By Markku Hollström
I've been in numerous Nokia World's and it was good to see that Nokia is back and fighting. Nokia strategy has been always making sense, the execution has not always been as good as it could have been. Therefore it was so good to see that the new product launches and OVI application store are looking very good indeed. We can take part of accomplishment with us as well.
The star of the show was Anssi vanjoki and N8. The amazing image quality was lifted as the key selling point in Anssi's energetic and passionate key note speech, that was streamed in to Internet as well. I wish all of Telecan's had seen it. Surely Anssi will be missed by our community should he choose to retire from this business altogether.
If I would be selecting a device for my business use, the E7 would be my choice amongst all devices I know of. Large qwerty keyboard with a good feel, large display with a very high quality resolution and polarizer for helping to keep away reflections all combined with excellent support for office tools, including office communicator, are to me the most important factors. The overall User Experience was also convincing. New C models were very competitive with any Android devices in their price points and let’s face it, the C6 & C7 will launch in to a segment that Nokia still dominates and around which there is a very loyal following.
In numerous discussions I got the feeling that Nokia is now very much supported by operators. iPhone and Android are seen by operator a bit of a threat as they are potentially marginalizing operators own service offering and as they are not integrated to Operator app stores in a way Nokia is. Nokia has already agreement with 91 operators for operator billing while no other store can offer this option to developers. Why is this important? In practice download rates with payment are 13 times higher with operator billing compared to credit card/pay pal. This alone is very strong motivator for developers to put their apps in to OVI store. I heard from developers that Nokia has by far the best support for them what comes to revenue sharing and technical help.
Another realization from the show is that while industry debate tends to focus on Western Markets the emerging markets are also key. Here Nokia is clearly planning big things be it with already announcement initiatives such as Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Money or with new strategies they are planning. And again bring applications and services to these markets combined with extensive operator billing looks to be a winning combination.
While we focus a lot on Symbian and MeeGo let’s not forget Series 40 and there were a 1M reasons every day not to forget S40. As Nokia shared it currently ships 1M S40 handsets per day globally which is more than any other single SW platform in any type of device. As part of Nokia’s turn around it is also clearly focusing on bringing innovation to S40 as well. At the Show the C3 was announced a S40 handset combining a traditional keypad with touch screen support and 3G. Overall the C3 looks to be a compelling proposition especially when combined with the new S40 Touch and Type SDK which was announced at the show and will give developers a wide range of new APIs to leverage.
How can they not win in this situation?