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What must Nokia do to get back into the smart phone war?

Check My answer on Quora to: What would you do to get Nokia back into the smart phone war? http://qr.ae/Mf9s

Below am reproducing the same:

I am going to answer this query using Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop’s leaked memo (Ref: http://ree.ms/elop_memo ) as the base for information where it is now accepted that Nokia has lost the smartphone war. The situation is so drastic that Elop compares situation to a “burning platform”.

Nokia must first choose which war it wants to participate in as that decision will affect the strategic direction of the company in the next decade:
1. The Platform (“eco-sysytem”) War: the two major participants are Apple iOS and Google Android with Microsoft Winmo7 & RIM/BB fighting for distant third place. Microsoft in all probability will emerge 3rd by sheer force of cash.

2. The Device War: the participants are Nokia, Samsung, Apple, HTC, RIM, Microsoft, HP, Dell, LG, Motorola and dozens of Chinese & Indian brands like Micromaxx

If Nokia chooses to join the Platform War, then as Elop rightly identified, the scope of the battle is much wider as it involves Hardware form factor, Operating System, Developer community, Applications and App Stores, multiple features involving location, search and social. This is a war which Nokia could have won if it entered in 2007. Today as we approach 11th Feb 2011, it is simply too late. Nokia has the lowest cash resources compared to AAPL/GOOG/MSFT and is minimum 2 generations behind the development cycle.

Nokia is better off being a “kingmaker”, where it can choose to support either Android or Windows7Mobile and make either of the 2 very competitive against market leader Apple. Nokia can then focus on its traditional strength, Devices.

In the Device War, Nokia has the distribution and experience to tackle competition once it chooses to go with Android or Windows 7. Android is clearly ahead of Windows 7, and Nokia-Android is a better combination if Nokia wants to remain an independent Device manufacturer. If Nokia chooses Windows 7, then it is better off for Nokia shareholders if Microsoft buys out Nokia. Microsoft has the cash and needs the manufacturing expertise of Nokia in many markets.

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