I have been a supporter of Nokia ever since i have started using mobile phones. I guess everyone knows about the enormous downswing Nokia has experienced the last couple of years, when they basically slept when every trend was born and then tried to keep up with some rather unspectacular attempts. Even the current crop of Symbian phones can not keep up with the pace of the mobile world. Those may be harsh words, but it is as it is, and I am saying this as a long time supporter. However, the absolut lowest point in Nokia’s history was reached at the infamous February 11 keynote. Not because of the Windows Phone/Microsoft partnership announcement, it’s more the way that everything about that keynote felt last minute. Poorly executed. Poorly communicated. Poorly translated by media and blogs. And then an even worse follow-up. The end of Nokia predictions and announcements have been following, as usual. Of course, every one with an IQ higher than a glass of mustard did not buy into this, without even seeing it all play out. Average Joe on the street however, will believe those reports, and will stop buying Nokia phones because of this and that .. that is, if he didn’t jump ship already!
Nokia World 2011 is just around the corner and since I can’t make it this year, I thought I at least wanna send some hopes and wishes in Nokia’s directions. I feel like this year’s Nokia World is a very important, if not THE most important one in history, simply because there’s so much at stake. If done right, this could be the start of Nokia’s race back to the top. Sure, it won’t be easy, but it’ll be a good start. I am not sure if those are the right points to bring Nokia forward, but in my humble opinion they are:
- Go all out, bring your absolute best: no more excuses. no more “it doesn’t need more”. it is enough! If you want to get customers back on board, you have to quit fooling around and bring the absolute best you got. Times have changed, people do care about Gigahertz numbers. people do care how much RAM their phones got. People do care about longer battery life. It may not always be useful to have the most powerful processor, but unfortunately this is what sells devices nowadays. Times have changed, so quit living in the past. I wanna see Nokia make devices that let people say WOW. You have already shown you can build devices that are built like a tank, build quality second to none. Now go on, and let the internals fit just that. The 2011 Nokia World is nut up or shut up time, and you can only succeed with newsworthy devices, and not “just another Windows Phone”. You can announce low enders later on too and people will buy them, but the key message of this Nokia World MUST be “we will be back on top, and here’s the reason why!”. bring it.
- Developers, Developers, Developers! Here’s where you are on a good way already. Now intensify. I am not a developer myself, so i can’t judge, but make sure to give the absolut best support for both, Symbian and Windows Phone devs. Give people a reason to not only develope for iOS and Android, show them it’s worth it to develope for Nokia too. Which brings me to my next point:
- Apps! Apps have been around for ages, ever since the good old Symbian times. Apple stole the spotlight, and made apps one of the key successes of their strategy. Apps have suddenly turned socially acceptable. Apps were not a thing of Powerusers anymore, everyone is able to find and download and apps. This, to this very day, is one of the absolute biggest problem of Nokia/Symbian. Some of the apps are available at the Ovi Store. Some of the Apps can only be downloaded from the developer website. Some of the apps need to have a certain Qt version installed. Some of the apps are just plain HORRIBLE. Some even mess up your phone. Put an end to all this. One place for all apps. Do you honestly think the average man is interested in googling for the website to download an app a colleague demonstrated? The answer is one big fat NO. Think about this for a second, open your eyes and get to work.
- Communicate it right: one of my biggest concerns with recent Nokia announcements has always been the lack of communications. Sure, most major updates/news have been told, but would it hurt anyone to announce a few gimmicks, the user probably didn’t know yet? I think the best example for this was from my own experience – the Nokia N8 Bluetooth video. Sure, we did the video a few months before the launch of the N8, but up till this point almost nobody knew, that Nokia’s camera monster (and all other Symbian^3 smartphones) can be connected to and operated with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. I think the coverage on Engadget the next day and a view count of currently 216.000 on my video (below) confirm, how those little bits can make a difference. So don’t hide it, brag about it!
- Make the most of Windows Phone! I have used Windows Phone for the past couple of months now on the HTC Trophy. And despite what people say, I think it’s actually a very capable OS. There is still room for fine tuning and tweaking, but Windows Phone has won me over with a flawless sync experience, some genius bits like the Me-Tile and great integration of social networks. WP works for me as it is, but there are some small bits that i miss from my Symbian Phones, Nokia Maps most of all. I believe when Elop and Ballmer said, that together, Nokia and Microsoft can bring some great things. You have this great OS on which you can build upon, so bring your best R+D and beta labs bits to the table, give us free Nokia Maps, NFC goodies, the lot. Or how about the incredible useful Sleeping Screen?? Impress us like you did years ago, would you?
Those are the 5 points, which i think would bring Nokia forward in their battle again Android and iOS. None of those 5 points seem to be impossible, they just require them to jump over your own shadow. All those years, Nokia has been watching the competition dominate the market, sell their devices like hot cakes, while they brought absolutely NOTHING competitive to the table. It’s time to change that, I’m pretty sure that’s a known fact and the signs of Elop cleaning up are visible already, but with Nokia World just around the corner, it’s time to show it! I always gave my best to support Nokia, but if they screw up this years Nokia World, i’m not sure how long i will be able to do that anymore..