I know that the headline is sensational, but you’ll see why I put it that way when you are through with the article. I am known to be the voice of reason, and I am not known that way for nothing, so don’t worry yourself about me going crazy. Let’s start upfront by ensuring that we all understand the basis of this article. Mobile blogosphere has been awash with a number of interesting articles in the last few days.
First, Tomi Ahonen published a detailed analysis of Nokia’s current strategy. Titled Some Symbian Sanity – why Nokia will not join Google Android or Microsoft Phone 7, his article put it better than I could have, and it is an understatement to say that I agree with his analysis. Nokia adopting any other OS apart from their own home-grown solution is suicidal.
Tomi’s article was promptly followed by a rebuttal by Robert Scoble in an article titled Why Nokia is still doomed, no matter how many words Tomi Ahonen writes. The rebuttal did not really address the issues that Tomi outlined in his original article.
Then Michael Mace published What’s really wrong with BlackBerry (and what to do about it) and again Tomi responded with Great Analysis by Michael Mace, yet is Completely Not Relevant to RIM ie Blackberry. Actually, Michael Mace’s article is more relevant to the iPhone than to Blackberry, as we shall see later in this article.
It all makes for enjoyable reading, but the terrible and mostly unfounded attacks against Nokia/Symbian are just amusing. I keep on asking, and no-one has provided an answer –
- How can a mobile OS that keeps seeing increased sales be rightly said to be doomed?
- How can a mobile OS that keeps on improving be rightly said to be doomed?
- How can a mobile OS that sells more than its three (or four) closest competitors all put together be rightly said to be doomed?
- Why are the same people not singing the death of WebOS and Windows Phone 7, seeing that they have negligible market share? (the Nokia N8 alone is reported to be selling more than all the existing WP7 devices combined)
It is looking to me like some people have decided to ignore facts on ground. Or, they are only looking at the U.S. market where Nokia/Symbian have never had a strong following – and then pushing US realities as reflective of the total picture. And they are so wrong.
The meat of this article
Industry statistics indicate that iPhone sales for the first time flattened out from Q3 2009 to Q2 2010, standing at a rough average of 8.3 million devices sold per quarter (note this is smartphone figures only; iPods and iPads are excluded). This is inspite of the fact that the iPhone iwas now available in more countries and on more networks than ever before. Yet; the iPhone was not selling more. It was not experiencing any increase in sales.
Note: Symbian, the said “dead” and “doomed” OS was, and still is, witnessing increased sales.
From the records, iPhone sales seemed to be stagnating. Better put, it seemed to have stagnated. iPhone 4 sales have boosted things up again, but over the next few months, we are likely to see signs of that stagnation again. Android is experiencing rapid increase in sales but isn’t selling as much as Symbian yet. Symbian is still selling more than Android – and somehow, some people keep screaming that Symbian is dead and all is well with the competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need to think again. Do I think the iPhone is doomed because of any of the above figures? I’d be a fool to think such a thing. The iPhone isn’t dying off anytime soon. But it is showing signs of trouble more than Symbian is. When your product is in more stores, on more networks, in more countries and is not selling more, that is a sign of trouble. Stagnation.
Question: So, why do people think that an OS that survived the onslaught of the iOS and Android over the last number of years and is still not just outselling them, but still seeing an increase in sales doomed? When will this anti-Nokia, anti-Symbian joke stop?
Now, you know why I used that heading. If we look at the statistics on ground, Symbian is experiencing sales growth; iOS (iPhone only) has flattened out. If Symbian is dead, iOS is dead and buried. That’s the analogy behind my heading.
I think that Nokia/Symbian bashing makes for good publicity, so lots of (mostly American) blogs have a go and get increased site traffic, and become (more) famous. It is a good way to get heavy traffic.
Me, I’ll just stay here telling it as it is, and when all the hype dies down (as it always will, sooner or later), I’ll still be here telling it as it is.
Years ago when the web hosting was starting off in the country, there were lots of guys around the place serving hype and raising lots of dust. Not one of them is anywhere in the public eye today. They all faded away and their names are history. Me? I’m still there in the web hosting industry keeping my head together (though there are some days I’ve been tempted to tear my hair off), and serving a mostly satisfied clientele numbering several hundreds. I’m still here. I earned the right to be listened to.
Many Nigerian webhosts have sprung up and died since 2003 when I got in as a pioneer. My company, Alireta (formerly DomainStandard.net), is still here. If you are looking for a webhost that won’t disappear tomorrow, you know where to look.
Yes; I just did some shameless self-plugging there 😉
Back to mobile, all platforms have their strengths and weaknesses – and fanboys to boot. Want some advice from me? Sit down, shut your ears to the hype, find what works for you, and buy it.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.