Smartphone competition: It's too late for Nokia and Microsoft, but not too late for Palm in USA

Everyone is still talking cell phones. Just visit TechMeme today and you’ll see lots of news from HTC, I’ve already seen some claims that it has a “Palm killer.” Hint: it’s not about the device, it’s about the software you put onto it. Haven’t we learned that yet? Remember when I told you two years ago that the iPhone is a better device than what Nokia had? Remember how many people argued with me? They were wrong. Just like they are wrong to say that Palm doesn’t have a shot here. Heck, when I saw Walt Mossberg last week, the Wall Street Journal’s top tech writer, he said Palm has a shot.

But, sorry, Nokia, Palm caught the last train out of town. They made it to the station 30 seconds before the doors closed.

You didn’t make it and there are no more trains for the USA market.

Why do I say that?

Because in the USA there are only these major carriers:

AT&T.
Verizon.
Sprint.
T-Mobile.

AT&T? Gone. Apple has them sewn up. Verizon? RIM has them sewn up. I met with RIM’s director of marketing at CES and he was smiling. That should give you a hint. Sprint? Palm has them in the Palm of their hands now. T-Mobile? Google’s Android is their key smart phone.

So, what does this mean? All the US carriers now have their SmartPhone choices. All the trains have left the station.

Who is out in this game? Microsoft and Nokia.

So, what do Microsoft and Nokia have to do to get back in the game?

Do something so unbelieveable that it causes everyone in the world to want one.

Hint: I have friends who’ve seen the new Microsoft OS. I’ve seen the new Nokia OS, just a month ago. They don’t have it. The game is afoot and Nokia and Microsoft are left at the station.

Am I wrong? Argue with me.

Please note that I’m only talking about the US market. Nokia and Microsoft will do just fine in other markets because their offerings are better for those markets (lower cost, or have stylus’s which are demanded in China, for instance, or have all-you-can-eat music subscription services which are demanded by Europeans). But in USA? Sorry Nokia and Microsoft, it’s going to be a tough year.

Oh, and Laptop Magazine has some good videos of the Palm Pre in action. I can’t wait to get one of these devices and compare it to my Nokias and my iPhone.

Comments

  1. Interesting point of view, but carriers and manufacturers should be very careful by playing this game, because it looks like “trust” strategy here…

  2. Interesting point of view, but carriers and manufacturers should be very careful by playing this game, because it looks like “trust” strategy here…

  3. It is about the software and even though Nokia makes some of the most beautiful IU’s with symbian, it’s just not enough to compete with multi-touch and virtual keyboards that “click” when pressed. Microsoft will always have a US market because it’s easy to connect the mobile brand with the PC brand, their “fumes” will keep them going for a while….

  4. It is about the software and even though Nokia makes some of the most beautiful IU’s with symbian, it’s just not enough to compete with multi-touch and virtual keyboards that “click” when pressed. Microsoft will always have a US market because it’s easy to connect the mobile brand with the PC brand, their “fumes” will keep them going for a while….

  5. I find it hard to believe that anyone is ever truly “out.” But yes, they’d have to do something pretty incredible, and you make a very good point about the carriers.

  6. I find it hard to believe that anyone is ever truly “out.” But yes, they’d have to do something pretty incredible, and you make a very good point about the carriers.

  7. The market might move away from subsidized cell phones.
    In Europe lot’s of people already use cell phones without a montly fee.
    You can buy 300 Mbyte for 10 Euro, which is enough for most “normal” people. As far as I remember you can get a data flatrate from 20 Euro on.
    As Eurpoe is usually ahead of the US in the development of the cell phone market (UMTS), they same might happen in the US as well.

  8. The market might move away from subsidized cell phones.
    In Europe lot’s of people already use cell phones without a montly fee.
    You can buy 300 Mbyte for 10 Euro, which is enough for most “normal” people. As far as I remember you can get a data flatrate from 20 Euro on.
    As Eurpoe is usually ahead of the US in the development of the cell phone market (UMTS), they same might happen in the US as well.

  9. I am not sure about the US market but in Canada the main carriers are not bound to any one phone. For example, Rogers has IPhone and BlackBerry. In the US both LG and Samsung sell a considerable number of phones to various carriers.

    Furthermore, I think that Nokia (maybe not Microsoft though) has a fighting chance still since they own many of the world smartphone markets outside of North America. According to AdMob stats they have India *completely* wrapped up and are near 40% share in places like the United Kingdom (http://www.admob.com/marketing/pdf/mobile_metrics_dec_08.pdf). Could be worse!

