Apple and the Androids.

2. The surprise kid here is RIM, which is positive on 3 yr CAGR, Y-O-Y and Sequential. This is more to do with Blackberry’s growing markets in Asia mostly. On its home turf, BB has been taking the pounding from both Apple and Android.

3. With 19% smartphone (Canalys) Market share, and 5% Mobiles (IDC) market share, Apple takes a disproportionate 45% of the industry profits. Blackberry (25% of Industry Margins), HTC (15%), Samsung (12%) and Nokia (8%) complete the list.

The mobile industry has historically been unforgiving. Companies that fall into unprofitability tend to stay there or exit/merge. This has claimed many: Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel, BenQ, Palm, Sony, Toshiba, Handspring, NEC, Hitachi, Casio. LG, Moto and Sony Ericsson are all in the same precarious situation. We’ll have to watch carefully whether a recovery is possible for any of them and whether Nokia will reach the same rocky position.

Looking at operating profit shares; While RIM, Samsung and HTC have maintained profit share, between 2007 and now, profit share has mostly shifted from Nokia to Apple. Nokia has declined from 47% in 2007 and Apple has come from 0% to 57% of Industry profits.

Not that it surprise too many: It’s become routine to see Apple at the top of the list of profit earners from mobile phones.

Nokia shuts the door on Ovi! (Finally)

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on May 16, 2011

Ovi was Nokia’s aces, trumphs and everything put together. Ovi which means “Doors” in Finish was an ambitious plan to open the doors of branded Nokia services to the Nokia users. Unfortunately that never happened. Nokia has now announced that it will phase out the Ovi brand eventually by 2012 in favour of a single Nokia brand, Nokia services. The transition begins with new devices being launched this July, August. Although Nokia has not specified which countries will see the rebranding first, it is expected that North American and European markets will see the new Nokia brand first, completing across all countries and services by the end of 2012. The services roadmap continue unaltered. This is one of a long list of changes for Nokia and an admission that the Ovi brand never really worked ever since 2007 when it launched the Ovi brand. As of April 2011 there were exactly 5.0 million downloads every day, also 158 developers reached over 1 million downloads for their Applications.

This is the first bold move by CMO Jerri DeVard and an admission of the fact that Ovi brand has failed. This also marks a clear shift in Nokia’s strategy and puts focus on Nokia brand, reducing consumer confusion as Microsoft partnership grows. This transition is expected to last into 2012 and was pretty much inevitable in the wake of Nokia’s hookup with Microsoft earlier this year. Part of that agreement was for Nokia software, Maps in particular, to be made available in other Windows Phone devices and across Microsoft’s range of services, so it makes sense for Nokia to literally put its name on its wares.

The timeline of Ovi with key events around it.

Tagged with: , ,

Chromebooks (Part III): The cloud kisses the laptop (Would have been glad if it would have been the Tablet)

Continued from an earlier post.

The idea of a computing device with most of the computing systems outsourced to the cloud is a novel one and has been around for a while now. Here are the reasons on why it is ground breaking?

Chrome OS simplifies the operating system by putting most all applications and data inside the browser, and in doing so, it takes a multilayered approach to security, restricting each application to its own sandbox and introducing a verified boot sequence that seeks to identify malware at startup time.

All OS updates, including security fixes, are automatically pushed down to the device over the web, and since virtually no applications or data files sit on device itself, it’s easier to set up a machine – or move to a new one when it is lost or stolen or bricked. What’s more, Chromebooks – equipped with flash drives – offer unusually fast boottimes.

With a Chromebook users won’t wait minutes for computers to boot and browsers to start. This provides access to email in seconds. The Chromebook provides automatic access to updates which will get faster over time.All individual apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible from wherever the user is and the Chromebook will provide freedom from hassles like worrying on loss of computer and data backing up. Just because the back end systems are lightb and easy, Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge. With optional 3G, accessibility to web is direct. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain.

The MAJORITY of Internet Users are people who only go onto the PC for four activities: Email, Shopping, Online Banking, Facebook. The fact remains that do not users get Dual or quadcore, 4 GB of memory, DDR2, DDR3, Photoshop, Video Editing, Access, Excel and Word is MEANINGLESS to most people who are not Professionals. Add to it the need to buy AntiVirus, Firewall Protection, OS maintenance and the hardware purchase turns onerous. Users just want to Log in, Look at their email, post to Facebook & Pay a bill. Beyond that, the the most strenuous task they’ll ever put on their laptop might be streaming a HD Movie.

