How Nokia lost the plot

Reviews of the new Nokia N8 are coming in thick and fast, and they’re not good: the consensus is that it’s a great piece of kit hobbled by not so great software. Via The Guardian, here’s a piece in the Helsingin Sanomat that attempts to describe the problems facing Nokia and what caused them. I can’t help thinking of Microsoft when I read it.

Hit mobile phones emerged and went into production. Devices that many people remember even today, such as the 2110 or the 6110, with its infra-red port and menu icons.
Then along came 2000, and thereafter a decision was taken to increase the number of available Nokia handsets.
“Two new models a year was no longer enough, but there was a perceived need to bring out as many as 40 or 50 models a year.”
“An utterly terrifying number.”





0 responses to “How Nokia lost the plot”

  1. Good summary of it in The Register:

    The phone division was split into three: Multimedia, Enterprise and Phones, and the divisions were encouraged to compete for staff and resources.

    Why does any firm ever do that? Has it ever ended well? Who are the consultants who keep recommending it, and who on Earth hires them?

    British Gas split into separate business units, but at least they had the excuse of being compulsorily split up by the Government as the final stage of privatisation to allow other firms to compete on a level playing field — i.e., it was done to them knowing that it would hobble them. If it’s known to be a way of hobbling a company, why does anyone believe consultants who tell them it’ll improve things?

    the enterprise E series phones were denied the best imaging features of the consumer multimedia range. The N series users were denied MailForExchange, and SIP functionality.

    What I don’t get is, why did they need the Iphone to show them this was a bad idea?

    Meanwhile, good news for N900 owners:

    MeeGo developers are working to allow their open source operating system to be installed on the Nokia N900 alongside Meamo

    Yes, I realise “N900 owners” is me and three other blokes.

  2. Gary

    Heh. There’s more good news too: it’s streamlining the software side of things.

    Shame 1800 jobs are going, though.

  3. If their problem was overbureaucratisation, then jobs need to go. Sad but true. Better some jobs go than the company goes under and they all go.

  4. Gary

    True. Hopefully it isn’t a case of the architects remaining.