INSIDE MOBILE: Open Letter to Stephen Elop, Nokia's New CEO: How to Make Nokia Great Again

Stephen Elop joined Nokia as president and CEO on Sept. 21, 2010. Here, in an open letter to him, Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy dispenses his advice on how Elop can help make Nokia great in the mobile industry again.


Mr. Elop, 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 "remake" 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. Nokia is also 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. While you have been a leader in phone development for many years and were one of the first firms to develop a full-featured multimedia smartphone with the N95 in 2006, you have clearly fallen behind in the fast-growing smartphone segment-especially in the United States. Integrated, multimedia smartphones are becoming the dominate handset device type in the developed world. Nokia needs to get back to creating truly great and innovative products.

You've got not one, but two, separate device operating systems between Symbian and MeeGo (partnering with Intel). Also, unfortunately, your entire business in North America is in the toilet. It wasn't too many years ago that it seemed as if most everyone had a Nokia phone in North America. But when Motorola developed the RAZR, it displaced Nokia in the United States market. Then there was the quick migration to smartphones that resulted in Nokia becoming almost nonexistent in the lucrative North America market (which is now leading the world in cellular innovation).