Recently, too much news in air about Nokia launching new phones with Android Nougat version , and those news, rumors and lot of talks suggest company definitely have plan to launch new phones most probably around early next year. I believe, it would not be as odd time as earlier it supposed to be for Nokia. Good time in sense, all other companies haven’t provided an big innovation recently other than upgrading the specs, screens, bit of tweaks in usability. And there is bit of vacuum/room available for Nokia as well due build/quality issues and still growing marketing consistently. Recently, Samsung flagship phone Note 7 went to big trouble due to fire catching without any known issues yet. So, therefore, this give enough to Nokia to come up with flagship products with right hardware. People still trust Nokia, there is definitely market for it.
So here question remains same, what would be future of Nokia phone business, but before that let’s have look over history of Nokia which caused Giant phone maker shutdown its business into graveyards and sold to Microsoft.
There was no doubt, Nokia dominated in its phone business almost for a decade, there seems to no competition which could beat and surpass its phone business. Companies such as Siemens, Samsung, Motorola, Blackberry were in business, was giving little competition to Nokia, which seems no trouble to Nokia. However, big game changer Apple came into phone business, launched iPhone after success of Music player iPod. That time, Nokia definitely had hint for market change, innovation in touch based phones, and in reaction, Nokia also launched enough touch based phones, but they didn’t realize it’s not about only touch screens, it is also more about mobile OS platform, and the model/approach that Apple introduced i.e. App Store. Although, it was difficult for Nokia to come up with new fresh OS built from scratch, and so therefore again in reaction, they kept trying to fix the its old OS, and they came up with Symbian^3 OS, which was good enough for touch based phone, but not competitive to iOS in terms of Apps, flexibility, freshness, developer tools. There was no doubt, market was there, as Apple was only introducing flagship products which was not for everyone. So, here comes Google into scene with Android Mobile OS with open source code based on Java (Which is most popular language for running apps for multiple platforms). I saw, no doubt that Android will capture market rapidly. And with that success, Nokia again seemed to confuse and shaking in it decisions, made several approaches to encounter OS problem. They also tried to collaborate with Intel to launch new freshly made mobile devices OS, called Meego. Idea seems wonderful, as it was planned to run on every kind of mobile device such as in Cars, TVs, etc. However, there was so many clashes between stack holders. It was just like they were holding few watermelons in one hand because, one way they have to support it existing platform and hardware, and on other hand choosing and building right platform & its strategies with right kind of devices. Nokia was in absolutely in difficult situation as they were kept looking for right solution.
It was no doubt, big companies like HP, Microsoft won’t keep their fingers away from mobile OS market. It was absolutely clear that Microsoft was also working with new fresh mobile OS rather then upgrading it mobile 6.5 version, Microsoft was also searching for right hardware vendor like Nokia. Due to clashes among the Nokia top management that which way to go, Nokia finally came with decision to adapt Windows mobile platform. And that decision, in my point of view somehow seems correct as Nokia had no option. And Microsoft was very successful in Windows and market leader in Desktop software. However, if I would be one to Lead Nokia phone business, I would better push hard to Nokia to come up with great hardware i.e. high end touch screens, camera, battery, and processing power and launch its phone with Android and as well as with Windows mobile OS, rather than sticking with Microsoft. That would Keep Nokia revenue well enough and sustain its business and innovation. Even though, Nokia could be successful only with Microsoft Windows mobile platform, however it was so surprising for me the Microsoft was either lazy or hesitant and delaying in its upgrades and products and keep its fans and users waiting for long enough, making them frustrated to switch to either Android or Apple. After few attempts and failure of Microsoft and Nokia, finally Microsoft decided to buy Nokia by using its money as leverage, which seems again bad decision for both companies. For Microsoft, it was not easy enough to take the Nokia and phone business operation into own hands, running smoothly to come with right hardware and right OS features. So from year 2012-2014 was trial period, and both companies (Mobile Hardware pioneer & Software Pioneer) could not pursue users enough to buy its phones.
So that was bit & bytes of Nokia’s history, but being pioneer and Finnish (Finland) main company and economy booster, Nokia and its people never lost hope and kept considering other paths as well, but due to contract with Microsoft, they couldn’t do enough during this period.
So here comes Nokia again in 2017 partnership with HMD to manufacture its phones. So question arises, is it right time, and right choices, will it be do good enough to sustain itself. Obviously, it is sure, they can’t buy time back again and be a pioneer and market leader, however, I see good faith in Nokia and will make some progress in phone business 2017 if they launch right kind of devices for different users. I believe, they should be launching at least 2-3 devices for different types of users such as Phablet (6”-7”), standard size phone with high end specs, and mid-range phone.
At the moment, their plan is to come up couple of devices (not announced yet) with Android new version 7.0 code-named Nougat.
Some of conceptual photos and prototypes are already spreading over the Internet for past few months. But, final real phone will appear in MWC in 2017 which is not too far.
As for my conclusion, Nokia will definitely progress in 2017 in its phone business, however it won’t jump to big success. Although, they can make tweaks silently which can be different and possibility more profitable. And that is to launch its phone hardware with Android as well as well Windows Mobile Platform. It is very clear, Microsoft has less than two percent share in mobile market, however, its CEO seems to very aggressive and company approach to avail better quality apps and services for every device on planet. So in case, If Nokia also launch phone with Windows Mobile in 2017 with limited number markets and phones, it won’t be bad for Nokia after all Nokia as Microsoft can be possible huge investor to make the mobile platform successful.
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