Monday, July 21, 2008

BPN 1165 Nokia mobiles sing, dance and lead the way

It looks like it might become a classic business case: the changing face of Nokia. The recent figures and the product announcements indicate that Nokia is changing it business model. It used to be a company offering network services and mobile telephones. But now it is changing to music, games and software. Will the company be able to survive the change? Why not: once the company produced wellies, rubber boots, and moved to mobile telephone. The new move is from complex hardware devices to software.

Nokia is already changing its business model for some years. Of course network services and mobile telephones have been sales products for years. But with the saturation of the market for mobiles, other products and sources of income have to be sought. Despite the fact that Nokia bought all the shares in the Symbian consortium o 264 million euro, Symbian will not be a real source of income. In fact Nokia will put it at arm’s length and accommodate it in a foundation, offering other companies like Google the benefits of the development.

As the company is in content related devices it has been looking around for some time into content products and services. In 200 the company looked into the tablets for games and electronic books. Due to an economic depression, this development was shelved. But since two years Nokia is working on content products with a vengeance: games, music and maps.

Gaming has been a difficult area to start up in. The NGage device was not a success. But now the general game software comes on stream.

The music service is interesting. Of course the mobile devices are becoming Christmas trees with many bells such as telephone, SMS, camera game device and now also MP3 player and navigation device. But as Nokia is rather late in the music game it will have to compete with the iPod. In fact the company is applying the iPod syndrome: a device, a library, a fair price for songs. Nokia is producing special mobiles for music. It is building up a library through all large record companies, except for EMI (for the time being) and by buying the music store Comes with Music. And the price is more than fair (for the time being): songs are for free.

The latest content addition is navigation.. Of course, here the mobile functions as navigator. But for the device maps are needed. For this purpose Nokia bought the competitor of Teleatlas/Tom-Tom the US company Navteq. Last month the European Commission gave permission for the acquisition. In the meantime the company had already 406.000 dowloads of maps.

Nokia is changed its face from industrial products to telecom hardware in the nineties. Now it is changing again from hardware to content related products and content services. For the time being the company is still dependant on the sale of mobile devices, but gradually it becomes a download company building on revenues from games, music and maps.

Blog Posting Number: 1165

Tags: mobile, game, music, map, , ,

1 comment:

dan said...


I just got a very good email from futurist Paul Saffo, who i asked about his reax to word screening, and he said:

[Paul Saffo on the usefulness of SCREENING as a word to capture the fact that the experience of reading on a screen is fundamentally different from reading on paper. Not a priori worse or better; just different...]

Dear Dan,

"Screening" is not a new term, but this might just be the time that it catches on, given the imminent arrival of Apple's iPad, and other devices. The last time I heard it -- screening -- in this way -- was back in the late 1990s when the RocketBook and Softbook made their debut, but the term didn't do any better than the products did.

This time around, it is a clever and useful term capturing the fact that the experience reading on a screen is fundamentally different from reading on paper. Not a priori worse or better; just different.

That said, I doubt it is a term that will find its way into long-term commonplace use, as terms like "watch, listen, read, view" etc are too deeply embedded into habit and also capture the specific experience.

We have had keyboards forever, but we still "write" essays. Which is reminiscent of Truman Capote's famous quip about Kerouac's book, On the Road, "That's not writing; that's typing."

So definitley it is the right word for the moment in terms of drawing people's attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us, but my advice is to not get too attached to it, and especially not to having coined a new term. You can justly claim popularizing it, but I doubt we will ever know who "coined" it.

[Dan says: Good point and agreed: am not married to this word screening, and definitely, I did not coin it, the word does not belong to me, I just picked it up a few months ago, just took it from the dictionary meaning of a screen, the screens we read on, and i added an ing to it, and i am sure i was not the first to do this, many others did this before me, and then i started publicizing, as you say, as a way of drawing attention to the vast literary shift about to wash over us....

....So my advice is to use and promote "screening" as a useful new term, but don't get attached to the idea that you coined the term....

Dan replies: [Exactly, and points well taken. This has never been about me, and of course I did not coin the term "screening", the word existed long before I was even born. I just glimpsed a new use for it, from a different perspective, and thanks to the work of Dr Anne Mangen of Norway, whose 2008 paper really sent me off on this wild goose chase. But yes, I am not the coiner of the word, and I want no credit for what I am doing as a PR flack for its use today. This is not about me, it's never about me, and I want no credit at all for my PR work, this is volunteer work I do for fun, this is about us, the future, human civilization, and I take no credit for my work on this. I am just a humble servant of clear thinking and trying to make a difference by pointing out this and that to interested parties.]