Yesterday Nokia announced a 24% drop in revenue for the second quarter. Unsurprising the share price declined (again) and one cannot help but think that those burning platform flames are now licking around CEO, Stephen Elop's feet. However before I go on let me declare that I am not a Nokia or a Windows "hater". Quite the reverse. I'm the happy(ish) owner of a Lumia 925, I enjoy Windows 8 and have Skydrive as an integral part of my business life.
Elop DID make the right decision to ditch Symbian. Nokia ARE making beautiful smartphones - the Lumia range is both ergonomically appealing and robust. And the operating system is fluid with an impressive ability to pull in information (this will always scare some) into one place which only helps the user to be more efficient.
But this has not been enough. For me the launch of the Lumia 1020 with its 41 mega-pixel camera was an example of now Nokia still gets distracted in this fight for survival behind the giants of Apple and Samsung. It's as if someone, in an ideation session a couple of years ago said "Smartphone users take lots of pictures. If we have the best camera they will buy our smartphone."
Logical but wrong. They failed to look at how these pictures are used and shared. It's got nothing to do with quality and all to do with instant gratification. Yes I'm sure the obsessive photographer (without his camera) might prefer a Lumia in his or her pocket for those must-capture moments but how big is that market ?
Differentiated yes but in an irrelevant need.
Meanwhile it's the lack of Windows apps which still continues to hamper growth and acceptance. There are a half dozen apps (including SBUX) where I have to fish out my SIM less iPhone to use. And hefty Nokia ATL advertising is countered wherever you look with posters and adverts from a range of consumer brands and services which have a related app and which display the Android, Apple and often Blackberry logo but with no Windows.
This shakes consumer confidence. It takes guts to decide to buy a Nokia smartphone. I'm glad I did but Mr Elop help me out a little. Pour some money into app development quickly or you will be in danger of photographing a door closing behind you.