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Nokia Exec: Young People Fed Up With iPhone and Android 532

jfruhlinger writes "Nokia's Windows Phones haven't hit the U.S., but at least one company executive thinks they'll be a slam dunk, since young people have soured on the iPhone and find Android baffling. Of course, much of the Internet commentariat found his remarks even more baffling. Is he right, is he delusional, or is he just trying to build buzz for his company's products the best he can?"
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Nokia Exec: Young People Fed Up With iPhone and Android

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  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:38PM (#38371094)
    And looking to promote his company.
  • Out of touch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zule666 ( 1175419 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:41PM (#38371132)
    Guess that's why my teenagers wanted iPhones..
  • by Scoth ( 879800 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:44PM (#38371186)

    I don't think I've ever met someone who wasn't a hacker/tweaker sort who didn't like their iPhones. Regardless of your beliefs about their business practices, Walled Garden, etc, by and large the iPhone works and works well. I'm not sure exactly who he talked to about being fed up.

    I've also not met a lot of people unhappy with their Android phones, though they may not be using them to their full customization potential.

  • Re:State Of Mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:44PM (#38371188)

    He's paid to be delusional. What's he supposed to say? "iPhone outsells every other phone by an order of magnitude and Android devices in general are rapidly cornering the lion's share of the market and now we've made this commitment to Windows Phone 7 that we can't just drop for a number of reasons" Yeah, I'm sure the shareholders will love that.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:45PM (#38371204)

    ...I've soured on the Android (performance and privacy issues) and the iPhone looks expensive (based on the iPhone tax it looks like service providers charge). But, I also had about 2 years of development experience on the inferior Windows Mobile platform when Microsoft pissed on the developer base, then shoved us out the door.

    I'd say he's right there's room for another competitor, but his ain't it.

  • by lonechicken ( 1046406 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:45PM (#38371206)
    ... in the same way as their friends.
  • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:46PM (#38371212) Homepage Journal

    Many of them have sold off the shares. Nokias shares are down ... alot.

    It was the board that decided to select an alliance with Microsoft.

  • by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:46PM (#38371214)

    He employs some great logic. Here is a direct quote:

    "What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone," he said.

    If everyone wants something, then nobody could possibly want it... right?

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:49PM (#38371274) Journal
    I can't speak for really young people, but the 20-35 crowd with whom I work love their Androids.

    They tend to see the iPhone as a bit more "stuffy", but that distinction may have more to do with company policies regarding who gets what, than with any actual differences between the devices themselves. But "Baffling"? C'mon, you just slide through the screens to the one you want, and tap when you get there.

    Now, if you want to ask if the business world will get all hot over a device they can lock down via domain policies - I'd at least give that one a 50/50 (with the "not" 50% swearing like a sailor at the horror of having any mobile device trusted on their domain). But the actual users? Yeah, I'll have to go with the Nokia execs as "delusional" on this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:58PM (#38371434)

    What's really missing the marketplace is a Linux console phone. All this graphics nonsense is just slowing people down. And what could be better than the feeling of compiling a kernel in your pocket?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:00PM (#38371464)

    He's right though. It's a wise point of insight. iPhone and Android are ripe for played-out cultural saturation, just like Facebook.

    Maybe if Nokia doesn't drop the ball, they can parlay this natural social rhythm into success, unlike SOME people (I'm looking at YOU BlackBerry). ...hate to imagine any Microsoft involvement though. I wish they and their shitty Windows Phone would just die.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:03PM (#38371532)

    iPhone and Android are ripe for played-out cultural saturation, just like Facebook.

    If people are tired of smart phones, they're not going to suddenly rush to buy one that runs Windows.

  • The carriers. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:04PM (#38371540)

    They are fed up with the carriers, not the phones.

  • by Haxagon ( 2454432 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:08PM (#38371620)
    ... that Windows phone runs Windows? Think of it like this: Android phones don't run Ubuntu.
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) * on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:09PM (#38371634) Homepage Journal
    Yes, they screwed up trying to follow up the N900 with the N9, while giving the promising N950 only to a few devels, and so far killing the future for those great portable computers with phone functionality.

