Nokias Future Depends on Windows Phone 7 Success

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-10-26 Print this article Print

  5. Consider the enterprise

The enterprise could very well be the wild card in this entire argument. Android is having an exceedingly difficult time making its way to the enterprise as IT managers realize that the operating system just isn't designed for them. Apple says that more companies are warming to the idea of adopting the iPhone, but by and large, RIM's BlackBerry platform still reigns supreme. So far, Windows Phone 7 hasn't caught fire in the enterprise, mainly because it's still relatively new to the market. But let's not forget that the operating system comes with SharePoint integration, support for Outlook and a host of other enterprise-friendly features that could appeal to those customers. If companies start to realize that and Nokia can grab smartphone market share, its handsets might just jump to the top of the list of products enterprises are willing to support.

6. A proof of concept for other vendors?

The biggest issue for Microsoft right now is that it's having some trouble inking deals with handset vendors to use its operating system. If Nokia's devices are successful-which is entirely possible-all that could change. Microsoft has needed a proof of concept for months to help it steal market share. And at least right now, Nokia's devices appear to be just that.

7. Add another major competitor to the mix

When Nokia was firmly committed to Symbian, it was great news for Apple. The company knew that the aging Symbian OS just wouldn't cut it against iOS even though Nokia has a loyal following around the world. Now that Nokia has Windows Phone 7-based devices ready to go, all that has changed. Nokia is now a worrisome competitor for Apple, and something that the company must keep in mind as it makes product decisions going forward.

8. Think about wireless carriers

Right now, most wireless carriers both in the U.S. and internationally are relying upon sales of Android-based handsets and the iPhone to bolster earnings. That means that in large part, they've lost much of their leverage with handset manufacturers. And as history has shown, losing this leverage is something carriers don't like. But with Nokia now joining the Windows Phone 7 fray, keep an eye on carriers. Trying to regain some lost leverage, they might welcome Nokia devices with open arms and do their best to promote them. If so, Android handsets and the iPhone could be hurt.

9. The long-term emerging markets

Although the devices aren't running Windows Phone 7, Nokia also announced today that it's launching the Asha family of handsets designed for emerging markets. It's an important move, and something that must be considered in all discussions on Nokia. Unlike too many companies, Nokia understands that the future of the mobile business is in the emerging markets. As long as it can establish a foothold in those countries now, it can eventually get them to adopt Windows Phone 7-based devices later. Make no mistake, Nokia views its strategy as a long-term game and not something that will be determined in the next few months. Google and Apple must also keep that in mind.

10. An OS with promise

All this talk of Nokia leaves out one key fact: Windows Phone 7 has promise. If Nokia had stuck with Symbian, the company wouldn't have had any chance of putting up a fight against Apple and Android handset makers. But with Windows Phone 7, it does. Microsoft's operating system, due mainly to the Mango update, is now more capable than ever at taking on iOS and Android. And Nokia is ready to capitalize on that.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel