Microsoft, worldwide technology titans, have recently purchased Nokia, creator of once loved indestructible phones (Nokia 3210 – great memories) for a staggering $7.2 billion! A move that seemingly gives Microsoft not only a massively popular software division, but also a solid device and manufacturing division. It’s very similar to the set up over at Apple and Google (who purchased Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2011). Both of these companies have been hugely successful in their handset and mobile operating systems, so you’d assume that Microsoft are aiming for something similar.
So how is this going to affect its mobile phones?
First of all, Microsoft isn’t exactly new to this kind of business. Does anyone remember the Hiptop or the Kin phone? No? There’s probably a good reason for that!
The Kin phone (Did you ever have one?)
Past ventures with relatively unknown mobile manufacturers haven’t worked out too well, but Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia gives them a company with a fantastic reputation and a supply chain like no other. Surely they can’t fail?!
Will Nokia once again become a big name in mobile?
Microsoft hasn’t just bought the Nokia name, they have bought the rights to its highly rated NOW maps and turn by turn navigation Microsoft currently includes in its Lumia range of phones. As a Lumia owner myself, I find them both really useful and the turn by turn navigation has got me out of a few lost car journeys!
This is something I suspect many consumers would really like. Particularly as Sat Nav apps in some stores can be as expensive as £50! Nokia have also developed a Spotify-ish music service it includes on its Lumia phones, which gives you free access to playlists created by users and celebrities.
It’s a nice package of apps to have from the off on your phone and you’d assume with Microsoft’s endless pot of money they can throw at it, they’d be plenty of time to develop these apps and create more (hopefully free) apps in the future. You would also assume that there would be a substantial development in new phones under the Nokia brand, but is there enough room for a once great brand to make a triumphant return?
Microsoft’s Nokia vs Blackberry?
Given that Blackberry are already struggling in the mobile market at the moment, the ageing handset creator could be in real trouble with the purchase of Nokia by Microsoft. The low end Lumia phones have been strong sellers over the past year and with the connections to Microsoft office from phone to PC they offer, the business market Blackberry associate themselves with could well move over to Nokia, meaning Blackberry could find themselves at a point where they are no longer first choice. From a consumer perspective it would be a shame to see RIM die out, as it’s always nice to have a healthy choice amongst smartphones.
In summary, Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia seems like a good move for all parties involved. The once great phone company were struggling to find their place in the modern smartphone market, but with a company like Microsoft taking them under their wing, they have a wealth of resources to pick it back up.