There’s a new sheriff in town at the headquarters of Nokia and his name is Stephen Elop. Nokia, has long been the top selling cell phone manufacturer in the world. Along with that Symbian, an OS they once backed and have now basically bought/taken over, is also the number 1 OS in the world, but slipping quickly.
So what’s a new boss to do when his company is seeing slips in every direction thanks to Google’s Android Operating System (oh ok and the threat of IOS). Nothing! Elop has decided to continue with his go-it-alone strategy and back Symbian and MeeGo.
While Symbia has been declining in share over the past two years, Android has rapidly advanced. According to Hakim Kriout with Grigsby and Associates “Android looks like what Nokia could have put out and should have put out a long time ago”
Despite not having anything on the market right now that’s revolutionary, Alberto Torres, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for MeeGo Computers believes that using Android would effect Nokia’s ability to distinguish itself from other innovations. Although any Nokia user with web can type google.com into their browser, Torres also believes that using Android would benefit Google’s search business at Nokia’s expense.
Nokia has also invested heavily into competing with iPhone and Android, it’s most notable investment was 8.1 Billion dollars in Navteq which competes directly with Google Maps. To go with Android at this point would mean they would have to admit they invested in the wrong technology and negate that investment strategy all together.
Roberta Cozza an analyst with Gartner says that Nokia’s decision to go with MeeGo over Android is also in part because MeeGo supports other devices besides smartphones, such as computers, tablets, televisions and automobiles. Funny thing is Google does all of those things as well.
It seems that all of Elop and Nokia’s arguments don’t hold a grain of salt. However Nokia is steadfast in their decisions to stick with MeeGo and Symbian. Symbian dipped to a 37% market share in the last Gartner survey.
Jack Gold, President of J Gold Associates in North Borough Mass, said “I am not yet convinced [Nokia] has taken all the necessary steps,” he added. “Apple has a big ecosystem, but Android’s is going to be even bigger and right now Nokia’s is shrinking.”