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A Short-term Ecosystem Problem
Though Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted that Nokia's new Windows Phone 8 smartphones would benefit from their integration with Windows 8 for PCs and Windows RT for tablets, analysts say it will take awhile for the synergy to become apparent to consumers.
"The problem is the ecosystem," said Francisco Jeronimo, an IDC research manager based in the U.K. "The most important apps are on iOS and Android ," Jeronimo told us.
Among other things, Microsoft has not yet released the requisite software development kit for enabling developers to take advantage of the many innovations built into the new Windows Phone 8 platform, which is to be introduced Oct. 26.
"I think the development opportunity is significant, [but] it is going to be a convergence story that will take a year or more to fully play out with developers," said Al Hilwa, director of application development software research at IDC. "Aligning phone and PC will prove crucial to the success of both in the long run from an app ecosystem perspective," Hilwa told us.
The long-term prospects for Nokia and other makers of Windows Phone 8 devices appear brighter than investors' immediate reaction to the Lumia 920 indicates. According to Jeronimo, wireless carriers around the world are looking for alternatives to the current Apple-Google duopoly in platforms.
"Not a single operator in the world is happy to see most of its portfolios and sales on Android and iOS," Jeronimo said.