Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Better late than never?

Finally. Nokia has come out with what is purported to be its response to the iPhone. Oh, and its response to the Android-based G1 from T-Mobile/Google. Oh, and to the Samsung touch screen phones. Oh, and to the ...

Can you see what it is yet, as Rolf Harris would say?

For a company that is the market leader, Nokia's complacency has been stunning in many respects. It seems to have been either blindsided by Apple and Google, or just been unable to demonstrate the rapid innovation that propelled it to its current position. While Nokia has nailed the business market with the E and N series, in the consumer market the threat from the new guys has been a sharp one.

There are clearly some constants emerging across all these devices that point towards where the mobile industry sees (hopes) mobile data will come from. No longer is video the great hope. Social networking and widget-based applications are now the big thing.

If you look at the sort of data usage being reported back from operators who are supporting (and that also means bankrolling giving the slice of cash they have to hand over to Apple), it's clear that these devices are the catalyst for a dramatically increased data usage by subscribers.

Of course, Nokia is making a much bigger play that just shipping shiny phones. Just looking at the other announcements it made at its Barcelona event where it unveiled the N97, and there is news around Nokia Maps, Nokia Messaging and its acquisition of Symbian.

Google v Nokia. It's an OS war. It's a handset war. It's a content war. And looking at the pace of innovation in both companies and their ability to really understand the consumer and where they are heading ... you'd be crazy not to have at least an each way bet on Google to win.

No comments: