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What the Nokia-Microsoft Deal Means for Nigerian Software Developers

By Loy Okezie on May 18, 2011


It is no longer news that Nokia’s market share has been suffering. Even the company’s CEO once said that Nokia is failing to compete and losing ground to competitors such as Apple and Google. Now, Nokia and Microsoft officially announced that Microsoft’s Windows 7 would serve as Nokia’s primary smartphone platform.

Nokia smartphones are currently using Symbian which accounted for 37.6% (46.9% in 2009) of the total market share in 2010, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows 7 share dropped drastically to 4.2% in 2010 from 8.7% share in 2009. In contrast, Android’s market share stood at 22.7% in 2010, a massive increase on its 2009 share of 3.9% and Apple’s iOS market share was at 15.7% in 2010, a little increase on its 2009 share of 14.4%.

Before now, there were indications that Nokia will team up with Microsoft to fight Apple and Google. Under a new strategic partnership between Nokia and Microsoft:

  1. Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
  2. Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone.  Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
  3. Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
  4. Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
  5. Nokia’s content and application store (otherwise known as Ovi Store) would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience. In a nutshell, Nokia and Microsoft plan to create a new global mobile ecosystem.


But what does this mean for developers and entreprises in Nigeria?

According to Saheed Adepoju, Encipher’s co-founder:

“Nokia’s alliance with Microsoft shows one thing: they’ve got no clue what they are doing with regards to developers, they (developers) will decamp to other playgrounds. Nigerians need to awake from their ‘symbian slumber’ and stop dreaming that Symbian still has something to offer. Existing Symbian developers will jump ship to Android and Blackberry as it feels like home because of Java.”

He sees developers developing for Android and corporates looking up to the Nokia platform because of Microsoft’s Windows 7, though Windows 7 hasn’t impressed that much amongst developers. He also thinks that Microsoft partners would develop for Nokia, but regular developers who want to monetize their efforts would not. For iPhone, he thinks its still far fetched for developers in Nigeria due to Apple’s strict rules.

I tend to agree with Adepoju and it would be interesting to see how app developers in Nigeria would react to this development. He further said that in Nigeria, internet access is getting cheaper and because Nigerians have spending power, they’ll buy and use more smartphones phones. He predicts that smartphones will do what GSM did in Nigeria, back in 2001, exploding in usage because Internet is becoming cheaper.

“Nokia will become a second alternative now as everyone will have a smartphone which isn’t a Nokia”, said Adepoju.

In the end, the deal would benefit enterprises more than developers in Nigeria.

This was originally published as What Nokia-Microsoft Deal Means For Developers in Nigeria: An Analyst View

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Written by
Loy Okezie is a technology blogger, digital media strategist and startup catalyst.
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2 Comments to “What the Nokia-Microsoft Deal Means for Nigerian Software Developers”

  1. Warero says:

    Skype+Microsoft+Nokia=Skype on MS based Smartphones across the globe…

    And I doubt that the Skype acqusition is the last of it, there is bound to be other acquisitions targeting Smartphone applications and utilities.

  2. therohan says:

    Guys, Check it out…
    Microsoft previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code named ‘Mango’. This new release brings numerous improvements to the software platform and developer tools. Click link for details.
    Check this out: http://bit.ly/lDngga
    The beta releases of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango are now available for download. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features.