My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Nokia + Microsoft, Tablet and smartphone Prospects by 2015 - Three Software Musketeers

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nokia + Microsoft, Tablet and smartphone Prospects by 2015 - Three Software Musketeers

The Editor, sir:

There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly pitiless, selfish, envious, ungrateful animal than the public

Hazlitt, Table Talk

Ever since the Microsoft partnership with Nokia as stated in the article Nokia, Microsoft becoming Windows Phone Bedfellows”, published February 11, 2011 12:24 AM PST by Stephen Shankland, Deep Tech - CNET News announced on Friday February 11th 2011AD, I have been, like my Geezam Stable mate Horace, his opinion most affably expressed in his article Nokia's shift to Microsoft have been doing some soul-searching to answer the question: Why?

Why Nokia?

When Symbian, was a good stable smartphone OS that was in need of better marketing and a better more touch-centric overhaul?

Granted Nokia was desperate. Despite successes in the “feature”-less phone market (Nokia208 phones et al) they are being beaten street and lane when it comes to the smartphone market.

My comments are based on results presented carte blanche by a Nielsen survey of fourteen thousand (14,000) two (2) year contract Postpaid customers between November 10th 2010 and January 11th 2011, effectively the Fourth Quarter of 2010 but still relevant in the First Quarter of 2011.

This as stated in the articles:

  1. Android pulls ahead, while HTC enjoys the ride”, published March 3, 2011, 6:44am PT by Ryan Kim, GigaOM
  2. Android pulls ahead in smartphone Race, Report says”, published March 3, 2011, 6:44 PM by NICK BILTON, NY Times
  3. Nielsen: Android pulls ahead of RIM and iOS for US smartphone share”, published March 3, 2011 by Leena Rao, TechCrunch
  4. Android is No. 1 OS but apple, RIM rule devices”, published March 4, 2011 9:08 AM PST by Lance Whitney, Google Android - CNET News

To summarize the Nielsen Results:

  1. Google Android is now the No. 1 OS with 33% of US market share in the First Quarter of 2011AD, up 7% from the previous mark of 26% in the Fourth Quarter of 2010
  2. Apple iOS is now the No. 2 OS with 25.2% of US market share in the First Quarter of 2011AD, a slight rise of 0.2% over the previous rosy Fourth Quarter of 2010 results of 25%
  3. RIM Blackberry OS is now No. 3 with 28.9% of US market share in the First Quarter of 2011AD, a drop of 4.6% from Fourth Quarter of 2010 mark of 33.5%
  4. Nokia Symbian dead last with 2% of US market share in the First Quarter of 2011AD; their Fourth Quarter of 2010 mark is not worth mentioning

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a gander at the below graphical representation of the above results, a first in my blog:

And now analyst ComScore as stated in the article ComScore: Android dominates market, Verizon iPhone 4 boosts Apple”, published April 2, 2011 by Andrew Couts, Digital Trends has confirmed the above graphic with their results. Again I suspect a graphic would suffice in lieu of words:

If you notice this time Nokia is nowhere to be seen in the smartphone business. Also you look at the above Nielsen graphic, with the odd exception of Web OS, the smartphone OS that are in the bottom pile are the ones that are Proprietary.

Developer Love support + Open Source appear to the new secret sauce behind the popularity of Android whose SDK Google make freely available to smartphone makers and tech-enthusiast to make their own apps.

Sorta like Linus Torvald’s Penguin suited Linux, to which Java-centric Android traces its roots. Hmm, thought to ponder, as both Dell and now HP are hip to the demand and power of Open Source.

Thus forcing me to declare, despite my begrudged disdain for Open Source (Go Apple iOS!!), that 2011 is the Year of Open Source in my aptly named article “HP and Web OS - 2011 is the Year of the Linux on PC”.

Granted, in the Fourth Quarter of 2009, the same could be said by Android, which had been acquired months prior by Google as part of their strategic push into the smartphone OS market  as stated in the article Android sales outpacing iPhone”, published Monday August 2, 4:32 pm ET by Christopher Null, Yahoo News.

Back then RIM was in trouble with Indian authorities over the heavy encryption in their BBB Messenger and email service as stated my blog article entitled Blackberry and India - Shiva the Destroyer”,

But now Google has grown from strength to strength since the Fourth Quarter of 2009, thanks to their Open Source code being made freely available to smartphone developers, as opposed to keeping their code proprietary.

Again another Nielsen Statistical Graphic in the article Android soars, but iPhone still most Desired as smartphones grab 25% of US Mobile market”, published August 2, 2010, Nielsen Wire, folks! But this time, a trip back in time courtesy of Nielsen to a period covering the Second Quarter of 2009 to the Second Quarter of 2010:

Back then smartphone subscriber usage surged to about 25% of the mobile phone market in the US of A overall by the Second Quarter of 2010, a jump of 9% from the 16% of the mobile phone market the Second Quarter of 2009:

Google Android meteoric rise among two (2) year contract two Postpaid customers  was, even then, graphically evident as can be seen from the graphs below neatly colour coded to make it understandable even to children:

But it is the statistics on smartphone switching that were most telling. Most two (2) year contract Postpaid customers who were owners of Apple iPhones or Google Android expressed the strongest sentiments with regards to staying with their respective OS, a telling sign as to the lack of popularity of Nokia.

 It also shows graphically difficulty the Nokia + Microsoft Alliance will face in convincing two (2) year contract Postpaid customers them that the melding of Windows Phone 7 OS with Nokia’s less than stellar hardware is better than the current market leaders.

Albeit Open Source smartphone OS such as Android suffers from fragmentation as stated in the article Report: Android fragmentation could harm growth” published April 8, 2010 8:50 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News -Signal Strength due to the numerous Developer Versions of their SDK (Software Development Kit) for their Ecosystem in the wild and lack of orchestration as exists in the Linux Community.

But the above graphs are telling, stark and grosse point blank: That, folks, IS the state of Nokia - Panic.

That’s the challenge the Nokia + Microsoft Alliance faces.

Hence the odd-ball, odd-couple Alliance of dancing partners, which is one of desperation and really is a knee-jerk reaction, not strategic.

I care not for the joint quote of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and newly minted Nokia CEO Stephen Elop a former Microsoft Executive, in the now famous “Burning Platform” memo, from which I crib, quote: “There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them. There will be challenges. We will overcome them. Success requires speed. We will be swift. Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the ill, the resources and the drive to succeed.”

They hope to “disrupt” and “overcome” Open Source Google Android, which gives away its SDK for FREE to smartphone makers by going Proprietary Microsoft Windows Phone 7? 

Which has been doing very poorly in the US smartphone market based on their unconfirmed sale of two million (2,000,000) units as stated in the article Microsoft sells 2 million phone software units”, published Wednesday January 26, 2011 4:15pm EST, Reuters in the Fourth Quarter of 2010!

A banging start for the Tiles interface touch-centric (I can confidently say that much about Windows Phone 7), but a mere drop in the vast ocean of smartphones that made their debut in Fourth Quarter of 2010 as follows:

  1. Google Android: twenty seven million (27,000,000) units
  2. Apple iOS: sixteen million, two hundred thousand (16,200,000) units
  3. RIM Blackberry: fourteen million two hundred thousand (14,200,000) units

To crib from Microsoft’s OWN windows Phone 7 commercials chiding smartphone users to “get a life” as stated in the article New Windows Phone 7 ads suggest you get a life”, published September 26, 2010 10:07 AM PDT by Chris Matyszczyk, Technically Incorrect - CNET News: Really Microsoft?

So now I have presented my evidence with these results confirming officially that Android (Athos), Apple (Porthos) and RIM (Aramis) respectively are indeed The Three Musketeers (2011), what must Nokia + Microsoft (D'Artagnan), the underdog, do to prove he is worthy? If you have read the book, you should know the rest………..

Nokia + Microsoft = Solid Plan. Despite appearing to be rushed, the partnership opens up possibilities that did not exist before.

But I disagree with them tossing out Symbian.

I believe Nokia can still utilize a revamped Symbian and Windows Phone 7 simultaneously, in a slight change of tack from the argument presented by my agreement with my Geezam Stable mate Horace.

Especially as Symbian had gone Open Source since February 2010 as stated in the article Symbian now fully open-sourced”, published February 4, 2010 6:25 AM PST by David Meyer, CNET News – Wireless. This being of course largest smartphone OS migration to Open Source to date!

And I see a Nokia + Microsoft Tablet in the works too………

At the coming dawn, I ride. I am busy, as my next article I pen to you in a matter of days, dear reader, explaining the coming fight between D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers and what Nokia + Microsoft must do.

This as the Open Source HP WebOS aka Count Richielieu’s Men are approaching……..

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