  10. I am not sure about the US market but in Canada the main carriers are not bound to any one phone. For example, Rogers has IPhone and BlackBerry. In the US both LG and Samsung sell a considerable number of phones to various carriers.

    Furthermore, I think that Nokia (maybe not Microsoft though) has a fighting chance still since they own many of the world smartphone markets outside of North America. According to AdMob stats they have India *completely* wrapped up and are near 40% share in places like the United Kingdom (http://www.admob.com/marketing/pdf/mobile_metrics_dec_08.pdf). Could be worse!

  11. Good point about the carriers. I am not sure their decisions are based on getting the best tech. In that sense everything is possible.

  12. Good point about the carriers. I am not sure their decisions are based on getting the best tech. In that sense everything is possible.

  13. I’ve always hated the idea of carriers and manufacturers hooking up for deals like this for exactly this reason. Just because I’m an AT&T customer doesn’t mean I want an iPhone rather than a Blackberry or Palm, and wanting an iPhone doesn’t mean you want AT&T. I like the idea some European countries have to some extent: I would ban tie-ins entirely. Buy phone, buy service. Buying a car from Ford doesn’t lock you into buying Exxon fuel – why should the handset and plan be tied?

    I’ve been very happy for the last year with my iPhone on Vodafone in the UK, for GBP 15.50/month – less than half the O2 price. My 3G iPhone is still on O2 for now (the first year’s data is included in the purchase price) – I probably spend less than GBP 5.50/month on calls and SMS anyway, so switching to O2 may make sense for me now. I still want to have a real choice, though, not be locked in by some backdoor deal between two megacorps!

  14. I’ve always hated the idea of carriers and manufacturers hooking up for deals like this for exactly this reason. Just because I’m an AT&T customer doesn’t mean I want an iPhone rather than a Blackberry or Palm, and wanting an iPhone doesn’t mean you want AT&T. I like the idea some European countries have to some extent: I would ban tie-ins entirely. Buy phone, buy service. Buying a car from Ford doesn’t lock you into buying Exxon fuel – why should the handset and plan be tied?

    I’ve been very happy for the last year with my iPhone on Vodafone in the UK, for GBP 15.50/month – less than half the O2 price. My 3G iPhone is still on O2 for now (the first year’s data is included in the purchase price) – I probably spend less than GBP 5.50/month on calls and SMS anyway, so switching to O2 may make sense for me now. I still want to have a real choice, though, not be locked in by some backdoor deal between two megacorps!

  15. I can’t dispute your points because I don’t have enough personal info and experience with them all to raise the challenge, but I will say that I am hoping against hope that you are right about Palm. Speaking from a current iPhone and Blackberry user. Palm is my first mobile love. And, from the keynote, that new OS is jaw-dropping cool.

  16. I can’t dispute your points because I don’t have enough personal info and experience with them all to raise the challenge, but I will say that I am hoping against hope that you are right about Palm. Speaking from a current iPhone and Blackberry user. Palm is my first mobile love. And, from the keynote, that new OS is jaw-dropping cool.

  17. You’ve got one thing right; it’s all about the carriers. We’ve had great technology available for a long time, but it’s largely been the carriers that who have held it back. For whatever reasons. Cool devices and operating systems are only cool if you can really take full advantage of them. And if the monthly charges are acceptable; at least for us cheap-skates – I sense there will be a lot more cheap-skates in the market over the next year …

  18. You’ve got one thing right; it’s all about the carriers. We’ve had great technology available for a long time, but it’s largely been the carriers that who have held it back. For whatever reasons. Cool devices and operating systems are only cool if you can really take full advantage of them. And if the monthly charges are acceptable; at least for us cheap-skates – I sense there will be a lot more cheap-skates in the market over the next year …

  19. > Sprint? Palm has them in the Palm of their hands now.

    Sprint is a member of the Open Handset Alliance (Android consortium) … as is China Mobile, the largest carrier on the planet.

  20. > Sprint? Palm has them in the Palm of their hands now.

    Sprint is a member of the Open Handset Alliance (Android consortium) … as is China Mobile, the largest carrier on the planet.

  21. Robert what version of Windows Mobile are you talking about? Winmo 6.5 or Windows Mobile 7?

    If you saw or heard about 6.5, thats still just a stop gap until winmo 7 shows up, full touch screen fun if thats your thing.