Although it remains to be seen how well Chrome OS works when deprived of internet access, the potential for Chromebooks to slash both IT support hassles and the amount of money spent on hardware and software is very enticing. We will get to know the response to Chromebooks in a while. But for me i think the idea of a ChromeTab is much more attractive and enticing.

Chromebook (Part II): Subscriptions that might have changed industry standards

Google has smartly aimed it squarely at the enterprise and the education system. It will be sold to consumers, too, and that’s the market segment that may give Google the most fits with the Chromebook.

Google will charge businesses $1,008 to use netbooks for three years. The subscription requires a three-year contract, and it includes not only continuous software updates but also a web-based management console, Google support, and hardware replacements.This translates into a $28 per user subscription plan for businesses and it can be an affordable way for small businesses to provide laptops to its users, but to really satisfy enterprise users, Google needs to woo its IT decision makers. The value here is that enterprise and education customers can count on a dramatic decrease in costs from a maintenance standpoint.

Secondly, Google will provide 100MB of free 3G data each month through its partner Verizon wireless. Interestingly, the deal ends after two years (rather than lasting for the life of the product).

Three years is an awfully long time, particularly when you’re dealing with a comparatively low-spec machine such as the ones announced from Acer and Samsung today (both of which will ship June 15th). But for businesses and educational institutions, is it good enough? It’s also worth noting that Google considered shorter contracts (with higher monthly fees), but it found during market research that most institutions never upgraded their machines before three years, anyway. Given that data, it just made sense to offer lower monthly rates and on a refresh cycle that fit nicely with what they found.

According to a recent Gartner Research survey, typical businesses spend between $3,300 and $5,800 on each of its desktops. The subscription model for Chromebook will ultimately save a hefty portion of these dollars because the machine is both easier to administer and more secure than traditional machines.

Google’s subscription plan, reduces the total cost of ownership to less than half what enterprises see right now. The Chromebooks would be launched 15th June and it would be interesting to note which way is it headed. Google on its part is firing all cylinders to ensure its success.

Skype Acquisition a indicator of desperate tactics at Microsoft to stay good in consumer internet space

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on May 13, 2011

As the dust settles, there are increasing questions on the $8.5 billion that Microsoft spent buying out Skype. This beats Google’s quote of $4 billion by Google. While Microsoft with its huge cash reserves and earnings will make good on its investment of $8.5bn in 50 days free capital flow, this doesn’t make sense at all as a financial investment. There’s no way Microsoft is going to generate enough revenue and profit from Skype to compensate. Last year Skype had $860 million in revenue, and a net loss of $7 million, according to its initial public offering filing.

Unless there are other factors for Microsoft to bid for Skype. The supporting reasons for the rather desperate bid for Skype are as follows:

1. Skype’s user base
Skype has a strong and loyal base of more than 170 million active users across multiple platforms. Microsoft will get instant access to Skype’s network, which represents a huge influx of customers and a big leap in Microsoft’s presence as a consumer Internet company.

2. Skype and the enterprise
Of course, it’s not all about consumers. Skype has been aggressively pursuing the enterprise market in recent years and has made some solid progress there. Microsoft likely sees this purchase as a win for both its consumer and business product lines, and we can expect to see Skype integration coming soon in all manner of Microsoft products and platforms. Already promised is Skype support for Xbox (and Xbox Live), Kinect, Office, Lync, Outlook, Hotmail, and Windows Phone.

3. Windows Phone integration
Along those lines, perhaps the most obvious outcome will be Skype’s integration into future versions of Windows Phone. This will allow Microsoft to compete squarely with Apple’s Facetime and Google Voice. Expect to see Skype on a Nokia Windows Phone in the near future.

4. International long distance
Interestingly, one of Skype’s biggest strengths was barely mentioned in the press conference announcing the deal: the massive amount of minutes Skype users represent on the public telephone network. Skype’s been in an all-out war with the entrenched telecom carriers since its inception — the carriers despise Skype and rightly see it as a major threat to their business model. According to Alec Saunders, a telecom vet and ex-Microsoft employee, with this purchase Microsoft instantly becomes the world’s largest carrier of international long distance minutes. How Microsoft will take advantage of this, and what impact it will have on their existing carrier relationships, is one of the open questions around this deal.

