A view from the States
Your two recent articles;
1. Only Apple can get away with App Stores
2. Smoke free Nokia looks for a spark. Pleasing people who never pay for anything. Will this work?
Your articles have brought about some interesting thoughts. Being an avid Apple PC & iPhone user, and a wireless executive for the past 18 years I have some differing opinions.
First, your comments on the Ovi strategy from Niklas and perceived miscues of offering free applications or content. Let us quickly revisit the early days of the Internet. You do remember AOL charging $39.95 to $49.95 a month for their service back in 1996 and onward? Every analyst and observer noted AOL’s huge content or for that matter “killer apps” like email and IM and that no one could possible usurp AOL’s position or strategy. By 1998, 1999 they had “first mover advantage”, they had amassed 80 million subs. Well today AOL can’t even charge $4.95 for their “content or apps”. My children can get it all free from likes of Yahoo, Google, MSN and so on. Today when teenagers have to pay for apps or content online, they seemingly find a way to get it for free. Eventually the free model or pay next to nothing devours the pay model when the two exist in the same market place. The wireless market place will be no different it will only happen much quicker. No one enterprise, carrier or manufacture has a lock on content & apps. You also comment on bottom up strategy for services and Nokia’s lack of bottom up strategy. Interesting… Yet in 1993 at BellSouth meetings they told us that wireless subs would pass land line subs, everyone laughed. In 1996 they said sms texting would not only take off but have a hockey stick curve explosion, we laughed and said it’s a European thing Americas like to talk. In 1999, they said we will put the internet in everyone’s pocket, right... We all know what happen with those examples. Did Apple create a device that made putting the Internet in your pocket a reality? You bet, I carry one and have no complaints. But to dismiss Nokia’s strategy is foolish, not only are they moving where the market will be in the coming years but they are doing it aggressively with a bottom up approach such Nokia Mail and Messaging for the 3.2 billion subs that don’t have a PC or internet connection. Here, we have some 40 million plus subs that don’t have banking access, Nokia Money or a competitive product would be wonderful.
Only Apple can get away with Apps stores? Because they banned flash and Java from their ecosystem? Rather flimsy, maybe they also created a truly turnkey user friendly mobile store front with compelling content for starters. Yet again, to see only Apple as being capable is short sited as were journalist and analyst whom declared no one else can amass AOL’s content, apps and sub base. We all know how that turned out. Thanks for the light hearted reading Andrew.