The one big opportunity that has come to Nokia with the Microsoft takeover is an access to deep pockets, given that Microsoft would be leaving no stone unturned to make a success of its Windows Phone platform.
However, if money could only make the difference, Microsoft would have been the leader in mobile phones much ago.
The mobile phone ecosystem is many times more dynamic than the PC ecosystem that still revolves around Windows. Disruption is not a dirty word but instead a synonym of innovation in the mobile ecosystem.
The pace at which Microsoft has been able to push disruptive offerings into the market has been relatively much slower than what a Google or a Samsung has been able to achieve. In fact, home-grown players like Micromax, Lava and Karbonn have been even better at it, despite their characteristic limitations.
The market in India has entered a phase where it’s not easy to stay at the top for long, as is seen from Micromax’s serious challenge posed to Samsung. A possibility of for Nokia to revive its fortunes with Microsoft’s financial backing alone won’t be enough.
Nokia-Microsoft will need to reinvent the smartphone positioning in India, to the extent that it would need to be seen a brand more aligned to Indian users than a Micromax or a Karbonn. That is easier said than done, as it could also require a super disruptive approach in the pricing department.
Will Microsoft be able to do that, while also maintaining the profitability? That would require it to achieve disruptive changes in its supply chain to kick in ultra-efficiencies and costs.
Sure, all this is not impossible to achieve but whether Microsoft-Nokia is ready to even think about that is a question mark.
And of course, this is assuming that Microsoft is able to evolve Windows Phone at, again, a disruptive pace!
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