  22. Robert what version of Windows Mobile are you talking about? Winmo 6.5 or Windows Mobile 7?

    If you saw or heard about 6.5, thats still just a stop gap until winmo 7 shows up, full touch screen fun if thats your thing.

  23. Nokia can lose North America wholesale and still hardly miss a beat. Microsoft still will get it’s usual 5-6%, but Windows Mobile is a wider scope than just phones, per PDA, Symbol Scanners and customized handset markets. Palm has surrendered Garnet effectively and is risky rolling dice on an iPhone clone. Palm has most to lose here

    So as usual, if you take your analysis and run it backwards, you get reality.

  24. Nokia can lose North America wholesale and still hardly miss a beat. Microsoft still will get it’s usual 5-6%, but Windows Mobile is a wider scope than just phones, per PDA, Symbol Scanners and customized handset markets. Palm has surrendered Garnet effectively and is risky rolling dice on an iPhone clone. Palm has most to lose here

    So as usual, if you take your analysis and run it backwards, you get reality.

  25. The unfortunate flip-side to this is that most US citizens have doomed themselves to carrier-subsidized handsets, which works out in Apple and RIM’s favour anyway.

    Having just returned from Hong Kong I think your theory about Nokia’s success there is a bit incomplete; they certainly embraced touch-screens long before us but unlocked handsets are also very much a part of the local culture.

    I for one will never buy a locked handset again — anyone else who’s interested in the perils of carrier contracts (albeit from a Canadian perspective) are invited to read my own blog post on the subject

  26. The unfortunate flip-side to this is that most US citizens have doomed themselves to carrier-subsidized handsets, which works out in Apple and RIM’s favour anyway.

    Having just returned from Hong Kong I think your theory about Nokia’s success there is a bit incomplete; they certainly embraced touch-screens long before us but unlocked handsets are also very much a part of the local culture.

    I for one will never buy a locked handset again — anyone else who’s interested in the perils of carrier contracts (albeit from a Canadian perspective) are invited to read my own blog post on the subject

  27. telcos are not monogamous with devices,, so why are you suggesting device manufacturers should be with telcos? Apple may think it has AT&T sown up but look at the AT&T store and you see plenty of RIM, Samsung, Nokia phones.

    If you talk to Nokia folks, they will tell you the US is one of the few countries where their brand is subordinated by telcos.

    I would love to see the new FCC commissioner may sure we not consolidate our telcos any more, and as consumers we should encourage device manufacturers to make the networks fungible. The innovation is coming in the devices not as much in the networks – that’s where we should be investing more of our rewards.

  28. telcos are not monogamous with devices,, so why are you suggesting device manufacturers should be with telcos? Apple may think it has AT&T sown up but look at the AT&T store and you see plenty of RIM, Samsung, Nokia phones.

    If you talk to Nokia folks, they will tell you the US is one of the few countries where their brand is subordinated by telcos.

    I would love to see the new FCC commissioner may sure we not consolidate our telcos any more, and as consumers we should encourage device manufacturers to make the networks fungible. The innovation is coming in the devices not as much in the networks – that’s where we should be investing more of our rewards.

  29. “Pre’s introduction, website, technology packaging, industrial design, UI, product naming and positioning…down to the flow of its CES presentation were pointedly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Apple-like. Of all the current iPhone competitors, Pre clearly captures the ‘soul’ of the iPhone as much as any product not-from-Cupertino can. Whatever Pre ‘borrows’ from the iPhone, it does so not with the brazen indifference of recent iPhone-killers, but with care and purpose.”

    However:

    “Palm is clearly late to iPhone’s party. By the time the first Pre is sold, the iPhone will likely have 30 million users in 70+ countries, 15,000 apps, a huge developer and peripherals ecosystem, perhaps a third of the market share and 40% of smartphone revenues. And that’s before the next generation iPhone device and OS are introduced.”

    I explored Pre’s chances in:

    “Strategic shortcomings of Pre in the post-iPhone era”
    http://counternotions.com/2009/01/12/pre/

  30. “Pre’s introduction, website, technology packaging, industrial design, UI, product naming and positioning…down to the flow of its CES presentation were pointedly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Apple-like. Of all the current iPhone competitors, Pre clearly captures the ‘soul’ of the iPhone as much as any product not-from-Cupertino can. Whatever Pre ‘borrows’ from the iPhone, it does so not with the brazen indifference of recent iPhone-killers, but with care and purpose.”