5. Blocking the competition
Let’s not forget another angle that surely motivated Microsoft to pursue Skype — keeping it away from the competition. It’s been common knowledge that Skype’s investors have been looking for a buyer for some time. Skype was on a rocky road to an IPO, and it sounds like the investors who bought Skype from eBay were concerned about the viability of that process and eager to get their returns sooner rather than later. When Google came to the table, you can bet the deal-makers in Redmond started some serious number crunching.

From a technical perspective, Microsoft has already developed much of the same functionality that Skype provides. Windows Live Messenger offers free instant messaging and voice and video chat, it already works with Lync and Office, and Microsoft had previously announced plans to integrate Messenger into Windows Phone.They have lost confidence. Microsoft no longer believes it controls or even can control the game. Worse still, they don’t have confidence that they even know the rules. So they’ve adopted a defensive posture and this Skype acquisition is more of a block than anything else.

Put it straight, Microsoft bought Skype to keep Google from buying Skype. And we havent spoken about Apple yet!

Tagged with: , ,

Chromebook (Part1): Google’s own iPad moment

Google’s IO conference had its share of moments with Google Music Beta service, The Ice-cream Sandwich, The Android Open Accessory development tool kit to bridge over the fragmentation and multi-device conundrum that they have had so long and the long awaited ChromeBooks. I had 2 years ago blogged about Light and Zippy Oss that would power the Internet computing world. That day it seems has finally come. Here’s documenting the Chrome powered Chromebook’s, Google’s Internet Netbooks.

Outstanding intro video for the Chromebook

The web-only laptops fundamentally reinvent computers. Chromebooks are built and optimized for the web, where users are already spend most of their computing time. The Chromebook essentially enables a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers. Google and its vast server farms take care of apps, backup, security, maintenance and support.

The Chromebook is powered by the Chrome web browser and uses the HTML5 and other open standards platforms. With Google providing offline support, which now lets users access their Google Docs, Google Calendar and Gmail accounts without an Internet connection, the product story is well stacked. This will certainly alleviate the concerns of those who may want to work on their Chromebooks on a plane, or at locations where there is no Internet connection. Caching documents on local storage is not an issue, as all Chromebooks implement data encryption using tamper-resisting hardware to protect against the theft.

Google thus marries the prowess of centralized processing or cloud computing to lean machines. The machines featured are Samsung and Acer. Samsung’s notebooks have 12.1″ displays, Atom Dual-Core processors, 16 GB solid state drives, weigh 1.48 kg and get 8.5 hours of continuous usage. They’re similar to the Acer notebooks, which have 11.6″ displays, a higher resolution, but only get 6 hours of usage. Some of the notebooks include 3G support, while other notebooks are Wi-Fi only.The onboard processor is an Intel Dual Core Atom, coupled with 2 GB RAM. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n is going to be a standard for all Chromebooks. Variants with 3G module would also be available. Chromebook would usually sport 2 USB 2.0 ports and a memory card reader. Unlike the Samsung s line up, Acer will have a Chromebook with HD-out feature. Both companies will be releasing two or more variants with minor differences.

Android Ice-cream Sandwich announced!

Posted in Uncategorized by Manas Ganguly on May 12, 2011

“We want one OS that runs everywhere.” And Android is making a good pace of getting there. So while Gingerbread was a full tablet support one, Google’s latest OS, Icecream Sandwich will be a one stop solution with support for multiple devices like smartphones, tablet PCs and convertible laptops, with just one version. It will have all the features from Google’s earlier operating systems besides a bunch full of newbies. Thus the Ice-cream would not only act as a tie for all screen sizes, those on handsets, tablets, Google TV, and the lot, but that it would make for a much easier world for developers to live in. A single API framework for what may be the easiest Android version to develop for yet. While the version name hasn’t been decided yet (Rumored to be either Android 3.5 or Android 4.0), the best part is that Ice-cream wont have any new hardware requirements. That means it’ll be able to work on older handsets galore! This then is Android’s grand plan to address the issue of platform fragmentation that has been rampant in the OS releases till date. (Read more about Android Platform Fragmentation)

Innovation on the list includes new holographic UI, multitasking UI, launcher, richer widgets, advanced applications, and everything in-between. New components are being added to the Action Bar (the one you see in Honeycomb) that’ll be able to reconfigure themselves to work with whatever space is available to them.

