Dear Confused Nokia

3G Modem, Offline GPS, SMS and IM king, Autofocus Camera, USB Storage Device, etcetera... with an admittedly slow CPU

Please borrow a leaf from Mozilla. Mozilla is an organisation that is and has been facing some serious heat from all sides, and still impressively managing to grow on it’s similarly old, and historically bloated platform. Remember when Internet Explorer had 90%+ market share? The Firefox success story sprang from that.

Recently they have been facing increasing heat from a Google-related rolling stone. The Chrome Browser. In response to that, they have created Firefox 4, again out of their old and historic Gecko platform. In response to Chrome’s accelerated release schedule, Mozilla has adjusted it’s own release timetable, promising four major updates for 2011.

Today Microsoft’s Internet Explorer stands at about 50% market share, a development which has forced the firm to embrace open standards, in its newer browser versions. One may arguably claim that Chrome’s success to date rides on the opportunity and precedent set by Mozilla’s Firefox. Admittedly, this paragraph sounds idealistic and possibly devoid of sound business logic. The point I am trying to make is this: Mozilla has weathered the storm, and risen from the ashes of a dying product, the Netscape Browser.

You need to think carefully about your next big moves, because if you assume that the people who have stuck with you in the presence of the iPhone (3 years+) and Android (2 years+) etc have been a mere accident, you are wrong.

You may have erred by not rising up to the competition sooner than now, but what many of your customers are looking for, is a more refreshing Nokia device, true to it’s present values: Industry Standards, Wide flexibility,  customer choice and down-to-earth practicality.

If I wake up tomorrow and find no such device to buy, the brand “Nokia” will have ceased to be meaningful to me.

Borrow a leaf from Mozilla. Grow and modernize your platform, there are certainly great things that your current mix of parts is uniquely placed to deliver. Do this, and do it fast. Symbian^3 has been a remarkable improvement of the platform, on relatively modest hardware. Spread this, and accelerate the pace. Symbian has been, and still is a capable smartphone OS. The competition has merely heated up. Your fans and customers expect you to suit up and join the fray.

After all, no one has heard Mozilla proclaim that they must “adopt or catalyze” the competiting open source “webkit” platform that seems to be their biggest threat right now. Nor have they said they need to jump off a burning oil rig. They have consistently turned adversity into a product that no one would have thought feasible.

This post brought to you typed in Firefox 4 Beta, because it is a vast improvement over Firefox 3.6, and which competes squarely on every metric with Chrome. The photo in this post brought to you by the 5mp autofocus camera in my Nokia C6-00.

PS: Nokia Phone’s I’ve owned and remember include: 2100, 1100, 3250, 6600, 7200, 5800, N97, E63, E51 (all time favourite) and presently C6-00. I hope to get me an E7 someday when I can afford it, even if it happens to be next year 🙂

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