Devastating dissection of Nokia’s problems on CNET UK

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CNET UK have an amazing story about Nokia and the problems they are having.

It’s a really well done piece of journalism and some of the quotes are really hard-hitting.

A few samples:

Williams says Nokia’s CEO appears very much the man without a plan. “Elop hasn’t delivered a roadmap. He’s been there for two to three years and there’s really no roadmap,” says Williams. “There’s no overarching vision for this company. That to me is akin to stepping completely out of the leadership role and running behind the bus now… Before Elop, Nokia would never give up that leadership position and role in the marketplace, would always talk about the future.”

“Elop is operating like a CFO [chief financial officer] — CFOs are very practical, always looking at costs, always internally focused… I don’t think he’s really projecting anything forward or sitting around with his team imaging what the future looks like. I think it’s ‘s**t how do I get rid of a third of this overhead in R&D?’.”

and

Williams believes Nokia would be in a far stronger position — financially, strategically and otherwise — if it had introduced just a handful of Windows Phone handsets into its portfolio without abandoning its own software development efforts on Symbian and MeeGo, the operating system that was used on the N9.

“It might have made sense to introduce a product or two into the portfolio based on Windows Phone. What I do not think they should have done is pretend it is a one horse race, and that one software system is all you need. They have executed in this fashion, and are paying for it,” Williams argues.

and

‘Today’s Lumia phones have stacks of shortcomings’

In any case, the pros and cons of Android are all but academic now — Elop apparently burnt the Android bridge by committing Windows Phone hari kari. And, as it stands, Williams doesn’t fancy Windows Phone’s chances at digging Nokia out of the hole it’s got itself into.

“The battery life and imaging capabilities of the current Lumia products support this conclusion,” he says. “Great, now they have a Windows Phone product, and the differentiators are nonexistent, the battery life is orders of magnitude behind their other products, and the best imaging or camera features are not able to be fully realized leveraging the Windows Phone code.

“These products will have some success in the marketplace, but not at the scale or level needed. They can fix some of these things over time, and with substantial ecosystem support, but the marketplace is a harsh mistress, I don’t think they have that kind of time.”

A lot of the quotes are from former Nokia exec Lee Williams, Nokia’s SVP of Series 60 software in 2006 to 2009.

You simply have to read the article.

It reminds me of a quote from this blog a year ago:

Now my take on the deal..

I’m not sure that I see the value in the union. I understand from a strategy perspective why Microsoft had to do something but I’m not sure why Nokia would be the company that was chosen.

In the united States, Nokia is hardly the sexiest brand of smartphone even though they have tremendous smartphone coverage in Europe and Asia.

I’m just not certain that long term, this can be a successful union between these two companies. There is a lot to be worked out beyond signing the papers.

How do updates get rolled out? Who has the final say with deisgn decision? How are aesthetic conflicts resolved?

I’m just not sure how their final hybrid product will take on Apple and Google’s Android phones.

A year later, here we are.

With the developments from earlier today with ATT and Verizon, hopefully I’m wrong.

What do you think of that article?

What should Nokia do about their problems??

NOTE - If you would like to find out more about the next version of Microsoft Windows - Windows 9, here are some links you should probably check out.

  • Rikkirik

    Does this guy know what he is talking about strategically, tactically, techwise or otherwise???? Investing in Meego and Symbian while investing in a few Windows phones???? Nokia has but a few WP at the moment. If they also had to invest in Symbian and meego at the same time they would be bankrupt by now. WP is twice as profitable as Symbian, meaning Nokia should intensify the production of more WP to become profitable again and cover the losses from Symbian. Investing in Symbian would not slow the demise of Symbian, since Symbian’s demise is a result of the competition of cheap Android phones and the poor quality of Symbian phones. With Meego we would have the same problem, too much investments (Apps developement, marketplace etc) and low differentiation between Meego and Android phones. Most Android Vendors (LG, Acer, etc) are not profitable with Android. Without partners Meego is also dead. With WP Nokia has a strong partner which also is willing to invest strongly in an combined ecosystem. Once WP and W8 comes WP will take off dramatically. Nokia has already solidified it’s position as the nr 1 WP vendor in the world. This guy better go back to an elementary school of management to learn the basics of doing business.

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