Did Nokia and Microsoft Build a Better iPhone for Business?

Rob Enderle
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A few months ago, I was at an EMC Customer Council and I attended the mobile panel. What was interesting was that all of those in the panel had approved Apple phones, but a large number were blocking Android devices because they weren't secure enough. What they had also approved was the new Windows Phone platform, and they clearly wanted to give employees a choice, but the employees didn't want the product. This seemed kind of sad given it is my view that Microsoft has focused excessively on the enterprise over the last decade. I doubt there is anything more ironic than focusing on a segment so hard that you effectively lose it.

 

Well, this may have just changed because the hottest phone at CES may be the Nokia Lumia 900, which my old friend Dan Lyons thinks "leapfrogs" past the Apple design. This is good because Microsoft's market share has dropped from 13 percent to 2 percent since 2007 and it is just short of dropping into the "other" category for the numbers houses.

 

Beating Apple

 


The traditional problem with Microsoft competing with Apple was that the package wasn't competitive and it tends to massively underfund marketing. In fact, if it wasn't for the carrier's heavy promotion of Android, I doubt that platform would be doing as well given that Google doesn't like to spend ad dollars, either.

 

A good example of the package problem for Google is the Motorola Droid RAZR. It is by any measure a better piece of hardware than the iPhone - sleeker, faster and sexier, but the user experience isn't in the same ballpark - but massive marketing by Verizon helped make it a hit.

 

Microsoft's phones actually used to have good hardware, but the user experience sucked. Then, it fixed the user experience and the hardware just wasn't competitive and throughout Microsoft underfunded demand generation.

 

It remains interesting that neither Google (some irony here given that Google makes its money from ad dollars) nor Microsoft comes close to marketing at Apple's level and what marketing money there is becomes so diluted that no one gets excited about any one device.

 



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