Sunday, July 22, 2007

Business Week on Nokia

A nice piece about Nokia in Biz Week:

[Nokia] seems to be doing everything right these days. Nokia's supply-chain management may be the best of any company in the world. It has a big head start in fast-growing markets such as China and India. And it has $9.5 billion in cash and practically no debt, so it can invest far more than rivals on developing new products or conquering new markets—and thus build even more intimidating economies of scale

The guys at HQ can savour this for approximately 2 seconds, and then get back to being paranoid. Things go down as well as up, and we're not likely to forget it. My $0.02:

- The story focuses only on the "phone as the product" market, and the 40% market share that we've been chasing for a decade (and seems to be tantalising close). But I wonder if when we reach it, the concept will be meaningless. What will the definition of a "phone" be in 2-3 years? Is it because one of the multiple wireless engines (wifi, bluetooth, wimax), happens to use government regulated cellular spectrum that it counts as a phone? Despite the current iPhone boost to the concept of a product business, in the long term, margins on all such products are declining, and the key test for our future competitiveness is the extent to which we can nail the services that build on top of, and extend, the devices.

- Let's bring some of that prodigous Indian innovation back to our markets. The pieces highlights a "$45 model [that] can go more than two weeks without a recharge and has a built-in flashlight" and "[a Nokia van that provides] instruction on how to use mobile phones. Two ideas we should implement in UK asap! :)


PhoneBoy said...

We could use some of those cheap phones Stateside too--without the carrier branding, thanks.

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