Nokia Struggling on Multiple Fronts

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-06-21 Print this article Print


5. MeeGo is no solution

On June 21, Nokia released details on the latest smartphone in its flagship N-series, the N9. Unlike previous N-series smartphones, the N9 will run the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. Last year, Nokia was touting MeeGo as an ideal solution for its top products. But this year, it's clear that just isn't the case. MeeGo, while a fine operating system in its own right, is no iOS or Android. Some can make the argument that Windows Phone 7 is a better platform. Simply put, Nokia's decision to bet on MeeGo could prove to be a costly and time-consuming detour.

6. The enterprise doesn't care

Though the enterprise doesn't always get the attention it deserves, it's important to note that that market segment is vastly important to the success or failure of a mobile company. RIM, for example, is doing well today because of the enterprise. But the corporate world doesn't care about Nokia. By the looks of things, that won't change. That is not a good thing for the company's future.

7. The smartphone designs aren't cutting it

When one considers Nokia's latest smartphone design, the N9, they will quickly find that the company doesn't appear to know what it's doing with hardware. The N9 comes with a 3.9-inch display, putting it in no-man's-land between the iPhone 4's 3.5-inch display and the Motorola Droid X's 4.3-inch screen. Moreover, the device comes with odd color choices, including cyan and magenta, and doesn't feature the same polish as Apple's smartphone. Until Nokia delivers better hardware designs, it will be in for trouble.

8. There's no confidence at the top

If there is anything that an embattled company needs, it's a strong leader with a confidence in his or her firm's ability to succeed. Unfortunately for Nokia, it doesn't seem to have that. Earlier this year, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that Nokia is "standing on a burning platform." He went on to say that the company has "multiple points of scorching heat that are fueling a blazing fire around us." And so far, his solution has been to partner with Microsoft and hope for the best. That's not a good thing. And Nokia will suffer because of it.

9. The financials are a mess

Though Nokia has historically been a profitable company, its corporate issues are starting to impact its financial performance. In fact, last month, it announced that it wouldn't make a profit on phone sales in the quarter ended June 30, and its overall revenue figures will be "substantially below" its initial estimates. It went on to tell investors that it will no longer be "appropriate to provide annual targets for 2011." Simply put, Nokia is in major financial trouble and investors are losing confidence. If that's not a sign of a company that's in deep trouble, what is?

10. It can't see the changing times

If there is anything that Apple is good at, it's knowing what's coming next and capitalizing on that. It did that with touch screens, and it's doing it again with its upcoming iCloud service. Nokia, on the other hand, has been unable to see the changing times. After finally seeing the need for change-two years too late-it has been slow to react. As long as that's the case, there's simply no way that Nokia can turn the tide and right its ship.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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