    And all android phones have a linux console, just in case you would want to compile a kernel.
  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:09PM (#38371638) Homepage

    By "Exec" in the title the actual position of the speaker is in fact "director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales at Nokia Entertainment Global", which equates to something like "manufacturer of consent via media manipulation, innuendo, and implication". No hard science or technology in that guy's department.

  • by Relayman ( 1068986 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:18PM (#38371782)
    Uh, no. The young people make very few calls on their phones. It's text messages, IM, Facetime, VOIP over Xbox, facebook; everything but phone calls.

    - Living with a 20-year old in the basement.
  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:23PM (#38371880) Homepage Journal

    I don't think we dislike things directly because they're popular and we want to be hipsters. IMO it's probably more to do with our experience with Microsoft and Intel over the last couple of decades. We often will root for the underdog even when there isn't much of a difference to the end user simply because we don't want any one company getting too far ahead of the rest and crushing innovation.

    Then you also have to consider that we simply are more aware of the alternatives in many situations and will choose the option that is best for us, which won't very often be the most popular choice. It's when geeks start acting like what's best for them is best for everyone when the problems start. Usually it takes the world a few years to be ready for what we are happy to use straight from the bleeding edge. Having said that, I think Android is a decent balance of customisability vs usability. You could probably say the same for the iPhone - as long as you jailbreak it first..

  • It's called denial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:23PM (#38371888)

    the first of the five stages of grief. [wikipedia.org]

  • Making a mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:25PM (#38371924)
    They are doing it wrong. They should push it as a business friendly phone. Nice tight integration with Exchange server. add on some security tools. Enable remote wiping, and perhaps even a remote bricking.
    Sell it as an Enterprise phone. Replacement for the blackberry.
  • Android IS crap (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:27PM (#38371942) Homepage

    There is no escaping the fact that the entire Google-supplied Android software suite is half-done. There are hundreds of things that need "polishing" and most of these just make life more difficult for the user.

    Is the phone a neat toy for geeks? Absolutely. I switched from a recent BlackBerry (Bold 9700) to a Galaxy S II a little over a month ago. There are probably some things that still could be done to "customize" the phone into a more usable state, but you have to contrast this with a phone that comes ready-to-use in an efficient and user-friendly form right out of the box. And in no way is any Android phone efficient or user-friendly right out of the box.

    It is hard to blame Samsung for the problems with the phone because they are just taking advantage of a free phone software environment. Rather than spending lots of money developing the phone software they just picked it up free. Can't really say that isn't a really smart thing to do.

    Google, on the other hand, supplied nearly all of the software on the phone and is clearly responsible for the ad-hoc unfinished way lots of stuff works. For example, why are there two email applications (Gmail and Exchange) and they are so completely different? One asks for confirmation for a delete, the other one does not. Probably somewhere this is a setting, but why would the shipping default settings be different? And why would the Gmail email client look so much better than the one for other transport types?

    Then there is the touch screen keyboard. Incredibly sensitive so that it takes twice as long to type anything. No, they didn't put a lot of effort into figuring out what key you meant to press, they are just taking the first thing that seemed to get poked. The result is a huge number of errors. I haven't seen anyone using the keyboard on an Android phone that isn't being incredibly precise with it - basically because they learned how to use it. Contrast this with a phone where the software works with the user.

    I am not a big Apple fan. But they actually spent some time on the software and got their phone working the way people use it. As soon as I can afford to do it, I will be replacing the Galaxy S II with an iPhone. Sadly, I have to switch carriers to do it - no iPhone with 3G on TMobile.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:28PM (#38371976) Homepage

    He's right though. It's a wise point of insight. iPhone and Android are ripe for played-out cultural saturation, just like Facebook.

    Maybe if Nokia doesn't drop the ball, they can parlay this natural social rhythm into success, unlike SOME people (I'm looking at YOU BlackBerry). ...hate to imagine any Microsoft involvement though. I wish they and their shitty Windows Phone would just die.

    And this for me really highlights how Microsoft especially but also its partners have really dropped the ball. If you can't be the saturation player (Apple), and you can't directly challenge the saturation player (Google and its partners), then you have to offer a compelling niche product. That approach can succeed, especially for smaller companies for whom even a niche product produces meaningful revenue. But there are two big problems here: First, neither Nokia nor Microsoft is a small company; Nokia needs to be a major challenger for its business model to work, and Microsoft is investing a lot of money in mobile and needs more than just one or two partners with niche products to generate a return. Second, the Windows brand has plenty of value, but is a handicap to anyone trying this approach in developing a new niche product. Windows is hardly the brand people associate with innovative, hip new products or being off the beaten path; many if not most people interact with it every day and for them it is background noise, the default, the standard, something that is so bland and ordinary as not to even occasion comment. Is that really the brand that Nokia, or Microsoft for that matter, thinks will excite people who are tired of iOS or Android, or people looking for a less-common status symbol?

    If Microsoft were smarter they would have recognised this and invested the time and energy into coming up with an alternative brand for their mobile products, perhaps leveraging the successful Xbox brand. But in a sense that would also have been an acknowledgement up front that their approach was unlikely to pay off big; a new brand might generate a niche following, but only the Windows brand is likely to be able to take on Apple and Google... most likely by eating RIM's lunch in the corporate space. In other words, either Microsoft has badly misjudged the cachet of Windows among ordinary individuals or its intent all along was to sell Windows Mobile into places where corporate IT makes the decisions rather than end users. That strategy looked decent a few years ago, but we have really seen a lot of changes recently in how employers handle supporting their employees' personal mobile devices. Recognising that it's cheaper to support their existing iOS and Android devices than to issue their own fleet of business-only devices, and that most people prefer to have at most only one phone and one tablet anyway, almost no one is still handing out a single device and refusing to support anything else. In the absence of products that are compelling on their own, RIM is finding that the decay of the corporate mobile device mandate is very bad for business. Microsoft, and therefore their partners as well, seem to be in the same spot.

    It looks like the niche player, whatever it ends up being, will be built around WebOS. It has open source cachet, underdog cachet ("back from the dead"), and it's not a terrible technology. With two dominant players duking it out for the mass market and a potential family of niche alternatives brewing, where does this leave Microsoft? With a lacklustre brand, tiny market share, an apparently outdated strategy, and no compelling products on the market, it's hard to imagine Windows Mobile going anywhere. Too late to market to be where Android is today, and too stodgy a brand to be what Nokia wishes it were (not that a niche business is what Microsoft wants anyway), Windows Mobile looks like a dead end. If anyone knows the value of getting in early, it should be Microsoft; the entire company exists today solely because of its first mover advantage all those years ago. Nokia was happy to get a backer, but it appears to have picked the wrong one. They could be doomed as well.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:28PM (#38371986)
    Because if companies would stop being childish and suing each other, improving their product instead of throwing lawyers around, I might have a better phone in my pocket.
    And that does effect me personally.
  • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:30PM (#38371998)

    I'm curious why you know that Sex For Dummies exists. I was not aware of this. I'm trying to picture the person who would walk up to a bookstore counter and pay for that. I'm picturing a mix between Stallman and Buscemi.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:31PM (#38372026)

    When I tried to flex my friend's Droid X it snapped in half too. :)

    Seriously though, most users aren't looking for flexibility. I really don't want the option of being able to run Apache on my phone and being able to SSH into it so I could configure it right.

    They're looking for practical applications of their devices and Apple's doing a damn good job of attracting application developers.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:32PM (#38372052) Homepage

    My mom has an iPhone. They sell iPhones for Dummies books. Those two criteria right there are reason enough to never buy an iPhone.

    What, because it works, is easy to use, and you can get documentation for it that an actual consumer can understand?

    So any technology your mom can use is bad? I take it you have eschewed all forms of technology she can operate like TVs, plumbing, and toasters? Or is it just phones?

    Oh, you can also get Linux for Dummies, Windows for Dummies, and a whole raft of things ... so if the presence of a Dummies book is your criteria, you should stop using anything listed here [dummies.com] ... they even have your beloved SQL [dummies.com].

    Seriously man, I consider any technology my mother can operate to be fairly well implemented; because she's in her 70's and for her to decide she needed a GPS, laptop, scanner, digital camera, digital picture frame, a USB drive for backups, and a PVR ... well, that was quite a series of leaps for someone who isn't all that interested in that kind of stuff.

    Why should technology be something that your mother couldn't possibly use?

  • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:39PM (#38372142)

    It's been on display in many a bookstore, so anyone buying and reading a lot of books could easily have seen it for sale.

    And the reason why people would by it is the same as why people buy the book "The mole who wanted to know who pooped on it's head", it's a fun book and you just might learn something.

  • by s73v3r ( 963317 ) <s73v3rNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @01:45PM (#38372234)

    There's a huge difference between just choosing something that may not be popular, and bitching about something simply because it is popular. A lot of the latter is what happens here on /.

  • Re:State Of Mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by INeededALogin ( 771371 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @02:20PM (#38372828) Journal
    Yes... Nokia needs another open-soure OS to get behind since Maemo, MeeGo and Symbian weren't enough.
  • by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @03:00PM (#38373502)
    Except: 1. Microsoft doesn't want to kill Android because last I heard they were making truckloads of money from licensing agreements. 2. Exchange only matters in the enterprise sector when it comes to Exchange users. There are plenty of non-exchange enterprise users and there are plenty of non-enterprise users who don't care one bit about Exchange.
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @03:05PM (#38373596) Homepage

    You illuminate an interesting subtext:

    I think the fact that you put "stability" at #1 means you've probably never owned an iPhone. I've had a 3GS since the week it came out and stability has never even crossed my mind: it just works. The only time I think about stability is when I'm playing Words with Friends and it crashes and vanishes.

    Stability shouldn't even be an issue. No one bought Bakelite phone in the 1960's based on stability: it was correct by construction _already_. I think iPhone nailed that. Of course, I've never owned an Android (used 'em plenty and don't mind 'em one bit), but I would expect "stability" to never enter my conscious thought with Android phones either.

    I just wish the bar was set higher so that absolutely no one would feel compelled to include "stability" on a list of important features.

    It's like saying, "I'm shopping for a car, and my #1 important feature is that it doesn't spontaneously burst into flames." We shouldn't have to even think about that.

  • by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @03:29PM (#38373996)

    Nokia needs to be a major challenger for its business model to work, and Microsoft is investing a lot of money in mobile and needs more than just one or two partners with niche products to generate a return.

    I think you've identified a very real reason why this whole partnership was a terrible idea: It requires one partner or the other (if not both) to get screwed. There is basically no chance of WP7 taking over the entire market. The best it can really hope for is to split the market three ways with Android and iOS, and even that seems extremely optimistic at this point. Windows Mobile, the discontinued product, is still outselling [reghardware.com] WP7, and those are the just-released latest numbers.

    What is Nokia supposed to do with only a small part of a small percentage of the market? Even the entire volume of WP7 sales is probably not enough to sustain them. And Microsoft can't even let them have that, because they'll never get their market share off the floor with only one vendor who, by necessity, will itself have to continue selling and marketing non-WP7 in the interim.

  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @05:49PM (#38376214)

    If this is the way you think about your wife, and talk about her, you should probably consider what effect that behavior may be having on your relationship.

    If someone does succumb easily to peer pressure, then that's a real issue that should be addressed. But buying an iPhone really doesn't qualify all on it's own, because it is actually a perfectly good phone, and iPhone users tend to make more of an effort to help their friends see all the good things an iPhone can do. I would know, I've encouraged many of my friends to buy them.

    It looks to me like rather than actually trying to understand why people would want an iPhone, you are simply saying that since you don't want one, the only reason that anyone else could want one is that they are influenced by peer pressure, while you are not. And regardless of how you think you meant it, being susceptible to peer pressure is not a good thing, so you are basically saying that you are better than iPhone users because they give in to peer pressure and you don't.

    Not only are you over-simplyfing, but you are making basically no effort to understand the alternative point of view. That's even more troubling, because the alternative point of view happens to belong to your wife.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury