"Is the rest of the world enough for Nokia?" asks Om Malik?

Published by at

A fun discussion with Om Malik and Nokia's Services EVP Tero Ojanpera has been posted on GigaOm. Malik rightly points out that, given his previous coverage, this wasn't going to be a chat over tea and cream cakes for the Finn. Still, it's a good sign that it did happen. My comments below.

This is a smart move from Nokia and Ojanpera – much as they are a very small group, the online community and media reporters in the news organisations can have a disproportionate effect on the perception of the Finnish company, especially in America. So first of all congrats for walking into a (relatively tame) bear pit and a detailed interview with Malik. More outreach please!

Reading between the lines, there is a small element of mea culpa in the speech, but Nokia are changing and, rather than have a poor strategy in their software services portfolio, it's more a case of poor presentation of what's going on.

That's a fair point and nice to hear from a VP. Acknowledging a problem is always the first step.

So what came out of the chat with the Californian blogger? Well there was a repetition of the Ovi Store numbers we've previously reported on, 70% growth month on month, average of eight downloads per user, etc... but still avoiding handing a baseline number to work out a quantitative number.

There are more solid numbers on Ovi Mail (three million plus users and 20 networks using Ovi mail as their push email solution); the information that the Nokia Music Store is succeeding in countries that aren't America or the UK (such as India, where most people are using their phone as their main computer and thus the downloads are the only route to easy and legal music); and the re-iteration of the mapping strategy.

To be honest, none of this is news to anyone who steps back and looks at Nokia's global reach... but perhaps the reticence of Nokia to shout about it constantly means people simply don't know the success stories that are out there.

And now they've lost that part of the PR, they need to work hard to get it back again so they can push those stories. Ojanpera nails it when he says “we [Nokia] are competing for mindshare, and in the U.S. it is critical and we need to be here and strengthen our presence.”

While he rightly points that Nokia has sold ten million touch devices and that there are function-rich new Api's, and while he reminds everyone that Nokia are not leaving Symbian behind, this is something that Nokia are going to have to evangelise, repeat and repeat again over the coming months if this is to be more than a social call to a single blog network.

-- Ewan Spence, Dec 09.