The Mobile playground is shrinking, buh bye Nokia

it’s been an interesting few days for those who obsess over mobile stuff, myself included.

First HP announced their new WebOS line up. In a word, “sexy”. In another, “too late to market” Ok that’s four words, but still.

The current time frame for us to play with a TouchPad or Pre 3. “Summer” not even a hard date, just the season. Here’s why that’s a big ball of fail for a company that should have the resources to push ahead faster than most.

The TouchPad will weigh 1.6lbs. The iPad weighs 1.5lbs. The iPad 2 is rumored to weigh a bit less, My guess 1lb or close to it. So the TouchPad will launch weighing MORE than the PREVIOUS MODEL iPad. If it launched now. a .1lb difference wouldn’t be a thing, but a half pound difference in weight? That’s gonna be noticed. I want a TouchPad like a crackhead needs a fix, but will I wait 6 months? maybe, maybe not. Most won’t.

Gruber speculates that we’ll see an iPad 3 or 2.5around September, so the TouchPad will likely be outmoded twice over within months of launch. Wonder how long it’ll take for the TouchPad 2? a year?

I have no clue what else HP has cooking, but clearly they still think like it’s the 80’s and 90’s and you can take 6 months to a year to roll something out. It’s gonna be a hard lesson to learn.

That brings us to Nokia. I’ve had a few Nokia devices, and liked most of them. Well the earlier ones, at least. The last two, were a confusing mess. I’m not a dummy, and can figure out most OS’s etc, and mobile OS’s shouldn’t require “figuring out” in the first place. I could barely get apps installed on my N97, and Gave up completely on my whatever it was that followed. And really Nokia, stylii? in 2009 when I got my last Nokia device, it still required a stylus. Come on guys!

Now they’ve announced they’re partnering with Microsoft. Bad move. Why? It’s becoming more and more clear to me, that the mobile platforms that will win, are the ones where it’s a hardware and software play. Apple, HP (if they can start thinking like a modern company) and RIM. All control their hardware and OS. There’s no AT&T branded crap. Sure there might be AT&T apps, and that sucks, but the UI is the same. There’s no blackberry curve with Motorola sense, etc. The experience is the same across networks (other than carrier specific apps that preload of course, which suck, but whatever, they’re not changing the UI/UX). Google and Microsoft don’t have that control. Well we know Google doesn’t, it’s TBD whether Microsoft does. I’ve seen exactly two WP7 devices in the wild, and both were developer phones. Microsoft has shown that it can’t stay competitive with Mobile OS. They dominated when there wasn’t any serious smartphone competition, but times have changed. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I doubt it. My play had i somehow found myself in charge of Microsoft. Forget phones. Re-tool Win7 to be touch only tablet OS. Not a bastard “use a stylus” tablet OS, a complete re-tooling, like Apple did with iOS. It’s OS X underneath after all. Focus on tablets, it’s a strong market now thanks to Apple, but it’s gonna get stronger, and there’s a dirth of quality OS’s for tablet devices. Phones are consumer electronics, lost and tossed in a time span that measures months more than years. Tablets, while heading towards commodity, will be everywhere. Households will have as many or more of them than phones.

Apple leads, that doesn’t mean you have to follow.

What do you think? Will Microsoft pull Nokia out of the fires? Will Nokia and M$ fall together? Will HP miss the mark, and slide out of mobile quietly when only 3 TouchPads sell? Will we all be rolling in iCars to our iHouses, wearing iKicks?

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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