As Investors Jump Off, Are Nokia And RIM Fighting Last Battle Of Survival ?


Indeed, it’s very tough time for RIM and Nokia to survive in the Worldwide market. Market shares of both RIM and Nokia are declining quarter-over-quarter. Besides, both have reached to their lowest mark. One question spontaneously pokes into my mind,  should they seek for potential mergers? RIM has lost 76% of its market share compare to the prior year. On the other side, Nokia’s Q1 report of fiscal 2012 has intensified its wound. Last year, Nokia was entitled as the world’s leading Smartphone vendor, but this time, it’s floundering to take any decision. At present, Samsung is the world leading Smartphone manufacturer with 30.6% market share, followed by Apple with 24.1% share.

However, RIM started to play a new inning under the leadership of new CEO “Thorsten Heins” in January of this year. But the new CEO has not proven itself so far whether he could bring the company on the right track or not.

Users have still respect for RIM, however, it’s another thing that a poor administration (led by its corporate parents) brought the company on the road. RIM has still a secure enterprise infrastructure and phone-making hardware ecosystem. The company has  strength of enterprise email infrastructure, encrypted consumers instant messaging and brand power. Leveraging these pillars, it could build another Smartphone ecosystem around.

It’s true that RIM has not launched its high-end competitive Smartphone in the last two year. The company is offering the same old hardware (little bit modified) and the boring OS. RIM is basically lagging in innovation and I think, it was little late in touch-screen technology, but still more committed towards its physical keyboards in order to cater both old and new users. Company is on the way to launch its more awaited BlackBerry 10 OS later this year and the OS will be its last stake.

If RIM really wants to win users’ heart once, it will have to work hard and it will have to convince worldwide users that it’s still the world’s most reliable data network. Numbers of countries including the U.S and U.K. are still using BlackBerry device for their official purpose. And, now Indian government has decided to implement BlackBerry for its official use.

But, conditions of RIM and Nokia are different except continuous decline of their market share worldwide. Last year, Nokia decided to inhibit itself to work on its own Symbian OS. The company believed that Symbian had become obsoleted compare to other platforms. It decided to work on Windows Phone platform, rather to work on its own platform. However, company’s relationship with Microsoft has two aspects–positive and negative both.

Negative in the sense because Windows Phone was one of the nascent platforms at that time. The OS had yet to proof itself among mobile OS space. Nokia was little overconfident about Symbian’s enthusiasts could shift to Windows Platform ( by announcing a death of Symbian), but it was not so happened, they preferred to move some other platforms rather than Windows Phone. However, Android could be a best option for Nokia to switch over because it was globally proven. Previously, I have mentioned that declaring ‘an end of Symbian’ was a big mistake of Nokia.

While Positive aspects are that Nokia has got a support of Microsoft. The company will not have to face legal patent hindrance or to pay royalty for the use of the OS unlike Android device manufacturers. A recent study has projected Microsoft’s Windows Phone/Windows Mobile could hold 19.2% of the global mobile OS market share. Undoubtedly, it will benefit Nokia either directly or indirectly.

Nokia’s latest Lumia 900 is in the market, but it has got poor responses from worldwide users. However, the device was entitled as best Smartphone at MWC, Barcelona, this year. One thing is quite clear, neither Apple nor Google could determine success of any device, but it’s determined by people. It’s true, Nokia staked huge on its Windows Phone powered Lumia 900, but the whole thing is on the users’ hand. Nokia has still a hope from Windows 8 powered 10-inches Tablet.

Now, enterprises are looking for a secured mobile device  having screen size between PC and Smartphone. Ironically, enterprises are unwilling to buy RIM’s Tablet. It’s clear, RIM’s Tablet is out of the race (to be adopted by enterprises) and Nokia’s Tablet is how much impressive will be seen later this year after its release.

If you are thinking that the war is just for high-end mobile handsets manufacturing, then you are in gaffe. It’s the war for mobile ecosystem. All players are engaged to create mobile ecosystem around–including OS, apps, hardware, cloud service and more. If any company is focusing either on high-end hardware manufacturing or spanking software development, it does not mean that the company will be succeeded in the market.

In support of this logic, I want to take an example of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. There are lots of Android powered Tablet manufacturers, why only Amazon’s Kindle Fire has succeeded in the market? The reason is quite obvious, Amazon is offering the Tablet at nominal price with integrated services including eBook, apps and more. Why was Google so much worried about Motorola acquisition? Why has Apple tied itself to its own OS, App Store and retail store? Why is Samsung thinking beyond Android and working on Tizen? There’s a strong reason, they all are endeavoring to create a mobile ecosystem around. That’s why, Facebook is trying to make every phone to “Facebook phone”–just for creating a mobile ecosystem around.

At present, users want an enormous number of apps, cloud storage, huge media contents and more on their mobile device. But, Nokia and RIM are far behind in this segment compare to Apple and Google. However, RIM has its own mobile ecosystem (hardware and software) around, but its three days outage in the last year has almost demolished its worldwide business.

Both Nokia and RIM  are nascent in apps development space. Both the companies are now at the lowest point of their life. Indeed, they need to seek for potential mergers before reaching to grave. The same thing was happened with Motorola Mobility last year, but it was sold at the reasonable price. Nokia and RIM have finally saddle its all afford on their Windows 8 powered Tablet and BlackBerry 10 OS respectively.  If they succeed in their mission, then only they could take a sigh of relief. If they fail, then no one can save them. I think, Nokia and RIM are going to fight their last battle.

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