Some partnerships hit it off really well, some take some getting used to and the rest are doomed from the start. Today, Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop stepped on stage with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer to confirm their commitment to each other's companies. But is it a mutually beneficial relationship? Or is it Win-Win situation for Windows Phone? Leila Makki went along to the Strategy & Financial Briefing in London to hear the reactions of some of the industry’s most-respected thinkers.
Principal analyst at Canalys, Pete Cunningham told TelecomTV, “I think the big winner in today’s announcement is Microsoft. Though it attracted some of the key vendors to its platform - it has failed to really get them to prioritise Windows Phone 7. Android is still the priority for HTC and Samsung. To attract the leading vendor in the market to your platform is fantastic. The benefit for Nokia is the ability to integrate Micosoft’s services, like Xbox Live and Kinect.”
He believes it all now comes down to the strength of Ballmer and Elop’s relationship and how Nokia as a company reacts to the changes in structure. “A lot of people are going to be emotionally attached to Symbian and MeeGo as they worked on them for a number of years.” Unless Elop motivates, Nokia will have trouble executing, he warns.
Ina Fried from All Things Digital, said, “This is the biggest company by far to sign on to Windows Phone and Nokia are doing it exclusively in the high-end.” She highlights how rivals Samsung, HTC, and LG are all “hedging their bets” by making Android phones in addition with Windows. “Nokia is going with Windows as their primary strategy. For Nokia, the long-term question is can they build a winning strategy around someone else's operating system?”
“It’s very interesting that Nokia has gone with Microsoft rather than Android,” said David Murphy from Mobile Marketing Magazine. “To me, it signals a start of a shakedown for mobile operating system platforms. There are far too many out there. I think it will come down to two to three. Android and iOS seem like two of the obvious ones. Maybe today signals that the third one could be Windows Phone.
Whether either Microsoft, Nokia or the two combined have enough in their tool kit to put a dent in Apple and Google’s plans for world domination remains to be seen.”
Many are waiting to see how Nokia will implement their new handset strategy. Ewan MacLeod from Mobile Industry Review is delighted for Nokia and Microsoft. "But in terms of execution there is a big question mark from that, particularly from Nokia. Can Nokia turn things around really fast? He believes that the market will only be patient for another six to nine months before the Finnish giant will “need” to roll out smart devices and services.
Chris Davies from SlashGear is optimistic about the partnership, “It seems like a good deal for both parties.” However, he knows its success can only be accessed at the launch of Nokia's first Windows device. “We are not going to see hardware for a few months and that is when we can determine if they will be competitive.”
However there are those who are less enthused. Rupert Neate from The Telegraph said, “I don’t know what you can really achieve by just joining two people who are a bit rubbish. You are going to get rubbish out of it, maybe.”
Editor of TechCrunch Europe, Mike Butcher told us, “Symbian is dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!”
And for Rafe Blandford, the news that Symbian is on its way out will have new implications on his popular blog, All About Symbian. “It does leave me with an issue, of course, on the branding of the blog, All About Symbian.”He tells us he is looking to re-brand to something more general. “You have to look at the options so you can cover all platforms. I am already looking into domain names,” he confirmed.
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