- 02-11-2011, 01:32 PM #2
- 02-11-2011, 02:26 PM #3
- 02-11-2011, 02:36 PM #4
- 02-11-2011, 03:29 PM #5
- 02-11-2011, 03:59 PM #6
- 02-11-2011, 04:01 PM #7
- 812 Posts
There are two plausible explanations here IMO:
1) There is obviously a lot of turmoil between the old Nokia corporate culture and any viable direction it can take itself. So Elop chose to go with MSFT, because they need Nokia as badly as Nokia needs WP7, making it feel more like a partnership than a whole-hog switch to being an OEM. Of course in practice that's still what they will be doing, but perhaps with a couple of extra sliced from the ecosystem pie.
2) MSFT is in effect pulling a stealth takeover of Nokia, and will acquire their IP (sorry, "do a merger") when their market cap gets to a reasonable level, letting MS do the Apple thing when it comes to controlling hardware/software, as well as owning many IP licenses to let them take a piece of Apple and Google's pie.
Normally I'd say it must be the first option, as a stealth takeover of this size in the middle of Europe would near insanity (especially since Elop just came from a MSFT VPship). Still, assuming it's scenario 1 it's hard to understand the timing of todays announcement. They should have announced a closer alliance with MSFT, that in exchange for marketing and development assistance (read: cash) they will be using Bing and other MS services in their lineup, and they will be looking at developing a high end WP7 phone. Then when they have a sexy piece of kit ready to sell (hopefully in time for the holidays) they announce they are switching to WP7.
Today's timing is awful. Their market share is already in freefall, but they announced they are EOLing Symbian over the next two years, which will speed up their market share losses. Worse, they announced today that the Qt development framework will not be supported, so they just flipped the bird to all of their Symbian developers. How well supported do you think Symbian apps will be over the next year or so? And with all of the job cuts they warned are coming, they are selling out the remainder of their good will in Europe as well.
Seriously, Nokia will be lucky if they are selling 1 out of every 10 smartphones around the world by the time a WP7 device with Nokia branding ships. And it will take even longer before they can produce one in the low cost range that serves most of the current distribution channels. It's really hard to understand why this move was announced at this time. Assuming Elop doesn't have ulterior motives, it's hard not to infer that he's in over his head here and is making some poor decisions.
- 02-11-2011, 06:38 PM #8
Its an interesting matchthat could be a marriage of two big and rich companies that have an ecosystem that can challenge Apple and Google or it could be a hilarious mismatch that we watch fall apart for our own amusement. Either way for us as Android fans its better to have more horses in the race because it will spur on Google and the Android OEMs. It will be interesting to see if Samsung and LG and some of Microsofts other partners stick with WP7.Enjoy every day.
- 02-11-2011, 06:48 PM #9
With the bankroll that Nokia has for R&D, this shouldn't have happened. Nokia has always had solid hardware, too bad they failed with their software. WP7 could be competitive with a modern UI, but with this marriage, I see nothing but more failure.
- 02-11-2011, 08:58 PM #10
- 02-12-2011, 01:09 AM #11
I don't know if any of you saw today, but there were stories about symbian engineers walking out of work early out of protest. Did any of you catch the number? There were 2500 software engineers just for symbian. That's INSANE. That right there is indicative of what is wrong with Nokia.
Here's why I think this is the smartest thing Nokia could have done: WP7 is a brilliant platform with immense potential. But it has very little hardware support right now. (The opposite is true of Nokia; it had great hardware and crummy software. ) By marrying Nokia's great hardware with the great software, each has a much better chance of survival. Couple that with all of the new integration between Nokia's services and WP7, and with what seems like a license for Nokia to do whatever it wants with WP7 on their devices, and you have a strategy that just might work.
Here's why they didn't choose Android either: they would have had ZERO say whatsoever over anything having to do with the platform. All they could do would be to develop skins a la Sense, but the core UI and experience would be the same. With the deal with Microsoft, they can do ANYTHING they want to WP7, AND they have a great deal of influence over the OS as its being nurtured and developed by Microsoft. Essentially, its the difference between Nokia having their hands in the development with WP7 right up to release, and only being able to get Android when Google says its ready.
