Well today, now yesterday (May 24th) was my birthday and I got some time to reflect on a few thoughts and only time today to post on one of them. This week I began to consider just how much of this topic goes completely unnoticed by most average mobile computer/mobile smartphone consumers and how much marketshare Nokia may have lost due to this. Gone are the days of the late 90’s and early 2000’s where Nokia could afford a quick product announcement and produce a device targeted at a specific target market – without proper focus or advancement in technology or design. Case in point was the Nokia N70 & N73 Music Edition releases, the N71, or the 6680/81, and finally the E50 in May ’06, when the E60 existed in October ’05. Each of the models I’ve specified are rehashes of the same product with just a slight focus in market segment (region) when it was never initially intended for OR like the E50 not needed when it offered nothing new from the previous product 6/7mths prior to its release. Nokia previous to the past 1-2yrs has been doing a phenomonal job with increasing smartphone awareness and marketshare – not only for itself but to the competition. Nokia intelligently new that back in 2001 having a smartphone available was not enough for the average consumer to upgrade to it from a feature phone. They had to identify or create (through research) a “market segment”. Considering the mindshare towards cellphones outside of the European market it was understandable that Nokia would ignore or find the American market (North & South American continents; not just the USA) as a minimal investment as a market segment. To date Nokia’s only focus to the North/South American market segment, beyond 1/2 model generations, has been the flip-phone S60 models. The Nokia 6260 (2004/2nd Qtr: GSM 850 / 1800 / 1900 – US version) started it all.(N71 skipped us, and thankfully so as it would not have been received well at all) N75 had SOOO much potential (2006, September: UMTS 850 / 1900)! This was the PERFECT S60 phone for the USA market when it was announced. This had many in the industry hailing it – however, Nokia’s potential and time was wasted when courting to AT&T who has consistently favored Windows Mobile devices over S60. This device was clearly focused; offering Music Player & EQ, 3G speeds that we could use, and a decent quick-cam. AT&T screwed over the release of this device complaining so much of network inconsistencies and issues it literally took 9 months to release it. N76 Although not targeted to the North/South American market … if released 6mths earlier this would’ve taken the lucrative Motorola RAZR2 market! Offering 3.5mm headset jack, same slim design, S60 prowess to boot, and a shinny shell coating it would’ve appealed to North American women intensely in red. Unfortunately the shinny shell proved to be its Achilles heel – it had a poor finish and peeled too easily. 6650 Fold (2008, March: HSDPA 850 / 2100) Finally an S60 flip-phone released on time and modified to properly focus for the North/South American market segment. It did everything a feature phone could do with the prowess of S60 Operating System. Sleek design, effective camera for quick shots, nothing serious, and HSDPA 3G speeds ideal for streaming audio/video. Priced just right this will only sell moderately because Nokia does NOT know how to advertise correctly/efficiently in this marketplace. Nor do they know how to co-advertise. Now … jump to the current & previous year … the record drops in Nokia phone sales – heavily affecting S60 devices. In the rebirth of Touch Screen phones, Nokia took FAR too LONG to release an answer to the iPhone (original). Some of you may recall that Nokia had promised to combine the beneficial features of S60 with S90 to debut a touch screen smartphone back in 2004. Nokia took 2 long years of development in earnest to finally give us the 5800XM and soon the N97. What happened to the previous 3yrs promise of S90+S60 merging together? Hmmm. In 2005 Nokia focused an a particular market segment for Business class users. They engaged in business all across Europe & Asia for closed focus group studies for prototype devices to be used also with IntelliSync server/services. THe E61 debuted in October 2005 and without focus of the North/South American market. THis allowed for BlackBerry’s dominance to increase exponentially. In my mind this was the ripe year for Nokia to fully challenge BlackBerry. IntelliSync offered EVERY bit of capability as BES 3.6 did and with the added benefit of having support for devices from other manufacturers and OS types: S60, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and even BlackBerry devices too. Furthermore their devices had 3G a huge benefit for the European market, but left out yet again the North/South American market. The followup – E61i also ignored North/South American market. Yet this phone was properly focused on its particular market segment; and sold VERY well indeed. Last year … Nokia had an epiphany! Realising it can no longer afford to loose its business market, let alone ignore North/South American market segment it decided to use a neutral chipset manufacturer that could not only support various baseband 3G communications but also provide exceptional system performance without sacrificing battery life. Nokia finally had a device that focused on a specific target market of users while effectively encompassing varying market segments without refinishing the model into sub-models. 