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Nokia courts operators as it seeks to build third mobile ecosystem

23 июня 2011

Getting back on the right side of the mobile operator community will be key to Nokia's future as a major handset player, the Finnish vendor said on Wednesday.

Speaking at CommunicAsia 2011, Nokia executive vice president of sales, Colin Giles, insisted that together Nokia and Microsoft can launch a credible challenge to the dominance of Apple and Android in the smartphone space. Key to their success will be their ability to partner with operators and to deliver localised services.

The arrival of Apple triggered a “war of ecosystems” in the smartphone market and Nokia “felt the pain of this,” Giles admitted. Google's Android operating system came next: “in many respects this disruptor is an even larger disruptor,” due to its open platform, Giles said.

“[But] there is a place for a third competitive ecosystem... we're working hard to create this third ecosystem,” he said.

“The ultimate ecosystem is one that is hyper-local,” Giles went on, highlighting the importance of services in local languages and appropriate to local cultures, as well as the role of mapping and location-based services.

“None of this will be possible unless we have the support of the operators,” Giles said. “They will be core contributors to the ecosystem we are creating.”

However, he admitted that Nokia has not always had the easiest relationship with the operator community.

“[It has been] a love-hate relationship at times,” he said.

Indeed, Nokia caused much consternation among operators when it first started to focus on providing services, culminating in the 2007 launch of its recently abandoned Ovi brand; for a time it appeared that the Finnish vendor was looking to marginalise the role of the operator in the value chain, in the same way that the likes of Apple and Google ended up doing.

Times have changed, and Nokia is keen to remind the world of its long history of working with mobile operators; it has 132 operator agreements worldwide. “They know their markets,” Giles said.

Later Giles praised Apple and Google for the way they developed their smartphone businesses. “We need to give respect where it's due,” he said.

He reiterated comments made previously by Nokia that it held talks with Google before selecting Microsoft as its new OS partner of choice, but ultimately found the Android platform too fragmented.

In addition, Nokia was worried about where Google would take the Android ecosystem going forward. “All the value in that ecosystem was being pumped to Google,” Giles said. All the value goes “back to the U.S.,” he said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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