Nokia has just realised that Mobile Internet can be another industrial revolution.
NokiaCEO Stephen Elop has claimed that increased adoption of the mobile Internet in the developing world has the power to affect more people than the Industrial Revolution did in Europe during the 18th century.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Elop set out Nokia’s desire to get the next billion people to the Internet, and said the company is “proud of what we’re doing” in taking its smartphone innovations and incorporating them into cheaper products.
If hardware is the backbone to any good smartphone, then apps have become the lifeblood with many consumers judging a device on what they’re able to download for it. Microsoft know this and because it’s playing catchup with its competitors, iPhone and Android, it’s turned towards funding developers to ensure apps are created for them.
The New York Times reports that Microsoft is financing the development of well known apps, costing anything between $60,000 to $600,000 depending on the complexity of the app. Developers are reluctant to dedicate time and money into a platform that is both small and unproven so Microsoft is adapting different methods to incentivise developers. Alongside funding their app’s development, the company also provides developers with free phones and the promise of prime spots in its app stores and in Windows Phone advertising
Microsoft only has an estimated 70,000 apps for its Windows Phone platform. Comparing that the iPhone has roughly more than 600,000 apps in its store and Android has almost 400,000 apps, the company is very much trying to bridge the gap between themselves and speed up the process. Their other initiative is teaming up with Nokia to open up an AppCampus in Finland, where over €18 million will be invested into the project over three years, but the company has a lot of work ahead of them if they seriously want to be in a position to challenge the big two.
Nokia Oyj will eliminate 4,000 jobs, including at its oldest factory in Finland, as the mobile-phone maker shifts manufacturing to Asia, its largest market.
The firings add to more than 10,000 job cuts Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop has announced since Nokia linked up with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) a year ago to fight a loss of smartphone market share to Apple Inc. (AAPL) Nokia’s first handsets based on Microsoft’s software, called Lumia, were assembled at a Compal Communications Inc. (8078) factory in Taiwan.
Apple, which introduced the iPhone in 2007, already assembles the smartphones in China. Nokia is building a plant in Vietnam to manufacture entry-level handsets and a site in Dongguan, China, makes about a third of all of the company’s output, according to Nokia’s website.
Nokia’s smartphone sales declined 25 percent to 77.3 million units last year as customers shunned the Symbian line. Nokia introduced Lumia handsets running Windows Phone six weeks before the end of the year and said on Jan. 26 that it had sold “well over” 1 million of the devices “to date.”
Nokia Siemens Networks, the wireless-equipment venture with Siemens AG (SIE), announced 17,000 job cuts on Nov. 23 as it narrows its product lines in an effort to become profitable.