Like a person condemned to the gallows, Nokia solemnly sojourns to its decline. Today, Bloomberg reports the company has had its debt rating reduced for the first time by Standard and Poors from A to A-. Since 1998, S&P had always ranked the company A.
This new rating is a result of “market share losses and “weaker” operating margins at the Finnish company,” said S&P. Is anybody surprised? Nokia’s share prices have dropped significantly since Steven Ellop announced the company’s partnership (or sellout?) with Microsoft to use the latter’s WP7 for all its smartphone strategies.
|A huge Samsung Galaxy tab billboard mounted at
Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah Circle
Anybody who has been a real, loyal Nokia customer for a long time knows the company committed a big strategic blunder by “jumping from the burning platform” to Windows phone 7. As to how Elop and the Nokia board are convinced a late to the game, untested platform from Redmond will redeem them, I don’t know. But one thing remains constant: Nokia is being beaten on all fronts.
Come second half of this year, Apple will be introducing the iPhone 5, and we all know for how long this is going to be news headline. Android continues on the ascendancy, the so called “we make our monies from low end phones” is being neutralized by Samsung, especially in Africa. Announcing a big corporate strategy shift like this without having a phone on hand is a big meh at the very least.
As anybody who has used any of the company’s groundbreaking phones that were released long before the advent of both Android and iPhone knows, Nokia’s only hope is to return to doing what it does best: be the trail blazer it was. Be the company that introduced phones like 6600, E90, N93 and recently, the almighty N900. Seriously, how could a company with these phones to its credit ever find itself wanting and believe its salvation lies in an outside developed platform?
Again, my personal message to the Nokia board (Elop is too Microsoft for my liking) is simple. Go back to the days when your phones were more like James Bond gadgets than real phones. If you can’t make a head or tail of MeeGo, you still have Maemo, that outstanding OS based on Debian, use it. But for your own sake, do not put all your smartphone strategy in the Windows Phone 7 basket. Your new partner looks to me like the inverse of King Midas.