1 device, ready for various market segments (a true world phone), and offering what the target market wanted. The E71 was bourn! This was the business phone for users & corporations not tied to the chain of a RIM BES server! This was a device that allowed applications to use ANY connection (GPRS/EDGE/3G-HSDPA/WLAN), communicate to any entrenched communications infrastructure (Exchange Server 2003/2007, Lotus Domino 8/8.5+, CISCO VOIP/Avaya VOIP over WLAN/Cellular network) and allow the user to have his/her business phone also act as their personal phone while offering corporate security. The E71 is the BEST selling qwerty device EVER in Nokia’s history of making phones/smartphones! This surpased sales of its predecessor E61i and the E61, the E90, 9500 & 9300 Communicator, and any other communicator before it. Keep in mind the E71’s success was in the face of some VERY powerful competition as well: BB 9000 Bold, iPhone, and many other smartphones. It also did this without powerful video acceleration sub-processor or with VGA video recording capability at 30fps. The E71 does what its supposed to do and does it well; being more powerful with the software fully extending its capabilities. Sure you’ll hear gripes of no 3.5mm headset jack or small screen & QVGA resolution; but to those that have bought it and owned it will always state its a GREAT device. This brings me to the thought of Market Segmentation. Is there still a need for it in the struggling consumer & business economy? Apple, Samsung, and LG are making HUGE revenues and profits at Nokia’s lack of focus in their overall portfolio of devices by making 1 simple slab of device, making a multitude of slimmed down versions in different casings offering less features (hardware/software wise), and focusing on all possible target markets. They make the devices compatible for one particular market segment, while varying the models for other market segments. Their becoming increasingly efficient at doing this as well; regardless of the versatile choice of smartphone OS and platform choices. Apple makes one simple smartphone – an oxymoron to be sure – and is able to sell well over 1 million (it hoped for) its first year, and then over 17 million the following year! They’re now a global player but they believe 1 size fits all. Are they onto something here or is it a cyclical trend that will eventually fade or re-assess and evolve. RIM is able to survive & thrive in the face of this Touchscreen smartphone fits all by delivering what they do best and evolving by offering more features in just about every product they make. A 3.5mm headset jack is on every unit they make now regardless of the focused target market, and beginning to offer a higher resolution screen and larger screens in all their models excep for one – the 8220. In less than 30 days, Nokia will begin to show the world why it is THE largest phone manufacturer & camera manufacturer in the WORLD! THe N97 takes its design queues strongly from the success of the E71 – a few metal accents and no-nonsense design. A stark and eloquent design. Sure it grants what the world users currently want, the speed, efficiency, and minimal design of a touch screen, yet not forsaken physical qwerty keypad that some end users still rave and crave about. I’ll wager the N97’s success will come from beautiful harmony of blending these two worlds with an OS powerful enough to offer the user to Create, Consume, and Interract with the mobile web, not simply consume it. Sure MySpace & Facebook applications are available on BlackBerry and the mobile page versions available on iPhone > but the speed and power is nothing like what the N97 will offer. The N97 is not going to offer the best hardware of what Symbian can offer (very close though), but it will offer the best experience a user can have in a smartphone that will evolve and grow with them. Applications that offer tangeable use beyond 7 days use unlike that iPhone whos users game more than user productive apps and just simply surf and swipe their screens listening to audio & video. The N86 continues in the E71’s incredible design but offers a juggernaught of multimedia features viewable in a tasteful screen – AMOLED!! Those of you recording 30fps VGA video with great colour and motion, taking pictures day & night, making calls, IM, Emails, surfing the FULL real web – FLASH included on the N95 or N85 … will definately be looking towards the N86! It offers a hardened-glass screen that I’m sure will look and feel esquisite with the AMOLED display, with metal bezel and accents around. Its been so long since I’ve enjoyed incredible pictures and video playback on a phone that my E71 is feeling more inadequate as these beautiful sunshine summer days draw nearer! I’m torn between getting the multimedia features I’ve been missing in the N85 or N86 and not loosing the full qwerty keyboard & speed efficiency of my E71; N97. I can see a reason and place for touchscreen but I don’t need it nor prefer it. Clearly there is still a need for market segmentation but no longer in the traditional sense. Also, traditional smartphone or feature phone target markets are all but gone .. only the low end basic phone users and the feature aspiring users exist (excellent camera imagery, video recording troupe, gaming, and the new avanté garde touch screen troupe). Nokia has survived by continually evolving but they cannot afford to waist important market segments and design phones for a small specific target market in the mid-high tier range any longer.
S60’s relevance is becoming more and more highlighted. This new sync from Google is significant because of the recent stop of investment in Nokia Ovi services by Nokia – however Nokia Maps just got a big update.
Google Sync offers two-way, over-the-air contacts and calendar synchronization. Using the push technology, updates are automatic and up to date within minutes if not seconds – depending on the size of the content you’ll be synching.
Please not that you MUST have Nokia Mail for Exchange version 2.09 (also called 2.9) or above installed on your S60 phone – FREE.
Nokia, at the Developer Summit 2009 showed some particular highlights and marketing innovation for the rest of us to experience.
First, let me highlight some of the things we already know about Ovi. Then I’ll touch on some things we didn’t know until now.
Business Opportunity – Ovi Store’s Reach & Revenue potential:
* Credit Card billing in all applicable markets upon launch.
* mobile billing in 8 countries with more after.
* Target is 50 million devices & users.
* Self-Service publishing developers’ or partner-providers content on Ovi Store (noice).
