Archive for February, 2011

The Rise of Ecosystems…and the fall of Nokia

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

“The world is shifting from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems,” said Stephen Elop, the new chief executive of Nokia, while announcing Nokia’s decision to drop their own Symbian OS efforts and move forward utilizing the Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 smart phone platform.  He went on to say…”Nokia brings hardware and incredible industrial design, and Microsoft has the software.”

In other words…Nokia blew it.  They lost the ecosystem battle.  Elop’s own quote seems to show he understands the importance of ecosystems,  but claiming your future is in hardware is pretty much giving up unless Nokia can figure out some way to outdo the Japanese and the Chinese in hardware design.  And even if they did, so what!

Ecosystems are built on software and services…hardware is non-strategic and rarely constitutes an ecosystem (and certainly not in cell/smart phones). Apple arguably has the most attractive hardware but their secret sauce is their software and ecosystem surrounding it.  Think of it, would an iPhone running Windows Mobile 7 have any real advantage?  NOPE!  Yet Steve Elop of  Nokia thinks that is the future of his Company.

For comparison, read this article from the New York Times on Apple and their platform as the driver of success.  A nice overview of how Apple was/is so wildly successful (while Nokia spiraled down and now, admitting defeat and re-labeling the Windows platform, is completely out of it as an ecosystem competitor)