Earlier this week, new Nokia CEO Steven Elop dropped a bombshell by announcing that Nokia is going to make Windows Phone 7 it’s primary smartphone OS. This announcement was preceded by an email to the entire company in which he used numerous clichés describing the state of Nokia as a company.
In the email, he stated that Nokia was being left in the dust by it’s main cellphone rivals at both the hardware and software level. Competitor smartphones have buried all high-end Nokia devices and cheap Chinese phones have been eating away at Nokia’s low-end dominance. Nokia’s software R&D was painfully slow and Nokia’s ecosystem was just a few plants in a greenhouse with a parrot in a birdcage and too many caretakers.
As a smartphone user, an n900 owner and a resident of Finland, I have been wondering when Nokia was going to realize that they were losing the smartphone war – badly. I knew it and a lot of other people knew it. Unfortunately for Nokia, this realization was made a few years too late.
Shopping around for a new phone, I wanted something that wasn’t iOS – as I already had an iPod Touch. My second choice was an HTC HD2. It’s a beautiful phone and daddy likey but the only problem is that it had Windows Mobile 6. I already have Windows on my computers. I wanted a new experience. Then I found the n900. While it’s not all smartphoney thin like the competitors, it is a well-built powerhouse. A computer with a phone and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It wasn’t like all the other knock-off looking crap Nokia was churning out. It also had an OS I wasn’t too familiar with – Maemo Linux. It wasn’t too long after getting one for myself and my wife, that Nokia announced that they were changing direction and developing MeeGo in cooperation with Intel. The Maemo OS in my phone was experimental and soon-to-be without Nokia’s support – only community developer support. When this happened I started wondering out loud, “What the hell is Nokia doing?”
Symbian? Maemo? MeeGo? We need QT developers stat! What? Who What? Here, there, everywhere! What? What? What?
This has been Nokia for the past few years. Now, they are in a world of shit and the moment that everyone in Finland feared would come, has come. Like Harvey in Little Britain, Finland has been getting bitty from Nokia for far too long. While everyone sat by counting their stacks of euros, no one has been asking Nokia the hard questions it should have been asked in the first place.
You’re being left in the dust by Apple, Google, the Chinese, the Crab People and everyone else. When are you gonna stop fucking around and start making real phones with real software?
With conspiracy theories abound about Steven Elop, his past history with Microsoft and Nokia USA’s president being replaced by yet another former MS exec. Truth be told, Microsoft acquiring Nokia would be a mistake. It has EVERYTHING it needs in the deal with Nokia. Buying Nokia would be a losing proposition at this point. No matter what you think, the situation Nokia has found itself in is no one else’s fault but Nokia’s – not Elop’s.
And a lot of people here in Finland are going to pay for it.