Nokia will take 7 years to react to Apple iPhone (that’s 2014 folks)

Fred Grott found this one and tweeted it up this evening.  It’s a fascinating perspective on how a large, integrated platform based product cycle responds to external forces.

When the iPhone was announced (January 2007), an analyst friend of mine calculated the competitive response from Nokia, based on his understanding on how companies of this size in this industry in general are able to change.

For the purposes of this article, we tried to revisit the prediction to update it with anecdotal evidence. So far there has been seemingly little activity that has affected the trajectory.

The author, Tapio Anttila, then takes us through the predictions of his analyst friend from 2007 to 2014.

2007 reads like this:

2007: There would be no response within the first year, meaning there would be no perceived threat of any kind.  Zero process change, zero roadmap changes and no business review.  Apple is not considered a competitor.

By 2010, the analyst reckons Nokia will get the message.

2010: Realization that iPhone is a threat from new dimensions (user experience).

And by 2014? It’s not looking good…

2014: First products that are roughly comparable with iPhone version 1 begin shipping.  The required software redesign started in 2010 is coupled with the integration efforts.   Nokia’s response to the iPhone has begun.

Go and read the whole thing here:

Nokia in Trouble? How Fast Can a Mobile Device Giant React? | MEOW! Blog.

I like one of his final points:

The N97 shipping in 2009 is the result of work begun in 2007, it has had no influence at all from the iPhone.

I think that much is entirely plain to see.  😉

For those who simply can’t fathom why Nokia would foist the likes of the Nokia N97 on an iPhone-obsessed marketplace with a straight face — and not understand the dismay of many, Tapio’s piece should be enlightening.

Whether Nokia can actually react quicker than what his analyst friend has predicted, well, that remains to be seen.  Whether the likes of Stefan agrees (“Kill Ovi, spin off the hardware unit, become a bank“), I wonder.

What’s your viewpoint of Nokia at the moment?  It is simply far too complicated for the company to change dramatically?

(You can follow Tapio on Twitter here.)

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

25 replies on “Nokia will take 7 years to react to Apple iPhone (that’s 2014 folks)”

2014? Bullshit. People will be speaking of the iPhone in past tense by then. It's very clear that Nokia did not foresee the iPhone. And by that I mean it did not foresee the trend, created by the iPhone, of emphasis on usability/UX/UI/touch instead of features/sheer capabilities. That's clearly seen in when the 5800 was released. About a phone developing cycle later.
So, Nokia was slow to respond to the touchscreen trend, but eventually did. It has yet to respond to UX/UI, and it will when Symbian^4 ships (2011, not 2014).
So what?
People keep saying shit about Nokia. So what? You actually think its market share will drop, what 50% YOY? Bullshit. It won't. And even if it does, so what? I mean, if you're not a shareholder in Nokia, so what? Apple will rule the mobile world? Yeah, exactly in the same manner they rule the computer world.
Give me a break. Apple has stopped innovating in the mobile world the second it released the original iPhone. Everything they did after that was incremental stuff. Which everyone loves bashing Nokia for.
The truth is, no one is doing anything groundbreaking anymore. And in the last 3 years, only 2 devices were such: the N95 and the iPhone. The rest is PR nonsense which revolutionizes the world twice a day. The industry (I mean the device-making part) is slowing down, because there seems to be little else they can include in these products that is innovative or of any real use.
I think we'll all have to wait for the web to evolve (to HTML5). This will enable the next real groundbreaking moment in mobile. Which, imho, will not be “a” moment. It will be a process.
In the mean time, let's all talk about another Apple product that won't ever go past 10% market share no matter how you spin the definition of “market” (tablets, anyone? Guess who invented that?!)
As for the pretty, I'm getting tired. Really sick and tired of hearing this faux argument. In the real world, where the tech bloggers absolutely do NOT live, people care more about getting things done than staring at pretty UIs. And for that they have Nokias and Blackberrys (I wonder if that's the correct plural).
The rest is hype feeding on itself and defining itself by itself and in itself. (Stefan Constantinescu's post on IntoMobile about the Apple tablet is a very very nice dissection of the methods used to create hype out of thin air, EVEN if the tablet will exist at some point).

Sorry. I'd write more, but I'd be repeating myself. And sometimes I just can't type fast enough. I need a podcast. 🙂

*ahem* No innovation? Industry slowing down? What about handsets costing 1/5th what an iPhone or N97 does, but with 5 times the mobile data usage (and thus happy users AND considerably more revenue to carriers)?

…and, funnily enough, it's ALL about the pretty UI. The UI enables people to 'get things done' instead of the crap we've had for the last 10 years from Nokia/SEM etc, which has *prevented* people from doing what they wanted because the experience was akin to sticking hot knitting needles in your eyes. Unless you were a sicko geek with too much time on your hands and a penchant for accepting pop-ups.

You may not like Apple, but you loose the loyalty and revenue arguments hands-down. And that translates into changes in PC purchases long-term. The iPhone is a way to get people to buy Mac's, and it's working.


Nokia had registered the 'C series' a month back. I do hope something's cooking already..

Nokia had registered the 'C series' a month back. I do hope something's cooking already..

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