Unwired Views for 2011. Florin: iPhone sales, MeeGo, WP7, Nokia Android phone

I’m still not fully used to the fact that it’s 2011.

Nevertheless, here we are. It’s been a busy year in the mobile industry, but 2011 will – or should – be even busier.

A lot of interesting things are bound to happen throughout the year, so we here at Unwired View thought it would be a good idea to make some predictions. Here’s what Staska thinks will happen in 2011, here are Brad’s predictions, and here’s what Vlad believes we’ll see this year.

Below are some of my mobile tech predictions for 2011. Needless to say, anyone’s free to disagree and to sound off in the comments : )

1. Touchscreen feature phones will slowly disappear

Because there’s no actual need for them – not in the way it once was, and not with Android and Symbian affordable touchscreen handsets around. Even Samsung, which sold tens of millions of touchscreen featurephones, understood that this is a dying market and made its own OS (Bada) that can run on either expensive, or cheaper devices.

LG – another major maker of dumb touchscreen phones – has also started to realize it needs smartphones. And it has done an excellent job with the affordable Android 2.2-based Optimus One (sold in more than 2 million units until now).

Sure, there will still be ultra-cheap touchscreen phones like the Samsung Champ or the new LG Wink / Cookie series, but these won’t matter much.

2. iPhone sales could pass the 100 million mark

Apple hopes to sell up to 21 million iPhones in the first quarter of this year. And if a CDMA iPhone is going to be announced soon (as rumored), it will. For the beginning, the sole US carrier to offer a CDMA iPhone will be Verizon. But we’ve heard rumors that Sprint might be joining the iPhone bandwagon, too. Furthermore, there are also several large CDMA carriers in India.

If the CDMA iPhone reaches Verizon, Sprint, and Indian carriers this year, sometime in early 2012 we might hear Steve Jobs proudly announcing that more than 100 million iPhones have been shipped during 2011

3. Nokia’s MeeGo will not make a big impact

It’s not yet clear when Nokia’s first MeeGo smartphone will hit the market. For Nokia’s sake, it should happen in the first half of this year. As previously reported, MeeGo will run on Nokia’s top-of-the-line handsets – which should directly compete with iPhone 5 and all the upcoming dual-core Android smartphones.

I’m not sure – no one is, actually – whether Nokia wants to make a huge MeeGo push from the start, by introducing several MeeGo smartphones at once, or if it will take it slowly and launch only one model (the Nokia N9, maybe). Either way, the biggest chunk of Nokia’s sales will still be represented by Symbian smartphones this year. In 2012, MeeGo may become huge. But 2011 just isn’t its year, and that’s pretty much Nokia’s fault, because it wasn’t able to speed things up.

4. Windows Phone 7 won’t make a big impact, either

Microsoft and its hardware partners sold 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices in six weeks. Which is not bat at all. Sales will grow, but not much – maybe to 1 – 2 million devices per month. That’s because all WP7 handsets will still be expensive when compared to some Android ones. Moreover, Microsoft’s partners are limited to only a select number of hardware makers – while Google’s partners are, well, all over the place.

Sure, there’s that rumor about Nokia wanting to launch WP7 devices. I don’t think it will happen this year. Or, if it does, Nokia will probably introduce just one WP7 handset to test the market – but that may not happen until the end of the year.

5. Nokia Android smartphone?

The fifth prediction isn’t exactly a prediction, it’s rather something that I would really like to see: a Nokia Android phone. Yes, I know, this doesn’t make sense – especially since Nokia might also make Windows Phone 7 handsets.

Anyway, here’s why you should make an Android handset, Nokia: there’s not much to lose if you do it. Ok, maybe it will hurt your pride a bit – because, in a way, it would mean you’re accepting the fact that Android is awesome. But I remember a quote from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction which fits perfectly here: “That’s pride f***ing with you. F**k pride!”

You don’t even need to spend much on R&D. Take the C7’s design and make a smartphone with stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of it. Sure, there’ll be some tweaks to do, but nothing too complicated, I think. After the smartphone’s ready, launch it in North America via AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers (with whom you already have partnerships). I’m willing to bet that you’d sell lots and lots of such Android C7’s – and that could do wonders in terms of brand recognition, don’t you think?

If you haven’t done it yet, check out what Staska, Brad and Vlad have also predicted for 2011.

Author: Florin

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Otto-Gustafsson/100000609100003 Otto Gustafsson

    Nokia will not release an Android nor WP7 phone. Their high-end phones will have Meego and mid-range Symbian OS. For feature phones there is S40. Those devices are selling extremely well in developing markets. You just forgot that there are around 6600 million people outside the NA borders?

