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What’s up at Nokia ?

October 29, 2010

A while back, when mobile phone's first became affordable to me, I knew I wanted a Nokia. Everyone had a Nokia - it was in danger becoming a verb like ‘to google’ is today. I still have great memories of playing two player Snake with it’s primitive wireless connections.

Even now, with the forests of paper being devoted to writing about Google and Android or Apple and iPhone, Nokia sells more phones than almost everyone else combined. Nokia also sells more ‘smart phones’ than the number two and number 3 providers (RIM and Apple) combined, having invented the idea of a ‘smart phone’ in the first place ! My first non-Nokia phone was even chosen partly because it was still running a Nokia operating system...

And yet something is wrong, and as all phones will be smart to some degree in future, understanding the plans of this once all conquering company is important for us all, along with the data-hungry Google, the locked-in Apple and the still-just-about-in-it Microsoft.

Nokia hasn’t released a device that really sets the world on fire for a while, and certainly has struggled to fend of the new devices that have done, such as those that use Google’s Android platform. Nokia’s head of smart phones resigned as did their head of Research and Development. Nokia have also decided to scrap their next version (Symbian^4) entirely and focus on smaller more frequent updates to the existing Symbian code instead.
At the same time Nokia's given up on it’s own Android-style Linux-based system after using it on just one device (the N900) and yet partnered with Intel to make a totally different and incompatible Android-style Linux-based system as a replacement !

This doesn't sound like a company with a good plan right now, and it's already lost a good bit of ground to it's rivals. Taking time to sort out it's plans will just put it further behind in the race but has to be done.

Meanwhile, we're all doing more while on the move, and using our mobiles for more and more web browsing, navigation and applications.

Where will Nokia end up ? And what will it be doing ? Could it even transform into a pure-services company, with it’s Ovi system, like Google was ?

I'm not sure very many people know, but I think it'll be fun finding out !

Posted by Tom Chiverton

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