Is Nokia’s shift to Windows Phone a good thing for Finland?

Windows Phone, Android seen as big opportunities

I’m making the rounds in Finland to survey its mobile tech scene (disclosure: FinnFacts paid for my trip) and it was somewhat surprising to hear that the country’s software industry may see Nokia’s shift to Windows Phone as a big opportunity. I say it’s surprising because there has been a lot of (deserved) doom and gloom because the move is leading to the layoff of 7,000 people.

The Software Industry Survey 2011 revealed some interesting facts and figures about the country’s perceptions about the strategy shift. Nokia is the largest employer in the country and the Symbian and MeeGo platforms have been providing tens of thousands of jobs for the last few years. While there is obviously some concern about the shift, only 3.3 percent of those surveyed said the shift directly impacted its core business.

You can expect that trend of Nokia leading Finland to continue but with the Windows Phone platform, as 23.8 percent of those surveyed expect to be developing for Microsoft’s latest smartphone operating system by 2012. If Nokia hadn’t chosen that platform, you definitely wouldn’t have seen the same amount of enthusiasm.

Because of the Nokia effect, I don’t think it’s fair to say that this fervor for Windows Phone will bleed over to developers in other markets. The response from most app makers I speak to is tepid but that could quickly change if those Nokia Windows Phone handsets gain a significant user base.

By contrast, that survey also found that the same percentage of companies expect to be developing for Android by the 2012 as well. With a rapidly-growing market share in many markets, Android is just too big of an opportunity to ignore. This is just another sign that Android’s momentum is not even close to slowing down.

  • Grigor_C

    Considering Nokia CEO Elop’s actions will destroy his company, it is hard to see how it will be good for Finland, considering Nokia employs (or used to employ) a reasonable percentage of the Finnish population.

    Nokia-Windows Phone has zero chance of survival. The Windows Phone business plan is flawed to its core.

  • Grigor_C

    Considering Nokia CEO Elop’s actions will destroy his company, it is hard to see how it will be good for Finland, considering Nokia employs (or used to employ) a reasonable percentage of the Finnish population.

    Nokia-Windows Phone has zero chance of survival. The Windows Phone business plan is flawed to its core.

    • Anonymous

      Have you used WP?  As a Symbian fan, I was impressed with its smooth UI and intuitive experience.  Much different from anything else on the market.  If Nokia and Microsoft can execute well together and deliver Mango soon…this would be a very welcome ecosystem that should generate significant operator and consumer interest in the North America and Europe.  I have my doubts about emerging markets…but here the Qt based S40 approach may be very interesting from a consumer running cost perspective.  Nokia seems to be closing the gaps quickly when it comes to feature phone competitiveness.

      • Anonymous

        Agree that WP7 is pretty good and it will only get better with the Mango update. 

    • http://twitter.com/Safdar312 Saf

      Oh so I guess they should have stuck with symbian time to pull head out of the sand. At least with this WP7 they are at least trying something different

  • Raghavendra Rao

    Considering Nokia has finally given up building its own OS and will just be a hardware manufacturer. Why should it stick to either MS or Android. What’s stopping it from building Winmo and Android phones. That way they don’t have to worry about the future, they can just stick to the winner of the OS wars. This is what HTC, Samsung and other manufactureres are doing.

  • Raghavendra Rao

    Considering Nokia has finally given up building its own OS and will just be a hardware manufacturer. Why should it stick to either MS or Android. What’s stopping it from building Winmo and Android phones. That way they don’t have to worry about the future, they can just stick to the winner of the OS wars. This is what HTC, Samsung and other manufactureres are doing.

    • Anonymous

      Because there is a big service revenue stream for Nokia with the success of the WP platform.  Specifically, Nokia’s location based business is being integrated within the MS ecosystem.  Google did not want a competing service while MS viewed this as complimentary and paid a hefty price for it.  Nokia is not just an OEM.

      At some point, Nokia may push its own OS again (longer term) as its location assets should gain considerable traction over the mid term.  But I doubt it will join Google as a pure OEM…it would dilute the value of its service businesses.

  • Anonymous

    Finnish software industry is delusional about the chances of WP platform.

    And yes, they’ve been delusional before.

    Even if WP succeeds, there is no guarantee that either Nokia (against ZTE, Acer, Samsung) or Finnish software developers will succeed.

    But here’s hoping for the best :)

  • http://twitter.com/Translatethis27 Translatethis27

    Nokia is lost….

  • Anonymous

    Nokia need to push 4 phones to each carrier .

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