Ovi - 'No-phone' is iPhone

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today's quotable quote:

"I don't know what is copying and what is original but if there is something good in the world, we copy it with pride," - Anssi Vanjoki, head of the Nokia multimedia division

Nokia (NOK) demoed their latest software on what appeared to be an iPhone rip-off, and let me call this phone the 'No-phone', along with services under the brand name Ovi. And Mr.Vanjoki was answering questions regarding its striking resemblance with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, be it the touch-screen or the interface.

I should appreciate Nokia for candidly admitting the truth. If the gadget used is a sign of things to come from Nokia, it is their direct reply to Apple. All other factors remaining the same (and I assume Nokia will do a good job at that), this hand-set should have some definite advantages over the iPhone. Some of them are listed below.
  • The device promises direct music transfer from the internet to the mobile, a no-no with iPhone.
  • It is likely to have 3G versions during release. Whether it promises higher data-rates or not, at least there is a perceptual advantage with the 3G tag.
  • Nokia has 1/3rd of the hand-set market share in the world. So even in places where the carrier lines up phones (eg. U.S.A as against in India), they should have negotiating power to leverage unprecedented deals with respect to retaining their own services etc.
  • Nokia certainly has the brand-name to compete with Apple. The snob-value associated with an iPhone may not be there, but people will definitely trust a Nokia device enough to buy it.
  • Nokia phones are not likely to be locked to carriers. This means more customers all around the world. They are gunning for instant pervasiveness as against the exclusiveness tag from Apple. They will have to price it below the iPhone or at least competitively to gain with this strategy.
  • Though it is a brazen copy, Nokia is likely to learn from iPhone mistakes and present a better product. They will directly be competing with iPhone V2 when that comes up.
All this said, the hand-set is still not out yet. So, there is no assurance for user-experience etc. We have to wait and watch. While the executives have accepted that this 'No-phone' is iPhone, until it is out and proven, the world knows that no phone is iPhone!

Posted by Vijay Nagarajan at 1:36 PM  

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