There can be little doubt that Nokia is a company under siege. It has dominated mobile technology for an age, and its products have enjoyed a fierce brand loyalty from millions of users who would never switch to the dark side – traditionally, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.
Its market share remains dominant. But it has been shocked by the double whammy of a global slump in hardware sales and an onslaught from new innovators Samsung, LG and, most recently and most harshly, Apple and RIM (BlackBerry).
Its products, once the benchmark of mobile device greatness are now seen as humdrum. See how Canadian upstart RIM clobbered its position in the business enterprise sector.
Witness the criticism levelled against the mediocrity of N95 follow-ups. Look how the flagship N97 was knocked for its mediocre touchscreen and slow interface.
See how it had to apologise when its Ovi application store failed to perform to specification. Notice how the once desirable S60 operating system has been overtaken by Apple OSX and Android.
Nokia now realises that it failed to react quickly to the iPhone/Android era of seamless connectivity and demand for online services.
Thus last week’s Nokia World was a crucial milestone for the Finnish giant. It had to reassert itself as a leader and not a follower.
Full article in Mobile News issue 447 (September 7, 2009).
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