Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop announced recently what seems to be the end of Symbian. But, he might be underestimating Nokia’s dependency on the aging operating system.
Symbian is bringing some needed revenue for Nokia, although not enough to keep their leadership position. It is not surprising that Nokia has announced a move away from Symbian. It is surprising that the death of Symbian is so readily predicted before any real sign that the plan B will be successful. By moving to Windows, Elop is betting all his chips in red number 7.
Betting on a losing horse
The signs are not good for Window Phone 7, and it will not help to pair up with a phone manufacturer which many consumers now consider out of touch with what they want.
The initial buzz has been quickly stump out by an advertisement campaign that fails to communicate the value of this new platform.
As Google and Apple have proved now repeated times, the tipping point for a mobile platform is the application developers. While Microsoft brings to this partnership fantastic assets in App Development environment, it joins the battle too late.Why will you write an application for WP7, when you can write it for Android or iPhone?
Getting rid of Symbian
So in summary, Windows Phone 7 is a platform that brings additional license cost, has no consumer pull and it is not adopted widely by OEMs. Nokia will find themselves not only paying the license fee but also doing the leg work on their own of bringing the platform to a good quality level and attracting developers. It will be a ground hog day.
Elop’s strategy heavily depends on WP7 phones selling and selling lots. When (and not if) these sales fail to materialise, he will find himself craving every dollar that Symbian brings to Nokia. Unfortunately Nokia will continue their dependency on a ever less competitive platform, instead of working on a real solution to their problems.