This (Sunday) morning I was using a tablet during breakfast. It was not to carry in the goodies - I was happily reading articles from New York Times, Wall Street journal and Der SPIEGEL (a large German weekly magazine) on it. Before that (still in bed) I had checked my Facebook account. If you are either a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant, you might have done very similar things this morning. [[see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_native#Origins for the terms Digital Immigrant/Native if you haven’t heard them]]
However, the “tablet” I used was neither an iPad nor a Motorola Xoom nor a smart phone. I was using a long-forgotten device named Nokia N800 which was released in 2007 by Nokia. The tablet has wireless, USB, Bluetooth; it’s larger sister (N810) has GPS and a keyboard. It can do Web browsing, Skype, PDF reading, … Back then Nokia toted the device as “Internet tablet”.
Four years later, Nokia has an image of having “missed the boat” both on smart phones as well as “tablet devices” – this clearly having envisioned the market for tablets four years ago and being among the clear market leaders in the smart phone area for a long time. I listened to a speaker the other day that showed his iPhone to the audience saying “this is a very bad phone”, only to add that this is in fact the phone he uses and that “this device has defined the term smart phone forever and we can never go back”.
Now where is the relevance of all this to the NonStop market ?
How about replacing N800 with NonStop S-Series and iPad with pick-any-platform-which-today-touts-itself-as-being-mission-critical-including-HP-Integrity-Unix
Here are some further examples of my personal hypothesis “the best technology never wins in the marketplace”:
- MS-DOS vs. CP/M
- Windows vs. very early Mac platform
- Betamax vs. VHS
- Do you have other examples to share?
So: What has Apple done right in creating the "tablet" market and what did Nokia do wrong?
More importantly, how do you think can the NonStop platform avoid becoming the Nokia N800?