Monday, February 14, 2011

Analysis - The Nokia Microsoft Deal

Nokia was a great hardware company (and may still be).  Having used several generations of Nokia phones, I know their reputation for solid hardware is deserved.   Their software is another story.  They simply don't have the Apple mystique nor do they have reach of Microsoft.  In the business space,  Microsoft still has a solid place and  Blackberry does their thing with corporate email and push methods.   Nokia's killer app is SMS.  In many poorer countries,  SMS is the platform for doing biz.  And don't forget voice.  But these are not smartphones and the window for feature phones is closing fast.  Samsung, HTC and other Asian hardware makers are agnostic regarding software. They make almost identical phones for many carriers and running Android and Windows, even a few Symbian models.   Nokia will be feeling the squeeze soon if not now.  In smartphones, they have a tiny share of the US market.  In Western Europe, they are losing share to foreign hardware and software (Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC).  If Microsoft does a good job, they should be able get Windows Phone on 30% of US smartphones.  Coming from behind, it's going to be tough.  So Nokia's expertise is truly needed.  They have to be cheaper and better than Apple and Google to get there.   Microsoft has the research power to compete with Google, Nokia does not.  

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