A few months back, fastlane, Asha Platform, Nokia X Platform, Porting Android Apps, Smartphone like experience and fastlane to Android apps were quite huge words. Revolutionary if I must add. But not anymore.
Things have changed and there is a new landlord over at Espoo where we have come to get used to industry leading innovation in the smartphone industry. Now what’s left is a third platform with a meager smartphone OS market-share and mostly uncertainty.
Let’s go back to when there was a burning platform, days when Nokia still had the largest smartphone install-base and market-share by far. There was one lone device called Nokia 808 that represented something uncertain, that of great innovation that was stifled by uncertainty of platforms change. The device who’s time had come, only that platforms had to be burned and ships jumped. That happened and the first ever 41 megapixels smartphone became the last Symbian smartphone.
Fast forward to 2014, we are at a similar position with Nokia, (currently Microsoft Mobile OY). Remember Asha smartphone range(smartphone or not smartphone depending on where you sit)? That was another platform that represents uncertainty, this is after another memo changed the fate of Asha devices.
Their time was coming and honestly I felt they needed to go. The line was getting thinner by the day between them and low cost Android smartphones that gave a different and way better experience. With the Asha phones is where Nokia introduced Fastlane, a UI that promised heaven where navigation and access of recently open apps is concerned. Asha was introduced to upgrade the experience of the Series 40 device which is a feature phone category, right next to dumb phones.
This made a showing onto the next range of devices to be announced earlier this year, Nokia X.
Enter Nokia X platform. Microsoft painted Barcelona earlier in the year green, a colour that is no-longer anywhere even in the social profiles that it was lovingly hosted. This is the third uncertainty case. A platform that came in and immediately had it’s position in the food chain, albeit with a lot of ironing out necessary. Nokia X hit top ten best selling smartphones in many emerging markets, the places where it really means something to be top.
Nokia X, in its marketing and product placement, was meant to position itself as the transition device from feature phones to the Lumia experience. Stephen Elop himself said at an AMA (ask me anything) was there to connect the next billion to Microsoft services. I wonder whether that will happen now that the company is dropping Android.
Microsoft was keen to correct the part where it was assumed they were dropping anything that is minus live tiles and a Windows logo in the front. They mentioned that they still needed to connect another third Billion to mobile phones, these billions are getting vaguer by the day. But let’s move on and believe them. Microsoft will still sell feature phones at the bare entry level as evidenced by the recent launch of Nokia 130.
More than a billion people don’t have a cell phone, adding that the basic phone business is “stable and growing” unlike the declining feature phone segment….,” said Microsoft, Corporate Vice President Jo Harlow.
Now what am I driving at? Fastlane for quite a while represented a lot (Microsoft still wants us to believe it does, till they announce how long they support the “orphaned” platforms). Now you will say that “but Nokia supports device for quite sometime” and I will tell you yes, they do. But the same does not reflect to the developers who have numerous platforms to ensure they have working apps.
This means that you could watch as developers lose interest in maintaining apps for the Nokia X platform, they read the news also. The Fastlane which represented quite a lot of hope in getting Nokia the user-base while at the same time getting many their first Android experience with a Nokia touch turns out to be the second coming of the Nokia 808.
And the Nokia X2 just hit the market….