Gigaom encourages Nokia to stick to its guns

Published by David Gilson at 14:35 UTC, January 31st 2011

After the publication of Nokia's 2010 Q4 results, there has been much fevered discussion across the Internet about why Nokia, with (ex-)Microsoft's Stephen Elop at the helm, may turn to other operating systems for its phones. The alternative operating systems in the spotlight being Android (Q4's biggest seller) and Windows Phone 7. Here at All About Symbian, we have been considering these options and finding that they just do not stand up to a reasoned analysis. An article entitled "Should Nokia Be Looking At Android or WP7? Not Yet", over at Gigaom, broadly agrees with our appraisal of the options.

Here are some highlights:

"It’s clear that Nokia is need of help, but I’m just not convinced that Windows Phone 7 or Android is the answer, not at this point at least. If things keep going down and Nokia can’t get its act together this year, I reserve the right to change my mind. But here’s why both options don’t work for me:

Windows Phone 7 is still a very new OS, and early shipment figures have not indicated how well it’s actually being adopted by end users. There are still some rough edges being smoothed out as well, like fixing the lack of cut-and-paste and multitasking support. WP7 does have a decent-sized application market, but larger developer support will lag as developers sort out how much traction the platform has. To pin Nokia’s smartphone strategy to WP7, even if it’s just for North America, doesn’t guarantee a major reversal in fortunes.

Meanwhile, Android is also not a great fit. There is so much competition among manufacturers that it’s going to be hard for Nokia to stand out. Yes, Nokia has some of the best hardware around, but HTC, Motorola , Samsung and others are putting out top-notch Android devices. Nokia becomes just another Android vendor and will have to compete against not only the big boys, but a host of cheap Asian manufacturers looking to churn on low-cost Android devices."

"The fact is, Nokia has a plan and though its pretty late in coming, it should try to execute that before it looks elsewhere. High-end devices running MeeGo are set to appear later this year, while Symbian will serve mid-range smartphones. Both will be tied together in the QT software development framework that will allow developers to write applications once for both platforms. Going with another platform will only confuse developers who are being courted to QT right now. Nokia should see its strategy through first and try as hard as it can to get it done in-house. The smartphone game, despite its massive growth, is still in its early days. We’re going to be talking about smartphones for some time to come."

 

It's certainly a refreshing change to see an article out there that is looking at things objectively, and resisting the urge to jump on the popularist band wagon. There'll be more coverage coming from All About Symbian on this subject in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I recommend you our editorials: Nokia Q4 2010 resultsWhat we've learned about Nokia from yesterday's results, and a listen to AAS Insight #151

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 31st January 2011

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