John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

NOK, NOK. Who's There? Not You Any More…

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Nokia, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, will soon be just a tad smaller. This morning the company said it will sack a further 450 employees in its mobile services business, a division charged with developing and delivering the Ovi-branded Internet services tied to Nokia devices. Seems the still souring economy has undermined Nokia’s (NOK) ambitions in that area, and Apple’s (AAPL) success with the iPhone App Store has inspired it to look to third-party developers to bring new applications to its devices. Said Niklas Savander, Nokia’s executive vice president of services, “The planned changes are aimed at improving and simplifying the user experience of Nokia services, increasing opportunities for third party developers and other partners to create compelling services, and accelerating the development of a common platform for Nokia’s different service offerings.”

In other words, the planned changes are aimed at catching up with Apple. “As much as iPhone and App Store is a success for Apple, it’s a humiliating defeat for the rest of the mobile industry,” Bengt Nordstrom, chief executive of telecom consultant Northstream, told Reuters. “Twenty years of efforts from operators and vendors to create mobile applications that customers like is overtaken in a heartbeat by someone that never done it before.”

Overall, Nokia’s announcement is good news for mobile app developers, bad news for the ones handling them internally at Nokia. It’s not as if we didn’t see this coming, though. The econalypse has been having deleterious effects on Nokia. In January, the company warned that world-wide sales in ’09 are likely to fall 10 percent year-to-year. As CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo put it at the time, “the macro environment is challenging and, we believe, will remain so in 2009.”


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