I’ve been a self-confessed Nokia fanboy for over a decade. Until July 1 2010, I had always had a Nokia phone in my pocket, and couldn’t really see why anyone would choose anything else. I’m still a Nokia fanboy in my heart, even though I’m also now an Android fanboy.
When Nokia announced that it was going to start using Windows Phone for its smartphones, I wasn’t sure what to think. I ended up crafting the one-line response of “It’s not the best choice, but it was the best choice for Nokia to have a competitive future.” I think that still rings true, and when Microsoft showed off some of the improvements coming in its Mango update later this year, I felt much better about Nokia’s future. It’s interesting that there are more improvements in the first major update to Windows Phone than there were in all the updates in Symbian from S60v3 to Symbian^3.
I’m a bit of a nerd, so I get really intrigued when I get to read historical accounts of major business and technology stories. I love reading about how Apple created the iPhone, and I really enjoyed The Register’s account of Symbian’s downfall. Thus, it’s probably no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed reading BusinessWeek’s recent article, “Stephen Elop’s Nokia Adventure“.
Assuming it’s based on fact (and it lines up with what some Nokians have shared with me confidentially), I’m already a big fan of Stephen Elop and have confidence that he’s on the right track. It’s a long read, but I highly recommend you set some time aside and read the entire article.
My favorite part is mentioned at the end of page 4, where Elop is said to have sent an email to all Nokians, asking them to answer three questions:
1. What do they think he should change
2. What should be left alone
3. What they feared he wouldn’t understand
Reportedly, Elop received more than 2,000 responses and he personally replied to every single one.
It’s still too early to tell if Stephen Elop’s decisions will be a slam dunk or a complete bomb. Nokia has a tremendous history of painting a beautiful picture, only to fail at executing the plan (see Ovi, N97, Symbian, MeeGo, etc). If Elop can help Nokia pull it off, they have the potential to turn the mobile industry on its head, again.
Me? I have an Android-powered HTC G2, Symbian-powered Nokia N8, and Windows Phone-powered HTC HD7 on my desk. I rely on my G2 as a daily driver, but I try to use the N8 and HD7 at least once a week.