Nokia is bleeding. There’s no doubt about it. It has been bleeding for quite some time. What everyone is concerned about is not about Nokia’s bleeding but does Nokia acknowledge it? Finally it did. In what happens to be the most brutal and honest assessment of Nokia’s predicament, its CEO Stephen Elop has sent out a memo to its employees. Like all things corporate, the memo leaked and we can all read it. The full text of the memo is down below and I recommend a complete reading. As you won’t find this honest assessment from any company. And when we do, we have to commend. We have to commend the gumption of Stephen Elop for calling a spade a spade – a novelty in the Nokia world.
The biggest problem of a problem is the acknowledgement. Once a problem is acknowledged tackling it would become easier. Nokia as per Mr. Elop is on a burning platform from all sides. If I may oversimplify Mr. Elop’s 1200 word message, Nokia is facing a three-fold threat. The first threat is at the top-end from the closed system of Apple. The second threat is from the open sourced Android system of Google which recently overtook Symbian and which is found on most of non-Apple smartphones. The third threat is at the low-end from the phones using MediaTek chips in the emerging markets, Micromax, Spice, Karbonn and ilk.
Elop recognizes that Meego isn’t working out and they quickly need another ecosystem. Right now Nokia has a two-pronged strategy – Symbian, Meego. It has to ditch either one of them or get in bed with either Microsoft or Android. Given Elop’s tone anything is possible. Nokia likes strong control and partially closed systems like Microsoft. Nokia might also liken completely open system like Android.
Nokia has to quickly decide the business they want to be in. People have argued that Nokia shouldn’t give up on Symbian too quickly and should not embrace Android or Microsoft. I disagree. Nokia is sailing on far too many ships. Nokia should take a cue from Samsung and do what it does best. Produce remarkable hardware, embrace the open source OS which has a great ecosystem (nothing comes close to Android) and upgrade its own operating systems to a pet project status. And yeah, it has to put either Meego or Symbian in cold storage. This takes care of Android and to some extent Apple. Would Nokia then be reduced to the status of HTC and ZTE? May be. But they aren’t doing that badly. ZTE just overtook RIM. How does that sound for a company which has targeted the low-end and embraced Android?Nokia’s music/touch screen phone Nokia 5230/5235 is one of Nokia’s top selling phones and people really love that phone. Imagine that phone running Android and accessing the plethora of apps to go with it? Wouldn’t the sales just touch the roof?
Nokia has to take care of the emerging markets. It has to launch phones and launch them fast. Micromax and its ilk will continue hitting Nokia with a sledgehammer. What Nokia got to do now is listen to the markets. Launching just one dual SIM phone in hot market like India just won’t cut it. Nokia has to think outside the box.
Elop has recognized this very well and has put it eloquently in the memo. Again a must read. Nokia will be discussing their new strategy on Feb 11. I am all ears.
Source : Engadget