Nokia is Making a Return to Smartphones
During the 1990s and into the early 2000, Nokia was the most popular cell phone brand in the world, while the most popular cell phone brand in the USA was Motorola. The reason was that the US did not make use of GSM, which was what Nokia and most of the world used. The US at the time used CDMA.
Since then, US cellular networks have started using GSM technology, and their succeeding 2G, 3G, 3.5G and 4G technology. During the transition, other players have come along and upended Nokia’s hold on the market. In 2014, Nokia had only 2% of the worldwide cell phone market.
Now, Nokia is planning a comeback. It is going to release two cell phone models running Android. Since 2014 to the present, a lot of other things have happened to Nokia, which made the transition more easily understandable. For one, it was sold by Microsoft as a separate brand and company. The Microsoft experiment has not made the Windows mobile OS any popular, and it may have helped bring down the Nokia brand. For another, Nokia has never used Android, until now.
HMD Global bought Nokia from Microsoft in May, 2016. Since then pictures and specs of the Nokia D1C has been released, confirming rumors that the company will start marketing Nokia Android phones in 2017. For another, there has been other rumors stating that there will be at least one, and maybe two other phones. The comeback will have two or three phones, which includes the D1C, with two of them for the high-end market, and another in the mid-range market.
Although Windows for Mobile was not the main reason for the failure of Nokia, it was definitely one reason why it was not able to make any headway. It still manufactures feature phones running on Symbian, however, these phones are also not being sold in large numbers in the entry-level market. It begs to ask why buy Symbian phones when an Android phone with more functionality can be had for the same price.
Considering that Nokia famously made a phone with a 41MP sensor, they would be right at home with the use of Android. With Android image editing apps, image capture on a sensor that large would be great. The options and possibilities are endless for digital photography with a Nokia smartphone.
For Microsoft, the deal to sell Nokia was a step back. However, it allows them to regroup and find a better strategy than just pushing for Windows 10 mobile. It is now in talks to deliver an Android phone some time in the near future. With the future of personal computing intertwined with smartphones, it makes sense that Microsoft should try to keep with the pack, and not be left behind. They made that mistake with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. They have to find a winning formula soon.
A Ship Without a Rudder
It is easy to say that Nokia has been without a realizable direction. However, it was not entirely their fault. A part of the equation has been the way consumers accepted the iOS and Android phones. At present, there are 2 cell phone manufacturers who comprise about 80% of the market for smartphones. It has also been estimated that up to 90% of net incomes from smartphones comes from only one manufacturer. With these massive numbers, it is easy to see that there is a market, and that the more prudent cellphone maker can make for itself a niche.
For Nokia to make a comeback, their 2017 offerings should be able to show progress and a splash in the market. Consumers should feel excited about their offerings and check them out. Otherwise, it would be an expensive start leading to another re-start in succeeding years.