Apple / Nokia – Blood in the water


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Originally uploaded by tnkgrl

“Comrades we sail into history”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look at a big event before it happened. It is very easy to look into the past and pick out when political or technological change occurred, it is much harder the other way around. However one of those nexus points of history is upon us.

Apple finally has a competitor that can compete with it, Nokia. Apple has all but dominated the mp3/mobile audio space since the launch of the iPod in 2001 (yes that long ago) but recently Steve Jobs and his skivvy wearing brethren had the temerity to move into the mobile phone space with the launch of the iPhone. Apple have been successful because the have made stylish music players never had any competition from the likes of Microsofts Zune or Creative MuVo.

Nokia, however, have been playing the stylish mobile device game even before Apple launched their iPod, they had the express-on covers for the Nokia 5110 that came out in 1998 (and my first mobile) and they knew it was just providing the technology but also the humanity, and they made a lot of money with the 5110 one of the most popular mobile phones ever.

So if you cast your net out on the internet today it should be no surprise that on the same day that there are rumours of Apple launching a wireless iPod and associated wireless iTunes, Nokia have launched their online music website.

Apple has dominated mobile music for a long time and seemed unassailable with the DRM lock in that allowed then to sign up the 5 major labels they did. However following Steve Jobs magic letter on DRM in February there is now a move away from DRM which lowers the barrier for entry for competitors into mobile music.

Nokia has tried and failed to enter different areas of the mobile space it didn’t belong, the N-Gage for example was a miscalculation, (however they have ported N-Gage games into the S60 platform so it wasn’t for nought). However they have maintained their dominance as they are never afraid to learn and adapt to the new models. As Nokia’s Executive VP & General Manager of Multimedia, Anssi Vanjoki ,said, said when images of a Nokia iPhone knock were released “If there is something good in the world then we copy with pride.” Nokia may not win the new mobile internet/music race but by jingo they will give Apple a run for their money if they don’t. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

  2 comments for “Apple / Nokia – Blood in the water

  1. Diarmuid
    August 31, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Not sure I agree with your closing statement. Nokia are in a very dominant position in a relatively competitive phone market (37% I think), it’s Apple who are trying to challenge that not visa versa.

  2. Douglas Kastle
    August 31, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Fair point DC, but my point was a bit more expansive than that, Apple is entering the mobile phone space sure but Nokia is entering the online music business so we are seeing two companies that used to be separate now being direct competitors.

    Your quite right though Nokia is dominant in the phone market, but they have almost lost it before. Remember when they were the only ones who didn’t have a clam shell design, they soon fixed that though.

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