Phone carriers want Nokia to succeed

According to Northstream industry consultant Bengt Nordström carriers are tired of being pushed around by Apple, and sees Nokia as a potential bulwark against both Apple and Google.

“When we hear about operators and how Apple treats them – they’ve never seen anything like that before in the industry,” he said ”It’s always been a buyer’s market.

“[Carriers] have been the kings of the hill; they have been ruling everything, and when somebody comes around and begins to dictate the situation, questioning whether operators should be approved for selling iPhones and asking: “Are you good enough to sell our products?” – that conflicts with the view operators have of themselves.”

He also said carriers are tired of being blamed for problems inherent to the iPhone, presumably issues such as poor reception and dropped calls.

“Many of those problems are caused by Apple – it’s their technical solutions, such as their poor radio antennae. But when operators try to bring that to Apple’s attention, they get ignored.”

It is for these reasons that there is a resounding desire from the operator community to see Nokia meet with success in the smartphone space with its Windows Phone handsets, said Nordström.

“[Nokia] would be much more operator-friendly, they would have revenue share with the operators and they will listen to operator requirements,” said Nordström.

Nokia has recently secured agreements by large carriers in UK and Europe to place their handsets side by side with the iPhone, with equal promotion, and there have been rumours of German carriers relying on the Lumia 800 as their hero phone for this holiday season.

Nordström believes that operators would also like to see Nokia challenge Google’s dominance as well.

He notes however that it was no longer about the carriers, and that the Lumia 800 lacked on unique features.

“It’s really just on par with what is already out there. They have come in at this stage, and price is now low, because Nokia has already lost its premium tag. There was a time that people wanted to be seen with Nokia, but that time has gone.”

“It all depends on the consumer. And I’m not certain at all that what Nokia is doing is good enough,” he said. “The focus is too strong on the operating system, but there are so many other things with Nokia that don’t work well, particularly the management aspects. It has a complicated organisational structure and it has long lead time for making decisions, with those problems, it doesn’t matter what OS they use.”

It is of note however that Nokia has been much more nimble under its new management, with the 6 months between the agreement between Microsoft and the release of the Lumia handsets being a very good example.