Whither Nokia

Anssi Vnajo, Nokia's new head of Nokia Mobile Solution issued a battle cry. As seems to be usual with Nokia, it's a rather confusing one. Is Nokia going the Symbian or the MeeGo path? My take, is that it's going both ways. Symbian for the smartphone, MeeGo for the mobile computing. The confusion is that both platforms might actually be the same hardware. This leave both Symbian and MeeGo (and Meamo) advocates unhappy.

The closing of Symbian-Guru and World of Nokia blogs, as well as Randel Arnold's open letter to Ansii Vnajo, echo this sentiment. Nitish Kumar and Richard Bloor try to provide some perspective for a developer and end user point of view, respectively.

There were claims that Nokia will, or should, go to Android as it's next system, this would, supposedly, save Nokia seemingly failing stock. This will also save Nokia from a fate similar to that of the Kin. One of the reasons for the failure of Kin, was application market was focused on Apple and Android.

While not technically impossible, this would be a silly move. Why should Nokia willingly put itself in a position which leaves it in the same level as Samsung, HTC and Motorola, and with a dependency on Google (and maybe Microsoft)?

Having two operating systems seems to make sense. Symbian requires lower resources and works better on smaller screens and non-touch devices. The "no nonsense" approach appeals both to the RIM and Apple users who want to get things done in a cost efficient and clear cut way. Those things include long battery life, voice calls, messaging and the occasional web access and snapshot. MeeGo will satisfy the power hungry, always connected crowd, which include the more geeky iPhone and Android users.

I have mentioned the iPhone twice in the previous paragraph, because I believe apple is trying to cater to both users with one operating system. It does it rather well, but with a price tag attached. Symbian allows Nokia to undercut apple in this area. I have not mentioned Microsoft. This is because until Windows Phone 7 will appear on the market, I don't think anyone can really make any reasonable predictions on what impact it will have. 

where I see Nokia really failing is in it's PR. I don't expect it to create a Jobsian realty distortion field or a Googly cool factor, but it can generate a more cohesive forward looking attitude. I have the feeling that Nokia is currently aiming more toward Africa and Asia, with Europe in second place and the US on the third. This might even be a good strategy, but even if it is, it should be more open about it.

The failure in the US has it's root core in the same failure of the Google Nexus One. The carriers are too powerful. Nokia could have caved to the carriers or tried to win the heart of the pundits. It has done neither. This makes me think that Nokia is trying to bypass the US market altogether, looking more into emerging markets.

I only wish Nokia will make it's strategy more public.

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Comments

Nokia's problem is that it

Nokia's problem is that it produces gazillions of various phones. Why? Wouldn't be better to have few types for each segment and incrementally improve them to perfection?

I am not so sure this so

I am not so sure this so clear cut. RIM has much smaller selection and a is facing a similar situation.