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back to article The REAL winner of Microsoft's Nokia buy: GOOGLE

Nokia might well boost Microsoft’s smartphone market share, but it won’t derail Android on mobile or thwart Google’s search and ads money machine. Separate surveys say Nokia will consolidate Microsoft’s third-place status in smartphones while Google, helped by YouTube, will continue to dominate the cash haul from net searches …

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Anonymous Coward

Billion Android Phones.

Makes Windows Phone numbers look frankly pathetic.

Any developer not targeting Android as their primary device is a fool. Why would anyone target Windows Phone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Billion Android Phones.

Hard to get your app noticed?

That's like saying why would anyone write punk music when there's more people who like Bieber.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

Piracy, there's been quite a few notable cases of apps being highly pirated on android. The number of handsets doesn't matter, its the number of people paying for your app that does.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

I'm no fan of punk rock, but comparing it to windows phone is doing it a disservice.

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The REAL loser of Microsoft's Nokia buy: GOOGLE

> Billion Android Phones.

And MSFT get a $15 patent fee on each one - now with the Nokia patents they can double that.

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Spare me a dime

re. money

The $15 is not real money but often part of licensing. I think we would see it challenged if it wasn't approaching expiry.

re. Nokia's patents

Microsoft only has 10 years access to them; the patents are staying with Nokia. another spectacular bit of negotiating from Microsoft.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

People are more likely to pay for apps if you are on Windows Phone or iOS than Android perhaps.

There is less of them that are exceptional.

If someone made something only on Windows Phone it would likely get buzz because there is so few decent apps on it at all. Leave it for a bit then port it to Android / iOS when it has a name for itself.

(Same sort of thing that has happened when Xbox Live Arcade games have been put on steam a year later and made lots of money after making basically nothing on Xbox Live Arcade.)

iOS and Android has loads of good stuff already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would anyone target Windows Phones?

Easy really.

It doesn't matter if Android has a billion installs. If you happen to like MS development, and Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone [free] makes it very simple and quick to do, then 'only' 40 million devices in the wild is more than enough addressable market to make it worthwhile.

Yes, I may get more downloads (possibly even sales) from Android but development is far less pleasant, visibility far more difficult, competition for sales far greater, and ultimately there is enough of a market in WP to compensate for the app developer who just wants to earn good money rather than take over the world.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

"Any developer not targeting Android as their primary device is a fool."

If that is the case, the vast majority of developers are fools (or driven by money, most developers still earn considerably more targeting iOS).

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Re: Why would anyone target Windows Phones?

>> It doesn't matter if Android has a billion installs

Er.. Yes it does. Developers go where the users are, and currently Android is 75% of the smartphone market. If you don't think that's important, then you're delusional.

>> If you happen to like MS development, and Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone [free] makes it very simple and quick to do.

And what OS are you targeting? What ever you write for Windows Phone won't work on Windows 8/RT and vice versa. Good luck with that.

Can I write Windows Phone apps on my preferered OS - GNU/Linux, or perhaps OS X? No you say? If you write code for M$' proprietary platforms, it's not portable whatsoever. That's an expensive proposition considering the tiny size of the target audience.

>> Yes, I may get more downloads (possibly even sales) from Android but development is far less pleasant.

If you want something free and easy, why not try Android Studio ( https://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/studio.html ). It's cross platform, and your target audience is 75% of the smartphone market, and about 60% of the tablet market. Write it once and it'll run on both tablets and smartphones, unlike Windows Phone/8/RT. I know which is more pleasant to me.

>> and ultimately there is enough of a market in WP to compensate for the app developer who just wants to earn good money rather than take over the world.

Really? So why is M$ having to pay app developers to even consider writing for their platform? And when they get the money, they never update the app again. That's why the Windows marketplace has the highest number of dead apps compared to Apple's App Store, and Google Play.

Unless you have no overheads and your time has no value, then Windows as an App platform is financial suicide. 3% market share, highest no. of dead apps, lowest quality apps, most major apps missing, and that's just the app store. The OS itself is a disaster. It has all the failings of iOS without the benefits of the App Store, or Apple's brand. I won't compare it to Android because it's not even in the same class.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

Because the overall Windows ecosystem is larger and involves far more revenue. There are hundreds of millions of Windows PCs out there...

