Nokia's touchiest week

We’ve arrived in Barcelona, Spain for Nokia World, a week where Nokia talks to its top customers.

When we got here a Nokia executive met me and bragged that the Internet has no clue what they will announce this week. I asked “what about the touch screen cell phone that I’ve seen rumors about?” He said that no one had gotten it right yet. The announcements are on Wednesday morning (it’s early Monday morning as I post this) so we’ll have to wait to see what they announce. He told me this is one of the only times he can remember when a big announcement has not leaked. He said that even internally only a handful of people have seen the new device they’ll be announcing on Wednesday. Does that tactic sound familiar? It should, and is only one of the reasons why this is Nokia’s touchiest week.

This is the week when Nokia either keeps its seat at the cell-phone-thought-leadership table or it will give up its spot to Apple and RIM alone.

Here’s some datapoints.

1. At the recent Salesforce.com conference CEO Marc Benioff asked the audience what cell phone they used. 35% answered iPhones. That’s incredible. Apple has gotten HUGE market share among enterprise users, despite having a huge wall setup against them.
2. RIM was used by almost everyone else at Salesforce. Nokia? Hah.
3. When I traveled to China the thought leaders there bragged about their iPhones. Same in Tel Aviv, Israel. These are places that are HUGE Nokia strongholds and that have almost no Apple stores.
4. Apple is just about to pass 10,000 apps for the iPhone, says Webware. Developers are picking iPhone big time. Why is that? Because Apple has thought leadership that Nokia has squandered.

Translation: this is the week that Nokia either shines or moves to the B list of the cell phone market. Yeah, you won’t know how this week turned out for a year or two, but there is no bigger week for Nokia.

Now, can you count Nokia out yet? No way. It has the biggest slice of the cell phone marketshare pie. Its devices are much better engineered than Apple’s are (GPS on Nokia is better, so are the antennas, the cameras, and bluetooth radios that Nokia uses). But engineering does NOT equal a great experience. Yeah, my Nokia does not drop phone calls in places in Silicon Valley that my iPhone does, but generally I reach for the iPhone when I want to make a call or surf the web. Why?

Nokia is behind in experience. The executives here from Nokia that I’ve talked to know that. They know this is Nokia’s touchiest week and one where they either deliver a much better device or they are going to face a very tough 2009 globally.

Oh, and how do you figure out what kinds of new features are coming soon? You visit the suppliers of Nokia like I did last week. I went to Broadcom where I met with (and videoed) the team that does the GPS chip inside your cell phones.

What did they tell me? Well, first, look at how much smaller that Broadcom chip is compared to the prototype that team built back in 2000. Can they make it even smaller? The team says “yes.” How? They are now combining chips. In your cell phone today is three chips. One for GPS. One for Wifi. One for Bluetooth.

Broadcom now makes one chip with all three features. That means longer battery life, lower cost, smaller form factor so you can have sexier phones that are thinner and smaller. By the way, the videos I shot with Broadcom explain how GPS works and how they are making it better so it works even inside buildings. Think that one small group of people can’t change the world? These engineers did. They are now working on new chips that also include MEMS (micromachines on silicon) that will include things like accelerometers (like the iPhone has). As I was leaving, the Broadcom PR people said they were “just about” to announce new chips. Is Broadcom waiting for Nokia to announce its new device? I hope so.

So, what do you think Nokia is going to release on Wednesday? Will it take “touch” and “experience” leadership back from Research in Motion and Apple?

More from Nokia World all week.

UPDATE: more discussion of this over on FriendFeed.

Comments

  1. If they do go “touch” they better get it right. The Blackberry Storm has touch screen with regular Blackberry software = Fail. But if they can get the browser right, and give it some “netbook” qualities then they are on the right track.

  2. If they do go “touch” they better get it right. The Blackberry Storm has touch screen with regular Blackberry software = Fail. But if they can get the browser right, and give it some “netbook” qualities then they are on the right track.

  3. Their toughest transition is changing philosophies. Apple came from the point of view of a computer maker making a communications device (one obsessed with experience) whereas Nokia is a communications device provider trying to add computing like features. It sounds trivial but that difference in philosophical perspective makes all the difference. People think touchscreen = iphone-like. Slapping a touchscreen on is just trying to add a feature bullet on a product spec sheet. What fails to register was that the touchscreen was a design choice to take advantage of the freedom/possibilities that full software + OS computing interface gives you. Apple will make other design choices in the future that reflect this same perspective (irrespective of a touchscreen), and other vendors will struggle to match the iphone until they make this same transition.

  4. Their toughest transition is changing philosophies. Apple came from the point of view of a computer maker making a communications device (one obsessed with experience) whereas Nokia is a communications device provider trying to add computing like features. It sounds trivial but that difference in philosophical perspective makes all the difference. People think touchscreen = iphone-like. Slapping a touchscreen on is just trying to add a feature bullet on a product spec sheet. What fails to register was that the touchscreen was a design choice to take advantage of the freedom/possibilities that full software + OS computing interface gives you. Apple will make other design choices in the future that reflect this same perspective (irrespective of a touchscreen), and other vendors will struggle to match the iphone until they make this same transition.

  5. Hi Robert
    I haven’t gotten an iPhone because I hate typing on it. I love the Treo for this.

    In Europe I use a Nokia N93 for video and it is great…so is the N95 and N96. Where is the iPhone video.

    the screen on the iPhone is cool, the apps are great, but even for you as a phone the Nokia works better. I am saying, why doesn’t apple get it right…an SD slot for extended memory, a really good video and still camera with a flash.

