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War of the Titans: Apple vs Operators?

Till now, we knew that the war for mobile phone market share was limited between the OS developers and mobile phone makers. The biggest players in this war were Apple, Google, Samsung and the distressed angel Nokia. But a recent report, appeared in Telecoms.com, suggests that there is also an elite group of players who works also as catalysts in this war – the telecom operators. But it seems, though the users are in love with iOS based Apple iPhones or Android based Samsung Galaxy phones, the operators are in favor of the emergence of a new player in the market which can corner these two players, Apple and Google. And, their hope is in Nokia.

The craze of iPhone branded devices is well known to all. The series of iOS based phones which have changed how people use their mobile phones by integrating new innovations and offering an unmatched user experience. iphone has made mobile phone much more than a phone. It has become an identity.

But to protect this identity, Apple has always gone the extra mile. It has always been maintaining a protected ecosystem for both the software and hardware that runs these devices. Apple has always maintained full control over what improvements will be made and what features will be added. It has dictated how iPhones will be marketed and, at times questioned communication providers whether they are capable enough to sell Apple devices.

By questioning the capabilities of telecom operators, who view themselves as the king of the mountains, Apple has also created a sense discontent. Operators have to sign large number of Non-Disclosure Agreements and have to fulfill many of Apples’ complex criteria to be able to sell Apple products. And, by dictating its product portfolio and features completely by itself, instead of listening to the concerns of operators, Apple has further increased their anger. According to industry consultant Bengt Nordström from Northstream, operators have also mentioned how technical issues inherent to iPhone have lead to negative user perception of their network and how these issues are blatantly ignored by Apple. Despite all these, operators are forced to sell iPhones on heavily subsidized prices, because the subscribers are in love with these devices.

No wonder, that operators want a new player to succeed which can corner Apple in the smartphone market. Surprising enough is that Bengt Nordström believes that operators are not betting on Google to break Apple’s supremacy either. Although Google’s Android is an open platform and developers are free to build their systems upon this, either telecom operators don’t like this kind of ecosystem or they just don’t like Google.

Instead, operators want Nokia to succeed in the smartphone market, and curb the supremacy of Apple and Google. Nordström believes that this mainly due to the operator-friendly business model and ‘customer first’ attitude of Nokia. He also added that Nokia, which is now betting on its Windows based Lumia series phones, should put more focus on feature instead of the OS.

However, it must also be realized that, in this war the ultimate hero will be the one who will be able to capture the end users. The rest will be just fallen empires.

See more at Telecoms.com
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