I talk to a lot of people in the industry and their reaction to Nokia in the smartphone ecosystem is lukewarm at best. We at Mobisy decided to focus on working with the Nokia ecosystem, especially with their imminent launch of the new WP7 Mango smartphone this month. Here is why.
Early bird gets the money
Remember when iPhone SDK was launched first? Though it was limited in device support APIs, the developers who built some of the first cool APPS were the ones who became app millionaires. If you look at the Apple app store today, the competition is so much stiffer.
Nokia is still one of the leaders in the smartphone industry with huge distribution, especially in emerging markets. Nokia Ovi store downloads have grown as much as 10 times for our apps in the past 6 months alone. This means smartphone awareness and cheap data connections are pushing Nokia app downloads as much as any other smartphone app downloads.
When you are a software provider, it’s always about choosing the right partners. You ideally want to partner with a large company which has a huge focus in your area of expertise. Nokia had the first working smartphone os and developer ecosystem. But traditionally it is not the most developer-friendly company. If you hear all the noises coming out of Nokia, that’s changing fast. I met Stephan Elop last month as part of a developer meeting in India and one thing that impressed me the most was their single-minded focus on building a smartphone developer ecosystem around their WP7 phones. I think today is the best time to partner with Nokia and Microsoft when they are just starting on this new path.
All the signs point towards the fact that there will be 3 pillars in the Mobile software ecosystem. iOS, Android and Nokia. From India centric perspective, Apple has shown very little interest in focusing on emerging markets whereas, for Nokia, India is life and death. Who will you partner with?
Nokia more than Microsoft has a huge Mobile developer and publisher ecosystem built in India. They actively foster it with TV, Print ads etc. Nokia has huge developer stories of Indian developers making it big on the global roadmap, this is the correct ecosystem to be part of if you are an Indian developer.
Not everything is rosy though .. in recent times Nokia has shown tremendous focus on Windows smartphones which means they are learning from past mistakes but not entirely.
I got 100s of calls in the last 2 weeks alone from tele-callers regarding the Nokia developer conference tomorrow, which means Nokia is just throwing away money to generate interest, this seldom works.
Nokia still has a lot of legacy baggage to drop and it remains to be seen if/how Stephan Elop manages to do that over the next year or so to reinvent this global leader. If that does not happen, Nokia Microsoft’s strategy may not benefit to overall developer ecosystem…
What do you think?