Nokia’s new hardware looks great, but is it enough to save Microsoft’s mobile business?
I have to say, Nokia’s latest hardware and accessories look amazing. They are totally different to anything else currently on the market. I could really see these devices gaining mass adoption with teenagers and young adults, especially in East Asian countries with those bold colours and funky accessories. If you’ve ever visited Japan, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
A tablet that followed these design principles could be a huge seller too. I think it would attract a lot of attention and would be a fun, cool, affordable option to offset Microsoft’s sleek, high-tech business-orientated Surface tablets.
I hate to say it, but despite Nokia’s best efforts to entice users with impressive hardware, I think it will be the Windows Phone that holds these devices back. If this were Android hardware, then they’d likely sell many millions more of these. I think Nokia would struggle to build the products fast enough to meet demand if that were the case. From what I’ve experienced lately, Android has crossed over to become a first choice rather than just an alternative to the iPhone. Saying this, the Windows Phone still shuffles around awkwardly somewhere at the back of the pack, like the last kid to be picked for a football team in the school playground.
Windows just isn’t a cool brand at the moment, and they have a lot of work to do to change the way their brand is perceived. I think Nokia’s line of products will slowly help to change public perception of the Windows Phone brand, but it’s up to Microsoft to market Nokia’s Lumia brand as much as possible to take advantage of this.
I see a lot of people with Windows Phone handsets, but nearly all of them are male, usually technology enthusiasts in their late twenties, early thirties. They are predominantly Windows users, loyal to the operating system that dominated computing over the last two decades. They have grown up in a world where Microsoft ruled the roost with regards to PC operating systems, but now the world of personal computing is becoming, well, more personal.
I’m not Microsoft-bashing for fun here, I really want to see them do well and to establish themselves as a major third player to the current mobile marketplace. If anyone has the power, and money, to make that happen, it’s Microsoft. Hopefully Nokia can help to change public opinion enough with their fresh take on modern smartphone design.
With Amazon’s latest range of Kindle e-readers and tablets making the headlines this week, they may very well be Microsoft’s biggest problem, as Amazon could soon take third place in the mobile marketplace with their extremely affordable Kindle Fire range of tablets. Yes, their hardware is running Android but Amazon is trying very hard not to publicise that fact. They want consumers to think of it as Amazon’s own ecosystem, rather than an offshoot of Android, and so far that plan is working perfectly. All they need now is a phone and rumour has it they have one in the pipeline right now.
Partnering with Nokia for mobile products has been the best decision Microsoft has made in a long time, closely followed by their investments in Facebook and Skype. Lets hope they can build on this partnership and persuade consumers to invest in the most valuable product of all: The ecosystem. The place where all of your photos, music, apps and documents reside. That is how companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft will maintain customer loyalty in the future. It will take more than some flashy hardware to persuade users to switch from one platform to another.
The next few years will decide which will be the dominant platforms for decades to come. RIM made too many mistakes with it’s BlackBerry brand and are tripping over themselves in a mad panic to rejoin the race but it’s too little, too late. HTC are struggling to keep up with the pace and look as if they may be next competitor to falter.
Now that Nokia and Microsoft have joined forces, it’s up to both companies to work together to catch up with the front runners, before it’s too late.Tagged in: Android, iphone, Lumia, microsoft, Nokia, Surface, tablet, windows, windows phone
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