Nokia was recently bought off by Microsoft, something that came as a big surprise. Nokia had for a long time dominated the mobile phone market until 2011 when rival Korean Samsung made a grand entry in the ever evolving smartphone market.


Samsung whose entry tilted the market pointers for big timers Nokia, Blackberry and Apple had Africa as its main target making products suited specifically for Africa. This was a good move for them, one that left Nokia feeling ‘ancient’ and Apple had a run for its money.

The entry of Samsung into the market has brought several changes, the biggest one being the launch of new phone models. Every mobile phone maker is now on the drawing board figuring out the next new big thing to rock the market. This has seen Apple break its norm to realise one smartphone every year to realising several in one year.

Nokia who I would say were slow in launching new Smartphones into the market-something that made Samsung easily topple them-had to go back to the drawing board and they came up with its line of Lumia series phones among others. Apple had to work on their iPhone series while Samsung’s Galaxy series hit the market with a boom!

While Samsung may be the current ‘king’ in the mobile phone market, Apple and Nokia have quickly learnt the moves to the mantra and are quickly catching up. The main task for the giants is to ‘play a song’ which the customers will like and sing/dance along to. Techno is the little giant among these and is also making an impact especially in the Kenyan market.

In a bid to sweeten the music they play, they are all seeking to add, modify or improve features to the OS (Operating System) running the Smartphones while some are completely changing the OS for new ones.
Samsung has been running on Google’s Android while Nokia has been alternating with its latest Smartphones going all Windows. Apple prefers to make not only their own Smartphones but also the OS, something that gives them an upper notch in the market.

Samsung is reportedly going Tizen having some of its latest products running on the platform. Nokia is also creating its own OS platforms away from Google. They simply don’t want anything to do with Google. They have alternatives for Microsoft which include; Skype instead of Google talk, Nokia Store, People App instead of the usual contacts app, Nokia Browser for Google’s Chrome, Nokia Music app for Google Music app, Here Maps for Google maps. Skype is being pushed as a primary chat application by Nokia, a prime alternative to Whassup they say.

Whereas Nokia may not want to relent and re-consider allowing some Google apps in their Nokia phones, I say they will have to do much more than what they have done so far. Android phones have the largest share in the market and seem to have had quite a reception with the users. Nokia need give the people something different, user friendly and appealing of course. Let not people miss Android once they shift to Nokia new platforms.




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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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