2009-12-16

Nokia are done.

Among people whose opinion I value, the verdict on Nokia seems to be unanimous: they are done.

Right now things look really bad for them as they flail about, unable to formulate a believable strategy. Or at least a believable strategy that they communicate externally. Here are some thoughts:

  • Ditch Symbian. Yes, I know the installed base is huge, but Symbian has no future. It is dead. Within half a decade you'll have a hard time shifting these phones in third world countries.
  • For the fastest growing mobile markets in the world the handset will also take on the role as the primary computing and internet device. This means that "smart phones" will become very cheap very quickly. Start with that premise and abort anything in the pipeline for the next 18 months that is not in line with this assumption.
  • Running with Maemo is not the best of ideas. Usually large corporations are skeptical towards fragmentation -- and then Nokia goes ahead and fragments the market. The best case scenario here is the same sort of nonsense that BluRay vs HD DVD resulted in: hesitant consumers. Grow up, contribute positively to Android and take the fact that someone from outside the mobile industry had to give you a wakeup call like grown-ups.
Remember: the iPhone has been on the market for a bit over two years. Android has been available for a bit over a year. In that time these two platforms have individually achieved more than any "innovation" done by Nokia or Sony Ericsson put together the past decade. I'm sorry, but nobody is looking to you for innovation and your current direction looks more like sheer panic than anything else. Adapt to reality or go back to manufacturing wellies.

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