Samsung and Nokia are Betting Big on Microsoft but do they have much Choice?
In the last week Samsung and Nokia have announced new Microsoft Windows phone 8 devices. The latest announcement released today by Nokia features the Lumia 920 and 820 smart phones. The phones put a large emphasis on the camera features and Windows Phone 8 is doing the same thing touting its filters and camera features.
All of the latest announcements come but a mere week before Apple is to release its new iPhone 5. The release slated and teased in recent stories is set for September 12th. Comscore recently released data that the Droid and iPhone lead the mobile wars with 50.8% of the market belonging to the open Droid platform, Apple is not far behind with 31.4% of the total market, and Microsoft has a long way to go with only 4% of the total market currently using their devices.
So why are Samsung and Nokia betting so big with Microsoft rather than further developing their droid platforms? This part may not be as clear but it may be, at least for Samsung, a way to diversify the portfolio of mobile devices. With the recent patent issues and $1B ruling against Samsung from Apple, it is also a way to take a step back from the droid development. According to Comscore, Samsung leads the pack as the top manufacturer of phones, while Nokia didn’t even make the list.
For Nokia, the Microsoft relationship is more of a last ditch effort. The company has continued to struggle, and even the announcements today of the new devices were overshadowed by Samsung’s announcement of having the first Windows Phone 8 device last week. Upon news of the new phone release, Nokia’s stock fell over 11% today. I was given the opportunity to review the Lumia 710 when it came out and found the phone to be a good overall experience. Coming from the iPhone I was very skeptical, but it had a good price point and met many of the needs a smartphone user could be looking for.
Many have said that aligning with Microsoft has not been a wise decision for Nokia. The hardware that Nokia has developed has been very good and had they released the device on the Droid platform, things may be very different for the company. Investors seem to agree with this and have shown it with the continuous sell off. Considering Droid has the largest market share, it is easy to say that a Nokia Lumia with Droid would have been a good seller.
Microsoft has been quick to jump ship with products in the past and this should also be a concern for companies looking to align with the Windows Phone product. Microsoft has a long way to go to gain market share, but on top of that to gain confidence with users. They have alienated users of previous versions of the Windows Phone platform by not allowing upgrades to new versions. The mobile wars are all set to heat up but this may be a long war.