Nokia and Microsoft Strategic Partnership Results
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The mobile world's biggest hardware maker will be pairing with the computer world's biggest software maker to start making Nokia Windows Phones. Here are ten things about the pairing that you need to know before the partnership begins releasing any products.
1. It will take two years before Windows Phone even makes up half of Nokia's product mix
Nokia plans to gradually introduce Windows Phone into its product lineup while phasing out Symbian and slightly decreasing the amount of feature phones it produces. Eventually, Nokia expects to make Windows Phone-powered devices its largest product segment, but the company has said that will take two years or more, and its "Smart Devices" will make up a different business unit from its "Mobile Phones."
2. Nokia Maps is becoming part of Bing
With the inclusion of Navteq's map data (which is a provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and is a dominant company in providing the base electronic navigable maps. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia but operates independently.), Bing Maps will have access to high quality traffic information, mapping data, and 3D geospatial imagery.
3. Windows Marketplace and the Ovi Store will combine
In the joint announcement from Microsoft and Nokia today, the companies said Nokia's content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace. Naturally, this doesn't mean much at first since the two stores offer content on two different platforms, however there has been promises to develop market place upon the best of what both companies offer today.
4. Carrier billing for Windows Phone apps will expand
Nokia's operator billing agreements in more than 190 markets will make it easier for customers to purchase Windows Phone apps in countries with low credit card use. So not only will windows phones become more widely available globally, but they'll also be more accommodating to regional buying habits.
5. Nokia gets a strong U.S. marketing force
Microsoft spends a lot of money on U.S. advertising, and frequently manages to approve some very memorable campaigns. But Nokia has not, and the company is fully aware of the repercussions of this. But with Microsoft's help, there will be a big increase in Nokia's U.S. presence.
6. Windows Phones will begin to vary in specs, especially in the camera department
Microsoft's strategy with the first generation of Windows Phones was to have very strict guidelines for hardware manufacturers. Indeed, every one of the first 10 WP7 devices had nearly identical specs, with a 1GHz processor and 5 megapixel image sensor.
But Nokia has one of the highest resolution image sensors on the market, and is eager to utilize it with Windows Phone.
7. Microsoft's adCenter audience will explode
Microsoft's adCenter will provide search ads for the totality of Nokia devices and services, giving it an estimated 38% of the world's mobile audience.
8. Nokia's Research and Development arm could shrink significantly
Nokia has scaled back its domestic workforce several times in the last three years, While this would be a bad thing for the Finnish economy in the near term, it would greatly reduce Nokia's operating expenses and ultimately cause a reorganization in the company's employment opportunities.
9. Windows Phone 7 development will accelerate
With the addition of the world's leading handset manufacturer as an exclusive hardware partner, Windows Phone 7 will be given greater exposure in markets where it has not yet taken root. Furthermore, the companies haven't yet established what sort of devices Nokia will be making, and there could be significant opportunities in language expansion and localization for WP7 developers using Visual Studio 2010, Expression 4, Silverlight and the XNA framework.
10. This is mutually beneficial for Nokia and Microsoft
Both companies have tremendous resources behind them that are actually quite complementary. The main challenge for both will be in bringing a product to market with the necessary expedience.