    Where is my perfect phone? One with a Qwerty keyboard that I can use with adult size fingers to send SMS or reply to email (like a blackberry or Treo) One with a great video and still photo camera and lens (like a Nokia or Samsung). One with a cool sleek look and a screen that is attractive (like the iPhone). One with an architecture that allows programs to be written (like computers have evolved since the early days)

    Robert, can you fix this for me?
    Thanks
    Dan

  6. Hi Robert
    I haven’t gotten an iPhone because I hate typing on it. I love the Treo for this.

    In Europe I use a Nokia N93 for video and it is great…so is the N95 and N96. Where is the iPhone video.

    the screen on the iPhone is cool, the apps are great, but even for you as a phone the Nokia works better. I am saying, why doesn’t apple get it right…an SD slot for extended memory, a really good video and still camera with a flash.

    Where is my perfect phone? One with a Qwerty keyboard that I can use with adult size fingers to send SMS or reply to email (like a blackberry or Treo) One with a great video and still photo camera and lens (like a Nokia or Samsung). One with a cool sleek look and a screen that is attractive (like the iPhone). One with an architecture that allows programs to be written (like computers have evolved since the early days)

    Robert, can you fix this for me?
    Thanks
    Dan

  7. You are logging some serious air miles lately. Looking forward to your report on Nokia’s new communications tool. Any idea what Motorola is doing to stay competitive?

  8. You are logging some serious air miles lately. Looking forward to your report on Nokia’s new communications tool. Any idea what Motorola is doing to stay competitive?

  9. I didn’t know the touch phone was supposed to be secret. I had a lot of fun playing with it, would seriously consider getting one when N95 contract is up

  10. I didn’t know the touch phone was supposed to be secret. I had a lot of fun playing with it, would seriously consider getting one when N95 contract is up

  11. Robert, I’ve written about this topic from a different perspective, recently. I suggested that few companies beside Apple and Microsoft now had the resources to, essentially, create platforms that rival or surpass what Apple has already created. I argued that it wasn’t any longer the physical device that mattered most but, rather, the entire stack – from OS, to application layer software, to developer SDKs, to test harnesses and, ultimately, user and corporate generated applications.

    While companies like Motorola (moving to Android), Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia (tied to Symbian) and others are clearly capable of producing stunning pieces of telephony hardware, they are all woefully behind the capabilities possessed by companies like Apple and Microsoft that have spent decades developing and fine tuning languages, compilers and developer tools.

    The Apple DNA makes creating a strong competitor to iPhone very difficult. Microsoft clearly has the intellectual capital but lacks the stylistic flair and is challenged by their existing relationship models (though there remains rumors of a Zune-developed “Pink” platform).

    I think we saw my notion demonstrated last week with RIMs recent “touch” platform. As others have described, the product is evolutionary instead of revolutionary and simply utilizes a touch mechanism to aid users in navigating what is, essentially, a very similar platform to what already existed. Again, RIMs hardware is great. But, as you know from your time at Microsoft being around lots of extremely sharp people, really good software is very, very hard to produce and few companies can pull it off.

    Who thought, until now, that you had to be a software company at heart to win at what used to only require really good phone company smarts. Things have changed fast.

    I hope Nokia wows us. But, I’ll be really surprised if they do. That doesn’t take away from anything they’ve produced or their enormous, world-wide leadership position. But, the future of phones is really more about the future of computing, not making phone calls.

  12. Robert, I’ve written about this topic from a different perspective, recently. I suggested that few companies beside Apple and Microsoft now had the resources to, essentially, create platforms that rival or surpass what Apple has already created. I argued that it wasn’t any longer the physical device that mattered most but, rather, the entire stack – from OS, to application layer software, to developer SDKs, to test harnesses and, ultimately, user and corporate generated applications.

    While companies like Motorola (moving to Android), Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia (tied to Symbian) and others are clearly capable of producing stunning pieces of telephony hardware, they are all woefully behind the capabilities possessed by companies like Apple and Microsoft that have spent decades developing and fine tuning languages, compilers and developer tools.

    The Apple DNA makes creating a strong competitor to iPhone very difficult. Microsoft clearly has the intellectual capital but lacks the stylistic flair and is challenged by their existing relationship models (though there remains rumors of a Zune-developed “Pink” platform).

    I think we saw my notion demonstrated last week with RIMs recent “touch” platform. As others have described, the product is evolutionary instead of revolutionary and simply utilizes a touch mechanism to aid users in navigating what is, essentially, a very similar platform to what already existed. Again, RIMs hardware is great. But, as you know from your time at Microsoft being around lots of extremely sharp people, really good software is very, very hard to produce and few companies can pull it off.

    Who thought, until now, that you had to be a software company at heart to win at what used to only require really good phone company smarts. Things have changed fast.

    I hope Nokia wows us. But, I’ll be really surprised if they do. That doesn’t take away from anything they’ve produced or their enormous, world-wide leadership position. But, the future of phones is really more about the future of computing, not making phone calls.

  13. Robert

    I agree with you that this is a big week and Nokia is under pressure to deliver against RIM and Apple…but, I think it needs more than a show of hands at a Salesforce.com conference to support the notion that Apple has HUGE market share in the enterprise. Traction maybe, but market share?

    if I go to Apple’s enterprise profiles at http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/sonnenschein-nath-rosenthal.html that doesn’t suggest a lot of market share

    The question also needs to be asked outside of North America to validate the notion of HUGE IMHO.

