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...