According to Chinese site ctech.cn, Nokia (News - Alert) will expand its Nokia Music store to both the iOS and Android platforms as an HTML5 app. It is currently available on phones using Microsoft’s Windows Phone (News - Alert) OS, which makes up a small fraction of the smartphone market.
Nokia has had more than its share of challenges, having gone from being a market leader in the cell phone industry to a company in danger of going out of business.
In the late 2000s, when the Apple (News - Alert) iOS and Google’s Android OS took over the smartphone market, it left little room for Nokia and its Symbian OS-based smartphones. Switching the OS from Symbian (News - Alert) to Windows Phone did not stop the bleeding. That led to Microsoft purchasing Nokia’s phone business for $7.2 billion in September. The sale was approved by Nokia shareholders Tuesday.
Many industry observers do not know what the implications of the Microsoft (News - Alert) purchase will mean for Nokia Music, whether it will remain with Nokia or go to Microsoft.
Under a non-compete clause in a 10-year licensing agreement, Nokia cannot put its brand on smartphones and Microsoft gains the rights to the Lumia and Asha names. Nokia is also barred from producing any other kind of mobile device through December 31, 2015.
The implications of the purchase from Microsoft’s point of view are pretty substantial as it will manufacture phones as well as develop the software for them. The company would have to do more to overcome the relatively small market share of Windows Phone OS, but at least would have greater control over what it provided.
Recent reports about Nokia are largely silent on the future of Nokia Music. The Finnish company is probably going to focus on its Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), the Here mapping system and a division that will create and license technologies, but the status of Nokia Music is uncertain.
As an HTML5 app, Music would function like a web page instead of a native app, but it would allow Nokia to get the service to market faster, than maintaining code bases for three different operating systems.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know the future of Nokia Music from current reports. Either it will remain with Nokia as a fourth business unit that it develops in its post-smartphone area or Microsoft will use it to drive its future smartphone sales. All observers can do is wait and see.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker