Nokia has failed “to have much of an impact in North America, either with the tech industry or with consumers. Lord knows that it’s trying, by moving its CTO to Palo Alto. It’s also clear that Nokia as the most aggressive US university outreach program of any mobile phone company, with multi-man year efforts at Stanford, UCLA and MIT. But its handset share and mindshare are almost off the radar,” Joel West, associate professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Department of Organization and Management in the College of Business at San José State University, writes for Seeking Alpha.
“Nokia (and with it Symbian) so far has lost in the US market, including the high-end smartphone market that they dominate in the global market,” West writes. “The iPhone and Blackberry are winners and Nokia is an also-ran. The question that the Europeans (and Japanese and Koreans) are asking is: so what?”
“The ‘so what’ is that before the iPhone, efforts to kickstart the mobile Internet have largely failed, at least in the developed countries. Operators and manufacturers come up with all sorts of technologies and businesses but they’re not getting adopted,” West writes. “The iPhone is getting used and is getting the mobile Internet adopted. It’s also winning the hearts and minds of third party software and services — both for the cool factor, but also because it has users that will try these technologies. I know both geeks and housewives that swear by it, just as the Mac is gaining share on Windows in the desktop.”
“Most marketing problems have a basis in fact. Successful companies usually assume that marketing problems are because the market isn’t getting their message (NB: Microsoft, Intel) — but often it’s because they’re not listening to the market,” West writes. “Nokia (and its soon-to-be subsidiary Symbian) can continue to shoot at the messenger, or they can respond to the iPhone challenge by making their products easier to use and more compelling.”
West writes, “My hunch is that Apple has at least another year or two before Nokia gets its software act together. (And if Nokia doesn’t, then Microsoft, RIM, LG or Samsung will.) So, as when it faced Windows 95, Apple better have something up its sleeve to further advance innovations when competitors catch up to its first mobile phone act.”
Full article here.
“My hunch is that Apple has at least another year or two before (insert company name) gets its software act together. And if (insert company name here) doesn’t, then Company A, B, C or D will.”
That’s exactly what they said several years ago about iPod. Didn’t happen. It tuns out that Apple had many, many “somethings” up its sleeve.
Apple is not a “regular” company — and it’s a very common mistake to analyze them as if they are — they are an extraordinary company…
…and therefore Apple’s quite difficult to catch. Especially when (insert company names here) are starting several years behind them and there’s no longer an unprepared sugared water salesbozo around to sign away Apple’s company jewels to allow (insert company names here) to “innovate” this time.
The iPhone is great software wrapped in wonderful hardware, and its software is five years ahead of anything else out there. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, May 30, 2007
We’ve been pushing the state-of-the-art in every facet of design… We’ve been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we’ve field for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them. – Steve Jobs, January 9, 2007
There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote I love: ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been.’ That’s what we try to do at Apple. – Steve Jobs, January 9, 2007
None of the companies that West mentions have both the hardware and software design chops (not to mention iTunes’ App Store) that would be necessary to catch, much less compete with, Apple.