I thought that this graphic was pretty funny but it implies that the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s handset business is no big deal. That’s not the case. It is a big deal in that these two companies at one time dominated their industries and now they’re struggling to be relevant. It’s a big deal in that it is effectively the end of Nokia as we’ve known it.
It’s not a big deal for me in that I swore many years ago that I’d never buy another Microsoft phone and have no reason to think that will change.
As you might guess, I am more interested in what remains of Nokia, and especially the NAVTEQ/HERE business. I am also interested in why these guys can’t find the Caps Lock key but that’s another blog.
- The new Nokia has a mapping platform, a network equipment business and patents. That makes no sense. HERE will get spun off which is what people there have wanted for a while. It rids them of the boat anchor that was the handset business.
- The HERE/Microsoft arrangement remain largely unchanged. HERE had been powering Bing maps and will continue to do so, secured by a four year deal.
- HERE will position itself as an independent mapping platform, for people who can’t use Google and are scared to build their own (having seen Apple’s struggles). nFor example, it would be much more palatable for Samsung to use HERE now that they aren’t a handset competitor.
- HERE will continue to push into the platform business as evidenced by their new automotive platform. This move will help them as they expand their value proposition but will also turn yesterday’s customers into tomorrow’s competitors. Hardware vendors will be reluctant to use a cookie-cutter HERE platform that doesn’t allow them to differentiate services. Reference Microsoft and IBM in the Personal PC space, circa 1990.
- TomTom will lose a competitive edge it has had by bashing HERE as the competition. For instance, it is more likely that HERE could compete with TomTom for map data business at Apple now.
- OSM will be a winner. That’s a longer story but I believe that the gap between Google and HERE will grow and companies will need an alternative map data source. I see more corporate adoption of OSM in the next years, which will make the map better which will make it a better option. That blog is swirling in my head and I hope to write it soon.
What does your crystal ball say? Comment away.