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@Tyrion

And can you develop iOS apps on anything but OSX?

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Alien

Re: Billion Android Phones.

Microsoft Ecosystem???

A good ecosystem comes with balance and diversity. A monopoly is not an ecosystem.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

So by your argument Android is not an ecosystem - as it has a percentage market share of over 75% and is therefore a monopoly power?

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N2

Re: Billion Android Phones.

"Why would anyone target Windows Phone?"

If one got nicked the thief would be pretty disappointed

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Go

Re: Why would anyone target Windows Phones?

If you want something free and easy

Or you could try downloading Qt Creator which is also free, and with a single code base create apps for the whole market (other than Windows Phone) - that's iOS, Android, BB10, Sailfish, Tizen, Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

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Re: Billion Android Phones.

"Any developer not targeting Android as their primary device cares about getting some return for their efforts"

Fixed it for you.

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Anonymous Coward

But wait

I thought at some point IDC said WP will own 100% of the smartphone market by now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But wait

"I thought at some point IDC said WP will own 100% of the smartphone market by now."

No, a common mistake, it was The Vogon that said that !

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re. But wait

IDC has a reputation for being very enthusiastic when it comes to Microsoft. with the right team and determination they might well pull off a surprise (personally I can't see that happening without breaking the company up, but what do I know?). But those recent stats for Mexico seemed to show feature phone to Android more than anything else. Android now has the eco-system around both hardware and software that Microsoft and Intel used to have: Samsung et al. now have even more reason to invest in it.

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Re: But wait

IDC said Windows Phone would get 40M first year sales. Sight unseen, months before launch. Missed it by... that much.

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Re: But wait

I never said that.

My view is that Windows Phone will eventually take 2nd place. Blackberry are dying, and Apple are falling out of fashion.

Microsoft are the only vendor really offering a secure and manageable alternative stack to Blackberry for corporates with Windows Phone - I think they are likely to be the new Blackberry in that space....

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"More Money Than They Know What To Do With".

That's the phrase that comes to mind when I read about some of the deals that Microsoft makes.

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Facepalm

Re: "More Money Than They Know What To Do With".

I shake my head almost every time Microsoft splurges billions on something like Skype but at least they don't sit on their cash pile like Apple seems to do.

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Coat

sitting on a cash pile...

is probably quite comfortable, unless there's too much change.

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Looking back at 2009 predictions that said that Android would be squeezed out of the market by iOS, BlackBerry, and Nokia, how much credence can we put in these predictions for four years from now?

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I'm not convinced there's going to be a WP market at all in 2017, never mind 10% market share.

Why would anyone buy WP over Android - especially given the phones that will appear once MS have finished kicking the crutches out from under the Nokia design teams, and pissing off everyone with a clue with stack ranking games?

I think it's much more likely the 10% market share will be owned by one of the newcomers from India or China, who will have the advantage of designing and selling on home turf.

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Anonymous Coward

There are a number of reasons why you might buy Windows Phone over Android.

Windows Phone is far more efficient and requires less resources

Windows Phone is more responsive and less laggy. Android being build on a Java layer that relies on background garbage collection makes this to a large extend an unavoidable issue...

Windows phone is far more secure, with a signed chain of trust and a more advanced kernel that can isolate drivers from the kernel, and a much much better security record.

Windows phone has more advanced management and integration in the corporate space - fully manageable via SCCM that the vast majority of enterprises already use.

Windows Phone includes a proper Office client.

Much of the technology available from Nokia on Windows Phone is ahead of anything shipping on Android - e.g. best microphones, best nav and maps, best cameras, best screen and touch technology, etc, etc....

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Anonymous Coward

Dunno. I just bought a Nokia Lumia 620 for £140. Performance wise it pisses on anything at the same price running Android.

And don't get me wrong, I like Android, I have had HTC Desire HD and now One X and I have an iPhone 5 work phone.

Windows phone is the most pleasant of the 3, Android the most configurable, iOS the grey blob in the corner that just annoys the hell out of me, I marvel that people pay stupid money for these quite frankly horrible devices (even if it does look very nice).

I wonder if the fact that a sub £150 Windows phone does the business is good or bad for them ultimately, but my money is on them exceeding the 10% by 2017. It's a very good mobile OS, and the "lack" of apps is very overblown.

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Headline is wrong

I think Google is actually a loser here. If Microsoft hadn't bought Nokia, at some point they would have had to give up on Windows Phone exclusivity and start making Android devices. If they went about it seriously, they might have become the rival to Samsung that Google sorely needs to prevent Samsung from continuing and growing its current total domination of the Android market.

I'm sure Google never expected and certainly doesn't want such a thing, but would rather have several strong players as Android did for the first few years.

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Re: Headline is wrong

Why would nokia go for android ?

To be in the android losers rank like htc, motorola and lg ? Yeah, that's exactly what nokia needs now, to be the number 4 or number 5 android phone maker and still get bashed by samsung ?

People that adore android are mostly it's hardcode users, not the businesses that have to make money from somewhere. If you take out the top few handful apps from the market there is almost no revenue left for the others.

And i don't blame the hardcore fans, it's an awesome device for hacking and customizing. But unless you are rovio or samsung, you'll have one hell to go through to get any profit that's even decent for SME.

As ironic as it may be, IPhone is winning behind the scenes, as Samsung with it's low margins is driving to the ground the same ecosystem that gave it it's massive boost.

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Re: Headline is wrong

Nokia is well regarded in Europe and Asia, I think they would have done better selling Android than HTC or the other also-rans. Whether they could have matched Samsung is another matter, but they'd certainly be a better competitor to Samsung than the rest of the rabble.

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Re: Headline is wrong

"""Why would nokia go for android ?"""

Powerfull insight: TO MAKE MONEY, people loved the sturdiness and design of Nokia phones, the brand is still incredibly powerful, Android allows lots of both handset and carrier customization for well, basically free.

What was the problem of Nokia porting its map application / launcher to Android and cashing.

Samsung being the largest Android handset seller doesn't mean that you can not compete, I for one do not like the touch-nonsense interface of Samsung phones.

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Re: Headline is wrong

Why would nokia go for android ?

There's only one reason Nokia sold their phone business to Microsoft - because they couldn't make money from it while running Windows Phone. If Nokia believed their Devices & Services business had a future with Windows Phone, they wouldn't have sold it - it's really that simple. Nokia stopped believing in Windows Phone, or realised they would run out of money before it was once again a viable business, and had to get out. Presumably their 2011 deal with Microsoft precludes them from launching an Android phone at this point in time.

What is now more interesting is that Nokia and Microsoft have completely different business goals until this deal completes in ~6 months time. Nokia are basically losing money on every device sale as Elop chased market share with deep volume discounts and low ASPs, but now that Nokia are about to offload the D&S business they must surely be looking to protect what cash they have in the bank, which should mean eliminating discounts, raising ASP, and NOT chasing market share - exactly what Microsoft will not want.

In fact, Microsoft will want Nokia to lose as much money as possible over the next 6 months. What will Nokia do? Unless Microsoft are willing to cover Nokia's losses, Nokia should now sell only the low volume high-end, high margin Lumia stuff.

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Paris Hilton

Truth iz ... ?

In 5 to 10 years time small devices are going to be awesomely prolific and if emm ess wished for another generation they would have to get into it soon.

But what strains might it put on the intel-emm ess (and once eye bee emm?) nod, wink and handshake?

Ans: probably not much at all?

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With Microsoft buying Nokia...

Will ANYONE ELSE make Windows phones? I suspect not since a competitor is making them with lower cost basis (licensing fees being "internal").

Sure lots of people do Android, but the fees are the same no matter what hardware vendor you buy from.

As for Microsoft and its fees, I suspect that the FAT patents will expire soon, and Redmond will be out in the cold.

Yes, watching a collision in the making. Watch right here.

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@ Herby

Your logic is, mutatis mutandis, applicable to the situation with Google/Motorola vs all the other Android handset makers, Samsung included. (I'm pretty sure that I have read about Samsung investigating the possibility of creating its own alternative to Android, so that they will not be dependent on a competitor.)

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Re: @ Herby

>> Your logic is, mutatis mutandis, applicable to the situation with Google/Motorola vs all the other Android handset makers.

