There is a lot of money to be made in the mobile market. For some companies, like Apple and HTC, the products speak for themselves. Both companies have a huge portfolio of devices, but both companies take a very different route to get that bulging portfolio. For Apple, it’s all about their proprietary software and keeping everything in-house. HTC’s trek through the mobile market is about taking advantage of what’s around. Meaning, HTC’s not all about using one mobile platform. And HTC isn’t the only one. Samsung is also using more than one platform to sell their hardware. Unfortunately, though, some companies may be “forced” to go that route, based on their presence in the market. Specifically, it seems like it is Nokia’s time to make the jump into multiple platforms, all in hopes of keeping their head above water.
The Nokia N9 is an impressive piece of hardware. We’ve already kicked around the specifications of the device so I don’t think I have to go over it again. And by now, if you’re interested in a MeeGo 1.2-powered handset, or like looking at impressive phone statistics (who doesn’t?), then you’ve probably already seen the N9 a few times by now since its official announcement. Right after that announcement, Nokia took some time to show off (behind closed doors) the “Sea Ray” device, the N9 body with Windows Phone Mango running the show. And now today, we’ve got the same N9 body running Android’s Gingerbread version. So it seems that Nokia did indeed use the N9 as a concept device, running different software with the same hardware.
Of course, Meego 1.2 isn’t just a concept, and Nokia officially launched the N9 with the mobile platform in tow. It still remains to be seen if the “Sea Ray” makes it to store shelves (probably with a different name, if it does). But, with today’s leak of an N9-like device running Android, I got to thinking that Nokia really should start putting different versions of mobile operating systems inside their hardware. It’s no surprise that Nokia’s hardware is some of the best around, especially in their high-end handsets, so putting the latest and greatest software inside seems like a win-win for everyone.
And it seems that the general public would agree with that, especially when it comes to Android. The popularity of Google’s mobile OS is unarguably strong, and it’s made stronger by impressive hardware. If Nokia sets their mind to it, they could potentially launch a superphone that rivals -- if not surpasses -- anything that any other manufacturer has coming down the pipe. Nokia’s portfolio would only get better and better if the company began using MeeGo, Android, and Windows Phone. And truthfully, I believe more people would start buying Nokia-branded handsets, too.
We’ve seen companies like HTC and Samsung (and others) make plenty of money by issuing more handsets with different mobile platforms on them. It’s obviously a strategy that works, especially if the companies are willing to make the commitment to make it work. If Nokia put their resources behind creating impressive hardware, and put the best software inside those shells, there’d be no reason why people wouldn’t want to get their hands on them. It would indeed be a “winning” situation for Nokia, and one that many people actually expect to happen at some point.
That is, unless Microsoft’s recent deal with the company prevents them from doing anything of the sort. Perfectly plausible, considering the amount of focus both Microsoft and Nokia are putting into the relationship. What do you think Nokia should do? Should the company put their efforts into making the best smartphones they can, and start using more than one mobile OS? Or should Nokia keep focusing on Windows Phone, with a little bit of dabbling in MeeGo tossed in for flavor? Let me know in the comments below what you think.