Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop is not working to damp down rumours of a potential fork in Nokia’s mobile operating system strategy. Unlike previous statements which showed a very incestuous relationship between Elop and his previous employer, Microsoft, he has made a couple of interesting, if contradictory statements while speaking with a Spanish daily newspaper. Loosely translated by The Register: “He also pointed out that Nokia had rejected Google’s Android operating system because it would have been tough differentiating its products from all the other Android handset makers” and continues: “Asked if he was concerned by Microsoft launching a rival Windows-powered smartphone, Elop said Nokia had enough technology to differentiate itself: he cited his firm’s Maps, CityLens and its imaging technology.” These statements do not make sense. If Nokia have the hardware and software to stand apart from the likes of Samsung when using Windows Phone, then why can they not do the same with Google’s OS? While it is clear that they took a hard look at Android, Elop is sadly not very forthcoming with the rationale for why Nokia picked exclusivity with Windows Phone. And he is also selling his company’s ability to innovate short in the process. As an Android fan, I care about the decisions that Nokia makes purely based on the historical fact that it makes fantastic phones. It is just simply that the software has seldom been up to scratch. Windows Phone is certainly a step up but even if you could get a Lumia 820 or 920 with Android, it would still inherently be a Nokia phone. The look and design of the hardware tied to the excellent cameras is unique in a world that is increasingly monolithic and grey in terms of design language. A simple Android skin would be enough to differentiate it’s devices and Nokia could bundle their own mapping software in with the phones with little adverse impact (other than a dose of the different to the Android ecosystem). I dare say native Android with the Nokia font would be enough to generate a substantial hit in the current market to rival Samsung. The key problem is that outside of the hardware design, you do not know know that the Lumia range are Nokia made. Take the screen out of the chassis and there is little difference between them and a Samsung Ativ or HTC because there is no flexibility in the WP design language. Fandroids may crave vanilla Android but the average user does not give a hoot. What they do care about is a device that looks and feels great, and performs within expectations. And no, the presence of an effective ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness or that you can switch off the volume by pressing specific keys is not enough to say that the software is substantially different. I would expect the Average Jolene’s eyes to glaze over if a Carphone Warehouse minion was selling these a must have features… It is clear that Samsung offering multiple OS platforms is not causing it any trouble. Nokia/Elop seem to run away from that concept when they could instead return to the top of the pile by [...]
Middleware software company Good has issued its activation report for the first three months of 2012, and the headline is not really much of a surprise. The press have cottoned on with headlines like:
iPhone 4S Hits Record High Activations While iPads Continue to Dominate Enterprise Tablet Activations.
Enterprise? If by enterprise you mean ‘bring your own device’ schemes (BYOD) then sure, but this is not a true reflection of the enterprise environment. Good for Enterprise technology is used primarily to work as a secure gateway to enterprise architecture by acting as a middle layer between the application and your device. For example your Exchange email server. If you download the app from which ever app store or market you are interested in, it is clear that that this is the case. This is an app to be used by those that cannot or will not lock down the device to be secure enough to work natively with the enterprise application in question.
But even by their own admission, Good state that this is primarily the result of the policy of BYOD, or “Bring You Own Device”, a somewhat elusive point in the original PC Advisor article.
The results demonstrate that companies continue to embrace the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend and accept new devices into the enterprise.
BYOD is popular in the corporate sector, but not necessarily with IT Managers. The notion that it saves money in the long term has been challenged by the likes of the Head of ICT at Blackpool Council. BYOD should bring a more effective workforce, but not necessarily a cheaper one.
It is disingenuous to say that Apple is blowing away Android in enterprise when this technology is primarily used for permitting a users own devices to be connected, and thusly can only reflect trends in consumer market. Even if it is being used as a way of buying iPads etc for or by the company, it is still only a reflection of trends in the consumer market.
If you think about how Android is adopted in comparison to Apple devices, and the sorts of users that are going to need remote access to email, then it is by its very nature going to target the more affluent and economically mobile users. That is Apple’s core demographic and a portion of the sector where Android has to fight hard. Owners of low end Android phones and tablets are simply not going to require access to business applications outside of work.
The real joke is the statement about BlackBerry. There is little or no need for Good-esque middleware to operate with a the BlackBerry platform because enterprise connectivity is the BlackBerry smartphone raison-d’etre.
The other blinding problem with the ‘study’ is timing. The first quarter of 2012 simply shows that there were a lot of staff turning up to work in January with their Christmas iPads wanting to read their work email. What are the numbers of activations, and how does this compare with the previous nine months? Dealing with percentages is an awfully clever way of getting your perception across, but that might not be the “truth” of the story…
Dealing with percentages is an awfully clever way of getting your perception across, but that might not be the “truth” of the story…
The Press love to miss out the fine detail for the sake of a headline, and there is nothing worse than a tech fanboi writing for a blog. Take me as a fine example…