Well it’s going to be an interesting Friday.
I was absolutely delighted to hear from one hugely respected source that Nokia will announce Windows Phone 7 support on Friday. Yesteday, a whole load of other sources confirmed the same.
The precise nature of the Windows Phone 7 announcement is unclear at the moment. Are we going to see one throw-away Windows Phone 7 Nokia device rushed to market to satisfy the baying masses before the ‘Windows’ strategy is quietly dumped 6 months later?
Or are we going to see an entire division or segment of the company begin to deliver multiple devices at multiple price points with an on-going roadmap stretching out 3-4 years? Will we see a series of class-leading 20-megapixel Windows Phone 7 devices hit the market in the summer? I wonder.
What is clear is that something big has to happen. When even the credit rating agencies start sabre rattling, it’s time for a significant change in strategy.
As far as many are concerned, Nokia is well past the ‘written off’ stage and wading through the swamp of irrelevance as far as many are concerned. The N97 didn’t help. The N8 (despite selling pretty well) solidified the market’s perspective: Change, please.
The fact the company is still shipping hundreds of millions of devices means next to nothing in the eyes of the Western tech/media/marketplace. It would have been fine if Nokia announced it was only focusing on the developing markets by only producing feature phones. The market would have left Nokia alone.
Nokia’s inability to at least half-delight the tech media/market with smart, exciting and fun devices and services, especially in the high end, has made life very, very difficult for them.
So this week, I’m sure we will certainly see the beginnings of some kind of big theme. I worry that it will be watered down and not quite as bold the market needs it to be. Either way we’ll get a good demonstration of how much of a handle Stephen Elop has on the company.
It’s certainly sounding good. I’m particularly excited as the possibility of the establishment of a ‘virtual headquarters’ in Silicon Valley (If memory serves, I think this was muted by the Financial Times today). It really won’t take too much to get Nokia back dominating the market.
Bring on Friday. Bring on Mobile World Congress. Come on Nokia!