And yes, I do think it’s a shame. Nokia have been the great innovators in the mobile phone space – my N810 is still a useful device and, before anyone starts rewriting history, it is worth remembering that Nokia is the company that pioneered smart phones. For a long time, Nokia was a market leader and could still be one if inability of the company’s management to commit to a decision hadn’t completely flushed their chances.
Symbian. A solid, mobile operating system lumbered with an increasingly messy user interface. If Nokia had bet on Symbian and put some serious investment into cleaning up the UI, they would still be the dominant smart phone company today.
Then there was Maemo. This is a gorgeous OS, well designed, flexible and very easy to use. A smart phone and tablet strategy based around putting Maemo devices into people’s hands (long before either Apple or Google had thought about going mobile) would have allmost certainly maintained Nokia’s market lead.
Even a combined strategy – Symbian at the low end to squeeze every ounce of performance out of cheap hardware, and Maemo at the high end to justify high prices for high functionality – would have worked. In fact, this may well have been the most effective direction for Nokia to take.
Instead they flipped from one platform to the next, back again and on again until no-one – not even Nokia – knew what they were going to do next. It is the company’s indecision that killed Nokia.