For years, Motorola was one of the most admired, and profitable technology companies in the entire world. Things passed them by. there's no reason to think, in light of what's happening to Nokia now, with the disarray, and the desperation shown by what they're doing with Symbian, that they aren't going in the same direction.
I see nothing special about Nokia. they are an old fashioned phone manufacturer that can't do well in markets they don't understand. Two of the biggest come in mind, the US and Japan, which they are leaving, rather than trying to figure out how to succeed there.
That looks like what Motorola has been doing, pulling out of markets they haven't done well in.
They have problems, yes. Are they of the same magnitude as Moto's? No. My brother recently worked AT the cellphone division of Moto. Trust me, Nokia has a long-ways to go before they are Moto-like in any way, shape, or form.
They are a one business company. When they are having serious problems in the top end of their business, that's serious indeed. They've finally even admitted it.
Btw, you seem unusually aggro today. Something up?
No. I just am seeing a not very logical argument being presented here. So, I guess that does upset me.
No. Nokia's uses it's economies of scale and overall clout to have a very efficient (and actually envied) supply chain that offers them a competitive advantage. The Economist and other magazines have written articles concerning this. Check 'em out sometime.
I see no advantage there. Once a mnufacturer gets to a certain size, further size give them little in economiy of scale. Esp. when a competitor is rising so quickly.
Don't forget that Apple has far more advantage there in numerous areas than does Nokia. Apple uses vastly more flash than does Nokia, and flash is a major component of smartphones. In fact, I suspect very strongly that's why some other manufacturers are offering slots in their devices rather than competing with the built-in memory. They can offer the product more cheaply that way, and require their customer to later spend the money.
In addition, the iTouch, also very popular, uses most of the same components that the iPhone does. There isn't any smartphone that Nokia produces that comes even close to the sales of Apple's iPhone, and when the iTouch is included, well, who has the economies of scale? Apple! So that argument doesn't work in Nokia's favor.
Far as your points go on mindshare, well-taken, but that doesn't mean that mindshare doesn't matter. Do you think that Apple doesn't benefit from their mindshare in music players? Do tell.
Of course they do. But do you remember the skepticism about Apple's iPhone when it was first announced? It was said that this was a mature industry, not like when the iPod first came out. It was said that the big players would have enough time before the iPhone was available to duplicate Apple's efforts, and that shortly after the phone was available, the big guns would have competitive products on the market. It was said that Apple made a major mistake by not making a CDMA version available. It was said...but you know all that.
That all played into the mindshare of the product.
None of it was right.
The iPhone shot out of the race. It slowed down when Apple ran out of phones to sell, and people were waiting for the new one expected to be intro'd during the ADC, which it was. (one reason why Apple is pulling out of Macworld, as we've been discussing).
Ok, so I'm off by six months. It doesn't change the argument any.
N97 isn't even out yet. And even it is just a step on the road towards Nokia 'getting it'.
I've seen it advertised in J&R's ads in the NYTimes.
It's just a minor revision of the N95, which hasn't gotten such great reviews here.
When you still have that much of the smartphone market, you are obviously not king of the cheap phone, as I've said before. [/quot]
But that's what they are! Most of their phones are cheap phones. And their smartphone sales aren't keeping up.
It's just not the same situation, really. The digital music player market was fairly immature when Apple jumped in. Not so the cellphone market, which is well-established, and has a number of very large, entrenched players.
I've already said that about it not being a new market. But, this is different for Apple and their competitors. Even with a fairly mature market (less so for the area of smartphones, which Apple just really entered with the 3G) Apple has jumped to a position that all the other makers are worried about. If they weren't, they wouldn't be trying to duplicate Apple's efforts, as feeble as those attempts may be.
Apple's doing quite well now that they've released a 3G model, and Mel, I WANT them to. But if the tech gap closes much at all, the days of sunshine and roses are going to change dramatically and very quickly.
The point to the argument is that the gap won't be closed, it will grow.
This discussion here can't take place without the acknowledging the other developments we are seeing right now.
If Apple had nothing really new to offer, I'd say you were correct. But they do, so you are not correct.
When you look at the new technologies that only they will apparently be able to offer, and the major games now coming out, as well as the heavy duty business software, it must be seen that this platform is moving much faster than any other.
We even now have stronger rumors of a "Zune Phone", and good luck to them with that.
The convergence of consumer technologies and business technologies is now well under way with the iPhone. Business people have already rated the iPhone as being much more reliable that any other.
There is no other device as well prepared to do this. RIM is faltering with both the Bold, and the Storm. Win Mobile is way behind, as is Palm, even with their new OS. The Android has promise, and other phone makers will likely take it up rather than the ancient, crumbling Symbian. But the many different configurations will make it difficult for developers as is being stated by some. Linux distro's other than Android are being used for a very few phones, but they are not polished, and are marginal.
Apple seems to be the only one that appears to have a strong plan for where they are going with this. The other companies are doing this ad hock, with no long range idea in mind. All they seem to be doing is trying to come out with some product, any product, that may dent Apple's quick rise.
Without long term plans, this will fail.
If Apple manages to continue doing this well, and incorporates these advanced chips and technologies that only they will have, into their devices, that, along with the much more avanced OS they have, will propel them much further in front.
I really don't see where the others can offset this. Whenever they attempt to follow, Apple will be several steps ahead. They can't simply look at what what Apple's got in technology and OS, and say"Duplicate that, and do it fast!". It doesn't work that way. This isn't SciFi, where a new idea to win the war comes up today, and is ready tomorrow. it will take a couple of yeas to duplicate what Apple will have, and Apple won't be standing still.
No arguments about whether AT&T has profits from this now, or over two years, or whether Verizon will get the phone, or whether Nokia is a big company, or any other argument that's being presented, matters.
What matters is where that sales of the iPhone/iTouch are going, where the sales of the App Store is going, and where Apple's technology, both hardware and software is going.
And all of those are going to be well ahead of their competition.
If Apple can pull off what they seem to be pulling off, it could, as I mentioned, do to the smartphone industry what Apple did to the music player industry. Hard to believe? No, its not.