  14. Robert

    I agree with you that this is a big week and Nokia is under pressure to deliver against RIM and Apple…but, I think it needs more than a show of hands at a Salesforce.com conference to support the notion that Apple has HUGE market share in the enterprise. Traction maybe, but market share?

    if I go to Apple’s enterprise profiles at http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/sonnenschein-nath-rosenthal.html that doesn’t suggest a lot of market share

    The question also needs to be asked outside of North America to validate the notion of HUGE IMHO.

  15. Steve: this really is more about thought leadership than market share. But, to tell you the truth, when Benioff asked 8,000 of his top Salesforce.com customers that question, I was SHOCKED to see the answer (admittedly Salesforce’s customers are earlier adopter than many other enterprise conferences, but this has got to be a scary trend for those competing with Apple and RIM, like Microsoft and Nokia). It shows that the world has changed and that everyone else is now on the defensive against Apple. Microsoft’s market share is going to see declines, too, soon, if it doesn’t figure out how to keep a seat at the top table.

  16. Steve: this really is more about thought leadership than market share. But, to tell you the truth, when Benioff asked 8,000 of his top Salesforce.com customers that question, I was SHOCKED to see the answer (admittedly Salesforce’s customers are earlier adopter than many other enterprise conferences, but this has got to be a scary trend for those competing with Apple and RIM, like Microsoft and Nokia). It shows that the world has changed and that everyone else is now on the defensive against Apple. Microsoft’s market share is going to see declines, too, soon, if it doesn’t figure out how to keep a seat at the top table.

  17. Tom: I really don’t know how Motorola will compete in this new landscape. Geller is absolutely right. The cell phone of the future is not just a phone, it’s a computer in a cell phone size. I can see how Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Nokia can compete there. I don’t see how Motorola does. I guess Motorola will compete for handset manufacturing, but then they are against the Chinese like HTC and HTC is a lot more agile than Motorola has demonstrated itself to be.

  18. Tom: I really don’t know how Motorola will compete in this new landscape. Geller is absolutely right. The cell phone of the future is not just a phone, it’s a computer in a cell phone size. I can see how Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Nokia can compete there. I don’t see how Motorola does. I guess Motorola will compete for handset manufacturing, but then they are against the Chinese like HTC and HTC is a lot more agile than Motorola has demonstrated itself to be.

  19. Robert

    I think sales forces users arn’t a represantaive sample though I agree its not looking good for poor motorola.

    Don’t forget that mobile Phone companies are into walled gardens and still refer to customers as Subs and they will see the Iphone and G1 as threats.

  20. Robert

    I think sales forces users arn’t a represantaive sample though I agree its not looking good for poor motorola.

    Don’t forget that mobile Phone companies are into walled gardens and still refer to customers as Subs and they will see the Iphone and G1 as threats.

  21. Scoble: Samsung is #2 after Nokia in sales.
    - Apple and RIM are still small players compared to Nokia and Samsung.
    - Samsung controls the complete production process from chip to phone
    - Samsung is available in all retail stores, just like Nokia (not distributing through a provider)

    Samsung is the one to watch out for (they supply also the components for HTC phones).

  22. Scoble: Samsung is #2 after Nokia in sales.
    - Apple and RIM are still small players compared to Nokia and Samsung.
    - Samsung controls the complete production process from chip to phone
    - Samsung is available in all retail stores, just like Nokia (not distributing through a provider)

    Samsung is the one to watch out for (they supply also the components for HTC phones).

  23. Robert,

    To data points yo missed:

    1. ANdroid G1 Sales reach 1 million in first 2.5 months.

    2. Broadcom should have mentioned this, number 1 requested device non US and US as far as emerging markets is a Touchscreen device with Worldwide coverage ie double baseband chips to cover both GSM and CDMA protocols/versions. In other words a world wide CDMa phone has two baseband chips covering W-CDMA, CDMA 450, and etc.

  24. Robert,

    To data points yo missed:

    1. ANdroid G1 Sales reach 1 million in first 2.5 months.

    2. Broadcom should have mentioned this, number 1 requested device non US and US as far as emerging markets is a Touchscreen device with Worldwide coverage ie double baseband chips to cover both GSM and CDMA protocols/versions. In other words a world wide CDMa phone has two baseband chips covering W-CDMA, CDMA 450, and etc.

  25. As noted by other bloggers, Apps will be the key. We are seeing the first signs of moving forward in addressing a “platform” vs a hardward solution.

    Nokia has been slow in addressing this opportunity. The enterprise is where the growth is coming from. Your notes highlighting Salesforce users “37% using iPhones” needs to be a topic of discussion w/Nokia.

    iPhone has captured users looking to expand the possibilities of there moblie experience. Having (2) cell units – business than personal is something no-one can benefit from.

  26. As noted by other bloggers, Apps will be the key. We are seeing the first signs of moving forward in addressing a “platform” vs a hardward solution.

    Nokia has been slow in addressing this opportunity. The enterprise is where the growth is coming from. Your notes highlighting Salesforce users “37% using iPhones” needs to be a topic of discussion w/Nokia.

    iPhone has captured users looking to expand the possibilities of there moblie experience. Having (2) cell units – business than personal is something no-one can benefit from.

  27. It’s not like Apple or RIM are even trying to compete with SE or Moto not to even talk about the giant Nokia and number 2 Samsung. Those 2 alone have over 50% of cell phone market and Nokia got +40% of smart phone market while 5800 seem to be selling like hotcakes currently.

    BUT i actually think that Nokia is getting too easy out of this because of the brand power in Asia and Europe. For us phone junkies Nokia needs to deliver. 5800 with the FW it’s selling seems like a good product, but far from N95 glory days. Mobile-Review.com:s(gets the devices year before anybody else) Eldar have been positive about Nokia’s future so i’m ready to wait till MWC to see what Nokia has to deliver.

  28. It’s not like Apple or RIM are even trying to compete with SE or Moto not to even talk about the giant Nokia and number 2 Samsung. Those 2 alone have over 50% of cell phone market and Nokia got +40% of smart phone market while 5800 seem to be selling like hotcakes currently.

    BUT i actually think that Nokia is getting too easy out of this because of the brand power in Asia and Europe. For us phone junkies Nokia needs to deliver. 5800 with the FW it’s selling seems like a good product, but far from N95 glory days. Mobile-Review.com:s(gets the devices year before anybody else) Eldar have been positive about Nokia’s future so i’m ready to wait till MWC to see what Nokia has to deliver.

  29. Motorola in the Manufacturing context is just not relevant. They already are essentially a design house, with a brand name. Their logistics planning and execution have meant that their ability to predict channel sell though, and more importantly, to react quickly to it, is poor.

    They are a brand, thats it. Weak in design, innovation, technology, cost – did I miss something? Android is a step in the right direction, but once the UI “newness” has gone, and there are multiple devices with the SAME UI, wll the Moto design really stand out???

    I wait for Foxxcon or BYD to pull the trigger and buy them. Warren Buffett just invested in BYD, and with the fingers in so many pies, why not sell direct, rather than through Moto?

    If 2008 has been the year of the UI (Apple, GOogle, S60) then 2009 is going to be all about consolidation of the supply base and strong moves from the manufacturing sector upwards in the value chain.

    Also, I think 2009 maybe the year when Japanese manufacturing realises it needs to become lean or drop out.

  30. Motorola in the Manufacturing context is just not relevant. They already are essentially a design house, with a brand name. Their logistics planning and execution have meant that their ability to predict channel sell though, and more importantly, to react quickly to it, is poor.

    They are a brand, thats it. Weak in design, innovation, technology, cost – did I miss something? Android is a step in the right direction, but once the UI “newness” has gone, and there are multiple devices with the SAME UI, wll the Moto design really stand out???

    I wait for Foxxcon or BYD to pull the trigger and buy them. Warren Buffett just invested in BYD, and with the fingers in so many pies, why not sell direct, rather than through Moto?

    If 2008 has been the year of the UI (Apple, GOogle, S60) then 2009 is going to be all about consolidation of the supply base and strong moves from the manufacturing sector upwards in the value chain.

    Also, I think 2009 maybe the year when Japanese manufacturing realises it needs to become lean or drop out.

  31. I spoke with someone at Nokia and asked what did she think they will do if Apple keeps gobbling market share in the smartphone space. She said they’d just copy the best bits like the always do. Remember they were late to the party with thin phones and with clamshells. She also said when they do get it right, whether it’s 2009, 2010 or 2011, they will win. Why? They have better technology and more efficient processes. Where they fail at the moment is the OS but that’s the only place they are failing. That’s nowhere near as hard to rectify as processes that are reputed to be the most efficient in the world.

  32. I spoke with someone at Nokia and asked what did she think they will do if Apple keeps gobbling market share in the smartphone space. She said they’d just copy the best bits like the always do. Remember they were late to the party with thin phones and with clamshells. She also said when they do get it right, whether it’s 2009, 2010 or 2011, they will win. Why? They have better technology and more efficient processes. Where they fail at the moment is the OS but that’s the only place they are failing. That’s nowhere near as hard to rectify as processes that are reputed to be the most efficient in the world.

  33. I don’t think just coming out with a device on it’s own is going to make Nokia matter. They need to promote the entire package, software, distribution, and hardware the same way Apple and Android have done. It’s just a tough spot for them because practically nobody develops for Symbian which makes the hundred of millions Nokia paid for them seem very misplaced. Apple and RIM are the most useful because they offer great software and hardware, and once Android gets a decent handset out there (hopefully that will be Motorola’s in 2009) then that will be a third major player and that makes this space VERY crowded. Is there really room for a 4th independent mobile platform to be a success?

  34. I don’t think just coming out with a device on it’s own is going to make Nokia matter. They need to promote the entire package, software, distribution, and hardware the same way Apple and Android have done. It’s just a tough spot for them because practically nobody develops for Symbian which makes the hundred of millions Nokia paid for them seem very misplaced. Apple and RIM are the most useful because they offer great software and hardware, and once Android gets a decent handset out there (hopefully that will be Motorola’s in 2009) then that will be a third major player and that makes this space VERY crowded. Is there really room for a 4th independent mobile platform to be a success?

  35. The phone doesn’t matter as much as the service plan. My plan is about $8/month.

    If you fiddle with this gadget in your pocket all day long, don’t you think that’s a little looney? Sorry to spoil your cyborg fantasy.

  36. > Nokia is behind in experience.
    True, but not really that far behind. And not far enough behind to make it worth sticking with iPhone when you’re sick of it’s restrictions, poor hardware spec, and poor hardware implementation as increasing numbers of people are. And Symbian/S60′s folder based UI structure can have advantages over iPhones pages and pages of icon screens.

    > will include things like accelerometers (like the iPhone has).
    You do know Nokia Nseries have had accelerometers since before iPhone, and still do, and they’re very good, right…?

