What Will Upright The Nokia Ship For Developer Partners?

Co-authored by Zachary Reiss-Davis

There were two important pieces of Nokia news of interest to mobile platform developer partners leaked today. First, Nokia’s MeeGo platform, designed to replace Symbian, will likely be killed before ever reaching the market. Second, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop purportedly sent a 1,300 word memo to all Nokia employees that includes key sections such as: “We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning”; and “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.”

This dovetails with what we predicted in a November 2010 report, “The Feeding Frenzy Over The Mobile Developer Channel,” in that it would not be the quality of the underlying platform software (Nokia has remained strong there), but the ease of development, viability of the platform, size of the market, and availability of distribution channels that would settle the mobile platform battle. In all of these factors, Nokia has been steadily falling behind its competitors, led by Apple (iOS), Google (Android), and Microsoft (Windows Phone). 

In the report, we also surfaced the number of inquiries from our clients over time, as reproduced below – this shows the waning interest in Nokia in the last several years as other platforms gained in market- and mind-share. 

How do you think Nokia’s news will affect the mobile platform battles? How do you see Nokia reinventing itself in the upcoming year? Will it begin to manufacture and sell Android or Windows Phone devices, or go in another direction entirely? Let us know your thoughts.  

Forrester smartphone inquiries from The Feeding Frenzy Over The Mobile Developer Channel


Android Dominates?


Thanks for an excellent post. Thanks also for a first rate graphic which I will leverage from here on in to prove a point I have made tirelessly when discussing the ascendancy of Android as the pre-eminent mobile OS, namely that Google might be winning in the adoption stakes but that is about it. The adoption numbers are hardly surprising, given that the software is free to carriers and their OEM partners. To my mind the 'winner' in this race is undoubtedly Apple, who manage to charge a hefty premium for their technology while commanding a the number two slot in mobile phone OS and the number one slot in tablet OS.

My theory is that the whole Android thing is merely an asymmetric marketing tactic designed to de-focus Microsoft's incursion into search.

BTW, I write a technology blog that focuses on how technology titans compete. It is called The Asymmetric Warrior and can be found at willzuckermann.wordpress.com