Smartphone Users in Nigeria

Its has taken us a while to get here but as a country we have arrived at the place where the number of users of smartphones in Nigeria is greater that the population of most African nations.

The Nation Newspaper Nigeria reveals that  the number of smartphone users is 30% of the 150 million cellphone users in the country.

With stats like this, the case for mobile is made.

The Development of an Industry

Development of an IndustryWhen the news of the Nokia Acquisition came, I thought of the above diagram and how true it will be in the years to come. Now the Game of Phones is about to begin.

Google, Apple and Microsoft are going to go up against each other in what will be one of the biggest fights in the technology space. The outcome of that battle will determine which platform will be used by the mainstream.

In the end, I hope the winners are the users and developers. This year, I will be sitting on the sidelines as I try and get an understanding of the implications of the Nokia Acquisition.

In the meantime, I will have to review my toolbox for the coming year.

Nokia Acquisition

Decision

Yesterday, the announcement came that Nokia had been acquired by Microsoft. You can read the official release here. With this move, the stage is now set for one of the fiercest battles to ever be fought in the technology space.

Last Saturday, I was having lunch with the guests at the Savannah Fund Accelerator program and the question of feature phones and smart-phones came up. I stoutly stood in the feature phone camp at that time.

With this new announcement, feature phones will see a decimation in Africa and Asia. In the richer parts of the world, feature phones had already lost ground. But now with these announcement, the final nail has been pushed into the coffin.

Nokia’s support for feature phones made developing for feature phones viable. With the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft. Feature phones have no place in the future.

What I expect to see will be reminiscent of the browser wars of the 90s when Microsoft and Netscape would go at each other for dominance of the web browser market.

Like those times, Microsoft was the underdog in the fight. It would later go on to win. This time Microsoft is also the underdog. What is different now is that it is up against a company very much like itself. Google knows that winning this war will make them the dominant smart-phone platform for the next decade.

For the African developer, it will come down to monetization. The platform that can allow developers get paid for creating applications in a manner that is repeatable and sustainable will win the hearts and minds of developers.

I will be sitting out the rest of the year on this one. But with Android dominating 80% of the global market, if you want to develop an application for reach on smart-phones, you should develop for Android.

Iron Man Business Model

Iron Man

In the past week the movie Avengers was released. For comic readers it was validation that all the years spent reading comics were not in vain. The movie mirrored the comics so well that you wonder if the script writers did anything.

I have always been an Iron Man fan because my life and his mirrored each other. Here’s why:

i) Descendant of an Engineer :- My dad studied Electrical Engineering and I studied Systems Engineering.

ii) Built the suit on a deadline :- For me Maths Magic was a now or never project.

iii) Lives by his own rules :- I am a renegade.

Flagship Product

Enough about me. What was always fascinating growing up was the business model he used to grow Stark Enterprises. After building his suit as his flagship product, Tony Stark ensured that the suit was the sum total of the entire skill set of his firm.

Anything that there wasn’t a suit for, you could be sure that Stark Enterprises had not ventured into that field. For me, that is my intention with Maths Magic. After completing the versions for Windows Phone 7 and the Windows Desktop, I am currently developing the J2ME version. The goal is to ensure that I have developed HTML5 and native android versions by the end of this quarter if possible.

Good Solo

This cannot be over-emphasized. Iron Man is good at execution without the crowd. That is why he continues to fascinate and thrill us viewers.

Iron Man Solo

Team Player

As seen in the Avengers movie, when the threat to earth required a partnership, he was able to work well in a team. True every team must go through the process of storming before the process of forming is complete but at the end the world was saved.

Avengers

In the end maybe Tony Stark isn’t perfect. Well who is? The lesson is to remain teachable and open to feedback. And let’s remain passionate doing business.