Archive for October, 2011

Nokia World: How do you own the platform when you don’t own the platform?

Nokia World, London – Having jumped off of a burning platform and into Redmond’s arms – a story that I (partially) broke on TechCrunch back in February this year – Nokia this morning finally took the wraps off its much anticipated entry into the Windows Phone world with two new devices: The flagship Lumia 800 and a lower-cost but competitively spec’ed (for a Windows Phone, anyway) Lumia 710.

I’ll get this out of the way right now. The Nokia Lumia 800 is a great looking device, sharing its design cues if not its internals with the recently launched meego-powered N9. After spending some hands-on time with the Lumia 800, overall there’s much to like if not love about this phone. However, much of the credit has to go to Microsoft not Nokia as the OS – Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) – is all Redmond’s own work. And herein lies the conundrum.

How does Nokia intend to own the platform when it doesn’t actually own the platform? How will the company differentiate its smartphone wares in a sea of Androids and iPhones and, drilling down further, with LG, Samsung and others offering Windows Phone-powered handsets. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop himself inadvertently highlighted the exact problem when he described his decision not to adopt Google’s Android for fear of commodization. Today we got a partial answer.

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