Via LinkedIn I recently came across this really good presentation on the future of mobile. In many respects most of the information in here is nothing new, and won’t surprise anyone who has followed developments in the mobile and end user computing markets over the last year. On the other hand I haven’t seen it all put together so clearly before, and so the presentation is well worth taking a look at.
Recently Teresa Cottam asked me what I thought of the Nokia/Microsoft alliance. A number of people have said it is the marriage of two failures, while a few others think it is an astute business move.
My take on this is that Nokia had to do something radical. They are losing market share to Apple’s iPhone (and probably to Android smartphones too). Their Symbian smartphones were just dreadful – the user experience was horrible and they couldn’t compete with the application functionality offered by Apple through the iTunes AppStore.
Nokia used to be the clear leaders in phone design – their hardware was distinctive, relatively sleek, nice-looking, robust and reliable. Sometime in the mid 2000s things started to go wrong. The hardware started to look old, or the same as everyone else’s. Everyone else caught up with them in terms of the quality of user experience. With the advent of the iPhone Nokia looked like it had really lost its way, and when Android phones started to come out they started to look like the fourth best option (after Blackberries).