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This is the personal weblog of Björn Ognibeni. I am a consultant for Digital Marketing Communications & Co-Founder of BuzzRank, living in Hamburg, Germany.

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OurSocialTimes Seminar: "Social Media im Kundenservice", 02.04.2014 in München


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How stupid was the Nokia / Microsoft Partnership really?

When Nokia-CEO Stephen Elop announced the exclusive partnership between Nokia and Microsoft in 2011 - abandoning all other options in favor of Windows Phone - he was Microsofts 7th biggest private shareholder! Since then he did a really fine job: making Nokia increasingly dependent on Microsoft, while driving down the purchase price of the company - in the end leaving Nokia with no other choice than handing over their consumer business for a few peanuts - killing the last European handset manufacturer left standing in the process... 
Mission accomplished, Stephen!
If you want to know how much of a strategic mistake the Microsoft partnership really was from Nokia's point-of-view, you can look at this chart or you can try the following thought experiment:
  • First: compare the hardware of the Lumia 925 with say the Samsung Galaxy S4 - design, build quality, camera etc. 
  • Second: imagine a world where Stephen Elop never left his windowless office in Redmond and Nokia has opted for Android instead of Windows Phone. 
  • Now: ask yourself where the Nokia brand would be today, if its only mission over the last 3 years would had been to build the best Android handset out there - competing only on the ability to produce really great hardware! 
Then you will become very, very sad! At least I did... #RIP #NOKIA
For more on that line of thinking, read the blog posting by Ben Thompson: "THE DEAL THAT MAKES NO SENSE" - which itself makes nothing but sense... 

Reader Comments (2)

Don't be sad, with Android, Nokia would be dead, too. They would have to compete with the giant Samsung over quality, not price - same as HTC tries to. Why should Nokia do better? I see no evidence. Get yourself a HTC One, the build quality is really great.

The mistakes that have caused Nokias death are way older than 3 years. Nokia failed (and still fails) to recognize the importance of design. They were always (and still are) lead by technocrates, managers incapable of creating an own vision and culture. I remember that story, Jyri Engestrom once (in 2005 i think) tried to work at Nokia, quitting his job just 6 weeks later. He said the design approach they had was totally ridiculous.

Sep 4, 2013 at 17:50 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Jung

Okay, but do you think Samsung is a better place to work for creative people - less bureaucratic, no technocrats? I doubt it.

And I think todays Nokia, which builds phones like the Lumia 925, does understand the importance of design and could compete with Samsung way better than HTC can. Why? Because of all the reasons Ben Thompson talks about in his blog posting. Who is actually right? We will never know... ;-)

Sep 4, 2013 at 18:43 | Registered CommenterBjörn Ognibeni

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