A lot of people, your humble blogger included, have been dubious about the pairing of Nokia and Microsoft venturing into the smartphone ecosystem together. Seems a bit like teaming up to try to become RC Cola, you know? But Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop suddenly made sense yesterday at the Mobile World Congress when he talked about aiming Nokia toward the developing world where billions of people are expected to be joining data networks for the first time in years to come.
"We want to bring the next billion online," said Mr. Elop, speaking in a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress here. "We can connect the unconnected."
Mr. Elop said that 80 percent of the world's population lives within range of cellphone coverage but that only 20 percent or so is connected to the Internet. Nokia, he said, can bring them online through mobile Internet on cellphones. He said as many as three billion more people around the world could potentially come online through a cellphone.
Factor in that Nokia is a known and established brand in many of these areas already. Then ADD to that the familiarity with the Windows environment, which will be largely replicated on the next generation of Nokia phones, and you have a pretty compelling argument.