Friday, July 23, 2010

Nokia vs the World and where Android fits in

Recently news made its way around the tech world that Nokia is in need of new leadership. After their earnings showed a drop, people around have begun to speculate that this is the beginning of the erosion period of the company. While it does look bleak for Nokia, I somehow feel that they don’t have to die out in this way. And I am fairly sure they won’t just decide to go down like that anyway.

When I saw that particular tweet, I just couldn’t help but think to myself, why would Nokia let themselves go just like that? So far Nokia’s attempt at breaking into the smartphone market has been both ineffective as well as costly. But looking at the products launched one could make a safe statement that it isn’t all about the hardware that has cost Nokia a loss in this area. I firmly believe that Nokia needs to leave Symbian out of its equations when coming into this arena. After all, you don’t walk into a stadium full of gladiators wielding swords, maces and other various evil looking weapons armed with just knuckle dusters. Sure you might bruise one or two guys but in the end you won’t go aywhere except six feet under.

Preambles done, I believe that Nokia needs to look at what Motorola did at a time when people were starting to wonder how much longer the patient had till he stopped breathing. Motorola took a step back, realised what it is really good at, and went over to building hardware while utilising an open source smartphone OS that had already proved itself in the big wide world. And look at where they are now. Signing off deals with networks to sell their phones. So much for the patient’s breathing slowing down.

And that… Is exactly where Android fits in. I replied to the erosion tweet by stating “maybe Nokia will go ahead with the Android strategy. Make Android their OS and they focus on the hardware”

To which I got a reply

ldignan

@area51research probably too invested in symbian to make that move”

Really? So Nokia would leave themselves entrenched in Symbian and would let themselves die with it? Symbian can’t and won’t save Nokia. Not at this point. And Nokia knows this. So why would Nokia or any company at this point continue investing into making a smartphone OS when they know darn well that there’s an open source one for taking right out there. Sure, maybe they want to stand out and start developing something which has more functionality. But to do that they need to be on a roll which is exactly what they are not on.

I’m no prophet, nor pundit. I’m not some wall street analyst. But if I was Nokia CEO, I’d take the decision to begin rolling out the smartphone market using the Android OS while I manufacture the hardware and keeping the Symbian OS for the low scale mainstream phones that are in any case, being used by the majority of people still.

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