Aww, crap... sucked in for one more post.
Originally Posted by k2director
It's interesting that you draw a parallel between Microsoft and Nokia. Nokia may indeed follow Microsoft's playbook (ie, be the imitator and rely on sheer size to create a market) but Microsoft's strategy isn't looking so foolproof these days. I shudder to think how much $$$ Microsoft has thrown away trying to make the Zune and its media store into an iPod competitor, and it hasn't even made a dent.
Very true, the Zune has largely been a failure. But, who was the well-entrenched incumbent in the mp3 player market at the time the Zune was introduced? Apple.
Does Apple have that same position in the cellphone market? No. Nokia does.
Therefore, I'm not sure one can say that the 'MS-strategy' works equally well/badly in cellphones as it does in mp3 players, as Apple's starting position in each market is dramatically different... mighty incumbent in players, 'new-kid-on-the-block' trying to be taken seriously in phones and smartphones.
Thus, a Nokia 'good enough' imitative strategy may work. Not saying it will, not saying it won't.
In other words, being an early innovator is a great thing, and I'm betting Apple can out-innovate Nokia, RIM or anyone else in the smartphone space....
I agree, being the pacesetter is extremely helpful, and Apple has a software and design culture that the other cellphone makers do not.
But again, Microsoft didn't have those advantages, and still won the desktop wars. I realize that the Apple of the 2000s isn't the Apple of the 80s and early-mid 90s, but still, I do worry.
What I imagine happening is Apple and Nokia, over time, becoming more like one another. Apple will get bigger, offer more features, and offer more models serving a wider variety of audiences, maybe even models tailored specifically to Euro and Asian markets, while Nokia will place a higher priority on, and improve in, software and UI (though not to Apple's level).
In the end, they'll be the co-juggernauts of the mobile space, beating each others' brains in every quarter like it was World War 3.
I don't really see either killing the other off in cellphones, but this is just an educated guess... no one can predict with absolute certainty what's going to unfold, unless they're a fool.