Finally, Nokia and Microsoft is celebrating one year of successful marriage life. It was the day of February 11, 2011; Nokia had to explain its strategy for the year ahead in Nokia’s Capital Markets Day keynote. Nokia’s newly appointed CEO—Stephen Elop—took the stage and addressed to all tech writers, developers, Symbian and Meego admirers. Everyone was shocked after listening that the company was going to work on Microsoft Windows Phone OS only to ditch its own Symbian platform and Meego.
Microsoft established its Windows Phone OS in early 2010, and was starving throughout the year to lure folks. Users were quite nostalgic towards the Windows phone platform. The company’s Windows phone market share was in decreasing trend year-over-year. And then, to overcome from constant market abandon, Microsoft found its future in the relationship with Nokia. Nokia introduced its first Windows Phone-based “Lumia” models last year. It’s true, Microsoft got its identification in the market after launch of the Nokia’s Lumia models–only to make people understood that Microsoft could make OS for Smartphone’s.
Yesterday, Nokia CEO–Stephen Elop—said at Mobile World Congress, “We have changed the clock speed of Nokia. The Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 are now in 31 markets. We will accelerate our mobile reach with new devices and services. It’s one year since the start of our new journey. It’s been a very challenging and amazing and interesting year.”
Prior to ‘subjective friendship’ with Microsoft, Nokia was world’s leading Mobile handset manufacturer. Nokia got widely recognition from its Symbian OS and later, the company tried to introduce its Meego OS in collaboration with Intel. After adopting Windows Phone platform, the company had decided to withhold working on its Symbian platform. Nokia is currently marketing its windows phone-based Smartphone in 31 different countries worldwide. Presently, Nokia is third largest manufacturer of Smartphone as Apple‘s iPhones and Android devices have eroded Nokia’s Smartphone market share. Nokia grabbed 26.9% of market share in the global handset vendors last year, dropped by 33.3% from a year ago.
Last year, Windows Phone succeeded to clinch just 1.5% of the market worldwide. Presently, iOS and Android mobile OS are far better than Microsoft’s Windows phone, and that’ why, these OS are being proliferated worldwide. Thanks to Symbian OS, which has sustained its dignity somehow in the market.
With Microsoft, Nokia also did not do any miracle in the market last year. Lumia 800 was lately launched in the US market due to 4G compatibility. Nokia net sale in the Q4 was $13.1 billion, down by 21% from $16.7 billion in same quarter of 2010. However, Nokia dominated in total mobile handset shipment in last year but its total shipment is declining year-over-year.
It’s perception of Stephen Elop that Nokia’s Symbian has been obsoleted now-a-days, despite of this, the OS has recorded higher shipment last year compare to Windows phone. Symbian is still favorite for many than Windows phone. Nokia succeeded to ship just around 1 million of Windows phone based Lumia Smartphone last year, compare to 4 million of Symbian-based Smartphone in 2011.
The relationship between Nokia and Microsoft seems less productive; it is not benefiting Nokia much anyhow. But, still Nokia has so much of faith over Microsoft WP OS, probably due to Stephen presence. The decision of Stephen Elop favors Microsoft not to Nokia, and the CEO has become one of the big challenge for the company. Nokia is substantially getting lost its grab over Smartphone market, and yet, has decided to continue with Windows Phone- Nokia 900 is going to be launched later this year. Nokia’s Symbian has given the company more than the expectation, in spite of this, the company has announced to abandon the work on Symbian Platform.
I feel that company has still time to rethink about its own OS or probably the transformation of once leader Symbian platform for Smartphone. Still there is chance to shift the gears for Nokia before it sinks completely into an ‘ocean’, named Microsoft.