Nokia is in trouble because they failed to adapt and continued to make mistakes. They believe they were a software company when they were only ever good as a hardware one. People bought Nokia phones because of the great design, not the silly OS it runs on. But behind the large pile of money and rose-tinted glasses, Nokia failed to see that and that is why they are in this pickle. Mistakes were made by all, from the old deposed regime to the new, from the management down to the grass roots.
|The Symbian touch phone that led to Nokia's downfall|
On that very day when they made that bold and correct decision, they also made the first mistake. Nokia, by moving towards Windows Phone, was not planning on killing Symbian and Meego immediately. Instead Nokia outlined a transitional period, where they intent on selling both Symbian and WP7 devices before gradually withdrawing their Symbian devices from the market. Any kid could see what a dumb idea that was. The writing was already on the wall: Symbian was dead years ago, deal with it and move on.
|Its successor wasn't any better either...|
The next billion sounds like a catchy slogan, but what is the point if Nokia can't even get the next million much less the next billion? I have always maintained that if Nokia wanted to kill Symbian as their main smartphone platform, they should instead position Symbian to the low end, kill off S40 and concentrate on Windows Phone. Instead they spent tens, perhaps even hundreds of millions of dollars developing S40 into a touchscreen OS, just like they did with Symbain S60 a few years ago. Why spend all that money when S60 was already perfectly positioned for low end devices? Is it worth bleeding hundreds of millions in R&D, so you can get a device cost down from $50 to $40, so it can use 128MB RAM components instead of 256MB? No.
|Ditto with the E7...|
|It may be an imaging success, but it still ran on Symbian^3|
So what should Nokia do? Well my experience with the mobile phone industry is limited so do take my suggestions with a pinch of salt. I have never worked for a device manufacturer and my only experience is actually the moans you see on this blog. Still I write this as a consumer and a mobile tech enthusiasts, keen to see Nokia survive - not because I love them, but because a mobile industry world without Nokia is like an automobile industry without Ferrari, or a tech industry without IBM. It would be a world where Google and Apple dominates our lives, which is my idea of hell. Besides if the moaning former Nokia executives and employees were never able to turn Nokia around during the crucial 2008-2010 period, then what harm would it be if Nokia actually read this?
|The first Nokia touchscreen smartphone that is actually usable|
The following are some of my suggestions:
1. Kill off all Symbian and S40 developments
2. Weed out the old guards
3. Diversify beyond phones
4. Spin off mobile phone operations (none-smartphone)
5. Move operations to Asia
I thought hard about the final suggestion. Job losses are inevitable whether Nokia survives or not. This is the sad fact. We demand cheap high end phones. Anything more than £400 and we moan and complain bitterly. Us consumers are fickle and we are to be blamed for job losses when Nokia and other European manufacturers does the inevitable. It's a sad fact and it is one reason why European manufacturers can't compete with Asia. If we do not want to pay for our phones, then Nokia will have to cut their losses and move their entire operation to Asia. In fact I can already see that happening with the majority of R&D and design moving to Asian regions within the next ten years - assuming Nokia survives to see the decade out.
With the release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Apollo later this year, I believe Nokia are in better position than most Windows OEMs to win on this battlefront. Whether or not the public accepts the new Windows is another matter, but I believe that they will. It won't be an easy ride, and as I mentioned before, Nokia will experience plenty more bad news before it gets its cake. Hopefully by this time next year, we will have a slimmer more nimble and successful Nokia.