Now, Nokia, what about the hardware?
Getting the OS right is only half of the story
Comment If Symbian is Nokia's "burning platform", has the Finnish phone giant thrown itself into the frying pan to escape the fire?
There's undoubtedly something desperate in the move. Nokia is spending way too much money promoting a platform, Symbian, that is commanding less and less market share. Where once it led, now Nokia has been forced to follow, buying Symbian to bring home to the operating system's developers the commercial need to catch up with first Apple and then Google's Android.
Symbian has a colossal customer base, but, like Windows Mobile, it is a platform that feels like a relic from a previous era. Pace Ovi, the public's interest in downloadable apps hasn't helped Symbian's smartphone aspirations because Nokia's smartphones are just not perceived that as such.
Nokia's smartphones feel like an extension of its older, messaging-centric offerings, not a bright new platform for a bright new category of handset. Nokia began developing smartphones when they were premium products for businesspeople. Now they're increasingly mainstream products for consumers, and the old approach won't work for these new buyers.
In short, it needs a new approach - and a new platform. Nokia could completely re-skin Symbian as an entirely new entity, which might appeal to punters, but probably wouldn't have enthused third-party developers.
It still has MeeGo, but it too feels tarnished by an earnestness entirely unsuitable for a consumer offering.
Apple's not going to license iOS, and HP has already acquired Palm for WebOS. HP's WebOS announcements this week, taking in not only smartphones but tablets and even PCs too, shows just how much it understands that the consumerisation of information technology products requires new platforms.
Next page: It's the hardware, stupid
WinMo7 generating positive feedback
says the 10 people that actually bought one, and the 10,000 people that got free review phones.
Nokia can do hardware.
The N series is seriously good looking, as were most of the other high end releases.
It was the software that let it down.
"Far too many, if not all, of its smartphones, even its most recent ones, have seemed like clunky, decade-old mobiles when sat alongside the likes of HTC handsets, let alone Apple ones."
I really disagree with this. And I think many others will as well.. the only thing that makes it feel clunky and old is the symbian software stack, which isn't even that bad: It just looks old and is hard to write for. *Not* the hardware.
The Politics of Fail
The problem for Nokia is that tying themselves to the Microsoft anvil as it's sinking isn't any more of a solution than the other options.
Elop's move is either craven or cretinous. He's a classic USian corporate demotivator - a self-important gibberish-speaking twit who has taken a company that wasn't working but could still be fixed, and broken it utterly beyond any hope of repair.
Ten years from now Nokia will be a logo on a sticker, and most of the current R&D talent will still be unemployed.
But it could have been so different. A good manager would have trimmed away the upper-middle management dead wood, instituted some crash R&D with a short-scale return goal to do something remarkable, and let the current business fund the next stage.
Moving Nokia to WinPho is certainly remarkable - but only in an exploding clown car kind of a way.
That's the funny thing, MeeGo IS practically ready for prime time! Yes, there's some small issues still, but even in their announcement they're saying the one MeeGo phone will be launched before any of the WP7 garbage. So just when the years of hard work is done, they yank the carpet from under our feet. Don't know if anyone will have the motivation to fix the last minor things now, we're all searching for new jobs. Nokia is being flushed down the drain by the M$ clown in the helm.
consumer buzz? What buzz?
As for the hardware, they have to ask Microsoft before they can tell you.
It seems Nokia have just found a very nice Trojen Horse and set it up in the board room.