Elop says just one more MeeGo phone, the Nokia N9, then that’s it for the doomed platform, full throttle on Windows Phone (much to the chagrin of the Finnish who don’t think much of Nokia’s CEO but are quite fond of MeeGo).

While MeeGo had been quietly building up steam, Elop felt he had to shake things up wildly with the Microsoft deal and rip the MeeGo and Symbian band-aids right off under the belief that that MeeGo and Windows Phone were mutually-exclusive prospects, or perhaps that was just a condition of Microsoft’s interest in Nokia.

Many took exception to this when it was announced, bailing out of multiple platforms that especially in MeeGo’s case was taking shape fast, also being laid off didn’t go over too well along with the value of any shares or options they had tanking upon the Microsoft announcement, but just before the new doctrine could be fully digested, the reviews and general hype of the Nokia N9, the supposedly final MeeGo-powered phone, are blowing up the web and only with superlatives.

As a result of this phone being so sweet from hardware to software and from head to toe, even though the strategically announced WP-powered Nokia Sea Ray is roughly identical to this in terms of general sweetness, there is clearly more interest in Nokia and MeeGo than in Nokia and Windows Phone. That’s not trivial.

Want proof? I got proof. Made you a chart, Google Trends style. To screw around with this data yourself, go here.

So those are charts of the worldwide volume of Google searches of MeeGo Nokia and “Windows Phone” Nokia, blue and red respectively, related aggregated news article volume below. Again, searches, not total hits, so more reflective of consumer interest I’d say. I didn’t look it up but I suspect the spike on the right has something to do with the N9 reviews.

Here’s a breakdown of search interest of the two sets by the top ten cities of greatest MeeGo Nokia searches on the left and to be fair a top ten of the two pitted against each other with WP search volume weighting the city order on the right (today’s data):

So while there is some interest in Nokia/WP that isn’t being drowned out by MeeGo/Nokia in Kuwait, Singapore and Australia (also Hungarian speakers of the world seem slightly sweeter on WP), everyone else tuned into Nokia is more focused on MeeGo than Windows Phone. Is that not fair to say?

I bet Elop wasn’t anticipating that when he first dug in his heels on what he probably knew wouldn’t go over well, at least not to that degree. What’s MeeGo? Well, it’s just a year old, people who use it like it, don’t know much more about it than that I’ll admit. Here’s some MeeGo stuff, check it out on Youtube maybe, whatever. Here’s a developer and employee who went back and forth a bit on this with Elop, so read this bombshell if you want better information (otherwise keep reading).

The clincher: The N9 with MeeGo under its hood will run Ovi Maps, the first thing to take on Android’s Google Maps Navigation (Windows Phone presently has no such thing).

The Windows Phone cousin of the N9, the still in-utero Sea Ray should run it too, and it will most likely be a dazzling phone, but no one seems to know when it will hit whereas the N9’s slated to be released next quarter, pulling in all that mindshare along the way, making it harder and harder for Windows Phone to be taken seriously as the new sheriff in Finland, making it harder and harder for Elop not to backpeddle out of Microsoft exclusivity and not to reconsider his position on the N9 being the last MeeGo phone and whether or not he should have gone completely all-in with Microsoft.

If this new MeeGo UI is all it’s cracked up to be, that’s a highly raised bar and after people assimilate to it and blog about how great it is, when it’s time to buy the Sea Ray, Windows Phone is going to feel much less underwhelming than if this N9 / MeeGo thing never happened. The N9 and MeeGo are putting each other on the map right now, just when everyone is supposed to be getting psyched about the Microsoft Nokia deal and moving on from whatever platforms Nokia has had a hand in. But this N9 is sitting pretty to start outselling all WPs combined, no? Think this is inconsequential as there’s plenty of room still in the market for more competition? Yeah?

Could be time for him to read any fine print he inked with Microsoft to see if he’s got any wiggle room to keep riding this MeeGo pony. As stubborn and cocksure as he’s purporting to be about this, about Microsoft, I bet you he’s thinking the same thing. Nokia is not going to throw in the MeeGo towel, not by a longshot. It will become redoubtable on its own merits and at Windows Phone’s expense.

