Ronnie05's Blog

Why Nokia chose Windows as against Meego, Android or any other OS?

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on June 26, 2011

Stephen Elop has been emphatic about the fact that N9 launched recently will be the ONLY MEEGO phone regardless of the success or failure of the N9. Elop has been extremely focused on the Nokia-WP tie-up as the future for beleaguered Nokia. Symbian and Meego have been relegated to science projects! With all this in the background Nokia’s N9 launch really seems pointless, doesn’t it? Promising or not,who would bet on an OS which is shelved even before it hit the road?

With Stephen Elop at the helm, Nokia is more than ever looking at partnering with Telecom Operators to bring handsets to markets. The insight here is that pricing and carrier marketing plans will be critical deal breakers for consumers when all other factors and brands are at level.

Nokia had 2 choices here, either to go with Meego and start from scratch all over again with a new OS, new eco-system, developers, partners and the service layers or embrace WP7. Meego OS maturity could easily take 18-24 months to happen. Meego acquiring critical mass and being of interest to the eco-system and the developer community was a choice that was fraught with risks. Nokia needed answers now and here and was hence looking at the big guys to partner with them. No doubt Nokia has a very fine looking OS in Meego, but maintaining an eco-system needs strong partners in service layer who are willing to commit to allocating resources for that particular platform. Which I think is a major weakness for Nokia.

Amongst the big guys, Apple was always “out of the consideration set” and Android would not provide Nokia a “preffered” kind of partnership. Besides, Nokia seems to think that the Android market is pretty crowded, to a good rational.

If you actually look at successful mobile ecosystems- Android & iOS; both of them have very stong service layers built around them. Nokia unfortunately doesn’t have the kind of reach Apple or Google has when it comes to developers or partners in service layer. (Services like iTunes, Google Docs, Google Music, iCloud etc)

Elop and his Microsoft connect, Microsoft service layer competencies and Microsoft’s efforts at making contemporary OS and the fact that Microsoft is the 800lb gorilla in software markets were the scoring points. On the other hand Nokia was critically lacking on these counts which made the marriage “ideal”. With Microsoft this service layer problem is solved, Microsoft has Bing, Xbox Live, Office, Skype, Exchange Server, SkyDrive, great developer tools etc. Competitively Meego is not as well positioned as Windows Phone OS.

Thus even if Meego and N9 will be well received, Nokia will have to go the WP7 way because it has shorter lead times there, ready eco-systems, greater acceptability/credibility and a larger market to address thru that partnership.

Nokia’s dilemma in choice of OSs

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on February 1, 2011

“.. we must build, catalyze, and/or join a competitive ecosystem”.

Stephen Elop has sent the rumour mills ablaze with the statement of “joining” a competitive ecosystem. Elop’s first quarter at the helm of Nokia operations has seen a mix of good and bad news for the no.1 mobile devices company in the world. Net Sales have grown but profits have nose dived and while ASPs have been north directed, Nokia’s fall in smartphone market shares have been staggering. Elop is having a rough time steadying the ship and is now expected to announce major changes in strategy on 11th February. Many see it to be Nokia’s move into Android or Windows Phone.

Nokia already has Symbian and Meego Oss for its devices. While, there is merit in letting the ageing Symbian slowly drop off and possibly feature it only at the low end devices, Meego would be Nokia’s high end devices.Unfortunately, there is a little problem: a phone today is appealing if it comes with developers. And developers go where there are a lot of phones. There are no MeeGo phones, therefore there are no Meego developers.Developers today build for iPhone first, then Android. If they have a good reason (i.e. Microsoft paying) they build for Windows Phone 7. If they are in the enterprise, maybe they look at BlackBerry. If they want to support the existing bunch of devices, they suffer and go with Symbian as well. Hard to think they will pick yet-another-OS

Will developers go for MeeGo? Honestly, it is hard to be optimistic. Thus, there is just one alternative, unimaginable until a year ago: that Nokia will start building phones with a third party OS, like any other device manufacturer excluding Apple.
Options? Probably just two: Android or Windows Phone 7.

While Elop could leverage his old roots at Microsoft to forge a new Nokia-WinMo combo, there is one problem – Windows Phone 7 is still not a winner (yet) and it needs to attract developers (a lot). Going with Microsoft is a bigger risk, but Nokia will be treated as “special” for sure by Microsoft. In any case, it must be an attractive proposition, because Microsoft will offer the moon.Windows Phone 7 needs developers and, possibly, having Nokia behind it will attract them. If that happens, we’ll have a third OS with equal chances to Android and iOS.

However, Nokia could take the Android root. Google is not the easier partner to work with and Nokia will probably not be considered “special” by them. But it is a sure bet. Nokia with Android will sell a lot. It is a killer combination.

So, from what it looks Elop would have to choose between being Android’s many wives, loosing differentiation but boosting sales or partnering with WinMo, which will take time in terms of the developers base building up, sales kicking in. What is it… the Hobson’s choice?

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