With the launch of the S4, albeit a poor launch at Radio City, the Samsung looks to have a technically leading phone once again. We're going to continue to see a leapfrog effect and this is the perfect technical arena for each model of phone to outshine the next. Two year contracts and batteries that can't be replaced by the end user virtually assures that every two years, you're going to start evaluating a new phone.
Four percent of smartphone users are out there making that evaluation every month. And while they can upgrade vendor specific hardware easily enough, swapping out phone vendors means leaving behind any paid applications you might have.
If a consumer has shelled out $80-120 for applications over two years, and those applications won't port to a different vendors phone and the hardware isn't much more spectacular than the last model, this is where ecosystems engage. This is where Microsoft plays its important role in Nokia's fate.
Getting people to move from IOS or Android to WP8 means they leave behind their investment in applications purchased under those OS's. Businesses that paid for application licenses for their iPhone fleet will have to shell out those same dollars for a WP8 compatible version. If WP8 is to be adopted, it's crucial that the adoption begins as soon as possible. Every individual contract term means more applications purchased for a particular OS and more entrenchment for that OS.
Microsoft's fate is on the success of the mobile device running their OS. If MS can not transition successfully to the tablet and phone, application vendors will start to go to market first for IOS or Android and 2nd for Microsoft IOS. The full-size desktop computer is still quite the rage, so MS has leverage. In 2-3 years, it will be the tablet on a dock, then just the phone. This is as much do-or-die for Microsoft as it is for Nokia.
But personally, I like Nokia's chances. MS fought into the game console business, they can do phones too.
I realize I'm replying to my own message - can't hardly get a really good message across with the limited amount of text you can type into a message.
One last point - this isn't about Elop's marketing ability - he's the engineer, he needed to build the platform and he did his job wonderfully. Balmer needs to bring the ecosystem to life now. The longer they wait on going all in, the harder it will be to pull people away from competing OS's. If successful, Nokia's easily a 10x or 20x in two years. That said, pick your sell point now and get out when it hits. There is no room for wishful thinking on this one. We're still several months from knowing.
I like the idea of getting 10x to 20x on my money and I'd say right now it's about an even money shot. I'd take those odd's any day of the week. It's like getting a 10x payout on the roulette wheel playing for black or white.