If you are a regular reader then you know I have been a fan of Nokia smartphones since the first Nseries device I used several years ago. I am the editor of the Nokia Experts site where I get to express my passion for the platform, but it has been tough the last few months to get too excited about much. Engadget received a copy of the text from an internal Nokia memo from CEO Stephen Elop and he is brutally honest. As a fan and critic of Nokia, I find it refreshing to hear their new leader laying it all out there since there is now hope that he has their attention and will rally the troops.
My primary device is currently a Dell Venue Pro running Windows Phone 7, but if I am going out and about where I know I will be taking photos then I pop my SIM in my orange Nokia N8. The N8 is a fantastic piece of hardware and since I have been using Symbian for years I am quite adept at using the software. However, it is nothing flashy and there are issues that pop up from time-to-time. We can justify what Nokia has done for the past couple of years until we are blue in the face, but I have to say I am relieved that Mr. Elop stepped up and said Nokia screwed up since I can now stop rationalizing things in my mind.
A couple key quotes from his internal memo that hit me are as follows:
The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.
Wow, I guess I can stop trying to convince people my N8 rivals the iPhone, huh? Actually, there are several innovations and design elements of the N8 where it does beat the iPhone, but Mr. Elop mentions the experience and that is where Nokia has fallen down.
This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally.
We all know the mobile space moves fast, but Nokia always seemed to take the attitude that they were doing just fine on their own timeline. Obviously, Mr. Elop does not believe that and it is great to see he is honestly looking at what is out there in the mobile world.
Nokia will be holding their Capital Markets Day on Friday where Mr. Elop will reveal his future strategy. There are rumors that he might partner with Microsoft and release Windows Phone 7 devices or go with Android in an HTC-like multiple platform approach. As a fan of both Nokia and Windows Phone 7 you know what I would prefer. Stay tuned for some shaking up at Nokia and let's hope they get their ship back on course.