Nokia’s leadership of the mobile phone market, especially in smartphones, has come under increasing pressure over the last few years and many of its latest devices have left consumers cold. In a bid to get back into the game, Nokia decided to take
Android, Google’s mobile operating system, is set to contest the top spot in market share from Symbian within the next four years, says international technology research firm Gartner. Android was launched in late 2007 and has climbed steadily towards being the most popular operating system since.
Nokia is replacing its CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, with a top Microsoft executive, Stephen Elop, as the Finnish handset manufacturer seeks to make up for ground it has lost in recent years to rivals such as iPhone-maker Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion. But already a senior Gartner analyst is questioning the move. “I’m in two minds about this,” says Gartner vice-president Nick Jones.
The smartphone market is not for sissies. One moment a manufacturer has a killer product; the next thing you know it’s struggling to remain relevant. That’s the case with Nokia, the Finnish handset manufacturer that for years ruled the roost in the smartphone market with devices such as the E90, the E61 and, in our view, its best business phone ever, the E71.
Songs in Nokia’s SA music store will be free of digital rights management (DRM) software from 9 September, meaning consumers will be able to copy their downloaded tunes and listen to their purchases on any device of their choosing. They’ll also be in MP3 format and available for Apple Mac and Linux users for the first time. At the same time, the name of the Finnish company’s music store is changing from the Nokia Music Store to Ovi Music.
When it comes to the latest handsets, consumers want to know more about the software they’re buying than the hardware specifications of the phone itself. This is driving big competitive changes in the smartphone market and reshaping an industry. A few years ago, buying a cellphone was a relatively trivial exercise.
For some reason there seems to be a “Symbian is dead” meme floating around at the moment. Discussions with some of the infected victims suggest that it’s related to a misunderstanding of Nokia’s Symbian roadmap and the respective roles of Symbian and Maemo in Nokia’s strategy. Firstly, Nokia isn’t dumping Symbian. Despite all its weaknesses Symbian had over 40% smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2010. It’s the dominant platform with more than twice