Nokia cautiously optimistic on WP future

Melissa Chua
08 Dec 2011

Nokia is adopting a cautiously optimistic outlook toward its Windows Phone strategy and market share in the long run.

Executives from both companies told reporters at a handset launch in Singapore that both are working to ensure the Windows Phone mobile OS attains close to 19.5% market share by 2015, as forecast by Gartner.

The companies’ joint efforts for now appear to be aimed at grooming a developer ecosystem that is lagging behind that of larger mobile OS rivals Android and Apple. Both Nokia and Microsoft have set out to woo application developers in Southeast Asia to transition over to the WP7 platform via a series of partnership and training programs and local developer competitions, in addition to the offer of greater financial viability for developers.

Another regional Nokia executive, Gary Chan, told reporters that the company’s global operator billing footprint would extend mobile apps’ reach into emerging markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, where the market majority do not own credit cards.

Microsoft for its part is touting its Silverlight platform as a means of extending developers potential reach into mediums beyond Windows Phone 7, such as the PC. The future of Microsoft Silverlight hangs in the balance, however, due to the increasing popularity of html5.

General manager for Nokia Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Vlasta Berka said that Nokia would work to differentiate itself once the developer ecosystem has been successfully established.

According to Berka, the company remains bent on focusing on the development of local apps and content for various geographies in the region, a strategy similar to that employed for its Symbian platform. Berka claims Nokia has to date developed close to 800 local apps for the Windows Phone platform in conjunction with Microsoft and various partners.

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