I have been a fan of Nokia .. But recently, I have been critical of Nokia for mixing three distinct elements which are not easy to mix in my view i.e. telecoms, content(music) and applications.
Trying to emulate apple and grab mindshare in the music industry was never going to work and that’s why I said: Nokia’s mass market iPhone strategy is unlikely to work and Dave Stewart can never be the missionary man ..
As early as 2005, Nokia had(rightly) recognised that they needed to get the customers on their side and also build their own brand to overcome the commoditization of handsets (which I discussed in Long Tail Devices ) and an inevitable move to services to survive
So, it is nice to see that Nokia has come back to its grassroots and stopped trying to be an iPhone but provided their customers with something that they really want ..
That magic ingredient is ‘Location’. It is obvious that Location is the key differentiator for mobile devices .. But Location was not a platform. Nokia has made location into a platform by firstly acquiring navteq and then more importantly giving out location for free ..
Very few companies can spend 8.1 billion dollars and then make the product free .. (Nokia acquires Navteq for 8.1 billion dollars)
But that’s exactly what’s needed since location now becomes a platform for others(developers) to build their applications on .. And these applications are unique and useful to the customers. Both Apple and Google do locations through Cell id databases (and hence it’s only an approximation) but Nokia has accuracy ..
And now we see proof that this strategy works ..
In the first week of launch, of the latest version of Ovi Maps bundled with free walk and drive navigation over 1.4 million people have downloaded it already.
More interestingly, from my perspective of viewing as a platform. Ovi Maps Racing is a location-based game which uses actual data from the NAVTEQ maps, where you create your racing track and then choose your car and start playing. (source GSM arena)
Its high time Nokia started to behave as a industry leader and stop emulating the iPhone and also become a unique platform in its own right
Once again, Nokia is setting the agenda
This is all great news ..