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Nokia goes Windows Phone to better compete with Apple iPhone

Following the epically brutal "our platform is burning" memo, Nokia announced today it's going to start using Windows phone in an effort to better compete with -- and disrupt if they can -- incredibly successful upstarts like Apple's iPhone, iOS, and iTunes App Store ecosystem. Nokia makes great hardware and Windows Phone is about as elegant a piece of software as Microsoft has ever written. That's a powerful combination -- if they can execute (and that's a big if).

Video after the break and for complete coverage see our sibling sites:

Then come back and let us know what you think, is the new Nokia Windows Phone going to be greater competition than the sum of its parts?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Hmmm very interesting. Competition is good for us all.
  • Say what you want about this but IMO Nokia makes the only phones out there that top the iPhone in build quality in the same category. Windows Phone 7 is very attractive to me simply because everything else in my life is Microsoft driven except for my iPhone.
    I hope they can turn out something great because I would probably buy one.
  • HTC makes great products as well. Seems like Nokia just sold out to "the man" and I don't see this changing things for them.
  • I agree but the ones I had were hindered by Windows Mobile and right now they are mostly Android which is completely unappealing to me. Their WP7 devices are also not that aw inspiring; just give me a slab not something with a keyboard or strange speakers.
  • the HD7 is a slab. what's wrong with that .. and they have another slab phone with a smaller screen but that did not make it to the US
  • With iPhone going to verizon now, nothing will stop Apple's new gains in the market share. Nothing will.
  • You realize that Iphone on Verizon just a US thing. It's a big deal ..dont get me wrong but Nokia's marketshare is mostly overseas .. Iphone on Verizon does nothing to hinder that
  • So:
    Nokia/Symbian --> 32% Market Share
    Windows Phone 7 --> 1.5% Market Share
    The only winner here is Microsoft, Nokia will loose as every other M$ partner.
  • Apple is a Microsoft partner, and for a very long time MS Office was the best selling non Apple software running on Macs. Besides, after more than two decades, the personal computer world is still 90% Microsoft. I think there are worse partners out there.
  • Maybe this will be the catapult that gets WP7 into the competitive arena.
  • I would think it will vastly help them in Europe for sure.
  • Actually think this makes sense - if they went with Android they just get lost in a sea of competitors, hard to differentiate themselves and be relevant. Competition is good.
  • Huh...
    You notice that Windows Phone is less distinctive than Android. Every UI looks the same. At least Android allows different UI and UX.
  • Don't think it'll help much, I haven't kept up with the newer Windows mobile versions but I had a Windows phone a few years ago and even to me it seemed a little complicated, don't think it'll be too user-friendly to the average non-geek.
  • Mike, Windows Phone 7 is a completely different experience. It's as user friendly as iOS.
    Next time you're at AT&T play with one of them it's actually pretty cool. Great alternative to iOS
  • Not really, bing, zune, and the metric ui don't make it as user friendly.
  • whats so "not user friendly" about bing Zune or the metro UI .. I'm not big on WP7 .. but there are many things about it that I like .. I think the problem is that it's TOO easy .. it 's quite Boring .. if they can spice it up .. then they'll be able to go toe to toe with the green robot
  • It's amazing how Microsoft does it, so my hats off to them. They got their software onto IBM PC, the big behemoth of the day, and PC compatibles, in the 80s. Now, they are getting their software onto the big behemoth in the mobile world. This may put them in the pole position if Nokia can get their customers to stay loyal through the transition.
    Nokia? Hopefully they can carve out their own distinct identity.
    Really, what we want is balkanization in perpetuity. 3, 4, 5 parties at nearly equal share. This is the best cast scenario for phone innovation. Carrier innovation? The only thing that'll improve that is gov't mandated usage of standards.
  • “My first thought is to sell Nokia stock because Nokia has just given themselves away for free and Google and Apple are laughing all the way to a duopoly,” said Neil Campling, an analyst at Aviate Global LLP in London.
    “Elop has decided to run the risk of really triggering a collapse of Symbian phone sales over the next three quarters,” said Tero Kuittinen, an analyst with MKM Partners LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut. “This is what jumping into the icy sea looks like; embracing a mobile OS with 3 percent smartphone market share. I expected a move to Windows, but not one with this level of religious fervor.”
