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Old 07-09-2010, 04:57 PM
ajck ajck is offline
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We have to ask what ultimately matters - why are we making any comparisons anyway? Well, profits matter if you're an objective investor in Apple or Nokia stocks who's solely interested in the return they'll get. At the moment, you'd choose Apple. This profit comparison completely ignores anything other than return on investment, in which case you can also compare those stocks with anything else - sugar, oil, department stores, banks, you name it.

Some have suggested that Apple having more profits allows them to develop better products (i.e. making batter technology available to consumers) and make better acquisitions of other companies - all for the benefit of consumers. And yet, who are we seeing doing WAY more of that than Apple? Nokia. E.g. they bought Navteq and, bluntly, have given millions of poorer people very full featured free sat nav, not just on the high end (yep, high end) N8, but on the real cheapo 5800, 52xx series devices.

So, what ultimately matters, if you're not some disinterested stock investor, is making the best technology available to the most people in the world. Nokia are far and away the clear leaders in this the world over. Not only the recent series comparing low end Androids with low end Nokia Symbian phones, but lots of other anecdotes, have shown Android simply can't compete AT ALL with Nokia Symbian phones at the low end. iPhone isn't even in the running. Nokia take a tiny fraction of the profits other handset makers take per handset, but so many more millions of people benefit as a result.

Then there's the high end. All of you about to buy an N8, know that you are getting a piece of technology that is WELL in advance of anything else you can buy out there not only for a similar price, but at any higher price too. Look at the N8 features (I'm talking the quality of the N8 implementations, not just the presence in a feature list)! They blow all other Androids and iPhone and Blackberries out of the water.

All this 'noise' in the marketplace is because, for a short time, Nokia's UI, developer support, and app store wasn't quite as good as the competition. End of story. The big question for everyone is, if Nokia/Symbian have been selling that many more smartphones with their 'old', 'crap' S60 5th edition handsets, what happens when they flex their muscles, upgrade Symbian to ^3 and then ^4, and produce even better hardware like the incredible N8? What happens when the Ovi Store makes devs real money, and sells apps in the many millions? What happens when developer support is BETTER than on iPhone or Android? Well all those things are happening now.

Furthermore, what happens when the phone options for hundreds of millions of poorer consumers are a sophisticated Nokia/Symbian smartphone with free nav, app store, etc etc, or a limited featurephone? What happens when much of that growth is in emerging markets, where Nokia already reign, and Symbian vs other smartphones is already no contest?

I find it hard to see any other future than overwhelming Nokia/Symbian dominance worldwide, as the vastly more efficient Symbian continually outclasses Android at the lowest end where people are upgrading featurephones to smartphones. On the app front (noting that Nokia has more functionality built in anyway than rival platforms), eventually developers will realise the new gold rush is on Ovi/Symbian/Meego, not on the oversaturated iPhone and Android, where most don't make money.