Microsoft should purchase Nokia, model Apple's iPhone strategy

Microsoft should purchase Nokia, model Apple's iPhone strategy

Summary: Windows Phone is slowly growing, but it seems like more can be done to help it succeed since it is a compelling operating system. In discussions with a couple others, we concluded that Nokia should be the only Windows Phone manufacturer.

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TOPICS: Nokia
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Yesterday, I had a passionate conversation with a couple other members of our company's Nerd Club while enjoying our quarterly birthday and anniversary snack session. One guy is an iPhone user who recently enjoyed playing with a Galaxy Note at the AT&T store while the other is a frustrated Sprint HTC Arrive owner. After about 15 minutes of discussing the world of smartphones, a conclusion was reached that Microsoft should purchase or at least sign on Nokia to be the only Windows Phone manufacturer if they want to compete with the iPhone and take share away from Android.

iPhone is here to stay

In our discussion, it was readily acknowledged that the iPhone is not going anywhere because there are so many fantastic apps and services for the device and people are overall pleased with their iPhone purchase. We all agreed that there are many improvements that could be made to the iPhone, but that it was unlikely that Apple would make them all since Apple likes to control too much. However, there are many people who are anti-Apple so there has to at least be one or two more alternatives for the iPhone.

Android is successful because it is not Apple or Microsoft

The two fellows I was chatting with have briefly used Android, but have not spent as much time with the platform as I have. Their impressions are that Android manufacturers offer inconsistent user experiences, Google doesn't really put much effort into controlling the OS, the apps are OK, but are not nearly as good as the iPhone, and much of the hardware is just decent.

I showed them the HTC One X hardware and they admitted it was one of the nicest phones they have seen with a gorgeous display. I personally am enjoying the Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience on my Galaxy Nexus and the HTC One X, but completely understand the concerns with inconsistent user interfaces and upgrades that may or may not be available on your device.

They also mentioned that Google doesn't seem to actively promote Android or care what companies do with it so it is kind of the Wild West of smartphones. Android is great for geeks and Google users, but then again there are some folks who want a simpler, most consistent experience that is not Apple.

Windows Phone needs Nokia and US carrier support

The HTC Arrive owner is getting frustrated with the hardware and wants to see some options on Sprint. He is considering a move to an iPhone, but really wants some newer Windows Phone hardware. Verizon and Sprint have been silent on any new hardware running Windows Phone and don't seem to care at all about the platform.

The guys agreed that manufacturers like HTC and Samsung don't seem to really care about Windows Phone either and continue to slap the OS into hardware they created for the Android platform. Updates also don't come readily to phones from different manufacturers. Nokia appears to be the only manufacturer trying to innovate with Windows Phone and are doing what they can to sell devices with software exclusives.

The small group recognized the success of Apple and RIM's system where the platform developer is also the hardware integrator and concluded that Microsoft should have Nokia making all Windows Phone hardware, either through a purchase of Nokia or some kind of exclusive manufacturing agreement. This way they could control the user experience, the upgrade path, and innovations. Wireless carriers may be willing to come onboard with a more focused effort, similar to what T-Mobile and AT&T are doing with Nokia Lumia devices.

As a fan of Windows Phone and the Lumia 900, I thought it was interesting to hear these two consumers come to a conclusion like this. After following the Windows Phone story for the last couple of years, I currently would only recommend people purchase a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone since Nokia seems to be the only one who cares and is actually responding quickly to bug fixes and necessary updates while also attempting to provide services to device owners.

Update: I see a recent commenter brought up another point that was made by someone in our discussion at work and that is the hate that people have for Microsoft that will prevent them from ever considering Windows Phone. As a person who likes using Office products and Windows with my engineering programs I don't understand the hate and wonder if it is just a general big corporation hate many have that we now see being applied to Apple as they succeed with iOS and the Mac. Maybe Microsoft needs to rebrand Windows Phone, but then again I understand that many do associate Windows with successful products too.

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36 comments
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  • Waiting to Switch to ATT for Windows 8 Phone

    I am also an HTC Arrive owner and yes frusted to a point. The Sprint network has degraded so much over the past 18 months it is almost unbearable. Then with Windows Phone you only have the Arrive to choose. I also have an HTC Titan as a test device, it is much nicer, better camera, etc. I like the keyboard though.

    But I have also echoed your point about having a solid hardware partner. I think Android fragmentation will ultimately do it in. I have tried the Samsung Windows Phones and the Nokias as well. The Nokia Handsets are extremely well done and should be the minimum for WP going forward.

    Perssonally I am waiting will Windows 8 Phones are available on ATT and am about 90% certain I am switching carriers at that point.
    docluv62
  • US Carrier support is the biggest issue

    Without it WP will languish. And I mean the ATT level of support, not the VZW level. Check out just the phone selection and you'll see what I mean.
    brentgee
    • Carriers and ODM's like Android

      And these are the reasons why:

      1) They can dictate IF (not when) updates will be available. They play off this to sell more hardware, not to extend the user experience with updates. For them, it's bad for business to offer software update for free.
      2) It costs nothing so there are no royalties.
      3) It's easily configurable because it's open source, which leads us to:
      4) CarrierIQ and other spyware

      Google makes money off their [s]marketing[/s] spyware code in it. Carriers and ODM's can (and do) add their own tracking software to it, and Google doesn't care and doesn't protect the reputation of the brand or the privacy of its users because they "released it to the community". In fact, just the opposite, because Google is complacent with what goes on with it.
      Joe_Raby
    • Absolutely

      And even more so MS needs to be thinking just as much about ground up as top down, meaning huge into prepaid. Now, the iPhone is starting to hit prepaid and there's no telling when MS is going to, if ever, get into prepaid. If I can but a 10" Samsung Tab 2 from Amazon for $400, why can't I purchase a Samsung Focus S for say $200 and use it on VM USA? I don't get it, MS!
      jjworleyeoe
    • USA is not the world, infact phonewise it's just a quiet backwater

      Why do folks govern market by what goes on in the USA? The USA in comparison to say China, India et al, is just a quiet little backwater, i.e it's tiny in comparison.
      Zarniw00p
  • it won't work

    2 turkeys don't make an eagle.
    On top of that, it will anger the few anemic 'partners' and will bring antitrust scrutiny.
    The Linux Geek
    • Like . . .

      Google purchasing Motorola Mobility?
      jjworleyeoe
  • Microsoft is just riding Nokia's stock price

    Down to where Microsoft can purchase Nokia for (say less than $1 Billion), then tell the other ODMs where to stick it. The other ODMs will get zuned, which will make everyone Leary of Microsoft. There is only so many times you can throw your weight around, before people stop caring.
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Like Google is going to do with Motorola?

      Or Apple did with it's resale partners?

      Oops! I forgot, you asked people not to bring that up. My Bad.
      William Farrel
      • William Toddtroll3

        Apple never zuned any ODMs, as there really weren't any. Sure that fool from Pepsi screwed up by allowing clones, but the clones were mainly junk, so Steve Jobs killed the clones to preserve the brand. For the term zuned, to be recognizable, it must be accurate. Also just an FYI. Apple has a bunch of "resale" partners, so you'd be wrong on that point, if it was even close to being a valid point.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Not Riding Nokia's Stock Price

      The value of a successful Windows Phone line is much greater to Microsoft than the savings they would get by "riding Nokia's stock price." Money won't be the issue if they really want to buy Nokia. If they felt the time was right, they'd buy them immediately. As it stands today, I don't think Microsoft would get a much better deal by owning Nokia, and it appears so far Microsoft agrees.
      WebSiteManager
      • Let's look at the Facts...

        First Microsoft installs a New CEO at Nokia. Stock price dips a little, but nothing major
        Microsoft issues "Burning platform speech, to which Microsoft/Nokia employee Stephen Elop, reads and makes pitch to go 100% Microsoft. Stock dips but nothing major..

        Microsoft/Nokia pitchman Stephen Elop Announces Nokia will dedicate everything to Microsoft. Stock begins slide towards oblivion, Stock goes from over $13 per share to $2.87 (It's a good day as the stock price jumped up roughly 10%). Still Stephen Elop has managed to drive the stock price down to below a quarter of it's previous value.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Microsoft should purchase Nokia, model Apple's iPhone strategy

    Not a fan of that idea at all. Such a move would severely limit Microsoft's sales of WP licenses and features in hardware.

    [i]Android is successful because it is not Apple or Microsoft[/i]
    I'd say its because its the only phone that Verizon sells, well until recently it was the only phones.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • There's Samsung too

      My Wife has a Lumia 800, it's drop dead gorgeous, even better than the 900 as the USB port is hidden away. I have a Samsung Focus S and I've fully debranded it other than the AT&T logo on the glass which is cool here in the UK as you can't get the Focus S here. I love it and can't wait until the Samsung Windows Phone 8 comes out and fingers X it's a revamped Galaxy S3
      Zarniw00p
  • Who says its growing?

    MS is declining to comment
    Nokia is declining to comment

    All reporting companies say Windows' share is decreasing. Yes they do lump WM/WP together but if WP was doing so great they would split it or we'd see a small uptick.
    itguy10
    • All reporting companies?

      or just the one that you host on your 'industry website'? ;)
      William Farrel
    • All reporting companies?

      Like who exactly? Everything I've seen has said the exact opposite, that WP7 is increasing it's marketshare. But amuse me, post your sources.
      NonFanboy
      • Oh I don't know

        Gartner, IDC, CommScore..... You can look them up on here.

        Basically their % of the pie is shrinking. Unit sales may be going up but everyone else's is growing by a much larger #.
        itguy10
      • IOW

        itguy10 won't post real links. Dude back up your claims or STFU.
        NonFanboy
    • Two Kinds of Growth

      Growth over your own results last period (e.g., year). Growth in market share compared to the entire market. WP definitely has the former, but little, if any, of the latter. WM hides whether or not it does, but no, if there's market share growth, it's not earth shattering today.
      WebSiteManager