    Finally, iPhone sales to date = 13 million. Symbian (mostly Nokia) sales end of June 08 = 226 million across 249 different phone models, so I’d guess around 250 million (or a quarter of a billion if you prefer) to date. Kind of puts things in perspective, no…?

  37. The phone doesn’t matter as much as the service plan. My plan is about $8/month.

    If you fiddle with this gadget in your pocket all day long, don’t you think that’s a little looney? Sorry to spoil your cyborg fantasy.

  38. > Nokia is behind in experience.
    True, but not really that far behind. And not far enough behind to make it worth sticking with iPhone when you’re sick of it’s restrictions, poor hardware spec, and poor hardware implementation as increasing numbers of people are. And Symbian/S60′s folder based UI structure can have advantages over iPhones pages and pages of icon screens.

    > will include things like accelerometers (like the iPhone has).
    You do know Nokia Nseries have had accelerometers since before iPhone, and still do, and they’re very good, right…?

    Finally, iPhone sales to date = 13 million. Symbian (mostly Nokia) sales end of June 08 = 226 million across 249 different phone models, so I’d guess around 250 million (or a quarter of a billion if you prefer) to date. Kind of puts things in perspective, no…?

  39. [...] fame) is in Barcelona, Spain for Nokia World, a week where Nokia talks to its top customers, and according to him, there is no bigger week for Nokia than this one: It’s their “touchiest week.” So what’s Nokia got [...]

  40. Nokia just needs to be patient and make sure to get the formula right. Once it gets the OS and UI comparably attractive and efficient as the iPhone’s, this 800 pounds gorilla of mobile phones will flood the market with smartphones of all shapes and sizes… and prices.

    By the way, the claim that “Apple has gotten HUGE market share among enterprise users” based on that ad hoc “survey” at Salesforce.com conference sounds too ludicrous to me.

  41. Nokia just needs to be patient and make sure to get the formula right. Once it gets the OS and UI comparably attractive and efficient as the iPhone’s, this 800 pounds gorilla of mobile phones will flood the market with smartphones of all shapes and sizes… and prices.

    By the way, the claim that “Apple has gotten HUGE market share among enterprise users” based on that ad hoc “survey” at Salesforce.com conference sounds too ludicrous to me.

  42. It response to David Geller – the moment I thought Nokia had ‘got’ the iPhone was the moment they acquired Trolltech. It showed that they understood the important thing was to own a software development platform.

    Now Qt may have some weaknesses compared to native application development on the Mac or Windows (it is the native platform for KDE Linux), but from what I’ve read up, it looks like a good clean modern platform.

    I also suspect that many C++ developers will find Qt a faster transition than Cocoa/Obj-C, because it allows them to maintain their ‘way of thought’ (regardless of whether it may be more effective to use a more dynamic language).

    One last thought – this can’t just be a phone. It has to be a platform for all their devices. Otherwise it’s just the N-Gage, or the N800 all over again – it doesn’t matter if you have dominant market force if most of the sales are (like my Nokia phone) a simple candy-bar phone. It’s the market size of the platform, not the company, which matters to developers – and that is how Apple are punching way above their weight here.

  43. It response to David Geller – the moment I thought Nokia had ‘got’ the iPhone was the moment they acquired Trolltech. It showed that they understood the important thing was to own a software development platform.

    Now Qt may have some weaknesses compared to native application development on the Mac or Windows (it is the native platform for KDE Linux), but from what I’ve read up, it looks like a good clean modern platform.

    I also suspect that many C++ developers will find Qt a faster transition than Cocoa/Obj-C, because it allows them to maintain their ‘way of thought’ (regardless of whether it may be more effective to use a more dynamic language).

    One last thought – this can’t just be a phone. It has to be a platform for all their devices. Otherwise it’s just the N-Gage, or the N800 all over again – it doesn’t matter if you have dominant market force if most of the sales are (like my Nokia phone) a simple candy-bar phone. It’s the market size of the platform, not the company, which matters to developers – and that is how Apple are punching way above their weight here.

  44. To clarify – I’m not saying KDE/Qt is a weak platform compared to native Mac or Windows development – just that using any x-platform toolkit is a weaker choice, while on KDE, Qt IS the native choice.

  45. To clarify – I’m not saying KDE/Qt is a weak platform compared to native Mac or Windows development – just that using any x-platform toolkit is a weaker choice, while on KDE, Qt IS the native choice.

  46. Saying that Nokia will lose clients to Apple and RIM is like saying that Toyota will lose clients to Porsche. There are too few common clients … Porsche is a niche brand, the same way Apple and RIM are. Toyota will keep selling million of good and cheap(er) cars, while Porsche will have a niche market … and there is no way they can compeat with Toyota on 15-20.000$ cars.

  47. Saying that Nokia will lose clients to Apple and RIM is like saying that Toyota will lose clients to Porsche. There are too few common clients … Porsche is a niche brand, the same way Apple and RIM are. Toyota will keep selling million of good and cheap(er) cars, while Porsche will have a niche market … and there is no way they can compeat with Toyota on 15-20.000$ cars.

  48. Robert

    I’m also shocked at the speed and passion around the iPhone but market share is a big word (well, two words) that need to be used carefully. To ues you own words, this is more about thought leadership than market share. the challenge for Apple not is to turn thought leadership *in to* market share.

    You’re right, the world has changed and the web often listens to thought leadership but that’s very different from market share

  49. Robert

    I’m also shocked at the speed and passion around the iPhone but market share is a big word (well, two words) that need to be used carefully. To ues you own words, this is more about thought leadership than market share. the challenge for Apple not is to turn thought leadership *in to* market share.

