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Strategic Management Strategic Management

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Nokia Out designs Apple

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Microsoft was a top seller of smartphone software. And Nokia, the Finnish electronics company, was the top seller of mobile devices. Then both of them got blindsided by Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007. At first they just laughed. Who would buy that crazy overpriced phone from Apple that doesn’t even have a keyboard? Lots of people, it turns out. Which is why Nokia has seen the market share of its Symbian smartphone platform collapse to 19 percent today from 63 percent in 2007, according to IDC, a market researcher. Microsoft once had 13 percent share but now has only 2 percent, IDC says, making its presence almost negligible.
But now, working together, these companies are trying to plot a comeback, and based on the phone they introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, they might actually stand a chance.
The sleek new Nokia Lumia 900 (PDF) has a 4.3-inch screen, an 8-megapixel camera, and runs on AT&T’s speedy new 4G LTE network. The phone “represents a new dawn for Nokia in the U.S.,” said Chris Weber, president of Nokia Americas, in a press release.
Nokia also released a YouTube video showing off the new phone.
The Lumia 900 runs the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile phone software, which is called Windows Phone 7.5 (code-name: Mango). This is a stunning piece of software that is radically different from what you get on an Apple iPhone or any of the Android phones. Instead of a bunch of same-sized icons, Microsoft uses big, bright-colored tiles. They can be moved around and customized. Some are “dynamic,” meaning they display information that is constantly updated when, for example, one of your friends posts something on Facebook.
Microsoft and Nokia struck a major partnership deal last February, with Nokia committing to make Windows Phone its primary mobile...

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