(This is part of a series of blog posts on Mobility in 2011)
Related to this see: Reaction to Nokia 2011 Strategy Announcement (and Microsoft relationship)
Nokia is in the midst of a major strategy shift; they have to. Nokia has an operational issue to address. The truth is that Nokia is losing traction while other platforms are gaining traction. They must address that trend. Yes, Nokia is still number one, but Nokia must put in place the framework if they want to maintain leadership over the next decade. 2011 will be a critical year for Nokia (and mobile in general) and operationally, Nokia must (should) do the following:
- Invest on innovation and go-to-market strategies. By this I am referring to focusing on MeeGo and Ovi and cloud-services (Maps, etc). It is about focusing on great HW designs. And super important, it is about focusing on Qt and Qt-based apps across mobile platforms/OSes, a strategy that in turn will have returns on Ovi and their services and related ecosystem.
- Cut costs. Here I am referring to “ditching” Symbian OS especially on their smartphones, starting with making such decision in 2011; this will take time to execute. Back in Feb 2009 I wrote a blog On Nokia’s App Store Strategy, where my main point was that Nokia had too many platforms and content portals and related strategies to deal with; very hard to focus and compete this way. Since then, Nokia killed N-Gage, but they should do more. They must kill their “cash cow” Symbian and related OPEX so they can invest/focus on few new strategies that give them traction, and as important, let developers focus on a given app strategy that helps them go to market more quickly.
- Balance ego with business realities. This is hard. This goes back to balancing the above with respect to investing on innovation and go-to-market vs. cutting costs. Killing the cash cow is a very hard decision to make by current management, which is why bringing someone from the outside (Stephen Elop) at this stage makes perfect sense. Even if Symbian stays for now, the shift must be on the app framework (Qt) which, if they go across mobile OSes increases their reach, including Ovi’s reach.
The combination of HW and new SW and go-to market strategies, Nokia should be able address the current trends, restoring faith on the company, and helping fence off HTC and Samsung and the like.
It actually is a very exciting time for Nokia, and its positioning for the next decade. If Nokia plays it right, they will not let Operators dictate its own future; a strategy that let Apple and Google not only grow in mobile at an incredible pace in a very short amount of time, but also become leaders on mobile innovation.
Nokia sells bulk of Qt business to Digia; this is a very strange news, Nokia selling bulk of Qt. I don’t know what to think about this… total commitment to Windows?
Related to this see: