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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Joining an ecosystem is like throwing a towel, really

There have been a lot of speculation and rumours since Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop has chipped in his famous line "[Nokia] must build, catalyse or join a competitive ecosystem". One of the latest and apparently "credible" rumour is that Nokia and Microsoft are going to join forces, leading Nokia to start offering Windows Phone 7 powered devices under their brand, possibly ditching their own platform(s) instead.

Let's say that is actually going to happen and Nokia will really "join a competitive ecosystem". Regardless if it will be WP7 or perhaps Android, it would definitely mean that Nokia will simply become a mainstream follower rather than loosing-but-striking-back innovator. This would be extremely disappointing and effectively would be understood as "sorry people, we surrender and adopt whatever is already on the market just to survive".

C'mon Nokia, you have far too much potential and power at hand to become yet another "MeToo" mass maker of WP7/Android devices just like HTC, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE and zillion others. You can do better than that. You have created a smartphone back a decade ago in the first place, for God's sake! Don't become the victim of own success but win that success back by brilliant and genuine smarthphones that would leave people breathless. That's surely nothing easy nowadays, yet everyone knows that you really are capable of doing that, Nokia.

As I'm not an industry expert, nor the financial analyst and that's all only my wishful thinking really, so I am not going to elaborate on that more than necessary, yet the closer we're getting to the magical date of 11th of February when all would suddenly become clear, the more worrying rumours appear all around the net and suggest the recent Nokia's promising push towards brand new mobile OS (MeeGo) and development (Qt) platforms is doomed anyway.

Let's hope all these crazy gossips are simply not true and Mr Elop would not disappoint his old and faithful Nokia fans.

19 comments:

  1. Great post, totally agree!

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  2. There's nothing "wrong" with Meego from from what I've seen, and Qt is killer technology. Even Maemo was decent. N900 was a disaster though, in terms of hardware/software incompleteness, and community management. These are all things that could have been fixed, if Nokia management willed it.

    The problem is not the products, but Nokia's management, PR, and direction. THAT is why Meego is doomed. Nokia need to stop being asshats to their community, and start respecting the customer's need for a MODERN, CAPABLE, WELL-SUPPORTED **PLATFORM** as opposed to just short-term, unsupported phone sales.

    Since they DON'T seem to be getting that message, and are in fact ignoring users and shutting down forums where users speak out, they really need to just scrap that whole idea of building something new. All Nokia are capable of at the minute is choosing a good MODERN, POPULAR platform, and putting it on their hardware. That is ANDROID, not Windows 7. Win 7 is unpopular, uncompetitive, and the complete antithesis of everything previous Nokia OS's stood for. If Nokia choose Win7, they'll have terrible products, AND lose what little credibility they have left with their user/developer community.

    Android is their only SANE choice, which is not to say they won't make a different choice.

    If they DO choose android, they don't have to lose their edge; they can still get FULLY on board with android as it's an open platform, gear up their development and support over time, and play a leading role in Android's future. But not with current management styles.

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  3. I am quite happy with the N900 for, let's say, negative reasons. I want a smartphone that is independent of any Apple, Google or Microsoft server. Just don't trust them, especially not when maintaining my passwords in some vault app.
    Problem now is the ecosystem. Exciting new apps, and a stimulation for developers to build them for us. Cheers for those who do build, but Apple seems miles ahead. Myself I must admit, I hardly donate when the app doesn't force me to.
    When I have to decide, I am happy to pay for an independent, lively ecosystem.

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  4. Well put, and I fully agree.

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  5. @Anonymus: Please Stop such pointless "we need Android instead of WP7" posts!

    If you want a Android Phone, go and get one.

    Let the other People the choice to buy something better like a Maemo or (hopefully) a MeeGo Device.

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  6. i dont hear people bitchin about samsung having more then one OS and support all... to get a wider audience you need to give more. Holding on to a failed project like meego will not get the bad taste out of the mouth from the maemo community. wich allready needs community updates because nokia is to damn lazy to fix things themselves.

    By the way joining WP7 would be the dumbest thing they could ever do!

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  7. As for me, I will NEVER buy anything like WP7-based phone. If Nokia goes this way, I'm definitely will no longer consider myself as their customer anymore. If this ever happens, these will be best pathetic losers I ever seen. Look, MS market share dropped to nothing, Nokia haves troubles as well. Failing vendor + failing platform == EPIC FAILURE.

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  8. I met up some Nokians recently and I'm almost definite that MeeGo won't go away. In fact I'm betting while see something in the next couple of weeks. Also I'm betting that the discussion about joining a community might have nothing to do about joining an OS community. Think gaming instead. (Hint: see what gaming things Sony are bringing to Android?)

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  9. They won't start making WP7 phones so you can all relax.. :)

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  10. Viipottaja I am sorry but you cannot convince me that they dont go wp7 I am not even sure engineers inside nokia knows the plans by the new board...

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  11. I am quite happy with N900 its not a disaster at all. I like much more than any previuos Nokias e71 e61 n97 included. I havnot used any android or other os though.
    Hope it cud be further devloped or a new platform like Meego cud be in same direction.

    Nokia definitely should not follow HTC or any other mass manufaturer.

    It must be something of its own like it has always been.

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  12. Look the fact of the matter is that Nokia have become a complete bloated bureaucratic mess.
    Filled with veterans from the last 20 years.
    This why they can't seem to get anything done.

    To put things into perspective The company is estimated to have as many people developing just its smartphone software alone as Apple does on its entire product line, which includes computers, tablets and music players as well as the iPhone.

