Newsletters – Open Letter to Stephen Elop, Nokia’s New CEO: How to Make Nokia Great Again
I congratulate you on assuming leadership of one of the great mobile and wireless companies in the world. Surely, something intrigued you enough to leave the safe mother ship of Microsoft to take on the challenge to ‘re-make’ Nokia.
You certainly have a great base in which to start. You’re selling over one million cell phones a day. That’s still better than any other mobile handset manufacturer in the world. You’ve got many excellent people – some of the most professional I’ve met in the industry. And, Nokia is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the entire world.
But all is not well with Nokia as you walk in the door. While the volume of cell phone production is very high, it’s clearly not the right mix of models, software and services. And, while you have been a leader in phone development for many years and were one of the first firms to develop an full-featured multimedia SmartPhone with the N95 in 2006, you have clearly fallen behind in the fast-growing SmartPhone segment, especially in the U.S. Integrated multimedia SmartPhones are becoming the dominate handset device type in the developed world, and Nokia needs to get back to creating truly great and innovative products.
I appreciate the spirit in which this is offered, but I am mixed on the suggestions. The software does need a rethink, but not just the handset software, but all the software the phone might interact with. They do need a simple iTunes-like experience for all their devices (with less lockin than Apple, of course). Fewer handsets with differentiated software–totally onboard with that.
Moving Nokia to the US? Dumb idea. They are a Finnish company. It would be about as smart as moving Apple’s headquarters to China. Rethinking the hardware design? It’s distinctive and generally very well done.
Nokia needs to work more closely with all the US carriers. They also need to make high-end CDMA handsets, which they have never done in the US.