Its an intriguing arrangement, and I'm interested to see how it plays out.
- 02-12-2011, 05:01 AM #12
Agreed this is an interesting partnership.
Contrary to the anti-MS FUD earlier in the thread, WP7 is a completely modern, first class OS. It has the best UI of the major smartphone OSes and excellent backend "plumbing".
Nokia brings first class hardware to the table, and gives WP7 an entry gate into Europe that the stupid EU is unlikely to mess with. Plus Nokia is getting permission to customize WP7 more than an OEM typically does. Now they already have stated they are not going to alter the Metro UI, but there are lots of places they can bring things they do better than MS into the OS. For example Nokia's imaging technology in smartphones is the most advanced in the world, and it is coming to WP7.
I do not think this threatens Android so much as it threatens iOS. This type of ecosystem creating alliance is aimed at Apple more than Android, where the focus is less on ecosystem and more on diversity.
- 02-12-2011, 10:43 AM #14
I think the decision is a decent risk for Nokia. They had a choice between being the big fish in the pond by using Windows, out they could be one of many players for Android, and a Johnny-come-lately at that. I know which option I'd choose if I was an arrogant CEO worried about my job!
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- 02-12-2011, 11:43 AM #15
Everything about this deal screams cold hard cash. By partnering with Microsoft, that's a huge fat check right up front. By going with Android, Nokia doesn't have that nice chunk of change sitting in their wallet until they configure, develop, release, and begin to sell something.
Which is ironic, seeing as how they had net income numbers of well over $2 billion in 2010.
- 02-16-2011, 03:14 PM #16
- 812 Posts
- 02-16-2011, 11:49 PM #17
- 02-17-2011, 12:13 AM #18
- 02-17-2011, 12:31 AM #19
- 867 Posts
It seems simple to me.
1) Elop is ex-Microsoft. Personally he is probably more inclined to go with WP7.
2) With Android, Nokia would have much more competition... HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola etc. WP7 hasn't really broken out yet so Nokia has a chance to really be the brand people think of when they think WP7 devices.
3) Microsoft likely offered Nokia money to use some of their stuff... namely Ovi Maps... in WP7.
If Nokia had gone with Android, it would be game over for pretty much everyone other than Apple in the smartphone arena because Nokia is such a power in Asia, Africa and Europe. Them going with Microsoft leaves things open.
- 02-17-2011, 01:20 AM #20Here's why they didn't choose Android either: they would have had ZERO say whatsoever over anything having to do with the platform. All they could do would be to develop skins a la Sense, but the core UI and experience would be the same. With the deal with Microsoft, they can do ANYTHING they want to WP7, AND they have a great deal of influence over the OS as its being nurtured and developed by Microsoft. Essentially, its the difference between Nokia having their hands in the development with WP7 right up to release, and only being able to get Android when Google says its ready.
I don't know you would raise this as a positive point when in fact this is a cause of alarm for other WP7 OEMs, which surely now have a vested interest against WP7.
Supporting WP7 means supporting Nokia which means their biggest competitor.
It is clear now what Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE has to do.
- 02-17-2011, 01:32 AM #21
Elop only has three years with Microsoft. The guy who made that "Two Turkeys don't make an Eagle" tweet, Vic Gundotra, had 15 years with Microsoft.
Nokia's power in Asia, Africa and Europe is actually rapidly declining. I'm not talking of smartphones. I'm talking of featurephones. Nokia's featurephones no longer differentiate properly from Samsung, LG, Huawei and ZTE. ZTE recently pushed out Apple into 4th place in the world's most prolific manufacturers of handsets.
You can see Nokia's slowness to accept other possibilities. Like producing touch screen and slider [b]featurephones[b]. They keep insisting on the supremacy of the T9 candybar. LG and Samsung sold slider qwertys by the tens of millions, the KS360, the Corby. Sold tens and tens of millions of touchscreen featurephones, like the LG Cookie, the Samsung Star. These guys are also putting Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo widgets into these Java based featurephones, which when used with data, gives them the ability to use social networking.
Nokia has also been very slow in accepting things that Chinese handset makers did, like dual SIM handsets.
