Nokia at 'crisis point': iPhone and BlackBerry impossible to beat?

Nokia at 'crisis point': iPhone and BlackBerry impossible to beat?

Summary: Though Nokia has the most mobile sales across the market, iPhones and BlackBerrys are beyond competition. Could the development cycle of 'too many too soon' apply to Nokia's case?

SHARE:

The news today that Nokia is at 'crisis point', a warning given by the company's chief executive Stephen Elop, will not come as a surprise to the vast majority of consumers.

Elop's memo to the company blames Google's Android operating system and other rival handset manufacturers like Apple taking a share increase. While the company holds the mobile sales figures, the share is declining.

The fact of the matter is that for the Generation Y, Nokia was everything ten years ago. Today, the mobile market is swamped by BlackBerrys and iPhones and frankly, Nokia has not kept up.

The development process could be key.

Even though Nokia releases a new phone every other month, some simultaneously along the same series, the path that Nokia has taken is too complicated. Nothing yet truly competes with the BlackBerry range or the iPhone, arguably because Nokia has not been trying to, whereas others have tried and failed.

The iPhone and BlackBerry devices and platforms alone are in direct competition, and dominate the marketshare.

Nokia may well have the looks and the physical attraction to their vast quantity of phones and devices on the market, the goods, features and applications within them lack lustre.

For Apple, the timeline is quite simple. A newer phone of a subsequent generation takes over the previous. And while there is some overlap between the outgoing and the up and coming device, the generational cycle is simple and consistent.

Even with Research in Motion's development path, though there is a wider range than the iPhone than one singular device per generation, the devices are tailored for younger users - as more of a by-product than anything else. The younger generation has hijacked the BlackBerry from the enterprise and corporate environment to recreate the business experience, adopting a young professional but social persona.

For Nokia, though, there are so many phones with very little to differentiate one from another. Arguably there is more consumer choice and customisability, but a sincere lack of consistency between devices. It is too difficult to know which device is 'progressive' or if it is simply a relic from a previous model with a slightly different case.

For us growing up, Nokia was everything. I first remember the want and desire for what was then a Nokia 3310 back when I was only 12 years of age. The customisable backgrounds, the personalised operator logos and the manually added ringtones were of such desire.

But now, with downloadable applications, touch-screens and QWERTY keyboards and reliable and on-demand media and messaging, one has to question whether Nokia can not only keep up but even stay in the game.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Nokia, BlackBerry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • blackberry?

    you gotta be kidding. rim is dead too. it will be apple, samsung, htc and zte down the line, the rest will be dead by end of 2012.
    banned from zdnet
    • Not dead but sinking fast

      @banned from zdnet <br>RIM still has a chance but they must do a couple of things very quickly. Build compelling hardware. The BB Torch is a "decent" phone with underpowered CPU and it is a flagship. It is available on AT&T alone. T-Mobile and Sprint have no compelling phones from RIM. The next thing is to adopt or integrate Android into the OS. Either through a VM for apps or port their killer apps to Android. Their OS-6 is decent but I don't think they can keep up. <br><br>Unless that happens, I agree, it will be Android (HTC for sure) vs Apple. Other stories indicate that Nokia may be going to migrate to other OSes (likely Android), it just depends on how long it takes. <br><br>TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
      • RIM going Android would be certain death.

        @TripleII

        Porting their "killer apps to Android" would benefit only Android and simply kill RIM. Android simply needs way too much effort to bring it up to RIMs security levels.

        Without question.

        RIM is a decent Systems company and is a tenable position but that is changing. They have a new amazing OS to work with in QnX and the mobile space is not a winner take all, zero sum game. It can support multiple players.

        Most put Nokia to be looking to pen a deal with MS for WP7 but that does not key well to Nokia's strengths. It will be interesting to see if Nokia understands the eco-system game.
        Bruizer
  • RE: Nokia at 'crisis point': iPhone and BlackBerry impossible to beat?

    Have you ever heard of ANDRIOD?? Some techies buid sth that overtook Nokia last month!! Or you just wake after 2 years??
    deep@...
  • RE: Nokia at 'crisis point': iPhone and BlackBerry impossible to beat?

    One has to wait until Nokia would release a device with Windows Mango running on it. The fact shouldn't be ignored that there are devices inline which will be out with Windows Mango OS..especially NOKIA, and by watching the demos... I feel that those devices will be good.
    upendra33@...