Sunday, October 02, 2011

When Did Mobile Become a Soap Opera?

Great piece from Jean-Louis Gassée, covering a wide range of topics, from Nokia, to Samsung and Intel, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google - lot's of thoughts on Google.

Google’s “Interesting” Week

Some good tidbits:
We now hear that Nokia is developing an operating system called Meltemi, the name of a Greek wind (I’m not making this up). The new OS targets the low end and intends to replace the S40 engine for Nokia’s dumbphones, a.k.a. feature phones.

A few thoughts.

First, both Meego and WP7 were, and are, too heavy for entry-level phones.

Second, Nokia sees a future in low-cost, low-margin products. Today’s smartphoneBOM is excessive, north of $100, and that’s before the handset maker, Nokia in our case, gets a slice of the pie.

Looking at Nokia’s Q2 numbers, we see an ASP (Average Selling Price) of 142€ ($200) per smartphone, and a low 36€ ($50) per “feature phone”. In the same quarter, Nokia sold 16.7M smartphones and an impressive 71.8M dumbphones, yielding revenues of $2.4B and $2.6B respectively. In other words, for all the excitement about its smartphone OS moves, Nokia is still a huge “feature phone” maker. To keep this business alive, it must make its dumbphone smarter without introducing expensive hardware. From the WSJ Meltemi story:
“… even consumers in emerging markets now expect low-end feature phones to act like smartphones’’

Here in the Valley, most of us think Google will have to face the music. Especially Oracle’s. Added to Microsoft’s game of IP Go, Oracle’s multibillion dollars lawsuit against Google’s alleged (and dangerously close to established) abuse of Java intellectual property could force the Mountain View Don’t Be Evil leaders to make painful concessions.

and, finally
In the meantime, seeing the Google thread this week’s events, I wonder: Is Google’s Strategy Of Everything backfiring now? Do Larry, Sergey and Andy know how counter these 360 degrees assaults?

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