Yesterday, Robert Scoble posted a really good opinion piece on the problems with Nokia’s current business strategy. In his view, Nokia is doomed because the company still fails when it comes to attracting the attention of app developers and influencers, two groups which are fueling Apple’s iPhone and IPad platform growth.
Why is Nokia in a poor spot? Because I’ve had several mobile executives visit my home carrying Nokia phones. Funny enough they always are also carrying iPhones and Android devices. I poke at the folks carrying all these devices. “Do you like the Nokia N8?” The answer is always “no.”
The thing that Tomi and Marko don’t admit is that Nokia’s strategy is in a deep hole with influencers and developers.
Now, do these folks matter? Not in the short term.
But in the long term? Oh, yeah. Microsoft is already learning how important they are. Why? Sales of Windows Phone 7 haven’t been very good at all. And Microsoft is already way ahead of Nokia. How? They have an awesome user experience with a new, rewritten for the modern age, OS. Plus, Microsoft is WAY ahead of Nokia in developer tools. Building apps for Windows Phone 7 is easier than for other platforms, my friends, who include Zagat’s top developer, tell me. Nokia is, they tell me, a real mess to develop for in comparison (and RIM is even worse).
In a related article, Michael Mace, a former executive at both Palm and Apple, outlines on his blog how RIM, makers of Blackberry, are also losing the mobile war. Mr. Mace says,
In my opinion, RIM’s real problems center around two big issues: its market is saturating, and it seems to have lost the ability to create great products. This is a classic problem that eventually faces most successful computer platforms. The danger is not that RIM is about to collapse, but that it’ll drift into in a situation where it can’t afford the investments needed to succeed in the future. It’s very easy for a company to accidentally cross that line, and very hard to get back across it.
Mr. Mace analysis of RIM’s shortcomings is quite extensive and in his opinion, the company can still turn things around.