Nokia Likened To Betting On A Horse Thats On Its Way To The Knackers Yard

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Nokia’s decision to launch their new N9 phone with a new operating system called MeeGo when they are struggling to sell what they’ve already got was described by a UK journalist as trying to get consumers to bet on a horse that’s already on its way to the knackers yard.And as journalists and analysts scratch their heads as to the logic of Nokia’s decision to launch a phone with an obscure OS, speculation is mounting that Microsoft is set to move on Nokia using a mountains of offshore cash to buy the struggling company.

The Financial Times raised the question: ‘How long should Microsoft sit by while Research In Motion and Nokia burn?’

They say that the numbers are getting hard to ignore.

Microsoft has succeeded in drawing Nokia into its strategic orbit with a software partnership that until recently would have been unthinkable. RIM, too, has been moving closer to Microsoft as it works out how to counter Apple and Google, reaching a distribution agreement for Bing and other Microsoft services last month.

The issue with Nokia is that its senior management seem to be in another world, shell shocked by the pummelling that Google and Apple have so skilfully given them.

From its PR managers to their CEO, Nokia management is in gaga land as they attempt to shore up a brand that was yesterday’s hero but is now seen by consumers as a brand that is cheap and one that you only buy when you can’t afford a smartphone.

The new N9 handset will run under an OS that appears to have little future, the MeeGo system, which was being worked up by Nokia and Intel before former Microsoft VP Elop was appointed to Nokia and announced the dumping of other OS’s – along with a heap of employees – in favour of the Windows Phone OS from Microsoft.

Gary Marshall at Tech Radar in the UK wrote, “MeeGo doesn’t fit with the new Nokia strategy. At the top end, it’s Windows Phone all the way; at the lower end, there’s Symbian Anna. That’s two ecosystems Nokia needs to nourish. Does anybody think it has the resources or inclination to support and promote three?”

 

He added, “There simply isn’t room for MeeGo any more – not in Nokia, anyway. You could see that from February’s press release announcing the Windows Phone partnership. “MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences.” That’s tech-speak for “you’re dumped.”

As for the way Nokia management is operating, one has to seriously question European thinking and marketing practices or maybe even their management process, when one looks at how brands like Philips in the TV market and Nokia and Siemens in the phone market have so spectacularly failed up against the likes of Apple and Google, LG and Samsung.

A former director of Philips said to me one day at the CES show in Las Vegas, “We Europeans spend too much time thinking about what might happen prior to launching a product, as a result we are often late in the product lifecycle. US companies tend get their product out there and then fix their problems in a second generation product. Maybe we need to take the same approach.” 

Nokia, in their arrogance, missed the smartphone boom because they did not have the right OS. Now they want consumers to buy an even more obscure OS.

Really. Roll on stage two and Microsoft.

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