    However:

    “Palm is clearly late to iPhone’s party. By the time the first Pre is sold, the iPhone will likely have 30 million users in 70+ countries, 15,000 apps, a huge developer and peripherals ecosystem, perhaps a third of the market share and 40% of smartphone revenues. And that’s before the next generation iPhone device and OS are introduced.”

    I explored Pre’s chances in:

    “Strategic shortcomings of Pre in the post-iPhone era”
    http://counternotions.com/2009/01/12/pre/

  31. Anyone that things the carriers are “sewn up” does not understand the US mobile landscape well enough to comment on it. Its far more sophisticated than a plain one device one strategy model.

  32. Anyone that things the carriers are “sewn up” does not understand the US mobile landscape well enough to comment on it. Its far more sophisticated than a plain one device one strategy model.

  33. I don’t think Nokia has ever been about carrier lock-in. Like Motorola they like to have a lot of phones in a lot of tiers with slight variations for each carrier.

    As for smartphones specifically, yeah I can’t see Motorola, Microsoft or Nokia really edging out the their cherry smartphone unless something big happens.

    But I don’t think those manufacturers are going away.

    And the playing field is still completely upside-down in the Asia-Pacific countries, I think it would be cool to see something strike gold there and storm across the Pacific to us.

  34. I don’t think Nokia has ever been about carrier lock-in. Like Motorola they like to have a lot of phones in a lot of tiers with slight variations for each carrier.

    As for smartphones specifically, yeah I can’t see Motorola, Microsoft or Nokia really edging out the their cherry smartphone unless something big happens.

    But I don’t think those manufacturers are going away.

    And the playing field is still completely upside-down in the Asia-Pacific countries, I think it would be cool to see something strike gold there and storm across the Pacific to us.

  35. Microsoft has the only secure, featureful integration with Exchange, and that’s no small foothold. iPhone integrates with Exchange (with help from Microsoft), but it isn’t as feature-rich as Windows Mobile, and has calendar sync bugs as I understand it. Blackberry integrates with Exchange, but only with a server-side add-on, and server folks tell me it has security issues.

    Make of this what you will, but I think you count Microsoft out prematurely. :)

  36. Microsoft has the only secure, featureful integration with Exchange, and that’s no small foothold. iPhone integrates with Exchange (with help from Microsoft), but it isn’t as feature-rich as Windows Mobile, and has calendar sync bugs as I understand it. Blackberry integrates with Exchange, but only with a server-side add-on, and server folks tell me it has security issues.

    Make of this what you will, but I think you count Microsoft out prematurely. :)

  37. BTW, it’s true that the competition is stiff, so don’t take my last comment to mean that I think Microsoft has the most important advantages. They don’t. But the market still has lots of room for diversity, and there’s lots of entropy that’s yet to settle…

  38. BTW, it’s true that the competition is stiff, so don’t take my last comment to mean that I think Microsoft has the most important advantages. They don’t. But the market still has lots of room for diversity, and there’s lots of entropy that’s yet to settle…

  39. I for one am very happy to live in Europe where I can pick a phone I want and run it on a network I want.

    The USA mobile market looks more like 4-party communistic business model bent for mutual shareholder profit. And Apple’s buisiness strategy for the iPhone matches that nicely. Yet making huge profits seems not a very viable economical strategy. It bleeds money from the economy, money a consumer could have used to buy more products, that would have created more jobs and thus more consumers to buy more products. No doubt current USA mobile market will change rapidly as it is unviable as the current state of the USA economy.

  40. I for one am very happy to live in Europe where I can pick a phone I want and run it on a network I want.

    The USA mobile market looks more like 4-party communistic business model bent for mutual shareholder profit. And Apple’s buisiness strategy for the iPhone matches that nicely. Yet making huge profits seems not a very viable economical strategy. It bleeds money from the economy, money a consumer could have used to buy more products, that would have created more jobs and thus more consumers to buy more products. No doubt current USA mobile market will change rapidly as it is unviable as the current state of the USA economy.

  41. Microsoft will be a major force in the US, and will gain market share away from Apple. The younger generation is not flocking to the IPhone as hoped. Most new Iphone 3g sales have been the over 40 crowd and that market is quickly becoming saturated. Microsoft through its Danger platform will continue to offer the devices that appeal to the young adult and late teen market – you know the group that buys new phones every year or so. Apple is at the point of becoming what Microsoft was three years ago – stale and stagnant. Their IPhone pipeline is stalled and Microsoft and Nokia are much more motivated to innovate than Apple is at this point. Although I expect market share to remain relatively constant this year, I would expect Microsoft and Nokia to gain market share in 2010 while Apple, Rim and Samsung all decline. This market is increasingly more competitive and will only be more so in a price sensitive environment.

