Just how completely screwed is Nokia — and in particular, Symbian — in these stakes?
We don’t need complicated in-depth analysis. We don’t need to pour over the Ovi Store.
If you’d like to see what the market thinks about Nokia, all you have to do is visit the official site of one of Hollywood’s latest movies, ’2012′. It’s the next version in the apocalyptic-nightmare-CGI-fest genre (the previous being The Day After Tomorrow).
Visit the movie’s website and this is what you see, menu wise:
- About the film
- The Experience
- iPhone Apps
- 2012 Sweepstakes
Here’s a screenshot of the ‘iPhone Apps’ menu option:
Despite the fact that the iPhone makes up such a small percentage of American and international film-going audiences, Sony Pictures have made a simple decision: Nokia is irrelevant.
This is a worrying, worrying position for Nokia — and one that I’m seeing many, many other big non-technology companies adopt. Indeed I’m writing this post as an Aide-memoire. I’m often asked by readers, normobs, investment bankers and analysts about what I think of the Nokia position. And it’s these examples that I cite to back up my ‘Noboby cares about Nokia or Symbian‘ position.
I’d like to be clear that I’m a big fan of the platform. I’m a regular user of my Nokia N86. But the company’s continued inability to connect — AT ALL — with the rest of the planet in the context of mobile applications, is utterly, utterly dismaying.
Somebody, somewhere, at Sony Pictures, made a determination that, as far as mobile platforms go, iPhone works. They’ll have weighed up the pros and cons for distribution, for ease of acquisition/download, cost of programming and experience. And in that meeting — for this movie in particular — they’ll have said ‘Right, then, iPhone it is.’
Somebody will have, no doubt, asked about the other mobile platforms.
Someone will have commented words to this effect, ‘A lot of our customers use Nokia, so we should…’
And the executive in charge will, I suspect, (after receiving the cost proposal from an Eastern European Symbian development house) have cut in with a very, very final, ‘No. Let’s move on.’
I’ve no doubt that these same executives are carefully weighing the Android platform — but, likewise, it doesn’t get a look in yet. The keyword is ‘yet‘.
The dire, dire reality is that for these kind of ‘normob’ companies, the door was closed on Nokia and Symbian a long, long time ago. And the key was thrown away.
What can Nokia and Symbian do about this?
Is it just too late?
Is the platform simply too unwieldy and too difficult? Is the mindset at Nokia and Symbian, despite recent attempts to the contrary, still far, far too restrictive?
Is the reality simply that, if you’re Nokia, Sony Ericsson… or anybody running Symbian, if you want the likes of Sony Pictures to pay attention and to support their releases on the Symbian platform, the best, quickest and only way of doing this is to pay Sony Pictures for the privilege?