We have entered 2011 and I have to say the first decade did fly by rather quickly for us in the mobile industry. I am a big fan of JWT and their things to watch deck. I thought I would share it and highlight the top 10 in my mind for those realigning and creating a mobile strategy this year.
This article caught my attention as it is 2010 and now we are hearing about Nokia going after the Automobile. Are they late to the game or is this the right timing? When I go to the iPhone store and look at all the car applications with some of the massive integration efforts that have already started with Apple, my first impression that Nokia might be late to the game. Nokia has been clearly focused in maps and navigation, so it would only make strategic sense to see this kind of announcement.
In the automotive industry they work on a different clock-speed. It might not be as slow as the health care industry, but it is close. In December 2008, Qualcomm made an announcement on video streaming with mediaFLO with Toyota. I guess that was good timing as at that time it was considered early days… Now about 18months later when the market is moving it is hard to disengage the standard that Qualcomm has brought to such a profound market leader.
Unlike other countries the Automobile is a very key part of the culture and lifestyle of many Americans. Although, I have been looking to buses and trains a lot these days, in general, I would say we are very much an Automobile society and I am obsessed with my car like everybody else. Getting a very strong foot print for Nokia in the car space may be an interesting angle to come back into the US Market, but it is a long journey.
The key in my mind is for the cellular equipment manufacturer that does get into the Automobile will need to bring not just the data and the telephony aspects to the table, but the integration with the entire entertainment and navigation enablers to the table. Nokia clearly has the navigation enablers, but lets see about the entertainment ones. This is again where Apple has been strong, but they have been weak in the location and navigation space. Could this be a place where Apple and Nokia collaborate? We did see the strong collaboration between Apple and Google in the past, but now with the strife between them with Android, this could clearly be a unique opportunity as well for standardization to occur where Apple and Nokia come together. If they do not collaborate, then will we see a hodge-podge of different standards and devices integrated into my front seat?
Operators no longer talk about the three screens – cellphone, TV and PC – but sharing content and services over many screens from fridges to cars. The in-car web systems are particularly important, and Nokia has announced plans to work with automotive entertainment firm Harman to codevelop a smartphone-to-car interface.
Nokia wants to go a step further and make this interface, for passing data and content between the two systems, into an industry standard – though so far, it hasn’t announced a timetable. The partners said the connection would be via USB, with Bluetooth as a back-up.
“The infotainment system of a modern car is a natural extension for the capabilities of smartphones,” said Vesa Luiro, director of Nokia’s automotive business unit. The two companies see a broad range of applications for a more integrated car/mobile system. The full range of smartphone apps could be offered via the high quality screens and audio systems in the car, and the handset and car could exchange information and tap into GPS.
Of course, Nokia has an eye on further enhancing its location and directions offering, Ovi Maps, which has been its most successful mobile software initiative since it made the app free early this year. It says the new connection could combine GPS data with vehicle information – for instance, locating a nearby gas station after a low fuel warning. Luiro said: “Not only will it simplify the use of turn-by-turn voice guidance from Ovi Maps, but also provide a new and easy way of accessing other content on the smartphone, such as music and delivering automotive specific applications from the Ovi Store.”
Pioneer has been working on a similar system using a tethered iPhone, while last week saw reports that Google was in talks to integrate Android with General Motors’ OnStar car service. This would allow the smartphone to control many auto functions remotely and also support similar features to Ford’s MyFord Touch, which provides dashboard phone control, navigation and media playing.