  42. Microsoft will be a major force in the US, and will gain market share away from Apple. The younger generation is not flocking to the IPhone as hoped. Most new Iphone 3g sales have been the over 40 crowd and that market is quickly becoming saturated. Microsoft through its Danger platform will continue to offer the devices that appeal to the young adult and late teen market – you know the group that buys new phones every year or so. Apple is at the point of becoming what Microsoft was three years ago – stale and stagnant. Their IPhone pipeline is stalled and Microsoft and Nokia are much more motivated to innovate than Apple is at this point. Although I expect market share to remain relatively constant this year, I would expect Microsoft and Nokia to gain market share in 2010 while Apple, Rim and Samsung all decline. This market is increasingly more competitive and will only be more so in a price sensitive environment.

  43. It is sad that you believe the US will continue to be so backwards as to have only one smartphone per carrier and incorrect to believe the US could dominate the market in smartphones if this occurs. The short term exuberance experienced in the US market due to it finally having a real proper smartphone in the iPhone will eventually subside and then it will be up to genuine worldwide competition to see who the players are.

  44. It is sad that you believe the US will continue to be so backwards as to have only one smartphone per carrier and incorrect to believe the US could dominate the market in smartphones if this occurs. The short term exuberance experienced in the US market due to it finally having a real proper smartphone in the iPhone will eventually subside and then it will be up to genuine worldwide competition to see who the players are.

  45. If Nokia is going to make any inroads in the US market then AT&T is certainly going to be the carrier to give them the push they need.

    We’ve already had one AT&T exec commenting that there’s a strong chance that AT&T’s entire branded range will eventually run Symbian. In fact, isn’t AT&T one of the founding members of the Symbian Foundation?

    And will AT&T be happy with just the iPhone? Apple, so far, has only updated the iPhone range once per year and this is creating a very lumpy sales pattern. Adding a few other flagship smartphones might help smooth over the troughs.

    Carriers do, and will continue to, sell more than one device.

  46. If Nokia is going to make any inroads in the US market then AT&T is certainly going to be the carrier to give them the push they need.

    We’ve already had one AT&T exec commenting that there’s a strong chance that AT&T’s entire branded range will eventually run Symbian. In fact, isn’t AT&T one of the founding members of the Symbian Foundation?

    And will AT&T be happy with just the iPhone? Apple, so far, has only updated the iPhone range once per year and this is creating a very lumpy sales pattern. Adding a few other flagship smartphones might help smooth over the troughs.

    Carriers do, and will continue to, sell more than one device.

  47. robert, im no cell phone – carrier expert, but while reading your blog the one thought that struck me was / is : bloggers arent news makers or news breakers or sensationalists or even experts, bloggers ( at least today, because very few non IT companies or even IT companies have people dedicated to blogging for them about them / products ) allow regular people to talk about issues, its a crying shame that blogging is seen as something for weirdos, geeks or the freaks within a company.

  48. robert, im no cell phone – carrier expert, but while reading your blog the one thought that struck me was / is : bloggers arent news makers or news breakers or sensationalists or even experts, bloggers ( at least today, because very few non IT companies or even IT companies have people dedicated to blogging for them about them / products ) allow regular people to talk about issues, its a crying shame that blogging is seen as something for weirdos, geeks or the freaks within a company.

  49. Hi Mr. Scoble,

    I’d like to hear from you about Motorola. Any chances for they compete in this smartphone market? or they are gone !

  50. Hi Mr. Scoble,

    I’d like to hear from you about Motorola. Any chances for they compete in this smartphone market? or they are gone !

  51. …out just like Palm was for the last X years, dragging Palm OS 5 around?

    No one is ever entirely out, especially not MS or Nokia. I’d certainly take you more seriously if you weren’t making these ridiculous all-or-nothing statements and just gushing over the N97 not two months ago. Didn’t sound like it “wasn’t enough” then. In fact, it sounded (and still sounds) very sweet and functional. Maybe that doesn’t kick in the kind of gadget lust flicking cards around can, but let me know when either Apple or Palm release a high-quality 5MP with flash camera on their phone. That’s what I use the most on mine.