Actually it's not. Motorola operates as a separate company, whereas Nokia itself (the devices division) will be entirely assimilated into the M$ borg upon completion of the acquisition.

That will mean M$ itself will own 80% of the WP hardware market. Motorola by comparison has perhaps 10%. The only way it would be comparable (mutatis mutandis) is if Google had acquired Samsung, then dissolved the company and produced all the Galaxy devices under the Google name.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: With Microsoft buying Nokia...

The FAT patents expire in 2014. However, Microsoft have stacks of other relevant patents in that space. I doubt it will make any difference whatsoever...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Herby

But Google are The Borg!

You will be assimilated. And then spammed with targeted adverts....

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Just for reference El Reg. I'm a die-hard believer in not blocking ads. I genuinely think journalism is worth paying for and since I'm not actually handing over fivers, disabling the ads is just stealing.

However. The O2 ad you've been running on this story actually maxed the CPU on my laptop to the point where I couldn't actually scroll the page to read the article. Just actually couldn't read it. I had to go and chase down a flash blocker to stop it because I'm that f**ked off I needed to vent. You're killing yourselves here. In the name of the wee man - vet your ads to make sure they haven't been written by halfwits.

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That is why I run flashblock. I don't mind ads but I hate anything that is musical or uses most of my CPU.

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>> I had to go and chase down a flash blocker

Isn't that what ABP + NoScript are for?

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Similar issues with O2 advert here. I have had to disable Flash for this site now...

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Anonymous Coward

When reading the reg open a terminal first and when the brain dead flash ads screw up kill them like so

k

{PID for plugin-containter}

9<CR>

plugin-container will be the very top process with the PID in the column marked 'PID'

Works for all *n*x type systems, if your using MS your on your own :P

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Microsoft obfuscates the traditional boundaries?

"Microsoft obfuscates the traditional boundaries between hardware- and software-maker, it will be forced to drive growth itself, rather than relying more on its OEM pals – which are now rivals too".

Shouldn't that be, in a shrinking market share, Microsoft is stealing the OEMs lunch money?

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Re: Microsoft obfuscates the traditional boundaries?

"""Microsoft is stealing the OEMs lunch money?"""

Of course, what else do you expect MS to do?

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If the talk of a 'Newkia' company rising from the ashes and selling Android devices with ex Nokia brains designing it then maybe Google will be the winner long term.

I honestly don't understand any of Microsofts acquisitions. Buying the phone part of Nokia and making their own hardware will just annoy Samsung and HTC and lets face it Microsoft need all the friends they can get in the mobile sector. Google have been clever not to tread on peoples toes with the Motorola purchase. Apart from a few phone launches I've seen little in the way of marketing for their own Motorola devices and they've continued letting other partners make the Nexus hardware..

Nokia is a strange purchase for me, but not as bizarre as Skype. I really don't see the long term plan with Skype. I saw an advert for the Xbox one where someone was skyping their friend during an NFL game. I can't think of anything more annoying than someone typing to video call me when I'm trying to watch a sporting event although NFL isn't really my cup of tea..... It's just futuristic rugby

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cmp

Don't ask what do microsoft get out of the nokia deal, ask what they dont lose and it probably makes more sense. Nokia have 80+% of the windows phone market and were losing money hand over fist, and have been doing so for long enough that they really had to change something very quickly or risk the handset division taking down the entire company. They've been in this position long enough to know that just crossing their fingers and hoping wasn't going to cut it.

Nokias options were basically to just close their handset division completely, start producing android phones (and hope they could compete with Samsung), or sell up. If they sold to someone like Lenovo you could pretty much guarentee that *they* would start producing Android phones. Pretty much all of these would be disasters for Microsoft's phone ambitions.

The alternative was for Micorsoft to spend some of their cash thats stuck in Europe by US tax rules, and buy WP the time to grow the market that Nokia can't afford to give it. MS can afford for their handsets to make a loss for the next 5+ years if it pays out in the end, Nokia couldn't. It'll annoy HTC and Samsung, but they're very minor players in the windows phone world compared to Nokia so who cares?

So, I wouldn't interpret this as a bold strategic move for MS, more a desperate move to prop up their phone ambitions that were about to collapse around their ears.

I don't understand the Skype purchase either though :)

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