LONDON – Smartphone shipments grew from 177 million in 2009 to 302 million in 2010, a 71 percent growth rate according to ABI Research. At the same time Nokia's handset market share has dropped from 39 percent to 33 percent, while the share held by Android-based phone makers has gone from 4 percent to 24 percent, the market analysis company said.
With the rise of Android, the number of handset OEMs with significant smartphone market share increased in 2010. But for one Nokia has decided to eschew the advantages of both Intel's MeeGo and Google's Android in favor of teaming with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile operating system.
"Motorola has pinned its entire turnaround strategy on Android. As competitors flood the Android ecosystem, Motorola wants to become known as the OEM that brings Android devices to business," said ABI senior Analyst Michael Morgan, in a statement. "Meanwhile Samsung is hoping that it can convert its feature phone customers to smartphones, on the back of both Bada and Android. And Nokia has now moved away from a purely proprietary OS strategy."
Morgan said that while OEMs choosing Android have had success it is dependent on the reach of their distribution and operator networks. For many people the Android phone offering is increasingly associated with the mobile phone service operator. "OEM-specific Android enhancements have not yet created a clear differentiation in consumers’ minds. Smartphone OEMs adopting Android as a key platform must produce meaningful innovation or risk losing significance."
While ABI says Android suppliers will continue to take market share from Nokia, my take is that Nokia's strategy of avoiding Google's Android may have some virtue. It will allow Nokia to differentiate itself from the Android pack in a way that other OEMs have so far failed to do. Of course, Nokia must differentiate itself in a positive way, and being different with Microsoft rather than being different with Intel guarantees nothing.
People love to rag on Microsoft. It's my understanding that it's pretty good. I was had Winmo 6.1 and sprint had no other options. So I went Android. Market timing is key and if anything is going to kill this it's timing, not the product itself (as judged by reviewers of the OS).
Easier to said than done. MS has been one of the first in smartphone market space. Symbian applications have been sitting around in the Internet for download for quite sometimes. Smartphone market hadn't taken off until Apple introduces the user friendly apps store. In addition, the timing is just so right that majority of youngsters are looking for a new way of communications, from voice to SMS to social networking. After all, it's not the video phone that takes us to 3G and beyond. It is the demand of mobile Internet and the social networking bring us to even 4G. What will Nokia or anybody do to bring the next level of usability and convenience to the market? It really needs the market to dictate itself.
When almost all the handset manufacturers have adopted Android as their choice of OS, Nokia is trying to do something different. How Nokia succeeds would depend on faster execution of their strategy for coming up something more exciting than Android. If they are a bit more late and if their software does have something unique, it might not be so well for Nokia.
smart phones are big market and Microsoft was not able to make huge impact till now with their OS. But now they got it right to have a deal with Nokia and I think it will help both the companies since Nokia can differentiate from other OEM's who are employing Android in their products.
As Frank pointed out Nokia would be getting WP7 licenses for pennies. Nokia in a press release pointed out that MS is paying Billions of $s to Nokia to adopt WP7.
About the stock, Apart from reading the BS put out by some news agencies you should go and check the facts of your own. I did. Elop used to own 132K MS shares which is worth just ~3mUS$ according to current market value. Now for normal people this can be a big amount, But for the likes of Elop this is peanuts. really. And the interesting thing is after this is made a big news, he simply sold his entire MS stocks last week.
I am heavy user of different mobile platforms and have used Android,iOS,WP7,WM6.5 in the recent past. Based on my experience, WP7 is much better than Android interms of usability. Android is much like the original Windows OS. Unnecessarily complex. Although WP7 is lagging currently due to lack of apps and ecosystem, it can change in future, especially with the Nokia deal.
Although Windows Phone isn't free, I suspect it's close enough to free that it will not be a significant cost adder to Nokia smartphones.
Guesses anyone? 50 cents per handset? Do I hear one dollar per handset, anyone?