The Microsoft-Nokia deal isn’t likely to bear ‘fruit’ for about a year, according to Elop’s comments after the announcement. That means the “cheap smartphone” business that Nokia has dominated for the past five years is now wide open (who is going to buy Symbian now that Nokia has effectively killed it?) It is nearly impossible to find anyone who thinks this Nokia Microsoft thing is a good idea. Both companies’ stock price is plummeting.
Whatever happens, in the near term, there is going to be a void left where Nokia’s Symbian devices used to dominate. Nokia’s implosion will leave room in the mid-low range of smartphones. Android is already drooling.
Perhaps Apple sees an opportunity here. Rather than let the year go by while Android gulps up more of Nokia’s old marketshare, perhaps Apple thinks it is time to strike.
It isn’t like Apple doesn’t have prototypes ready either. They’ve probably built prototypes of every conceivable iOS device from 3 inches to 22 inches. Today’s news could be a call to action for Apple to have a iPhone mini product ready by June.