Understanding Nokia's Smartphone Strategy

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  • Topic: Smartphone, Nokia, Mobile operating system
  • Pages : 16 (5692 words )
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  • Published : July 27, 2012
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Understanding Nokia's smartphone strategy decision
Rafe Blandford

February 2011

Revision 3

Table of Contents
Executive Summary ......................................................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................................ 3 The pains of Nokia............................................................................................................................................................ 4 Elop's decision and underlying thinking ................................................................................................................ 5 Option 1: MeeGo and Symbian .................................................................................................................................... 6 Technology (operating system) ................................................................................................................... 6 Ecosystem ............................................................................................................................................................. 8 Option 2: Android ............................................................................................................................................................. 9 The business case............................................................................................................................................... 9 Option 3: Windows Phone ......................................................................................................................................... 10 Technology (operating system) ................................................................................................................ 10 Ecosystem .......................................................................................................................................................... 11 Differentiation .................................................................................................................................................. 13 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................................................ 15

Executive Summary
   Nokia's smartphone strategy is a profound change for the company, marking the end of an era. A strategy change became necessary in the face of declining market share, caused by intense competition from its rivals in the smartphone space. Nokia's current situation is not untenable, but the concern is what the situation will be like in two or three year if no changes are made. Big strategy changes are not about the now, but about the next. The thinking behind the decision is based on Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's contention that "the battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems". The cost of porting Symbian to new hardware and developing the next generation of the platform limited the effective life of Symbian. Nokia had already realised this and was positioning MeeGo as a successor.





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Qt is an elegant cross platform development framework, but its existence, in the mobile space, is largely tied to MeeGo and Symbian. MeeGo is not yet ready yet. The risks involved in Nokia waiting for MeeGo to be ready are perceived to be greater than switching to another platform. Nokia correctly foresaw the need for a surrounding ecosystem, but has struggled to fully implement its Ovi vision and, as a result, it now has a perception problem. It is becoming difficult for one company to do everything (hardware design, manufacturing, operating system, applications, developers, location, content services, advertising, etc.) as the competencies involved in building a competitive...
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