I thought we’d have a bit of an interesting debate here.
I posted a note yesterday highlighting that one movie Studio had chosen to integrate ‘iPhone Apps’ into it’s marketing mix right on the front-page of their official movie site for the upcoming ‘blockbuster’, 2012.
In the headline, I said that this pointed to the ‘death’ of Nokia and Symbian applications.
The actual headline reads:
Now, regular readers will recognise the MacLeodism — the fact that ‘death’, 2012, you know, it’s all related. I was aiming for a Dan Brown-esque parallel in the title.
I know Nokia is dead.
I know Symbian isn’t dead.
But as far as Sony Pictures are concerned, Nokia, Symbian, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, they could all be relieving themselves up the proverbial wall. Sony Pictures doesn’t care.
It’s jumped into bed with iPhone. For a number of reasons. All of which are absolutely totally 100% dire.
Kudos to Alex Kerr who jumped into the conversation with absolute indignation. You can read the to-and-fro between us on the thread comments.
Further kudos to the always magnificient Holy Father of Symbian, Rafe Blandford (of All About Symbian). I could actually feel Rafe’s wry grin from 50 miles away as he typed his text.
Both Rafe and Alex pointed out — I’m summing up, big time — that Nokia is far from dead.
I acknowledge this.
I am *loving* the N900.
I’m sure that 40% of the Far Eastern/African marketplace is going to be loving Nokia (and Symbian) for the next decade.
But what about Sony Pictures?
The fact they CHOSE not to bother with Nokia really bugs me.
It really, really bugs me. Massively.
They simply couldn’t give a toss about Nokia.
Fundamentally that’s frustrating to me as a Nokia user.
Before you actually go ahead and stick your dagger into my apparent Nokia-hating-heart, I’d like to point out that only DAYS ago, I agreed to an 18-month contract with 3UK. I’m playing them £35/month for 18-months for the privilege of carrying around a Nokia N86. Nokia hater I am not.
Symbian hater, I am not.
But I am 100% apoplectic at the senior management of Symbian. Or Nokia. Or, frankly… do you know what, I can’t be BOTHERED to even find out who is to blame.
What the hell are you playing at? You. Yes you — the chap or lady in control — why the hell is Sony Pictures publishing an official movie website with — NO WORD OF A LIE — the menu item saying ‘iPhone Apps’.
Where’s the Nokia Apps?
Or… let’s put that to one side.
Where are the SONY ERICSSON Symbian applications? Isn’t Sony Ericsson meant to be, you know, some sort of 1/3rd Symbian lover?
While I’m at it, isn’t Sony Ericsson LOOOOOOSELY connected to Sony Pictures?
Doesn’t the Sony Pictures Chief Executive ever sit down and have breakfast with the Sony Ericsson Chief Executive?
If is TOO much to ask for them to get into bed together?
Is it TOOOOOO much to ask for Sony Pictures to hire a Symbian development firm to knock up some apps similar to the iPhone ones they’re currently showing off?
Rafe, Alex… you and I know the answer is yes.
It is too much.
Nobody can be flippin’ bothered.
Let me try a different tact.
Just to ram it home. Just to ensure that I win the argument, 110%.
You know them. They’re the British company that are reasonably well connected with the upmarket food retailer, Waitrose.
Ocado deliver Waitrose goods.
You place your order online and a very nice man in a greenish outfit arrives at the appointed time, often with a Galaxy chocolate bar in hand, with your shopping.
Yeah. There’s an app for that.
You don’t need me to continue, do you?
But I will.
Yes. Ocado, in their infinite wisdom, want their consumers to be able to use their mobiles to place their shopping orders whilst they’re (for example) on the train.
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
Rafe certainly does.
Ocado launched an iPhone application recently.
Here’s the website with the details.
You can even watch Dan Lane’s video on the subject here.
Ready for my point?
Where’s the Symbian Ocado application?
I’ll tell you. Nowhere.
Nobody could be bothered.
I’m willing to bet that the Ocado team — like the Sony Pictures team whom I speculatively wrote about yesterday — had a meeting about this.
I reckon smart people in very nicely shaped suits sat round a pretty looking meeting table at Ocado HQ and listed out the mobile platforms most prevalent in the UK.
I’m further willing to bet that everyone in the room did the polite business equivalent of coughing ‘bullshit’ whilst one of the chappies read through his research.
“Right, it says here that one of the biggest handset platforms in use in the UK today is Nokia?”
“:: cough :: bullshit ::”
“And, er, then it says Sony Ericsson?”
“:: cough :: bullshit ::”
“Right… er… Motorola?”
“:: cough :: bullshit-you-gotta-be-kidding-bullshit ::”
At this point, the meeting room will have come alive. iPhones will have been withdrawn from pockets and proudly displayed. Smiles will have appeared. Heads will have nodded. The proposal from the Symbian development agency that was £50k higher than the iPhone proposal will have been set alight under the table.
What went wrong with Nokia and Symbian?
How could one of the UK’s retailing giants (i.e. Waitrose/Ocado) not bother to even think about the Nokia platform for it’s mobile system?
What the hell is wrong with this billion-dollar picture?
We all know.
The Emperor has no clothes. It’s too expensive, too annoying, too frustrating, too difficult to even THINK about developing for the Nokia/Symbian platform for anyone other than a few brave, brave souls.
So then Mr Symbian.
What the hell are you doing about this?
Or is the best policy for MIR’s 250,000 readers (and, by extension, the other million or so who read after the re-tweets, forwards, emails and whatnot 90-days hence) to simply get on with developing on the iPhone — and maybe have a bit of a look at Android?
And before anyone trots out the total bollocks of ‘X hundred million Symbian handsets on the planet’, let’s take a step back. I KNOW there are — and will be — a lot more Symbian handsets on the planet than there are iPhones/Palm Pres/Androids and so on.
I know this. I don’t dispute this. I know that Nokia’s market is for the 29 quid handset in India.
But that doesn’t help me.
It doesn’t help the good 10-20 million mobile obsessed Westerners sat with a Nokia handset wondering why the Symbian Foundation is busy sitting on it’s arse (if not, SHOW ME THE 2012-tie-in movie mobile application?).
Why can’t I order my shopping via Ocado on my N86?
What’s so rubbish about my Nokia N86 that Ocado simply chose not to recognise the Nokia platform?
Help me Obi-wan-Blandford and Obi-wan-Alex… You’re my only hope.
Should I do the decent thing and get back in my box, sit in the corner and be delighted that I’ve spunked £630 on a contract with 3UK for my Nokia N86 that, at almost every corner, appears to be demonstrably useless for anything exciting that I’d like to do.
I’d like to unlock my Streetcar my with my Nokia. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to show my mates some Gym Babes working out. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to order my shopping via Ocado. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to download some 2012 movie stuff. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to manage my car insurance on my handset. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to download an entire season of The Wire to my handset. I can’t, because they (the studios) couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to access my Dropbox in a nice mobile application. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to use Jamie Oliver’s ’20 minute cooking tips’ application. I can’t, because he couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to AudioBoo on my handset. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to use Evernote on my handset. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to query my 300+ gigabytes of music with a Zumodrive mobile application. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to find my nearest London Underground tube station with a single button click. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to be able to immediately query the nearest cinema times in a purpose made mobile application that allows me to buy cinema tickets in 2 clicks. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
I’d like to use the WordPress application to manage Mobile Industry Review remotely. I can’t, because they couldn’t be bothered to invest in developing a Symbian app.
Of course, most — if not all — of these organisations/companies in question will have made a determination that the Nokia/Symbian platform (and other related platforms such as Sony Ericsson/Motorola) are simply not worth the hassle.
So who’s made the wrong choice?
Was it my fault?
The market is telling me that I’m an idiot for owning a Nokia.
I access the Nokia Ovi Store and I — when it’s working — I’m presented with some third-rate scrabble games or a 6-month old movie trailer.
What am I missing?
Who’s the arse?
Is it me?
Am I wrong for wanting what others have got?
Obviously I don’t suffer.
I don’t suffer because I went out and bought an iPhone a long time ago. I can’t quite bring myself to only use a Nokia. It’s far too painful.
But please do put me out of my misery.
Is it me?
Am I wrong?
is the right position to stoically stand by Nokia and Symbian whilst they deliver me — in summary — a totally shit service by comparison? All I want to do is cool shit via my phone.
I’ve got past the fact that my Nokia lets me do stuff like send text messages and take really nice pictures. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I’m way beyond taking nice pictures. What’s next? Why is the chap on the tube opposite me getting a better mobile experience than I am, from my Nokia?
How come he get’s to order his shopping on his phone, on the train, in the morning, whilst I check my empty text messaging folder for the 12th time that minute?
Should my policy be to deploy a fake smile at every opportunity?
Is the best way ahead to simply ignore the staggering iPhone application innovation and put it down to ‘a fad’?
Or should my policy be patience.
Patience my dear friend!
Do I need Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting to come and rescue me? Do I need him — in a very proper manly way — to put his arm around me and guide me off to the sidelines gently whispering, “Ewan, calm down, calm down. Good things come to those who wait.”
Even though I protest, do I need Robin to placate me?
“But,” I complain, “That guy over there has an iPhone and he gets to order his shopping ON THE TRAIN! ON THE FLIPPIN’ TRAIN!”
“You’re only kidding yourself, Ewan,” comes the reply, “Those iPhone users,” he says, glaring at them, “It’s only fleeting. It’s not true mobile. It’s not proper, Ewan.”
What do I do?
Sit and wait for the Nokia-Symbian enlightenment in a few years?
Maybe QT will fix it, er? I won’t even mention the 20-stage install process on Symbian.
Woops. I already did!
Here’s the video:
Somebody save me…