  52. …out just like Palm was for the last X years, dragging Palm OS 5 around?

    No one is ever entirely out, especially not MS or Nokia. I’d certainly take you more seriously if you weren’t making these ridiculous all-or-nothing statements and just gushing over the N97 not two months ago. Didn’t sound like it “wasn’t enough” then. In fact, it sounded (and still sounds) very sweet and functional. Maybe that doesn’t kick in the kind of gadget lust flicking cards around can, but let me know when either Apple or Palm release a high-quality 5MP with flash camera on their phone. That’s what I use the most on mine.

  53. Dear retard

    Who wrote the rule that says each operator can only sell one kind of Smartphone? All of the networks you mention have been selling varieties of smartphones from different vendors without exclusivity for years.

    iPhone is the only exclusive, and only for another year. G1 is only exclusive to T-Mobile, because no one else wants it.

    By the way, AT&T sells Nokia smartphones such as 6650, N73, and E62, albeit without much success.

  54. Dear retard

    Who wrote the rule that says each operator can only sell one kind of Smartphone? All of the networks you mention have been selling varieties of smartphones from different vendors without exclusivity for years.

    iPhone is the only exclusive, and only for another year. G1 is only exclusive to T-Mobile, because no one else wants it.

    By the way, AT&T sells Nokia smartphones such as 6650, N73, and E62, albeit without much success.

  55. you have to understand that from operator point of view locking themselves into a smartphone operating system with only one manufacturer that fully controls that operating system is dead end road. they might just as well give all their stock outright to the manufacturer.

    therefore, if a carrier chooses and exclusive smartphone platform it can only be android or symbian. iphone / palm exclusivity is just not an option.

  56. you have to understand that from operator point of view locking themselves into a smartphone operating system with only one manufacturer that fully controls that operating system is dead end road. they might just as well give all their stock outright to the manufacturer.

    therefore, if a carrier chooses and exclusive smartphone platform it can only be android or symbian. iphone / palm exclusivity is just not an option.

  57. “or have all-you-can-eat music subscription services which are demanded by Europeans”

    I love hearing about how I’m “demanding” things I’ve never actually asked for and don’t really want. when do I get the chance to demand things that *I* actually want in my phones? More to the point, where’s my pony? I’m sure I read a report that everyone in Europe wants a pony!

  58. “or have all-you-can-eat music subscription services which are demanded by Europeans”

    I love hearing about how I’m “demanding” things I’ve never actually asked for and don’t really want. when do I get the chance to demand things that *I* actually want in my phones? More to the point, where’s my pony? I’m sure I read a report that everyone in Europe wants a pony!

  59. Rob Moir has a good point there: apart from anything else, it’s Americans not Europeans who demand flat-rate services wherever possible! A flat rate subscription for music might be nice, perhaps – like I have now from Safari for books (remind me which country that service is from again?) – but hey, I don’t even have a flat-rate broadband connection at home any more, let alone anything else flat-rate!

  60. Rob Moir has a good point there: apart from anything else, it’s Americans not Europeans who demand flat-rate services wherever possible! A flat rate subscription for music might be nice, perhaps – like I have now from Safari for books (remind me which country that service is from again?) – but hey, I don’t even have a flat-rate broadband connection at home any more, let alone anything else flat-rate!

  61. When will the US transcend the two year locked in service agreement?

    Europe has gotten to the point where they often give away a popular models that owners use to buy minutes on.

    I’d pay full price for the phone – gladly – if it meant a more competitive wireless market and an end to the two year service agreement.

  62. When will the US transcend the two year locked in service agreement?

    Europe has gotten to the point where they often give away a popular models that owners use to buy minutes on.

    I’d pay full price for the phone – gladly – if it meant a more competitive wireless market and an end to the two year service agreement.

  63. My experience tells me that M$ is made for geeks who argue they have a “wider selection of software”. In fact, significant part of that software is crap.

    What concerns Nokia, well… Despite of all abilities, S60 devices are very seldom purchased as smartphones, far more often as “just cool phones”. Nokia’s huge market share is almost 95% made of people who use like 5-20% of their phones’ functions. ;-)

  64. My experience tells me that M$ is made for geeks who argue they have a “wider selection of software”. In fact, significant part of that software is crap.

    What concerns Nokia, well… Despite of all abilities, S60 devices are very seldom purchased as smartphones, far more often as “just cool phones”. Nokia’s huge market share is almost 95% made of people who use like 5-20% of their phones’ functions. ;-)