Doug Simmons

13 COMMENTS

  1. To all these frandroid because they do not oblige manufacturers of phone to stop the crap and boring android and meego is installed that you both like, for my part I prefer a thousand times wp7 and no meego which is the same as android, pure static icons and boring and ugly

  2. of course traffic for nokia + meego is going to go up upon release of the N9. it’s an officially released product, unlike the sea ray which wasn’t even meant to be seen on the web.

    you even see the same with windows phone, i’m sure that when it was first announced, chatter went up pretty sharp as well, and then it came down again…

    this is making a mountain out of a mole hill…

  3. neat concept but flawed methodology. Of course, one reason there’s less searches for Nokia and WP7 is because the news is everywhere so you don’t need to search for it. It’s on all tech blogs. But that’s really fractional to the crux of what is going on here. Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, WP7 and Microsoft are all search terms that are synonymous here so they should all be included and aggregated. Because unlike Meego it has aliases. So what happens if you add them up?
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=meego+nokia%2C+%22windows+phone%22+nokia%2C+%22windows+phone+7%22+nokia%2C+wp7+nokia%2C+microsoft+nokia&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0
    the dark blue line that is “Microsoft + Nokia” blows them all out of the water…add them up and compare them to Meego + Nokia and it always trumps it

  4. So in terms of comparing trends of consumer interest in one platform Nokia’s involved with with another that they are also involved with, you actually think changing this up to Meego Nokia vs Microsoft Nokia is helpful? While we’re at it shouldn’t we unzoom the other side from Meego to Linux or Open Source?

    Well I know you’re not that stupid, but I also know everyone else who doesn’t like this data will mistake your dry humor for truth. So in an attempt to accommodate that crowd, here’s the chart including the variants I came up with (Windows Phone (which covers Windows Phone 7), wp, wp7, winpho), and as you’d see if you bothered to click it, the variants of WP, if you mentally smoosh them on top of each other, don’t touch Meego Nokia, let alone blow it out of the water.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=meego+nokia%2C+%22windows+phone%22+nokia%2C+wp7+nokia%2C+wp+nokia%2C+winpho+nokia&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

    Many regard this as big bet hedging on Nokia’s part. I see it as that and more as Windows Phone being just an iron in Nokia’s fire.

  5. It’s not going to matter, because all of the problems with Meego haven’t disappeared, and Meego has done nothing for Nokia except put them in the situation that they are in. That extremely limited and staged demo of Meego only showed you a fraction of the OS. What happens when the rest of it is discovered and it’s not so great. Of course the fact that Nokia is only making one Meego phone, coupled with the fact that Meego has absolutely no developer support, means Meego is dead and gone.

    As for bet hedging? No! It’s simply Nokia satisfying contractual obligations. Besides, if Samsung was sued by Apple for ripping off their UI, what do you think is going to happen to this phone, whose UI is practically identical to the iPhone.

  6. By the way, I love your title “impending success.” What impending success? Meego is vaporware. It has no success and won’t ever have any success. If developers have no interest in a platform and the OEM is only going to make one phone, what success is it going to have? You think Nokia is going to screw Microsoft after they received a billion+ dollars? Microsoft would crush Nokia if that happened.

  7. Good stuff Joe. Not to impose but I could really use a source, if you’ve got one, on Microsoft having paid Nokia billions in cash for phone stuff, and maybe another on how the billion plus dollars you said they handed over to Nokia goes back to Redmond, or Nokia is otherwise crushed, if Nokia makes another MeeGo phone.

    And if you’re in the mood, speculation as to whether or not it’s too late for Nokia to get colder Microsoft feet and introspection regarding just how badly they need Windows Phone at this point.

  8. Also, why, in the interest of the best possible WP/Nokia launch, are they launching a near-identical phone as loud as they can, software like Nokia’s Maps custom designed both for the platform and for this phone, the first specific Nokia phone I’ve ever heard of, playing it up everywhere, reviews up and down, at the worst possible timing? Not saying why didn’t they can the whole thing but why wouldn’t they temper this or do it in a way that looks like they didn’t go as far out of their way as possible to squelch and hedge the Microsoft project?

    Did you know that it’s relatively easy for Symbian developers to glide right over to MeeGo (whereas it’s not easy to WP)? Well, you will soon because that’s what many of them are going to do, just like Nokia consumers, to this phone, not the See Doo in all its similarities (except for losing out on the first come first serve race, which is I understand what will happen, could be wrong). The Nokia edge you people have been anticipating will not be explosive like you think.

    Read another thread here, someone said “time will tell.” Forgot who said that, but probably the type of guy who also tells you “it is what it is.” About as helpful.

  9. yss: At first glance I thought I read you write that you’re starting, sadly, to think I’m smart, and because I am indeed smart, I knew I should probably reread that.

