On multiple occasions I’ve talked about how crucial Nokia could possibly be to Microsoft’s future success both for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
While Nokia may not be the giant it was in year’s past, it is still a powerful contender that has put its faith in Microsoft for its future in the smartphone market, and not the currently more popular Android OS.
Although Windows Phone may not be wildly popular, Mango has received fairly critical praise and with recent malware issues coming to light it is very possible that the tide will eventually turn in Microsoft’s favor when it comes to the mobile OS war.
Nokia’s recent campaign to regain power in the US may not be going as smoothly as it might wish, but I still firmly believe that Microsoft and Nokia can work together to build a strong partnership that makes Windows Phone as success- at least at the ‘world wide’ scale.
The truth is that according to StatCounter, in pure numbers Symbian is still the number-one smartphone OS in use around the world. Nokia’s Symbian may not have any real existence these days in the major US, Canadian, and European markets but in Asia, Africa, and Latin America it still remains a powerful force.
With Nokia and Microsoft working closely together, when Symbian users in the developing world finally feel they need to update their old headsets they might be more willing to follow over to Windows Phone, since it has Nokia’s blessing.
At the same time, Android will likely offer developing nations a cheaper option since there are no minimum spec requirements with Google’s platform, but who knows how loyal Symbian users are.
Will they follow Nokia’s shift to WP or will they look for a new option in the next few years? It is hard to say.
If Microsoft and Nokia could conquer the ‘developing world’, they would have a very large junk of sales at their hands.
I am also confident that the combination of Windows 8 and Windows Phone, side by side, will draw more users in for major markets like Europe, Canada, and the US.
While I understand Microsoft’s desire to use Windows 8 on the tablet, a Windows CE/Windows Phone derivative that runs on tablets for the developing market in conjunction with Windows Phone marketing, could even further make them a success in places like Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
While these countries can’t afford to pay as much, they also represent a very large number of potential customers if the price could be right.
In India, there is a government-sanctioned Ubislate tablet that runs Android and manages just a $57 US price point.
If Microsoft could emulate something similar to this model, they could even further win the affections of this market by offering a less malware prone solution that wouldn’t be as fragmented.
Of course, in order to prevent any kind of fragmentation, Microsoft would have to up the specs more than the Ubislate 7 manages, and so it would likely be that they couldn’t mark the price any lower than $99.
Right now this is all speculation, but my overall point is just because we don’t see Microsoft winning big yet with its mobile platform here in the states, doesn’t mean that it can’t find world-wide success.
We are living in an increasingly global world, and the developing countries provide a huge market opportunity for the company that plays its cards right.
What do you think? Could Microsoft win over current Symbian and even Blackberry fans in the developing world? Share your thoughts below.