The absence of Apple at the Mobile World Congress has definitely given Google’s Android the definite edge over its competitors at the show in Barcelona this year. With the MWC for this year coming to a close today, everyone who’s been at the event has only one thing to say – Android is brilliant. With Nokia disbanding its own phone OS Symbian and partnering with Microsoft for Windows based Nokia phones, they did not have anything to offer this year. Almost every phone, be it the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy S or the Sony Xperia Play smartphones or the Samsung’s second generation tablet or LG Slate, everything has been Android. There was Blackberry Playbook that was not running on Android but spoke of including Android apps and HP’s Tablet – TouchBook that did not use Android but WebOS.
So, this MWC belonged to Android completely.
Now that the Nokia-Microsoft partnership is official and both Nokia and Microsoft are trying to cope up with the competition being offered by Google and Apple, arises the question, who benefited the most from the partnership. Apparently, it seems like Microsoft is the bigger beneficiary when compared to Nokia. Why? It is rather simple to answer. Nokia has let go off its phone OS Symbian and has embraced Windows as its new phone OS. For doing this, it has to pay an unknown number of billions to Microsoft for allowing the use of Windows on Nokia phones along with paying some hefty royalties to Microsoft.
Following the announcement of the partnership, Nokia’s stocks slid by 14 percent. Under the pressure of the current situation, Nokia is planning to release its first Windows based handset by the end of this year. The once king of mobile technologies is indeed going through a tough time.
HP’s new tablet – TouchPad which runs on WebOS 3.0 was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona this week and the tablet actually looks very impressive when compared to most of its contemporaries. The TouchPad which is going to be made available this summer has to face a tough competition from both Android based tablets and the iPad 2. Though a bold move to introduce a new OS amidst the iOS and Android (taking into account that Nokia has also joined hands with Microsoft abandoning its own Symbian), this strategy might work for HP in the long run if not the near future. Analysts who got a look at the TouchPad are actually amazed at the user interface (UI) and the framework that the tablet possesses.
If all should go well for HP with regards to its WebOS, it should be able to replicate what Apple had done in the markets. Way to go, though.
The Nokia-Microsoft partnership was made public yesterday. But, is this partnership a blessing for Google and Apple and may be RIM as well. Nokia as we know has embraced Microsoft’s Windows and has abandoned its own OS Symbian for developing new smartphones. Analyst Abramsky opines that this partnership is actually helping the iPhones, Androids and Blackberries more than it is going to help Nokia and Microsoft. The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft could help both the companies is the market were to be successful and take Microsoft’s market share from the existing 5 percent to 35 percent. But, if the partnership were unable to deliver the results as expected, then the share gains of their rivals are sure to go up.
On the other hand, there is a possibility that this partnership could also trigger further collaborations like Android /RIM which could influence the smartphone market immensely.
Come next year and Apple is going to become the world’s biggest and the most valuable firm in the world. According to analysts, Apple in 2012 is going to propel itself to the top which means Exxon, which at the moment is worth 263 billion dollars and at the top will have to slip to the second place. According to analysts Apple’s sales, especially in the US are amazing which would increase the share price of Apple by 32 percent, thus taking its worth to 269.5 billion dollars. Exxon, which is basically an oil based company might not see the same rise in its share prices like Apple.
If a technological firm like Apple would top the list of corporates, then this is definite welcome change. The toppers of the corporate sector up to now have mostly been form banking, mining or the retail sectors.
In an earlier news, we reported that the Google OS has overtaken Nokia’s Symbian to become the world’s most popular phone OS. A dotcom report which was released yesterday suggests the same trend in the US market with Goolge leaping past everyone else in the smartphone business except America’s favourite smartphone – RIM’s Blackberry. But, Goolge is definitely closing in on RIM as well.
While the market share of Android as far (as the smartphone market was concerned) in the third quarter of 2010 was 21.4 percent, it has risen up to 28.7 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. As far as Apple is concerned, they only managed to post an increase of 0.7 percent finishing at 25 percent share by the end of the quarter. Blackberry on the other hand, has come down from 37.3 percent to 31.6 percent, a considerable fall for the giant.
So for now, Android can maintain the lead over Apple. But iPhone 4 on Verizon can sure turn the tables around for Apple.
Well, if you observe the sales data of Blackberry smartphones in the year 2010, you would have to agree that Blackberry has really done well. Does this mean that Apple and Google are only among the competitors and not the leaders? One reason for the wonderful business that Blackberry has done and for the boost in RIM‘s figures especially during the Christmas season was the lack of newer products from Google’s front. There were only a few phones like the Galaxy S or the Desire HD that run on Android during Christmas. New Android products like Atrix and other ones from Samsung are still awaited.
But, if you look at the market scenario as such, Apple is still a leader when it comes to mobile phoning. Although, according to analysts, Android is ready to take over that mantle sooner or later. Blackberry is only one manufacturer, Android is the OS that is now being adopted by several manufacturers across the world.
Nokia has been slowly losing the race as Apple and even companies like Motorola and Samsung to an extent have adapted to the smartphone game. The Espoo, Finland based company is yet to launch a comprehensive iPhone-rival – a failure that appears to have cost the current Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, his job.
According to reports on the Wall Street Journal, the company is seriously looking at an alternative and a replacement could be announced as early as the end of this month. The company spokesperson decline to comment on this issue.
The news has been received by cautious optimism at the markets. The ADRs of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) have risen by 0.17 points in the hours preceding the market opening. That is a modest rise of 1.93%. While the board’s decision to replace the Kallasvuo may be a move in the right direction, it is not clear what’s exactly ailing the market leader.
What are your views? Where do you think Nokia is lagging? Design& Development? Market research? Promotion? Or all of them? Tell us in the comments.