Windows partners with Nokia: the next step in smartphone domination

Feb 14, 2011 by Oana

On Feb. 11, the Finnish multinational Nokia and the American giant Microsoft have announced their partnership and a new smartphone strategy: building Nokia smartphones which will run on the Windows Phone 7 platform. But that's not all, the two companies will mingle other services as well: Bing will become the default engine on the Finnish phones, Microsoft Marketplace will integrate Nokia Store, while Nokia Maps will be "at the heart of Bing and AdCenter". The two CEOs  are looking forward to this partnership: "We will create opportunities beyond anything that currently exists," Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, added.

I have to admit that although surprising, this partnership seems right: Nokia, the leader manufacturer on the European market, finally finds an open door to enter the US market, while Microsoft finds itself a rich pool of customers - none other than Europe (America being suffocated by Apple, RIM and HTC devices).

According to a report from Gartner (www.gartner.com), in 2010 the Finish manufacturer held the first position in the selling of smartphones with 37.6% of the market (in 2009 it had 46.9%), while Android phones had 22.7% (in 2009 they had 4%). So the threat Nokia's facing is real and it can't be ignored, not to mention that the presence of the Finnish manufacturer in US is almost inexistent.

Although some say that it would have been better for Nokia to partner with Google and its Android OS, I trust that the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft will prove to be a win-win situation. One thing's for sure, Google wouldn't have given up the Google Maps application in favor of Nokia Maps.

In Europe the Nokia brand is still pretty popular, the Finish phones are known as being very durable (my Nokia 3310 can testify), having a friendly UI and easy to use features. Unfortunately, I can't say that the Finnish phones have a great design, so Nokia should work on that. Here I'm referring mostly to feature phones, and not to smartphones.

With a 2% market share, Windows Phone 7 has had a slow start. If at the beginning more manufacturers, including Samsung and HTC, were lining up to build smartphones that will run the Microsoft OS, now most of them are embracing the Android platform. Who knows if this wasn't Microsoft's luck?

If you're wondering what will happen to Symbian and MeeGo (Nokia's platforms), the former will become a "franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value," while the latter will be an "open-source, mobile operating system project". It's only normal that from now on Nokia will focus on the Windows Phone 7 devices.

Also an important change for Nokia: starting April 1, the Finnish company will be divided into 2 business units: Smart Devices and Mobile Phones (Jo Harlow will be leading Smart Devices, while Mary McDowell will be leading Mobile Phones). The first unit will produce smartphones running Windows Phone 7 and will also handle Symbian and MeeGo, while the second unit will manufacture phones for the mass-market.

As I'm writing this post, Microsoft and Nokia have already started working on their first Windows phone, and the two companies are in negotiations with chip manufacturers. "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale, […] It's now a three-horse race", Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia, mentioned. On the other hand, Steve Ballmer (we all know who he is) said that "Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute".

The Nokia - Microsoft partnership has good chances to become successful, and I too am pretty excited about this collaboration and can't wait to see some results. Nokia N8 is the last Nokia model that stuck in my mind, which is a good smartphone both in terms of looks and features.


Tags: Business  Future 


Comments


Nokia C Series commented on 12/7/2011 6:51:26 AM

Hi,

i like the way how the both market lions have joined the hand together. i think the new journey of both will provide something new and innovative to people.

     

Oana commented on 12/16/2011 1:51:33 PM

Re: Nokia C Series

Nokia phones are known for their durability and reliability, I'm looking forward to see the new Windows Phone 7 smartphones in 2012.
     

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