Thursday, October 11, 2007

Treading on shaky ground

If I were Dumbledore, then I could put my thoughts, memories in my pensive to keep my mind clear and fresh. But I'm not him at all and my mind now feels overburdened with news that I can't keep in - so I let them out.

You know, it's a great thing to tag blog articles. It keeps them categorized, easy to look for, easy to oversee, etc. What I'm now about to write, though, fits in a new category (well, at least to me): treading on shaky ground. What is it? You'll see, just read on!

Everybody paid immediate attention to one of Nokia's recent acquisitions, the agreement for Nokia to acquire NAVTEQ. You know, two things couldn't escape most people's attention: first, the huge amount of money Nokia is willing to pay ($8.1 billion!), second, that it is such an area (GPS and location-based services) that hasn't been fully explored yet. They must foresee something (and of course play an active role in it) that others haven't been thinking of yet!

And it's not the only acquisition Nokia was recently involved in: for example, they also merged with Enpocket. This deal is to give a boost to advertisement after the public announcement that Nokia is opening to the Internet. Not as if we didn't know that NSeries is open to anything, we now know that to the Internet, too. In addition, and I'm sure most of you already know, Nokia has launched new services for content download & consumption lately, check out Ovi and MOSH to see what I mean.

So good, so nice. But you know what? There are some parties who are not happy with Nokia opening to Internet and offering content online. It's said to be the operators (carriers in US) who will lose the most money if Nokia happens to be successful in this area. Although their online offering (mostly ringtones and themes) can usually be described with one word, pathetic, they're still the biggest revenue generator for Nokia. What happens, for example, if some UK operators refuse to sell new Nokia models? What happens if others follow them? Although, as I've already pointed out, Nokia might not be really affected by such a sudden(?) move in the US, it'd still be an unpleasant thing to happen to Nokia. I sort of have a feeling that what we see happening around is a total war between Nokia and others (operators, mobile manufacturers, OS vendors, etc.). That's the way how it goes.

As to mobile operating systems, the competition is also getting more and more tough. Although it's nicely put by Atmasphere that iPhone is a feature phone, in contrast with N95, the über-smartphone, Apple definitely has influence on newer phones not only from Nokia, but other handset makers, too. It's also worth noting what he found about the afore-mentioned two phones:

The iPhone is for consuming content, while the N95 is for creating it.

So from that point of view, Apple might not pose a considerable risk to Nokia's position yet. But how about Google? Even though it's a bit of an old news that Google is working on a mobile OS, I'm wondering how it will threaten Symbian's future. It's said to be a Linux variant (a new distribution to make the market even more fragmented?) and of course will be ad-supported (== cheap). Looking forward to it!

Thanks for being my pensive so far, I feel really relaxed now. And also eager to know what you think about all these things I've mentioned!



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