Nokia: Smartphone war
Cape Town - The smartphone market has become a war of ecosystems and Nokia wants to build an empire, the company said.
"We said 'It's no longer a war of devices, it's a war of ecosystems'. Essentially we partnered up with Microsoft and we're going to build this third ecosystem," Patrick Henchie, Nokia head of product for South and East Africa told News24.
Henchie conceded that the unlimited internet offer linked to BlackBerry devices was working to cement the smartphones in South Africa, but said that Nokia has a strategy to regain the crown in the mobile market.
"The fixed cost internet is a good offer. For us in South Africa to regain that crowd it's about creating desirable devices coupled with amazing software," he said.
Nokia also had some features on the new devices that would limit the data for consumers sensitive to cost.
"We've got some really great initiatives in terms of the Nokia browser which comes standard on these devices. It's a proxy-based service where it compresses data by up to 90%. The push e-mail that we use where you can set up to 10 accounts: That e-mail is also compressed," Henchie said.
The windows phone is a different platform from the established ecosystems like Google's Android and RIM's BlackBerry in SA.
While Apple has sold 37 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011, the company has not made a strong showing in SA, though the device has a loyal, vocal band of fans.
Nokia's approach differs from the established smartphone manufactures in how users will interact with apps.
"What people are going to find different about the Windows phone is it puts people first. It integrates a lot of this into the operating system. It's not a hop from app to app, it's more of a seamless journey," said Henchie.
Nokia has 60 000 apps available for its devices, and even though that doesn't close to the number of apps for iPhone and Android, the company is determined to make a bigger impact in the smartphones market, even as shipments of its new flagship Lumia slid.
The company is in transition as it moves to cement a partnership with Microsoft to create a competing ecosystem for its devices.
"While we progressed in the right direction in 2011, we still have a tremendous amount to accomplish in 2012 in order to properly position Nokia for sustainable long-term growth," CEO Stephen Elop told analysts recently.
- Follow Duncan on Twitter