While a radical change in strategy was expected, it is not aggressive enough.
On my previous post here titled Mobility 2011: Nokia, I shared some thoughts on what Nokia should be doing; some implemented on this new strategy (such as transitioning out of Symbian), but more is needed. And while the new relationship with Microsoft is a start, doing this alone, and the way it was done, which seems one-sided, is the wrong kind of start IMO, and it points to the fact that Nokia is not understanding its real threats. Nokia’s real threats are:
- Apple with its iPhone, iPad, and family of products, and,
- The manufacturers of Android devices; this is, HTC, Samsung and the the like. Note that I didn’t say Google or Android. Google is the enabler and indirect beneficiary (in big ways).
Relationship with Microsoft will help fence off HTC and similar just on the WP7 front, but that is a tiny front. If Nokia thinks that Microsoft is going to take Nokia to the next level, they are not.
It seems Nokia’s board of directors made some decisions some time ago on Microsoft, then hired Elop from Microsoft as CEO, and then tied (or not) the CEO’s hands. In either case, this shows that Nokia needs to be completely revamped from the top, management and the board of directors. They need a management that understands the true challenges ahead.
Disappointing. Perhaps this is only the beginning of a series of changes that will expand across Mobile platforms, including the complete strategy for high-end smartphones I prev mentioned that puts emphasis on the app layer and services, in addition to spreading their HW design across mobile OSes; that is the differentiation Nokia must execute.
For low-end phone, S40 is fine. MeeGo should not be dropped as it gives Nokia an opportunity to innovate and differentiate on the mobile OS area; and it should be kept as an “R&D” effort; which means, continue investing on it while waiting what happens next.
But going half-ass with today’s strategy and announcement is as bad as not announcing anything at all.
Nokia must focus on a strong future proof strategy, for the next 10 years or more. For this they must execute much more that what it was announced.
I will give them credit that will Nokia will transition Symbian out, over time…
Elop: “Windows Phone is our primary smartphone platform. What are the implications to Symbian? We have over 200 million Symbian users out there today. As we transition to Windows Phone, we’ll ship another 150 million.” “But,” he adds, “it’s a transition program.” It’s a “Transition from Symbian to Windows Phone.”
What I really hope is the above leaves the door open for a Nokia Qt-based app strategy that brings returns to Ovi and its services vs. purely focusing on WP7 and its dev tools and apps.
And if you ask me, this looks like the beginnings of a relationship that may end up in Microsoft absorbing Nokia.
From the perspective of the layoffs related to the Symbian OS and other, a sad reality. Nokia’s loss is going to be someone else gain. A lot of unique expertise that will end up benefiting others, including new startups.