Nokia’s burning platform

February 9th, 2011 | by Chan Chi-Loong

It’s no surprise to market watchers, tech pundits or even just the average Joe that Nokia has been languishing behind competitors in recent years. Just ask the average Singaporean which phone they own and chances are that it is not going to be a Nokia one.

Falls in global market share, threats by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s to cut Nokia’s credit ratings on fear of their uncompetitiveness, and bad execution of good ideas all contribute to Nokia falling off the cliff.

But it is surprising to hear Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop berate and chastise Nokia’s attitude in a brutally honest and candid internal memo. Few corporations would be so directly straightforward, unless the situation is dire.

Stephen likened Nokia to be a “burning platform”. The question is do you have the courage to jump (and possibly survive) or get immolated in a blaze they “poured their own gasoline” on? A riveting read.

Amongst the highlights of this internal memo, which Engadget managed to get:

  • the disappointment of MeeGo in challenging high-end smartphones as devices are slow to market
  • the problems with Symbian in meeting customer needs
  • that Nokia’s market share is eroded not at the device level, but because their ecosystems are crap when compared to the iPhone and Android
  • the lack of accountability and leadership at Nokia — i.e. folks have been sleeping on the job

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that big changes are underway at Nokia. If CEO Stephen Elop had his way, heads will probably be chopped, given the veiled threats in his memo.

Other pundits presage a mobile marriage between the Finnish mobile giant and Microsoft’s Windows mobile OS, given Stephen’s background as an ex-Microsoft man.

Change may be bitter, but it’s probably life saving medicine for Nokia.



  1. APai says:

    “the disappointment of MeeGo”

    BS. since when did meego become a disappointment ? N9 would have been a run away hit had it been properly marketed. the demand for it would have been higher than for nokia wp7 phones

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.