31 Comments

Summary:

Nokia sells a lot of $50-$100 phones. In places like India, where I just returned from, Nokia’s ringtone is part of the urban soundscapes. It accounts for about 40 percent of total global handset sales. Much like McDonalds and Coca Cola, Nokia is everywhere. (Except in […]

nok_1760_111441Nokia sells a lot of $50-$100 phones. In places like India, where I just returned from, Nokia’s ringtone is part of the urban soundscapes. It accounts for about 40 percent of total global handset sales. Much like McDonalds and Coca Cola, Nokia is everywhere. (Except in the U.S., but that is a whole different story.) Like those big, lumbering mature companies, it is unable to move nimbly.

It has yet to launch a credible touch screen phone to compete with LG, Samsung, HTC and every other handset maker. Simply put, Nokia facing innovator’s dilemma has become calcified with caution and is unable to invent markets. Instead of fighting off iPhone and other touchscreen phones, Nokia is thinking about selling laptops. Yes, you heard that right. Nokia will consider making PCs. Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told Finnish national broadcaster YLE (via Reuters) that the company was looking at getting into the PC business.

Maybe it is Nokia’s way to handle competition from Lenovo, Asus and Acer. This is quite amusing because most of these PC makers redefine the word “loser” when it comes to making money. You might hear some analysts say that it is a good idea since mobile operators want to sell connected netbooks. I am not convinced that netbooks can be very profitable. If Nokia does indeed get into the PC business, it will be running and wheezing after more nimble competitors. You only have to look back at its failed attempts to sell underpowered tablets to know how this PC experiment is going to end.

What do you guys think about Nokia’s new likely diversification into laptops?

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  1. How about “ill-advised”?

  2. I don’t want to say Nokia’s success is impossible without seeing an actual product and a business plan. But this seems to be a reflexsive response to the notebook cos moving in on their turf than a well thought out idea.

    The fact the PC/notebook makers are jumping headlong into the smartphone market tells you the grass isn’t greener on the computer side of the fence. Moreover, Nokia doesn’t have distribution channels for computers in place. Are they planning to sell netbooks in their app store? That would e quite a download.

    BTW. There is one computer maker that has found success in the handset business. But none of the PC makers have done it – yet.

  3. Markus Göbel’s Tech News Comments Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Olli’s quote needs interpretation.

    I expect something else than just boring Windows laptops. It must be something handier, inspired by the Android netbooks they talk about now. Maybe a Symbian netbook or finally a great Nokia Internet Tablet with faster CPU and 3G.

    Most of my work is browser based and emails. I don’t need a full fledged PC OS anymore. My N810 would have been my favourite toy, if it had a better browser and 3G. Now it’s my T-Mobile G1.

  4. a nokia version of a netbook running s60 is more likely and no doubt the sucessor to the N internet tablet range. It will also run firebox for mobile.

  5. Martin Lawrence Thursday, February 26, 2009

    I assume they see netbooks as an emerging market they don’t want to be left out of.

    Stacey’s article “Smartphones and Netbooks” argues that, chip-wise, a netbook it is not far from a smartphone.
    The same can be said for the OS: Android is set to power next generation netbooks.

    Plus, Nokia’s channel (carriers) are salivating to add netbooks to their portfolios – add a SIM card, and sell data contracts galore.

    Look at Nokia’s DNA: they excel at designing, managing the manufacturing process and the distribution channel of digital consumer devices. Yesterday feature-phones, today smartphones. Tomorrow?

    You are right in that the margins are probably razor-thin, but I would assume that Nokia is quite used to that.

    What sounds awkward is the wording: “notebook” sounds very last century. I assume what Olli meant is “netbooks” but that got lost in translation.

  6. Nokia has the internet tablet running their own version of Linux called Maemo, and have also acquired folks like Trolltech who own QT GUI framework which is very powerful. So Nokia actually has the software expertise to pull off something like this, they really need to focus on quality of their software and user experience. Their N series phones have proven that they can make really good hardware.

    Also, Nokia has re-invented themselves once when it sold off everything (TV, Tires, etc) and focused on cellphone, and they can re-invent themselves again. They are still going strong in most countries, so if they do things right, they can succeed.

  7. Nokia’s Brave New Strategy: Laptops | Technology Yard Thursday, February 26, 2009

    [...] Read more from the original source:  Nokia’s Brave New Strategy: Laptops [...]

  8. Steve Jobs called and he says he’s fully behind Nokia’s move. It’s one more road-kill.

  9. “It has yet to launch a credible touch screen phone to compete with LG, Samsung, HTC and every other handset maker.”

    Well, the Nokia 5800 is better than all LG, Samsung and non-Android HTC phones… It’s only missing applications to be a really cool alternative to them (….ok… I don’t compare it to an Iphone)

  10. Nokia gamins nešiojamuosius kompiuterius? : nežinau.lt Thursday, February 26, 2009

    [...] gamins kompiuterius? Rimtai? 100% dar neaišku, bet firmos vadovas interviu Suomijos žurnalistams sakė svarstąs tokią galimybę. Tai labai keistas sprendimas, nes iš telefonų, ypač išmaniųjų galima uždirbti daug daugiau, [...]

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