For many years now, I’ve been a fan of the Open source movement, as it has come up with some really innovative software over the years and has swiftly been moving towards being more competitive with their closed source counterparts, in terms of quality. Well it seems that Nokia has the Open source bug, having recently open sourced their Symbian Operating system and they show no signs of stopping there.
Nokia has launched an initiative called ‘Designed by Community’ and are asking phone enthusiasts to help them design a phone. If you go to the Designed by Community site, you will be given the opportunity to participate in several rounds of voting in order to choose everything from the shape of the device to the operating system. But, is this really a good idea?
As I said, the Open Source community has come up with some really innovative pieces of software, but they have also come up with a lot of crap also. I’ll be honest. Although, with Nokia I’m certain that they know how to create a good phone, so I know it won’t be all that bad.
Also, I find that many people don’t really know what they want. They may say they want something, but when it comes to buying the device, it could be a different story. If Apple releases another iPhone around the time of the release of this new Nokia device, will people flock to the new iPhone or the new Nokia? From the number of people that come into my Wind Store asking if we have the iPhone I think Apple is pretty safe from such a device.
Finally, we need to take a look at the people that would be voting for this new device, phone enthusiasts. Phone enthusiasts aren’t exactly the normal customer. Many people that come into my store want the cheapest phone they can get, while a phone enthusiast is interested in phones with the latest and greatest in technology, which are usually the most expensive phones. If Nokia wants to create this device, I don’t think they can expect the main stream phone buyer to be lined up for their device.
So, I applaud Nokia for their initiative, I just have doubts that this new device will sell well. Or at the very least, not sell well beyond the phone enthusiast. Although, this voting scheme is a good marketing campaign for Nokia’s device and will certainly gain the device free publicity.
So what do you think? Will you be voting on the design of this device? Will you buy one?