    You’re right, the world has changed and the web often listens to thought leadership but that’s very different from market share

  50. No other phone maker will surpass the iPhone. Why ? Because Apple is the only company that succeed to transform a buyer into a vendor. And this makes a huge difference.

    An iPod/iPhone user is proud of it and proud to show it to everybody. That transform him into an Apple vendor. Apple store are great, but Apple vendors everywhere is even better.

    I have never seen any Blackberry, Android, Nokia guy demo his phone to a regular user (except in phone shop).

    That’s it !

  51. No other phone maker will surpass the iPhone. Why ? Because Apple is the only company that succeed to transform a buyer into a vendor. And this makes a huge difference.

    An iPod/iPhone user is proud of it and proud to show it to everybody. That transform him into an Apple vendor. Apple store are great, but Apple vendors everywhere is even better.

    I have never seen any Blackberry, Android, Nokia guy demo his phone to a regular user (except in phone shop).

    That’s it !

  52. Microsoft has showed many times you don’t need to be the first on the market.
    Microsoft has showed many times their presence in retail stores is decisive.

    Nokia can be late in the market, but their brand and presence is important.
    Nokia and Samsung are present in all the retail stores in Europe and Asia (Nokia not in Japan).

  53. Microsoft has showed many times you don’t need to be the first on the market.
    Microsoft has showed many times their presence in retail stores is decisive.

    Nokia can be late in the market, but their brand and presence is important.
    Nokia and Samsung are present in all the retail stores in Europe and Asia (Nokia not in Japan).

  54. What you guys do not take into account is that the global possible market for a $200 phone + a $70 month plan (or a $700 phone with a smaller contract) is not that big. For most of the citizens of this world mobile internet is just something cool, but not really useful. I work in IT, in fact even web development, and even I can still manage without mobile internet (i do have mobile internet, but really need it less than once a month). And paying $700 just for fun (every year or once every two years … when switching to new phone models) plus internet plans … hmmm … that means you pay more than $1000 a year just to have a cool phone. If that phone does not help you earn at least $5.000 per year, that is probably a bad business. May be fun, but a lot of phones provide fun. And iPhone has serious limits even on multimedia, by not providing a decent camera, video, a radio, flash support, a stereo bluetooth headset possibility, MMS, etc. So a device costing $1000 per year (assuming you buy it with a full plan) for sure is not for everybody when half of the world dont even make that kind of money in a whole year (Africa, India, China, some poorer asian countries or south american have toghether a lot more than half of the world population). Even in Europe’s developing countries, where average salaries are about 6000-12000$ per year (like Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and even Hungary, Poland), that kind of phone is a luxury for the average citizen. So the countries where maybe 10-20% of the population afford buying this phone are USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Western Europe. Those togheter have less than 20% of the world population. So the real market is 10-20% from 20% of the world population, so about 2 to 4% of the world citizens. From those a good part dont want/need an iPhone for personal reasons (not liking it, attachement to other brands, etc) … that leaves maybe 1% of the world population as potential customers. That is about 60 million citizens. Meanwhile, Nokia sold more than one billion phones and will keep selling a lot because owning a Nokia can cost you 10 times less than an Iphone (I mean a simple phone with simple plans). The real competitor for Nokia is Samsung … Apple competes only with the high priced Nokias.

  55. What you guys do not take into account is that the global possible market for a $200 phone + a $70 month plan (or a $700 phone with a smaller contract) is not that big. For most of the citizens of this world mobile internet is just something cool, but not really useful. I work in IT, in fact even web development, and even I can still manage without mobile internet (i do have mobile internet, but really need it less than once a month). And paying $700 just for fun (every year or once every two years … when switching to new phone models) plus internet plans … hmmm … that means you pay more than $1000 a year just to have a cool phone. If that phone does not help you earn at least $5.000 per year, that is probably a bad business. May be fun, but a lot of phones provide fun. And iPhone has serious limits even on multimedia, by not providing a decent camera, video, a radio, flash support, a stereo bluetooth headset possibility, MMS, etc. So a device costing $1000 per year (assuming you buy it with a full plan) for sure is not for everybody when half of the world dont even make that kind of money in a whole year (Africa, India, China, some poorer asian countries or south american have toghether a lot more than half of the world population). Even in Europe’s developing countries, where average salaries are about 6000-12000$ per year (like Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and even Hungary, Poland), that kind of phone is a luxury for the average citizen. So the countries where maybe 10-20% of the population afford buying this phone are USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Western Europe. Those togheter have less than 20% of the world population. So the real market is 10-20% from 20% of the world population, so about 2 to 4% of the world citizens. From those a good part dont want/need an iPhone for personal reasons (not liking it, attachement to other brands, etc) … that leaves maybe 1% of the world population as potential customers. That is about 60 million citizens. Meanwhile, Nokia sold more than one billion phones and will keep selling a lot because owning a Nokia can cost you 10 times less than an Iphone (I mean a simple phone with simple plans). The real competitor for Nokia is Samsung … Apple competes only with the high priced Nokias.

  56. The thing that matters:

    It always boils down to making money. How do I feed my kids, etc. So, for phone manufacturers it has always been who can come out with the coolest new phone? Who can offer the coolest new service? Aka, how can we follow old school ways of doing things to make more money?

    Apple followed that same old rule, how can we make more money but they did it in a revolutionary way. Not an evolutionary way. How can you tell? Well, their screen is worse, their camera is worse and their phone’s capabilities are far behind many of their competitors. BUT they did it all in a new way. They focused on user experience.

    So, now companies like Nokia are having to re-think what they’ve been doing. Many of them thought they could solve this problem by repackaging an iphone looking UI, but that’s not it either. It’s about the user experience. How can I, as a user be happy with my phone? Well, phones are moving in the way of computers now (Nokia is already ahead here), phones should be able to take good pictures, and good video (again, Nokia is ahead), but what about HOW those programs operate? What about how snappy the response time is or how fluid it works? This is where Nokia has missed the boat. I purchased an e90 way back when, and it was cool, people were always asking if they could see the server that I carried around with me. However, the problem was, using the phone sucked. It was no fun. It was not enjoyable.

    So, Nokia… can you show us that you can think differently? I doubt it, not because I want to doubt it… I want Nokia to rock the house on this one. The problem is… their so closely tied to their symbian OS. Which is an anchor around their necks. They need to make the user experience more fun, and more personal… I just don’t see how they can do this with the symbian OS…. we’ll see I guess.

    Best of Luck Nokia.

  57. The thing that matters:

    It always boils down to making money. How do I feed my kids, etc. So, for phone manufacturers it has always been who can come out with the coolest new phone? Who can offer the coolest new service? Aka, how can we follow old school ways of doing things to make more money?

    Apple followed that same old rule, how can we make more money but they did it in a revolutionary way. Not an evolutionary way. How can you tell? Well, their screen is worse, their camera is worse and their phone’s capabilities are far behind many of their competitors. BUT they did it all in a new way. They focused on user experience.

    So, now companies like Nokia are having to re-think what they’ve been doing. Many of them thought they could solve this problem by repackaging an iphone looking UI, but that’s not it either. It’s about the user experience. How can I, as a user be happy with my phone? Well, phones are moving in the way of computers now (Nokia is already ahead here), phones should be able to take good pictures, and good video (again, Nokia is ahead), but what about HOW those programs operate? What about how snappy the response time is or how fluid it works? This is where Nokia has missed the boat. I purchased an e90 way back when, and it was cool, people were always asking if they could see the server that I carried around with me. However, the problem was, using the phone sucked. It was no fun. It was not enjoyable.

    So, Nokia… can you show us that you can think differently? I doubt it, not because I want to doubt it… I want Nokia to rock the house on this one. The problem is… their so closely tied to their symbian OS. Which is an anchor around their necks. They need to make the user experience more fun, and more personal… I just don’t see how they can do this with the symbian OS…. we’ll see I guess.

    Best of Luck Nokia.

  58. We have no doubt that Nokia is announcing a touchscreen of some sort. It better be a resistive screen where the user can use their fingernail, finger tip, stylus, etc versus a capacitive screen where the finger pad must be used. This has already proven to be disastrous for the HTC G1 and now the extremely overrated Blackberry Storm.

  59. We have no doubt that Nokia is announcing a touchscreen of some sort. It better be a resistive screen where the user can use their fingernail, finger tip, stylus, etc versus a capacitive screen where the finger pad must be used. This has already proven to be disastrous for the HTC G1 and now the extremely overrated Blackberry Storm.

  60. [...] Scobalizer, Engadget View david’s Profile      Subscribe via RSS RelatedBookmarksTags iPhone China… The jailbroken iPhone has been spotted all over China, but will they actually ink a deal with China Mobile for the 3G? Does this so… Comcast, Run By Socialists?… Comcast made its final decision to punish heavy downloaders by capping their broadband usage at 250GB. This in an effort to save br… Direct Line Gets You To An Operator… Direct Line is a new iPhone app that maps corporate phone trees to get you straight to the operator No more need to punch in all th… Digg it Stumble del.icio.us reddit Yahoo Google about Add new tag announcements appl Apple Conference conferences conversation Internet Launch Leaks lively Nokia phone Quitting RIM scoble site sites storm time World [...]

  61. I’m sure there were those who looked at GM’s ‘insurmountable market share lead’ years ago and thought there was no way they’d be in the position they are today. But Honda and Toyota, steadily, have done what Apple has done … they’ve become as Robert puts it, “thought leaders” in the automotive industry, and their products over the years has inspired an army of passionate consumer evangelists.

    Nokia has some wonderful products … I have an N95 and nothing compares to its video capability … but it can’t touch the iPhone in terms of bringing the ‘full web experience to life’. If the iPhone had the video and picture ability of my N95, I’d trade for it in an instant. Right now, I feel like I need both to have everything I want in terms of mobile capability.

    I agree with Robert. Nokia better ‘bring it’ this week (and every week from here on out) and understand that if it wants to take a fat share of the North American market, it needs to create revolutionary products that inspire passion. On a side note, ask a hundred people in the U.S. what ‘Ovi’ is and 98 won’t have a clue. It’s Nokia’s ‘portal to the web’, and it hasn’t caught on here. Perhaps it’s because Ovi means ‘door’ in Finnish, and the translation, like the portal itself, is lost on us. Nokia has a lot of work to do to make itself known in North America, the way it’s known around the world, as a mobile leader.

  62. I’m sure there were those who looked at GM’s ‘insurmountable market share lead’ years ago and thought there was no way they’d be in the position they are today. But Honda and Toyota, steadily, have done what Apple has done … they’ve become as Robert puts it, “thought leaders” in the automotive industry, and their products over the years has inspired an army of passionate consumer evangelists.

