One week ago, Nokia, still the world’s largest cellphone maker, announced that they are teaming up with Microsoft to offer the world a new choice in the smartphone market. Google VP Vic Gundotra announced his judgment via Twitter, saying “Two Turkeys do not make an Eagle,” but even given the obvious bias of the source, it is probably way too soon to judge whether this partnership will bring a successful product to the market to compete with the established Apple and Android behemoths. The new partners clearly have the resources to develop a competitive offering, but what remains to be seen is how quickly they will be able to overcome the others’ head start in building a library of apps – which in our opinion is the real differentiator for a smartphone.
Apple, being first to market, was able to attract a tremendous wave of talented third-party firms to develop their library of apps. Google followed quickly and got a boost from their very open architecture and wide selection of available devices. Nokia and Microsoft are well behind their competition in this area and face a steep climb to catch up. We will have to wait and see if they bring something new to the market.