    Symbian will get a UI update this month and will be as fast to use as are Android and iOS devices. There is nothing wrong with the core OS in Symbian. It is much better than Android or iOS, tested for tens years and it is secure. Its UI had been designed to button phones and converted to touch screen without re-design. This has been the problem of the Nokia Symbian devices user experience.

    The latest version (previously Symbian^3) corrected the most of the drawbacks and the new will be really great. The E7 business phone will be released right after the UI update for older devices. The X7 music phone will be out in this quarter with AT&T. Probably N8, C7 and C6-01 is offered as well to NA markets.

    Nokia has had their own maps after Navteq acquisition, free unlimited global navigation with every smart phone and Ovi App Store. No way that they will push their users to Google Maps and Anroid Market nor WP7 App Store. They want to make devices, master the OSes and the services by themselves.

  • Pearlseattle

    “Nokia Android smartphone”
    Nice article.
    But well, don’t forget that in this case Nokia would have to build up a new support sector resulting in hiring more people + adding more complexity in the bureaucratic maintenance of their devices, and therefore have to spend more money. Additionally this would mean to throw away at least a part of the money invested in MeeGo and partially invalidating their strategy, leaving them “in open waters”.

    I currently use a N900 running the latest version of Maemo – excluding the size & weight of the device I am very happy with it and I am looking forward to the release of a N9 using Maemo’s successor featuring perhaps a “happier” look, being a bit thinner and lighter, and perhaps even nearer to the “standard” linux community, making it in the end a device more tailored than Android for the single devices, almost as good looking as the iPhone but more functional (especially because of its physical keyboard & serious apps) and with less restrictions.

  • mirmit

    Addapting Nokia’s hardware to Android is a several months process not counting the time to validate and go thru QA. It’s definitely not an easy job.

    This is not even taking into accound the problem of lack of control over the platform…

  • Vulcan

    MeeGo: I have seen an interview in web where I got the impression there will be many devices, and not all will be “typical handsets like this” [she showed an E7]. So there will be other products too. MeeGo will be used also in infotainment systems used in cars, perhaps Nokia will be involved there.

    I expect the MeeGo user interface to be exceptional, polished, fresh, stunning. We will see pretty soon.

  • Vulcan

    The bigger UI update is not coming in the first update of 2011, at least that is how I have understood it. There will be lots of feature updates, and the browser UI will be new. The UI replacement will follow “soon”. And I expect the UI replacement to be pretty cool, since a journalist that saw a screenshot or two, he wrote “now Nokia will finally deliver what they have been talking” (free quote). That sounds promising to me. And they know what they need to do.

    I wonder when will we read that Nokia is building completely new factories or expansions for current factories.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky
  • Pearlseattle

    Sorry, which “generation thing”?

  • Jimbo

    I don’t think Meego will have any commercial impact whatsoever.

    Yeah, it may be the software that’s running on, say, car infotainment systems, but really, who cares about that? I don’t pay much attention to what embedded software is running on my car stereo, as long it powers on and is suitably loud.

    In consumer gadgets, Meego will be inconsequential.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing Nokia has going for them…

    Well apart from the massive scale of distribution and carrier relationships that is.

  • Rick U

    If you can read the signs – go and buy all the Nokia shares you can get. Sell Apple, get Nokia. The big wheel is starting to turn.

  • Rick U

    If you can read the signs – go and buy all the Nokia shares you can get. Sell Apple, get Nokia. The big wheel is starting to turn.

  • http://twitter.com/usemeego meegouser

    Holy crap. This writer as an absolute ignoramus. Remind me to ignore everything you say in future.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky

    This is temporary as carriers follow the trends. Thus the response of my ‘generation thing’ comment. Not going to far back Nokia was THE phone maker, then Apple caught people’s attention with shinny objects (“squirrel!” I don’t mean to insult Apple users, but seriously, Steve has closed the doors of high tech evolution by placing such strict rules and placing a premium most with common sense would spend on a fantastic vacation instead… too much to flame on Apple and too many people that will argue my point) and now comes the Android revolution. Nokia will be around for sometime, but a new generation of squirrel watchers have appeared. The I’m not paying for the locked down and high premium phone generation… Even though Android is still slightly locked down… Just not as locked down…

    Either way I agree with this article’s point #5. I wish the N8 was running a choice platform, Android for me, Symbia for you… I like Nokia phones. Hell I was almost going to work for Nokia till Ericsson snagged me. Peace, and hope the best phone that won’t need replacing will be out this year!

  • You-are-a-loser

    Gee, thanks Jimbo! This is important, regardless of how little you understand it.