Very fine article by Rita El Khoury who argues that the highlighted lack of apps on Windows Phone not being part of the problem, or certainly not the sole reason why Windows Phone hasn’t been a success among masses.
Read the full article from below:
The Pricing and Halo Effect Problem
This is something I have believed since Maemo days to to be the ultimate goal to truly get into the game again. Not since N95 has Nokia really had something you could call a halo device that has the trickle down, or halo effect to rest of the line up.
Influence of the halo device far outshines its own sales, spreading across the whole line of devices it derives from. Just like the N95 boosted the N-series and the E71 boosted the E-series, the iPhone 4 made people buy the iPhone 3GS or the iPod Touch or even a Macbook, the S3 made countless people buy the horrible Galaxy Aces and Duos and Pockets.
- Rita El Khoury
All the above is naturally much easier said than done. You could say there’s a time and place when this can happen and it’s partly out of Nokia’s hands. That halo device will simply happen (or not happen) when the platform itself is in the tipping point and some right hardware comes out, maybe at best even with some innovation. For Android that was Galaxy S and for iOS it was iPhone 3GS.
Author mentions Lumia 1020 as the possible halo device, though I unfortunately doubt that. Lumia 920 is the closest Windows Phone has got there with brand new hardware and riding on the wings of brand new OS.
The Microsoft vs Nokia Problem
This was a point I found very interesting.
On the consumer front, the problem is with the discordant loyalty between the Nokia and the Microsoft brands. I have said it once and I will say it again: If Nokia had gone with Android or Meego on February 2011, almost none of the Nokia fans would have given Windows Phone a second look. And that’s the problem. Nokia fans are loyal to the Nokia brand, regardless of the OS. They love the hardware more than anything else, they love what the company stands for, and they are ready to follow them anywhere they go.
Windows Phone, to them, is a part of the package. You marry Nokia, you get Windows Phone and Microsoft as the in-laws. Sure, you’ll tolerate and accept them at first, you’ll learn to like them and make excuses for them later, you might even end up loving them, but your spouse, your main love, that’s Nokia.
Nokia knows that. Microsoft knows that. Most of the Windows Phone users and developers have followed Nokia into it
- Rita El Khoury
There is definite tension between Microsoft the company and Nokia fans. Tension between corporate Nokia and Microsoft, something that was for the very first time publicly acknowledged from Nokia.
Is this fanbase Windows Phone has actually beneficial for the platform?
For now Microsoft has to favor Nokia because it’s the only open door to success for Windows Phone. Maybe it will beneficial for both and Nokia can once again spread out a bit more. Time will tell.
The Google Problem
This is something I’m not in all agreement.
It’s hard to ignore Google these days. The giant has a portfolio of apps and services that almost everyone uses, on a personal or a professional level: Search, Gmail, Google Now, Chrome, Analytics, Adsense, Drive, YouTube, Maps, Calendar, Google+… Sure, some are more ubiquitous than others, but as a whole, they are impossible to ignore. You can definitely find a few users who live in the Microsoft ecosystem (Outlook, Bing, Skydrive, etc) but they will always be a minority compared to those who use Google’s.
- Rita El Khoury
I would hardly put Google services to this top 6 list. This is part of the Instagram app problem that the author did so hard to dismiss.
I doubt Windows Phone would fall because of HERE Maps, Bing, SkyDrive, Outlook or IE. Though there is no argument that you can’t really call any of the above services a strength on the platform just yet, other than SkyDrive. All of the above services have had a good development pace and I haven’t ever thought I have been using some kind of inferior product.
I have had Gmail account as my main personal email since the early invite beta times. It was 30 minutes job setting my Outlook account, calender synchronization and SkyDrive that are all very easily accessible from the great new layout on the web (live.com) and are naturally very well integrated to Windows Phone.
The last three are more obvious. Like The Operator Problem that both Elop and Nokia have been tackling for a while. Operators simply not buying and pushing Windows Phones.
The Platform Positioning Problem, that I find a moot point. Windows Phone in the surface is certainly much more towards the iOS crowd with the more unified hardware, smooth UI across devices and locked, simpler user interface.
The Customer Problem that mostly just unites Operator Problem and The Platform Positioning Problem.