    Honestly, no, not really, in the sense that I think I grossly overstated the significance of this N9/Meego thing as some sort of threat to Windows Phone. This is not a new revelation but I actually do think Windows Phone, unlike Blackberry, has an uphill future ahead of it, the kind that would shrug off a situation like this. If it were a stock I’d buy it. I just don’t think the top of that hill is nearly as high as the rest of you think (for example #1 by 2015) nor do I think they’ll hit the top anytime soon, or at least not ahead of the two bets I made recently.

    Furthermore I think you and you people are torridly fanatic, I mean really passionate, and I have this fantasy I can’t seem to shake off no matter how long I continue to fail of managing to reel in more of an Android audience to help me return fire and say nice things to me. Also, for reasons I don’t understand, I love Google.

  10. Dough, I can’t agree with you more.

    The trouble for Elop is that there are hordes of developers in the wild who are waiting for just a handset like N9 to start developing applications and provide support.

    Furthermore, Android Applications can run on the Nokia N9, via Alien Dalvik, promising native performance with minimum repackaging of the original Android App. All the hardware capabilities are accessible to the repackaged Android App, and any further tweaking that may be necessary for 100% compatibility can be done via the Android SDK, which Myriad will provide later this year.

    At a single stroke, future owners of the Nokia N9 running on the Meego Harmattan 1.2 platform will potentially have access to more applications than Android phones, a staggering notion, considering that the Android Apps market was already growing at a rate faster than Apple iPhone Apps by February of 2011 and recent numbers from Hugo Barra, Product Management Director of Android in May 2011 showed that there are 200,000 Android Apps available.

    Compare this with the 300,000 over iPhone Apps available as of now.

    Add the current 48,000 Ovi store Apps as of June 2011 to the continued growth of the Android Apps market, it is likely that at the point-in-time of the retail release of the N9 worldwide, owners will have access to more Smartphone Apps than the iPhone!!!

    A truly shocking thought, especially when the number of Apps available for end-users have been the strongest selling point for any Smartphone device to date.

    Add to this point that fact that many major companies like BMW, GM, Hyundai, Renault, Delphi and Peugeot-Citroen have all signed up to use the Meego platform in future vehicles, which makes the future integration of N9 with on-board communications and navigation in cars a no-brainer.

    Hence, the Nokia N9 is “future-proofed” even before it is release for sale in the worldwide markets!!!

    Not bad figures for a phone and operating system that has been prematurely and maliciously pronounced “Dead on Arrival!”

    The fact is it is more likely that WP7 will be stillbirth. Despite having 36,000 registered developers as of March 2011, there are only 11,500 WP7 Apps. This means less than 33% of developers who actually PAID money to register, actually developed anything for WP7. Just goes to show how much confidence the mobile App Developer Community for the Smartphone market have in WP7.

    So much so that one reviewer wondered aloud why Nokia would want to cast its lot with Windows when it already has a potential iOS killer in terms of user-interface, an “ecosystem” that it can control with QT developers dying to get their hands on developing apps in-house in the production stages.

    It is baffling how Elop has been forced to launch the very handset that can get him fired from his position as the CEO of Nokia.

    In a yet another surprising turn of events in the Nokia N9 saga, Nokia has officially declared continued support for the Nokia N9 and Meego Harmattan 1.2 platform after the soon expected retail release worldwide.

    See the tweet below from the Nokia’s Head of Portfolio Management:

    http://twitter.com/#!/klasstrom

    You can read more on this at:

    Klas Ström Declares Long Term Support for Nokia N9 and Meego Platform

    You might also be interested in the following live poll:

    Meego Harmattan 1.2 vs Windows Phone 7.x Poll

  11. Nokia N9 Target Release Markets Rapidly Expanding Beyond 23 Countries

    Since the initial launch of the Nokia N9 handset in Singapore on the

    21st of June, the list of International Markets targeted for the retail

    released has continued to expand beyond the list of the initial 23

    countries without much ado.

    The most notable additions are Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark,

    Estonia, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway and

    Philippines.

    Afghanistan, Lebanon and Pakistan have been added to the 56 other

    countries covered under the tri-lingual Middle East and Africa Nokia

    website.

    The number of potential buyers are simply staggering, with 1 billion

    customers in Africa, 230 million in Argentina and Brazil, and another 1

    billion or so in China. This is not including the highly-active

    Smartphone markets in South East Asia and Europe, traditional Nokia

    strongholds.

    Visit the short-link below for more:

    http://wp.me/p1q9BL-4V

    BLME,

    MeegoMan

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