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Ericsson. Motorola and Nokia and they had a strong common vision, they wanted to have GSM networks up and running. Europe (ETSI) was writing the standard but unfortunately it had holes. But the lads had so strong vision that they agreed how to handle those and the 1st GSM call was made in Finland 1991. And the rest is history, especially where it has lead our world.

Lets forget the networks and concentrate to the mobile phones. Ericsson's last excellent phone was Ericsson Dialog landline (see the attached picture). It survived of the thunder storm and maybe even the nukes. But they didn't have any star in mobile world. So they transferred the manufacturing to the Joint Venture done with Sony and later on they sold their share to Sony. In theory, it was excellent movement. Sony had good reputation in consumer electronics markets. But no, it just didn't work. Nice, technically good phones but no sex.

Motorola wasn't ever strong with mobiles. A little bit glumsy models with some technical problems. They had one star which caused headache to Nokia. They had clamshell phone which almost killed Nokia mobiles because they were very late with their clamshell. Generally Motorola phones looked boring and they were not technically very good so they began to loose their market share. Google has been pushing itself to the mobile market and they have succeeded very well. They bought the ruins of Motorola mobile and one wonders why. Very often these type of deals have more money than brains involved.

How about Nokia? The northern star from Finland. Model 2110 was their start to the glory. They developed new things to the mobile which we were not even able to imagine, like camera. Their 1st hiccup was the clamshell phone of which they were able to recover. The real killer was touchscreen. Rumours are telling that they had a prototype before Apple but the management rejected it. Nokia planned to used Microsoft's Windows in their mobile and eventually they sold their mobile business to Microsoft. Good for them, not so good for Microsoft. Again, more money than brains were involved.

The root cause for Nokia's problems was not the touchscreen, it was the fact that Mobile business has changed and Nokia had been so arrogant that they didn't follow the marḱet requirements and believed that they knew better than the markets. The mobile markets has changed to ecosystem markets which basically means that the mobile O/S developers are relying to the 3rd party developers which will create value to mobiles by developing cheap, sometimes even free applications (apps).

Currently we have two real mobile ecosystems, Apple and Google. Apple very closed and controlled and available only for iOS (Apple) users. The other one, Google is available for everyone. It is so open that even Google has difficulties to manage it, there are so many O/S versions/variations that they have difficulties to manage the situation and that generates problems for mobile manufacturers. Google might kill version which is still in use and that is not so good thing.

Microsoft screwed up their ecosystem policy and they are dead meat. Forget Windows in the mobile.

From the consumer point of view, we are in duopoly (limping one) situation which isn't totally clean because of Apple's iOS-only policy. This means that there are no real competition in the mobile markets. This is an issue which no-one hasn't raised. If somebody publishes a new mobile, the headlines in the media are XXX published a new mobile with monster camera. Who cares of the camera? Consumers are interested In the front side camera and what kind of selfies one can get and the apps which has nothing to do with the mobile manufacturer.

The big question is that is mobile eco-system market closed, can anyone enter to there. Apple and Google are the dominant players there. Microsoft has been more or less kicked out. Who can enter there. Jolla? Product (Sailfish) is based on Nokia trial. Technically good enough but is their ecosystem big and good enough and how thick is their wallet? I don't believe their success, maybe niche. There have been talks about Ubuntu (Canonical's Linux distribution version). Ecosystem might be big enough but no money. Who else could be the chosen one? Third player is required if we want to have real market economy in this this area too.

I took a small risk in the timing of this blog. Finnish national broadcaster YLE will on the 2nd of April show a document of Nokia Mobile Phones and we'll see do they shoot down my conclusions.
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