Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pillars of lesser standing

Every once in a while I have written some words on Nokia, about the phones (e.g., the Nokia E7) and about the company itself. During this week the stock price of Nokia has been crashing, quite a spectacle, like a death spiral.

Is it still to early to predict a massive failure of the company? Maybe it is. But almost everything that can go massively wrong seems to happen. Or maybe it is just that in such a downward spiral one doesn't look for positive signs. If there are any.

But anyway, I'm relatively pleased with my Nokia E7 since the latest software update. Though there have been occasional cases of the e-mail application freezing up, but shutting the application down forcibly fixes the problem. And for some reason the battery endurance has been going down since the software update.

(Posting title is from the poem Spiral by Roddy Lumsden.)


Andreas Manessinger said...

Interesting. I would have thought that their deal with Microsoft and their incredibly impressive camera should be enough to keep them floating. Any idea what goes wrong?

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: I don't really know. Some say that the new Lumia phones, despite some original innovation, have currently some irritating problems in software, making the phones rather inconvenient. But then doesn't any phone have such "features"? I haven't myself tried Lumia, but some colleagues are pleased with them.

Another thing is that Nokia and Microsoft seem to be behind in the techonology curve, for example the current OS doesn't support multicore processors.

In all, it seems that Nokia doesn't seem to get the act completely together. Some things are brilliant, but some things suck, and it is those that sink the ship.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: And if you want to read a really pessimistic piece about Nokia, here you go. (It discusses also the 808 PureView phone.)

Andreas Manessinger said...

OK, you made me read it. All of it. It's incredibly depressing and it reminds me of Chris Sandström's work on Disruptive Innovation, especially about Kodak (

Nokia tried to find an answer to the iPhone, only what they found was a completely stupid answer. I remember when I first heard of Microsoft's coup, I was already sure that this would be the end of Nokia. Hardly an achievement, everybody was, so why did Nokia believe it could possibly work? I mean, you just can't destroy the loyalty of your own workforce and hope to survive.

Yes, it's sad. I myself was a loyal Nokia user for what? Ten years? I liked their phones, but of course the appeal is long gone. There is a reason why Nokia's board was trying such a desperate leap of faith.

After all it does not come as such a surprise that the cell phone was reinvented by Apple, the number one company in human-computer interaction, the company that always tried to make computers accessible to everybody. It was clear that mobiles would be full-fledged computers by about now, but it took an HCI pioneer to make those computers usable. We know the result and it is brilliant.

Still, no rotten Apples here. Long live Android :)

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: In Finland Nokia was an iconic company, and the slogan "we need new Nokias" was used quite often in the innovation policies. But nowadays that all is gone, and people are talking about "new Rovios" (the maker of Angry Birds game).

However, what is depressing is how the "Nokia cluster" is still very strong in determining the target of R&D funding and the content of innovation politics. We should find totally new views instead of relying on "old Nokia fellows".

As to phones, the Nokia E7 is sufficient for now. But if I would buy a phone, it might not be a smartphone at all, instead something like a waterproof Samsung with a two-month battery (Xcover something).