So, the long awaited Lankku better known as Nokia N9 is finally official. The first round of “hands-ons” and previews has been very positive. Everybody seems to be talking about the N9 and especially its infamous operating system, MeeGo. However, this does raise a question: If MeeGo is so great why is Nokia essentially giving it the middle finger by sifting itself away from it and abandoning it over Windows Phone? Or is there something wrong with MeeGo? Maybe even something that we are not aware of? In a way yes and no. My personal opinion is that MeeGo is just as amazing as you have been let to believe.
I honestly think that it could easily compete with the big boys, in this case iOS and Android, and in many ways it is even better. MeeGo brings a lot of new innovations or features that might not be new but have been implemented way better in MeeGo than in the competing products. But, and this is a big but, the N9 is a product of the old Nokia. The Nokia that believed in devices – not in overall customer experience. And that is fundamentally what is wrong with the N9. Despite however amazing or life-altering device it might be, it’s not part of any ecosystem. It is not supported by – well – anybody who matters. And if you’re not supported you’re un-plugged from the world and cannot provide the services, apps, accessories that the consumers have grown to expect. In today’s world it isn’t enough if you can provide some of these services, consumers want all of them and more! Building this kind of offering around the N9 is just not something that Nokia (especially in its current state) would be capable of doing. Therefore Nokia needed to partner up.
I know that there are many people: Nokia fans, analysts, ex-Nokians etc. who argue that the Microsoft alliance has been the biggest mistake in Nokias history and that the company should rethink its strategy, abandon Windows Phone and adopt MeeGo, again. I am sorry to say but this is a delusion. Nokia and Microsoft are in this alliance for good. Even in practice reigniting the MeeGo (Harmattan) project would not be possible. The talent has already either left the company or been reallocated to work on new projects, namely Windows Phone. This is a permanent shift in strategy and will hopefully continue well into the future.
Yet, all bets are not solely on the Windows Phone. Remember that the new strategy has three pillars: smartphones, next billion and future disruptions. Therefore instead of viewing the N9 as the last MeeGo product in the smartphone’s category you should rather think of it as the first product in the future distruption’s category. And if the first product is any indication of what is to come, bring it on Nokia – bring it on!
[EDIT] My Nokia Blog (great site btw) seems to have picked up my article. Check out what they have to say >> My Nokia Blog