Do I regret buying my Nokia phone?
This question is something that almost all Nokia phone owners have in mind these days.
Nokia was the pioneer in handsets before iPhone entered the market and changed the entire scenario. The company was popular for its handsets with high durability, reliability and performance. But the company made a series of mistakes. It somewhat ignored the world’s richest country while preserving its market dominance in the rest of the world. While doing this, it clung on too hard to its SymbianOS and while the mobile world progressed to the next generation of OS, Nokia’s SymbianOS failed to keep up with its competitors.
Just days back, Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop’s internal memo was made public which related Nokia’s situation to a burning oil platform. It followed with the announcement that Windows Phone 7 will be the primary OS used by Nokia’s smart phones in the future and Symbian, Nokia’s primary smartphone OS till date, would be dropped completely by the end of 2012. It was also announced that Nokia will invest lesser resources on the development of MeeGo OS. So, Intel, which co-developed MeeGo with Nokia, was obviously not very pleased with these announcements. Another announcement was that spending on R&D would be reduced to a great extent.
The opinion of Nokia-fans and loyalists on this remains divided, with most people disappointed with Nokia’s strategic move. There were questions in everyone’s mind – Why windows phone 7 and why not Android, when the latter was widely popular and successful? Some called it Nokia’s Ego while some pointed out that this was because of Stephen Elop’s association with Microsoft in the past. Some even brought forward an idea that this deal was under consideration, 2 years back. It was questioned as to who will benefit more from this deal – Microsoft or Nokia? Immediately after the Windows phone 7 announcement, Nokia’s shares dropped by 10 percent. And reacting to this alliance, a group of nine young stakeholders challenged the company’s strategy in an open letter.
When thought strategically, the answers are clear and somewhat convincing. There is no point in using an OS which is used by almost all manufacturers and be a part of the crowd. Instead, it is better to focus and utilize something which is fresh and promising and offered by less number of competitors. Both Microsoft and Nokia have something which they can offer to produce a next generation phone, also dubbed as the iphone killer. But apart from this deal, there is something more that is required to turn this company around, something which will play a vital role in the success of this new strategy – the Management. Nokia’s downfall came about when the 5 founding Finnish executives moved out from Nokia and now the company is in need of another management marvel to save itself. Whether Stephen Elop and the new board (Chris Weber, an ex-Microsoft veteran, as the president of Nokia USA) will able to make it is yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, it is definite that Nokia will have a hard time selling its existing Symbian device with the consumers knowing that there is no future for Symbian. Parallelly, they will have to continue developing the current Symbian^3 to make sure that they do not lose out on their current bank of loyal customers. Else the losses will be enormous. Nokia will also need to ship its series of Windows Phones as soon as possible to win back the loyalists and Nokia-fans. They are trying hard or at least seem to (with their announcement of the prototypes). And since, the first generation of Windows phone 7 is good but not at par with iOS and Android, it will still take time for Windows phone 7 to take the lead. (Review here). Nokia is trying to convince that they are still working on their promise of a better Symbian OS (Oct 10) but what eventually becomes of Symbian is yet to be seen.
As for the question,
Do I regret buying a Nokia phone? At this point, Yes.
Do I regret buying my Nokia N8? No.
Will I buy a Nokia handset in future? I would definitely consider doing that!
Sources & References:
HBR Blog > The Real Cause of Nokia’s Crisis |&| Nokia’s Voyage From Tight-Knit Team to “Burning Platform”
Engadget > Stephen Elop’s Internal Memo to Nokia Employees |&| Nokia USA president replaced by Chris Weber
Official Nokia Blog > Nokia Strategy 2011
The Register > Intel defends MeeGo after Nokia defection
The Wall Street Journal > Nokia Replaces CEO With Microsoft Boss
Youtube > Microsoft and Nokia Alliance Announcement in 2009
MobileTechWorld > All about the Microsoft and Nokia partnership
ZOMGITSCJ > Windows Phone 7 Review
Nokia Plan B
Featured image from Flickr.com