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to be a step ahead with inbuilt support for 0-click-peer-to-peer Near Field Communications (NFC) sharing along with Augmented Reality facility. The 0-click peer-to-peer NFC sharing allows compatible Android devices to share content (contacts, links, YouTube videos) between the devices by simply placing them in close proximity to each other. No app needs to be run and no buttons need to be clicked – hence the “0-click” moniker.

With 3D being the buzz word today, it is highly expected that the new OS will support it as well. The user interface of the new operating system will be a holographic one, the one which we have seen in movies like Star Trek. Along with that Google plans to do some real hard work with the widgets and has confirmed plans on investing in application framework which in turn will ultimately help the users. This means insulating developers from the differences in all of the different devices Android can be run on, so Google is adding new API to the framework to help all developers out there scale your user interfaces across all the different sized screens and devices toting them.

A new face recognition technology with a 500 frames per second run through will also feature in Ice-cream and will allow better coordination of a video chat/conference session by being able to highlight the speaker over and above the listener. More utilities around this advanced Face-reco app are expected ssooner.

The other “usual suspects”feature round up includes
1. UI inspiration from Honeycomb for Phone form factor.
2. Inherent support for Dual Core processors, built ground up for ARM9 chipsets and other variants.
3. Gaming improvements and optimizations for dual cores.
4. Cloud Music (they hinted that at Google IO 2010)
5. Tight Cloud integration to backup apps, app data, preferences.

And lastly, the Logo for Ice-cream Sandwich is easily the the best amongst all of Android’s OS logos till date, possibly Android Robot included.

Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on May 10, 2011

This is just in: Microsoft agrees to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. This is the largest deal in Microsoft 36 year old history. This acquisition solidifies Microsoft multi platform strategy.

An interesting history update of Skype: Invented in Estonia, founded by Swedes, incorporated in Luxembourg, bought by eBay, sold to Silver Lake, bought by Microsoft.

The price tag of $8.5 billion (@35% Premium) reflects Microsoft’s determination to rival Facebook and others in social networking wars. Akype’s global reach will be attractive and carrier support (notably Verizon) has validated the service. Microsoft must clarify how Skype will fit with services such as Windows Live Messenger and Lync as well as Xbox, Kinect and other Windows Devices. (Did they miss the Kin devices in that list?). The Skype deal gives Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market.

Om Malik, in his blog mentions the “plusses” for Microsoft in the Skype deal.
1.Skype gives Microsoft a boost in the enterprise collaboration market, thanks to Skype’s voice, video and sharing capabilities, especially when competing with Cisco and Google.
2.It gives Microsoft a working relationship with carriers, many of them looking to partner with Skype as they start to transition to LTE-based networks.
3.It would give them a must-have application/service that can help with the adoption of the future versions of Windows Mobile operating system.
4.However, the biggest reason for Microsoft to buy Skype is Windows Phone 7 (Mobile OS) and Nokia. The software giant needs a competitive offering to Google Voice and Apple’s emerging communication platform, Facetime.

Beyond this, Microsoft also leverages the Skype experience and expertise across many other platforms:
5.Skype has a lot of relationships with SMBs and enterprises that will complement Microsoft’s wares. By the way, Microsoft’s Lync unified communications system looks like a strong product line.
6.With Skype, Microsoft will have a major say—and could be the trendsetter—in video conferencing standards.
7.Skype can support Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone, Lync, Outlook and other properties.

Interestingly, this deal between Microsoft and Skype could be a win-all for Facebook in the long term. Facebook was never a serious contender to buy out Skype but with Microsoft’s backing (MS has stakes in FB), Facebook could use Skype’s peer-to-peer network to offer video and voice services to the users of Facebook Chat. If the company had to use conventional methods and offer voice and video service to its 600 million plus customers, the cost and overhead of operating the infrastructure would be prohibitive.

Skype on a go alone basis lacked steam to power its revenue. Sources believe that Skype’s revenues has stalled. The company had bet heavily on is video sharing service. The premium version of video calling and sharing was a way for Skype to increase its average revenue per user and move into the enterprise market. However, given Skype’s DNA is that of a consumer Internet company, the challenges are not a surprise. (A challenge to Apple’s Facetime video chat service)

Nokia’s downward slide worsens

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on May 9, 2011

My last blog on Nokia had appeared 3 months back. That was around Nokia WP7 tie-up. Nokia has been having a continually downward spiral and generally unexciting products over the last 4 years now. To me the last of Nokia’s giant products was really the Nokia N-95. After that, Nokia slipped into a catch up game trying to match Blackberry, Android and Apple innovations.

A precipitate of Nokia’s slow, steady decline is now that Nokia is loosing market dominance in the very markets where it was unbeatable till a few quarters back. For instance, in Western Europe which was Nokia’s backyard, Q1,2011 saw Nokia being relegated to No.2 position in Mobile phones and in Smartphones. Samsung and Apple are the new leaders in mobiles and smartphone categories. While Nokia’s decline has been a long time coming, this sea change in its home market underscores just how much ground the company is losing in traditional areas of strength.

Nokia is one of the most recognized and appreciated brands in Europe, but Samsung was the one understanding the trends first and moving faster. Samsung understood early the trend on touchscreen devices and became the market leader on feature-phones by providing a full range of devices at very competitive prices. On smartphones, Samsung has quickly moved to Android as well as investing in its own platform, Bada. Flexibility and being able to address all market segments have contributed to Samsung’s ability to quickly adjust to the market trends.

Apple, on the other hand, coming from nowhere in the mobile phone business, capitalized on its strong brand and user-experience innovation. It took years for competitors to come up with devices that could challenge consumers’ preference for the iPhone. And now, iPhone has caught the fancy of all and is galloping up in volumes. Like Western Europe, Apple is mounting the pressure on Nokia volumes globally as well. There were 5 million units that separated Apple from Nokia in the Q1,2011 Smartphone shipments. While Nokia tries staying afloat with rehashed Symbian and Annas, Apple’s juggernaut has been more definitive in terms of its upswings.

Stephen Elop’s illustrations on “How to put Symbian to sleep?”

It has become increasingly hard to see how the once-mighty Nokia can ever regain its formidable status. For a company that once dominated the handset market, its first-quarter results and the planned cuts in operating expenses seem to condemn the company to a slow decline over the next two to three years into a faint shadow of its former glory.The company has failed on so many fronts that only its low-end products are seemingly saving it from complete annihilation.
What happened to cause such a hugely successful company to fail will be analysed by many aspiring business graduates and industry experts alike. But there is no simple answer to this debacle.

The next few quarters are going to be very dicey for Nokia. The Nokia-WP7 alliance would be rolling in 2012 onwards and Symbian’s slow death is a planned inevitability (see Elop’s presentation themes on Symbian phase out). Having said that Elop wants to sell another 150 million Symbian Smartphones. The question that begs an answer here is if Symbian is the proverbial burning deck, then why would a user buy it in the first place. That puts into question, will Elop make 150 million Symbian studded Nokia Smartphones sell? The statistic and the argument don’t feel compelling enough. Nokia could be relegated to 10% of the smartphone market shares before WP7 is launched. That could be a disaster situation for Nokia but that is what stares beleaguered Nokia at its face.

With its share price at a 13-year low, it’s perhaps difficult to imagine if Nokia can sink any lower in terms of its worth.
The latest to cast doubt on the company’s hopes has been the ratings agency Moody, which last week downgraded Nokia’s credit rating from A2 to A3. This followed a similar move by Standard & Poor’s a week earlier.The analyst viewpoints driving this demotion have revolved around the probability of Nokia regaining its dominant market position, given the threats and uncertainty that surround its partnership with Microsoft for the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform. Adding salt to Nokia’s open wounds was the reports that the Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC, Asia’s second-largest smartphone developer, had surpassed Nokia in market capitalization. On balance, HTC’s sudden rise could be attributed to the huge demand for smartphones running on Google’s Android platform, albeit that HTC’s handsets are recognised for being among the best today.

%d bloggers like this: