A new technology outlook from one of those places that issues those kind of things, Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Strategies, asks the question, “Can Nokia Challenge Apple’s Digital Music Dominance?” The report’s answer is one word long: “No.” Haha, just kidding! But that’s how long the report should be, if Nokia’s history is any indication.
Never mind that I doubt 83% of customers would really use their phones to listen to music, which is what the study projects. I have an iPhone, and I’ve engaged in that practice three times total. Or that 84% of those mobile-phone holders would pay for a subscription service, like Nokia’s forthcoming, bundled-into-phones initiative Comes With Music. That runs contrary to the reality that I know, the one where the sky is blue, the grass is green, we breathe the Earth’s atmosphere, and people don’t pay for music anymore.
My skepticism about Comes With Music boils down to one fact: This is Nokia we’re talking about here. If corporate culture is indicative of how a company will handle new business ventures, then there is significant cause for concern. Non-gamers might be unaware that the Finnish mobile-phone outfit is the same company that had to manufacture the faux fad of Sidetalkin’ as a way to justify the poor design of the original N-Gage taco phone/gaming system, which not only forced users to hold their phones up to their ears like they were button-equipped conch shells, it required them to–no foolin’ here–remove the phone’s battery to change games. In this case, the company was challenging an entrenched hegemonic power (Nintendo). You may be unsurprised to learn that it failed in nearly every way.
Bodes well for the future, no?
Man, do I miss those lazy sidetalkin’ days of 2004-2005!