(Image source: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
Have you given up on Nokia?
From my perspective, due to its recent (couple of years old) debacles and endeavors with MSFT, I had stayed away from Nokia.
I never believed on how their MSFT strategy was approached.
Nokia should have totally maximized their Smartphone hardware design expertise, and should have offered that to the world — running Android, Windows and their own Advanced OS. If they have done that, by just supporting the Android OS, they would have owned the other side of the marketshare (not already owned by Apple).
But instead they handed this unique opportunity, and without contest, to Samsung. Today Nokia has lost such hardware design expertise to Microsoft.
And while the world was changing, Nokia management was too comfortable. Call it arrogance or not, they assumed their leadership and marketshare would last, versus seeing it erode at such a fast rate.
Nokia failed to adopt-standardize on “touch interactions” fast enough — even though they had the technology, OS based on Symbian and R&D brain-power. Then they pulled out from Japan, then pulled out from the USA, gave up on MeeGo Phone, and sold bulk of its Qt business to Digia. Its audience, platforms, content and ecosystem was all too much, too complex, affecting company focus.
And all the above happened during the time when the Smartphone itself, the mobile ecosystem and the mobile-lifestyle in general were being redefined, by Software, by advanced interactions and beautiful interfaces, rich content, faster networks, and awesome user experiences, all which when put together led to the awesome transformation of the Mobile space as we see know it today. This is a period of 3-5 years, really the culmination of 15 years of evolution that started with pagers, feature phones, Smartphones, and now Advanced Smartphones.
Those were the early days of Mobile, which also were the days of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) and Nokia. Because BlackBerry and Nokia where both early pioneers, is the reason why their IP portfolios today are worth billions of dollars; Nokia’s alone is worth more than $6 billion dollars. Blackberry’s IP portfolio must be very valuable as well.
There were other factors that contributed to Nokia’s demise on Mobile.
Nokia was too dependent on the Network Operators/carriers. This is to the point of sacrificing/delaying the introductions of advanced (more costly) devices into the consumer market.
Control then moved away from the network operator and into the Ecosystem — led by Apple and Google.
Back then, Nokia saw BlackBerry as a threat. They saw Apple as a thread as well, but Nokia didn’t see Android as much of a threat.
And the final straw was Nokia giving-up what is the MOST important aspect of Smartphones — the Software. And because Nokia’s software strategy was MSFT alone, it was game was over.
But past is past. Nokia has finally cut clean from MSFT, and got rid of legacy stuff. Yes, it lost lots of good people, but life goes on. The market benefits from this via new startups formed by ex-Nokians.
Nokia can now start from scratch. In many ways, it is a blessing.
So am I betting on Nokia?
Yes, I am.
Nokia is a company with lots of passion and pride. It has the smarts/people. It currently has the technologies and products that can be monetized (network, maps, etc). It owns tons of mobile and wireless intellectual property that is worth billions of dollars. And now that MSFT is buying Nokia’s device business, and is cutting clean from MSFT, Nokia is in the position to reinvent and simplify itself.
I even see how Nokia would re-enter the mobile space. If you think about it, mobile is still young; what I mean is that while the “mobile use case” has been proven, the technologies are still evolving. Yet to be invented are new approaches and use-cases related to the Mobile Lifestyle.
So I bought NOK stock and it has been going up.
(Disclaimer: I am not giving you financial advice here, just a personal perspective).