Saturday, December 08, 2007
On December 14th the ultimate Tech Shootout begins on High Street
On December 14th Nokia is opening its flagship store on London’s Regents street exactly opposite to Apple’s European outpost. Apple on the west side, Nokia on the east. The Cowboy of Computing Steve Jobs has taken on the Sheriff of Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. It is the ultimate shootdown of technology. Earlier this week the Sheriff took out his latest round of ammunition ‘Comes with music’, an absolutely brilliant business model for music. The Sheriff distributes goods to most countries in the world, the Cowboy has his music store in 25 countries. The Cowboy taught us that we need lots of ammunition in the pocket, atleast a thousand songs. Both the Sheriff and the Cowboy think they should be the guardians of ease of use. The cowboy is sleek, everyone adores his products. The sheriff has his eyes everywhere, and everyone is buying his products. One will win, or will everyone win?
That depends entirely who you are. If you are budget constrained investor, then you need to make a choice to maximize profits. If you are someone passionate about great products and ease of use, it is not hard to see how the customer wins. Apple’s entry to the phone business and Nokia’s and Universal’s aggressive moves in the music is going to make the consumer a winner.
Take for example the N95 8GB, which is a rich variant of the N95, where a bigger battery, bigger screen and more storage + many SW improvements have been added, that in my eyes is a reaction to the Cowboys latest sharpshooter, the iPhone. The Sheriff rushed back to the lab and told his people, that he needs a better 'dialler' fast and the engineers delivered, same year as the N95 shipped the N958GB shipped. I think it was brilliant product tactics, not to call it N96, but the engineering effort in it was far greater than a normal variant, for example N80 vs. N80ie. If you read this far, I think you see why this shoot out is so good for consumers. Let the battle begin.
I believe DRM restrictions can also play a role here, and how well Nokia manages to communicate their fair-use policy.
Already there's been some criticism over Nokia's assumed plans to limit those music files to one Nokia device only, so that you'd basically be forced to subscribe to be able to enjoy your thousands of music files.
I don't know what kind of DRM Nokia will use and what kind of policy 'Comes With Music' will have. I hope Nokia will be honest and open about this. At the moment rumours are going wild, and they're 50% negative.
Sony has shown with their XCP rootkit scandal that even a good brand can be hurt, if the company doesn't respect its customers.
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