* Content provider gets 70% [for credit card billing, less taxes. Mobile billing content purchases: less taxes & fixed billing charges of the provider].
Also users can not only rate relevant content [by relevant I mean geographically & demographically, or socially relevant content] but also write reviews and share that purchase content choice to friends. Sharing, for now means share your reviews; but I’d LOVE to be able to purchase an application – and allow my friends or family with S60 devices [Symbian^2 or higher] devices to download and user it as per ownership. That is sending a worthy gift!
Downloading Ovi Store content seems like a breeze but welcome sight! No IMEI blocking!!! Could this be true!?
Credit card purchasing is sweeter!
Correction on Sharing Ovi Store Content …. SHARING!
Developers … please glance at this next picture twice PLEASE!! Remember more than 1 device that will use this including those that do NOT wish to use a smartphone … 50% more market than that other platform. And yes you CAN use your Mac to code with it.
Here is your Ovi Store content publishing flow …
Ovi Store metrics for you developers …
Later in 2009 … Ovi Store will continue to be a social buying experience – natively – improved relevancy for recommendations to end users, ‘IN-APP BILLING’ Subscription Billing, Automatic Sharing!
Content formats supported & file extensions …
Now. Think of Ovi Store’s true potential BEYOND the North American [ahem USA only market as many developers this side of the pond only think of]
* 2 Thirds of Brazillians would prefer an All-In-One phone.
Remember people …
Time for a small break.
Nokia Messaging has been getting a lot of praise lately. I use it DAILY since intial launch late summer last year [Nokia Beta]. It works VERY well and even still in beta form, has had less issues in North America (USA & Canada) than in the half-year that RIM has had issues in the same time period and within the same region [Canada] on the same provider [Rogers Wireless].
Now the competition should get ready … since a regular data plan on just about any S60 device that is supported: E71, E66, N82, N85, N86, N97, E75, etc with many more to come soon.
Nokia Messaging’s real power is not just with recent integration with Gmail Folders, or with MS Exchange Sync [on E75, E55, N97]. True the benefit of a multi IM supported integration is amazing, but the REAL power is with Lotus Traveler integration – another major corporate platform, but also with Social integration and new API’s coming that will be universally supported throughout.
Making partnerships with providers to offer services of Nokia Messaging is something Nokia learned from RIM.
Nokia clearing focusing this as solid vested interest.
Now … back to Ovi Store and what we DIDN’T know until recently.
Sponsored Games or apps … could this make our future anticipated devices cheaper? Will it be accepted in many markets? Incredible concept, but will it work?!
Hot linking to photos, courtesy of mobile-review.com (Russian site at time of publishing)
Oh the places You’ll Go – Symbian Foundation!
I Got it on the first time!
Lee Williams’ [Executive Director of Symbian Foundation] keynote speech at Nokia Developer Summit 2009 in Monaco, was powerful!
Many things where cleared up; especially that inviting yet wondrous pictures – and new video – that represent Symbian Foundation. Many of you may not even know this but there is a book called “Oh The Place You’ll Go!” by Dr. Zeuss. I bought this book 11 yrs ago and read it to my son countless of times. With Symbian Foundation … and to developers it has an equal importance beyond the obvious.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know.
And you are the one who’ll decide where you’ll go.
Oh the places you’ll go.
Symbian Foundation is on a SERIOUS roll lately. Just a look over at their blogs shows that work is like a bullet train with no derailments in sight. Symbian^2 will reach Functionality Completed in week 19 2009, and is expected to be Hardened by week 51 this year. Reviewing the Release Plan.
* Support for multiple form factors, resolutions and input methods;
* Customisable home screen supporting embedded widgets and other personal content.
This release of Symbian^2 will be very familiar not only to developers and manufacturers but also to end users. No it will NOT be stale, as it’ll grow on what we’re seeing with the upcoming N97 & Omnia HD [i8910].
The Symbian Foundation is fostering interaction amongst all members, fans, and well the rest of the world as a community. WE EACH have a say in how this will evolve. This community will provide a live access to information – providing whats relevant to you. No more diluting the creativity & inspiration – Oh The Places You’ll Go!
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Symbian Foundation community – @symbiandevco
So great was the tweet-hungry Symbian Foundation support that not only were all expectations regarding the initial beta sign-ups blown through the roof, the word ’symbian’ also jumped into the top three most mentioned topics of conversation globally on Twitter for most of the morning(May 1st, 2009)!
May 4th – Developers get ready!!!!!!!!
Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.
How to get a Beta Key..
* Follow @symbiandevco on Twitter
* Work out which timezone is closest to you (San Francisco, Beijing, London, Bangalore, Tokyo)
* Be ready to tweet between 2 – 4 pm on Monday 4th of May
* Send the following tweet out during that time period: @symbiandevco I need a #symbian beta key!
* Receive a message to your twitter within 12 hours containing your login to our beta
Good luck and happy Tweeting!
So I say to developers ….
Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.
With Symbian … many developers ponder upon success. To this I’m sure Symbian Foundation will say …
Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98 3/4% guaranteed.)