Nokia: It's the software, stupid

Robert Clark
13 Sep 2010
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo’s exit from Nokia’s corner office is no surprise –and not just because of the leaks about its US talent search.
In his four-year tenure Kallasvuo was unable to adjust to a mobile world now dominated by smartphones and app stores instead of operators and vendors.
Microsoft might seem an unlikely source for his replacement, though. Like Nokia, it is grappling with precipitous technology shifts and is no longer the industry decider-in-chief.
But Stephen Elop has a good track record and, unlike Kallasvuo, understands software.
He’s going to need that because he has not one but three mobile software platforms to think about: Symbian, the troubled incumbent, MeeGo, Nokia’s partnership with Intel, and Android, the open source alternative.
Symbian was conceived a decade ago as a mobile industry OS venture, but since then everyone bar Nokia has jumped off. Belatedly, Nokia turned it into an open source venture; it’s been fully open source for just seven months.
Symbian has scale, with 108 million devices sold in the second quarter – or 40% of the market – but its share is down six points from a year ago. 


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