Nokia is also rapidly losing relevance in places like the Middle East, where the preferred smartphone is, the Blackberry.
- 02-17-2011, 01:52 AM #22Here's why I think this is the smartest thing Nokia could have done: WP7 is a brilliant platform with immense potential. But it has very little hardware support right now. (The opposite is true of Nokia; it had great hardware and crummy software. ) By marrying Nokia's great hardware with the great software, each has a much better chance of survival. Couple that with all of the new integration between Nokia's services and WP7, and with what seems like a license for Nokia to do whatever it wants with WP7 on their devices, and you have a strategy that just might work.
That's the problem. Microsoft sold 2 million licenses over the quarter. That's not a single phone. That's divided over 9 different phones. Get the average sold per handset, and you get a paltry number. So the handset makers took a bath on this, because you need a minimum in order to make a real profit from that model.
Thus, selling the first 1 million WP7 handsets scattered in 9 to 10 different models are not the same as selling the first 1 million iPHones or the first 1 million G1s.
Second, lately, I got a hard time seeing how Nokia's hardware is "great". Their designs are nice, but cold. They keep on insisting on running ARM11 processors and their latest upgrade is to 680Mhz, when everyone else is running 1GHz Snapdragons and Cortex A8 chips. Their screens are stuck on 640x320 when Androids are running on 800x480, much less compared to the iPhone's Retina resolution.
Right now, Nokia lacks the screen technologies that Samsung, LG and Sony has. In fact, it has to buy LCDs, like OLEDs from Samsung. I also cannot say that their body finish is any better than HTC or Motorola now. Everyone has caught up in signal and voice quality.
Another factor. Microsoft's insistence in running the Qualcomm 8250. By insisting on this one single chip, they are trying to cut down OS fragmentation. The problem is that the 8250 is the first generation Snapdragon, while Androids were already running more advanced Snapdragons, OMAPs, Hummingbirds using a 45nm process. When the WP7 phones came out, they were essentially outdated. Their hardware standard is essentially, the same as the Nexus One, when the banner for Android are things like the Desire HD.
Immediately right off, the WP7 handsets came out of the game essentially outgunned by the standard bearer of the smartphone world, the iPhone 4.
- 02-17-2011, 02:05 AM #23
Nokia's "deeper access" into WP7 is not about altering the UI - Nokia themselves already said that is not what it is.
Much more likely it is them being able to dig down into the kernel to make WP7 run very closely with their rather unique smartphone equipment (for example, they have the best phone camera gear out there bar none). They have other tech differentiators that also need custom low level drivers and such to really shine.
Really this is a good deal for both parties. WP7 gets exposure it needs (and it is a VERY good smartphone OS that has gotten a bit buried by bungled marketing) and Nokia gets a fully modern and growing platform (basically everything Symbian was not).
- 02-17-2011, 02:13 AM #24
Its still favoritism. Allowing access for one and not others.
Their best camera parts are bought from others. Carl Zeiss and Schneider and now incidentally, part of the Panasonic group.
Their "unique" smartphone equipment right now, is 640x360 screens with 680MHz ARM11 processors. There is nothing special about it. Its not something you expect in a modern flagship phone.
WP7 marketing isn't bungled. Its the best and most financed of any launch so far. Microsoft blew half a billion into it. But it only shows you that marketing only goes so far, because generally, the customer perception towards Microsoft and Windows tends to be negative. You can thank Apple for that.
If you go deep down, Symbian actually has strong OS fundamentals. It has a fantastic ability for multitasking. Symbian^3 has an excellent interface for it as well. WP7 is still Windows CE at the core.
- 02-17-2011, 03:19 AM #25
Believe what you want, but the marketing was bungled. Not enough ad coverage and the ads did not focus on differentiators. Plus the "launch" was too slow in getting to market.
Also, whether you want to believe it or not Nokia does bring things that no other smartphone maker does. And yes Symbian was an outdated sterile beast. And yes WP7 is a totally modern OS.
Once one takes off the ABM FUD glasses the partnership makes sense.
As to Android, it really does not impact Android much. This type of pairing of software and hardware is more Apple like, and is aimed more at iOS.