    Nokia has spent $billions over the last 18 months on R&D and what have they delivered!?
    In contrast their competitors have spent a fraction of this money on their R&D in this time.

    Apart from anything else, its just not about the hardware and os any more, its about the entire ecosystem. Specifically the cloud based ecosystem. That is where mobile devices are going.
    Can Nokia compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft when it comes to the cloud!?

    We're not just talking about 'apps' here, but rather the whole package, email, storage, syncing, etc. etc.
    Its very clear that Google sees Android as being and entirely cloud based platform over the long term.

    So what if Nokia could develop Meego into some amazingly powerful OS, if its not backed up by all the other ingredients required to compete with other platforms.
    No, like it or not Nokia has to make money.
    As a huge corporation with many investors and a Finnish economy highly dependent on them, they have to do whatever it takes to make lots of money.
    Currently they're lost. They need a complete organisational re-structure. Lots of dead weight needs to go.
    Symbian and Meego are un-competitive.
    If Symbian and Meego can't be made competitive in a very short space of time, then they must go as well.
    I think we shall also see that Nokia will be re-locating to Silicon Valley (according to sources in the know at Nokia)
    All the above is likely to be announced on Friday

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  13. Witek Nokia is a much larger company than Apple. The stock market just happens to love them right now. Apple is basically a marketing company that puts together off the shelf parts along with a custom OS. Nokia does more than just phones and their R&D budget shows they look toward the future.

    Share price wise Apple appears larger than IBM and HP and we know that's no where near the truth. Apples sells a few products with high margins and has a loyal base. All Apple needs is couple of missteps and they can fall far down the ladder. Companies like Nokia, HP, IBM have large portfolios to smooth transitions years.

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  14. They should never have abandoned Maemo 5 and all the work that went into it and the N900 of which support was dropped a little over a year after the device was released on the market. Now rumor has it that they may drop their QT and Meego as well ? Then what happens a year later will they drop WinPho7 or Android, if they decide to go that route, so they can then try to develop the next best OS for use with "Cloud" services ? Another year later they....... and so on , etc. ?

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  15. http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/08/nokia-ceo-stephen-elop-rallies-troops-in-brutally-honest-burnin/

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  16. @theflew

    From your comment, I'm not entirely sure you grasp the situation here.
    and perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my last comment.

    Of course Nokia is a much larger Company than Apple
    -But this is the PROBLEM!

    To put things into perspective for you...
    When you look at the figures, Nokia spent more money on R&D just developing Symbian 3 alone than Apple spent on developing their whole product line ie. ipad, iphone, ipod (hardware AND software)
    How can you or anyone possibly justify this!?

    The share price of a Company reflects how profitable they're in relation to their overheads.

    The idea that somehow because Nokia is huge bloated organisation with a ridiculous amount of employees, is somehow a positive thing, when they consistently fail to deliver anything of value, is absolutely ridiculous!

    They have thrown a ridiculous amount of money at Meego and look at it. There isn't a single handset been released nor is it likely that they could release anything until the end of the year.

    The simple reality is that Nokia is uncompetitive.
    Symbian is uncompetitive.
    Meego is uncompetitive.

    They have run out of time and they only have themselves to blame.
    They will have to ditch Meego and Symbian for the simple reason that the Market (specifically large investors) will not settle for anything less.
    The market's faith and patience in the Meego and Symbian has evaporated.

    Nokia has let the market down
    They have let us down
    and most of all they have themselves down.

    There is absolutely no mileage in trying to defend them. In fact it is unhelpful for us Nokia users to carry on defending them.

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  17. I don't quite understand how it is possible to judge MeeGo "competitiveness" if no MeeGo device has been released to date yet? Let the device(s) appear, see what they are, how they work and what potential they have - and then speak about its competitiveness.

    Bear in mind when Android started few years back, it wasn't *that* impressive either. It had a lot of potential, tough, which converted Android into top selling spot today. I think it's all about proper management and execution, where Nokia obviously lacks a lot, but having Elop who is not afraid to shake things to the ground, there is a hoping that Nokia will actually strike back soon.

    Well... time will tell.

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  18. @Dawid
    I don't quite understand how it is possible to judge MeeGo "competitiveness" if no MeeGo device has been released to date yet?
    -This is the problem! Nokia has spent 300 million euros on meego and it's no where near ready.
    What are they to do? carry on throwing money at it?
    They just simply don't have the time any more.

    The rumour flying around inside the Company this afternoon is that Meego is effectively dead! (at least for phones) maybe it will continue for tablets.
    It really is not a nice environment at this time.

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  19. I want companies like nokia and sony to succeed in the U.S. markets (because their tech is strong)...i don't see nokia dumping their current platforms my bet is that the windows colaboration will be for a 10inch tablet (remember the nokia booklet it doesn't seem so out of place anymore high battery life small form factor...eliminate the keyboard get better touch based ui (win phone 7) there you have an ipad killer.) As long as my n900 gets a meego update i will be happy...they should press meego hard as a super phone/sub 10inch tablet os(i pray they have apps ready at launch ) and keep improving symbian for the main stream (Just give them as much access to current popular apps and services as possible and that includes games,social media,and streaming content across all their platformes). Nokia knows the phone game all too well...all the hype has been about technologies nokia mastered decades ago! they make the best hardware in every category and they will survive...they just need better american style marketing to take market share back from the failed pc maker (apple) and share the field with android (the right model for the future)

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