    “When you are facing a fire, you need to move quickly because it expands fast,” said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in London. “This partnership will take time to implement and deliver phones. This is what may kill Nokia.”
  • Nokia who? lol.
  • Better compete with apple? Apple marketshare has pretty much stagnated. Nokia is worried about one player, and that's Google.
  • Apple makes 55% of the profit.
  • 55% of the profit of Manufactureres.... Google is not a manufacturer and according to an analyst they bring in $10 in ad alone per user with 300k activations a day.. you can see where I'm going with this.
  • O boy microkia is here. That's what we hear. Should would all fear. Or getting together for a beer. I think this is good for microsoft and nokia. They both need a boost.
  • While many are saying this is a win for Microsoft, the real winners will be Apple and Google. Like it or not, we are heading into a duopoly in the mobile space. Nokia should have sided with Android. True, they would have to fight with everyone else for a piece of the pie, but WP and Microsoft are ultimately going to lose. There are two clear front-runners, and teaming up further down in the pack isn't going to produce a third leader.
  • Android is about two years old, iOS three. I think it's a little early to talk about winners, losers and duopolies. At the onset Android sold less than WP7, who could foresee that two years later it would be wooping iphone's butt?
  • It's kind of early to declare WP7 lost after 3 months on the market. Microsoft has the $$$ for it to be around for a long time to gain traction.
  • Google's response was "Two turkeys don't make an eagle."
  • I think they might have made the wrong choice. Or not. We're talking about a platform that is being outsold by absolutely everything, including the last version of the same platform.
    However, with Nokia teaming up with Microsoft, maybe Windows Phone can actually start to gain a little foothold.
    Should be interesting.
  • Nokia and Microsoft are like two drunks propping each other up as they stagger down the street. Neither one knows where they're going.
  • Never count Microsoft out - That "drunk" still packs a heck of a left hook! ;)
  • Very solid, Rock........
  • I don't expect this to be fierce competition for Apple, rather for Google as already mentioned.
    WP7 has a better user experience than Android, so if Nokia can make €100 smartphones in a year or two Android will be loosing some market share for sure, apps will be ported no doubt.
    For Apple to be impacted it will depend on their plans to release an Iphone nano, which to me is a no brainer : when you have 0% market share in the low end smartphone market you don't have much to loose. Mr Jobs so far thought otherwise by going after high margin markets only, perhaps because most of the smartphone market was about high end till now... But we all know this can't last, cfr. the PC industry.
  • the end is near
  • This is great news for everyone. Competition is good. It keeps everyone on their toes and leads to innovation and better products.
    I never understood fanboys and their need to try and justify their choices and why one company is better than another. Companies don't care about you. They care about making money.
    I have no love for any of these companies. I use Windows laptop because I feel its the best bang for its buck and does what I need; I use iPhone because for now, I just want a simple smartphone with good apps. I would dump each one for something better if the need fits and find fanwars silly.
    Embrace competition.
  • You hit the nail right on the head!
  • First thing about partnership is pronouncing your partner's product correctly. Fail Microsoft.
  • NOW we know how TWO Hindenburg's slamming into one another looks.
  • This has potential. I loved my Nokia in the past. I still have it in a drawer. Worked for years through brutal use. Competition is a great thing and I wish Nokia all the best.
  • good luck with that.
  • Who knows, I think the next few years will be interesting to see how things shake out. You now have 5 players in the smartphone arena; 1. Apple, 2. Android/Google 3. Blackberry 4. Windows
    5. WebOS/HP/Palm. HP and Microsoft have deep pockets but the question is how much are they willing to spend? Apple and Google also have deep pockets and the question is will they have to spend. Blackberry is in it by may end up as a corporate and government player for the most part if they do not catch up in the next 2 years. It will be very interesting to see the Nokia Microsoft partnership and what Nokia can do. I doubt they will make serious inroads to North American markets.