    Nokia has some wonderful products … I have an N95 and nothing compares to its video capability … but it can’t touch the iPhone in terms of bringing the ‘full web experience to life’. If the iPhone had the video and picture ability of my N95, I’d trade for it in an instant. Right now, I feel like I need both to have everything I want in terms of mobile capability.

    I agree with Robert. Nokia better ‘bring it’ this week (and every week from here on out) and understand that if it wants to take a fat share of the North American market, it needs to create revolutionary products that inspire passion. On a side note, ask a hundred people in the U.S. what ‘Ovi’ is and 98 won’t have a clue. It’s Nokia’s ‘portal to the web’, and it hasn’t caught on here. Perhaps it’s because Ovi means ‘door’ in Finnish, and the translation, like the portal itself, is lost on us. Nokia has a lot of work to do to make itself known in North America, the way it’s known around the world, as a mobile leader.

  63. A couple of “big” things I know Nokia are working on:

    1. Nokia’s next generation Symbian platform. I don’t expect this to work out for them though. But for sure, Nokia will have invested billions into it, it’ll have one-touch applications installer and stuff like advanced UI and stuff like that. I don’t think Nokia should work on anything else then Android, since Android is open source and free, it makes no sence to persist with Symbian in my opinion, even though Nokia wants to open source and give the next generation Symbian away for free.

    2. Nokia N900 series, which uses the Texas Instruments Cortex processor, which is the most powerful ARM embedded processor, many times more powerful then an iphone processor. It can capture HD video, load websites much faster, play advanced 3D games like Quake3. See Archos 5 and Open Pandora for examples of how awesome the Texas Instruments Cortex ARM processor is. I don’t expect Nokia will surpass either Archos nor Open Pandora project with their next generation tablet, so it probably won’t have good storage and no good multimedia features. But it’s to be seen.

    A few things Nokia should work on but they probably aren’t:

    - Pocketable E-Ink and LED dual-screen for pocketable Kindle HSDPA replacement.

    - WiFi Mesh devices to expand and improve WiFi usage, for collaboration and VOIP stuff.

    - White Spaces devices and WiMax. Totally unlocked, open-source and free.

  64. A couple of “big” things I know Nokia are working on:

    1. Nokia’s next generation Symbian platform. I don’t expect this to work out for them though. But for sure, Nokia will have invested billions into it, it’ll have one-touch applications installer and stuff like advanced UI and stuff like that. I don’t think Nokia should work on anything else then Android, since Android is open source and free, it makes no sence to persist with Symbian in my opinion, even though Nokia wants to open source and give the next generation Symbian away for free.

    2. Nokia N900 series, which uses the Texas Instruments Cortex processor, which is the most powerful ARM embedded processor, many times more powerful then an iphone processor. It can capture HD video, load websites much faster, play advanced 3D games like Quake3. See Archos 5 and Open Pandora for examples of how awesome the Texas Instruments Cortex ARM processor is. I don’t expect Nokia will surpass either Archos nor Open Pandora project with their next generation tablet, so it probably won’t have good storage and no good multimedia features. But it’s to be seen.

    A few things Nokia should work on but they probably aren’t:

    - Pocketable E-Ink and LED dual-screen for pocketable Kindle HSDPA replacement.

    - WiFi Mesh devices to expand and improve WiFi usage, for collaboration and VOIP stuff.

    - White Spaces devices and WiMax. Totally unlocked, open-source and free.

  65. I’ll be the first to say that Nokia has lost its way when it comes to user experience compared to Apple. Of course, I’d say that about every other mobile phone company compared to Apple. Let’s face it, Apple is #1 when it comes to user experience. However, Nokia and Apple are in different classes when it comes to manufacturing. It is patently silly to count Nokia out just because they are slow to keep up on the high end.

    The challenge will be for the rest of the mobile phone industry to take advantage of the ground Apple (and to a lesser extent Google) have broken in breaking the grip of the carriers. Until the latter have been marginalized and a DSL-like race-to-the-bottom has happened, the data-enabled experience that iPhone (and G1, etc.) brought to the high end won’t happen for the majority of subscribers (and pre-payers!)

    This means that Nokia has at least a good year to get “touch” right. Just because iPhone will continue to lead in user experience doesn’t knock Nokia or anyone but the weakest players out of the market.

  66. I’ll be the first to say that Nokia has lost its way when it comes to user experience compared to Apple. Of course, I’d say that about every other mobile phone company compared to Apple. Let’s face it, Apple is #1 when it comes to user experience. However, Nokia and Apple are in different classes when it comes to manufacturing. It is patently silly to count Nokia out just because they are slow to keep up on the high end.

    The challenge will be for the rest of the mobile phone industry to take advantage of the ground Apple (and to a lesser extent Google) have broken in breaking the grip of the carriers. Until the latter have been marginalized and a DSL-like race-to-the-bottom has happened, the data-enabled experience that iPhone (and G1, etc.) brought to the high end won’t happen for the majority of subscribers (and pre-payers!)

    This means that Nokia has at least a good year to get “touch” right. Just because iPhone will continue to lead in user experience doesn’t knock Nokia or anyone but the weakest players out of the market.

  67. [...] Scoble puts it best: “Now, can you count Nokia out yet? No way. It has the biggest slice of the cell phone marketshare pie. Its devices are much better engineered than Apple’s are (GPS on Nokia is better, so are the antennas, the cameras, and bluetooth radios that Nokia uses). But engineering does NOT equal a great experience. Yeah, my Nokia does not drop phone calls in places in Silicon Valley that my iPhone does, but generally I reach for the iPhone when I want to make a call or surf the web. Why? [...]