Open takes the lead.

Does the unanimous decision of Nokia and Google to fight the Emerging market war using open weaponry spell the end of the closed ideology?

Nokia X and Project Ara. Two completely separate products which will, when released, compete for the same market share.

In an interesting PLOT TWIST, both devices will be open. . . .

Google’s Project Ara is the most open of the two. The entire product is brimming with the ideology of Openness. The idea of a modular smartphone has been taken by Google, and put through their intense ideological pressing machine.

Google have invited a wide variety of developers and hardware companies on board to help them build this product, and the modules which it’ll use. This won’t be a closed product, like any purported Apple modular smartphone – Or even Nokia X.

Nokia X, is a product which is confusing at first. A (soon to be) Microsoft company, using the OS of it’s main competitor to sell phones in the emerging markets? Hmmm. Make no mistake though, Nokia have totally embraced Android through X, despite their new overlords pushing the closed message through Windows Phone – Yes, that’s right. FROM THE COMPANY THAT BROUGHT YOU THE OPEN PC, HERE’S OUR NEW CLOSED SMARTPHONE! *EXCITED* xD

Seriously though, X is entirely open. Here and here, are examples of the phone operating in just the way Android should. Side loaded alternative app launchers, shown by Phone Arena (2014) and even talk of loading custom ROM’s, courtesy of Android Guys (2014) – This is android as it should be. Open.

So what does this mean for closed?

Wouldn’t the thinking be, that when introducing a technology to a new market, taking a closed approach would be far safer? Then your customers get a secure, enhanced and consistent experience. Maybe. But perhaps that thinking is out-dated. People want to customize things, and they want to learn by doing. Not by being told what to do.

Emerging Markets Scoreboard

Open 1-0 Closed

References:

Dan Bartram 2014, Nokia X gets rooted bringing custom ROM and Google Services, androidguys.com, viewed 1 April 2014, <http://www.androidguys.com/2014/03/01/nokia-x-gets-rooted-bringing-custom-rom-google-services/&gt;.

Victor H 2014, Can the Nokia X run a custom Android launcher? Yes, and here is a video proof, phonearena.com, viewed 1 April 2014, <http://www.phonearena.com/news/Can-the-Nokia-X-run-a-custom-Android-launcher-Yes-and-here-is-a-video-proof_id53227&gt;.

Phone Arena, 2014, Apex Launcher running on the Android powered Nokia XL, (online video), 26 February, Youtube, viewed 1 April 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHIae6ZxviA&gt;.

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