In July I asked What's Going Wrong At Nokia? Since then it appears Nokia has asked itself the same question. Over the last two weeks the company CEO, its chairman and the president of the smartphone division have all resigned and Nokia World was held to show us the flagship devices it hopes will drive the business forward over the next 12 months. So what can we deduce?
For those who don't know, Nokia World is an annual event the Finnish giant holds to show off its latest and greatest devices and this year it unveiled the C6 C7 and E7. From Andy's hands-on photos and first impressions of the E7 flagship you'll know it was a case of same old, same old:
"Nice hardware, great keyboard, but we're not so sure about the software - a similar refrain from most recent Nokia's recently. As such we're still tempted to wait for Nokia's Meego-based handsets to finally appear, though there's no doubting this is a business handset with great potential."
In TrustedReviews terms this sounds like a nailed on 7/10 - perhaps an 8, but the problem for Nokia is it desperately needs a handset which blows our minds and it hasn't managed that since the E71 back in July 2008. Don't get me wrong, the C6 (bottom left), C7 (bottom right) and E7 (above) are well specified handsets at competitive prices which will no doubt sate Nokia's more virulent supporters. The problem is they aren't particularly likely to create new ones. In our comments section responses like "Yawn", "it's ok", "solid and dependable" appeared while existing owners said "Looking forward to my next Nokia handset" - all of which seem to sum up the situation nicely.
By contrast this week HTC also announced the Desire HD Desire Z and HTCSense.com. Here responses varied from elation at the feature sets to frustration that HTC hadn't this time produced models that were truly revolutionary, but the marked change in the tone of comments was that of emotion and an unshakeable sense of expectation. I feel more confident Nokia World 2011 will bring that, but Nokia 2010 continued the company's run of falling flat.
Why would I feel more confident about Nokia World 2011? Quite simply because Nokia started firing senior execs. Nokia World 2010 came far too quickly to show any evidence of internal change at the company, but as the old saying goes: the first step is admitting you have a problem - something Nokia has been in denial about for far too long.