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Nokia, Strategy Briefings, MWC and Beyond – Are Nokia About to Rise, Phoenix-Like, From the Flames?


A meeting with the title Strategy and Financial Briefing doesn’t really sound like the kind of event where pulses will be set racing, does it? Well, Nokia’s Strategy and Financial Briefing on Friday 11th February continues to look as if it’ll be quite the opposite, as new CEO Stephen Elop appears to be on the warpath, and big changes are looming at Nokia.

Nokia have been having a bad time recently, with a lukewarm reception to the N8, continued bad press from the US, the loss of the top spot in the world’s OS market share list and most recently, the news that the first MeeGo device could well be stillborn. Stephen Elop was brought in to change Nokia for the better, and judging by a leaked document which came to light via Engadget today, that’s exactly what he plans to do.

The document has become known as the ‘burning platform’, due to Mr. Elop telling the tale of a worker trapped on a burning oil rig being faced with either a 30ft jump into the Atlantic, or being engulfed with flames.  He compared the burning platform to Nokia’s predicament, citing the fact they still don’t have an iPhone challenger, that Standard and Poor have downgraded their credit rating and other tales of woe.

Identified in an internal blog post by Mr. Elop, it  naturally wasn’t all negative, and he closes the memo by saying:

“The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future. He was able to tell his story. Now, we have a great opportunity to do the same.”

So what can we expect from this potentially ground-breaking strategy meeting on Friday? The Wall Street Journal has reported that a variety of board members could be asked to leave the company, and they may only find out who just hours before the meeting itself. There are several rumours that the company’s executive base could move to Silicon Valley.

However as mobile phone enthusiasts, it’s the possible announcement of the adoption of either Windows Phone 7 or Android that’s most tantalising. ‘Get Android’ has been the rallying cry from tech blogs around the world for a while, and despite efforts to refine Symbian, they may have to concede it’s not high-end material and relegate it to their mid-range devices only.

Windows Phone 7 is also a distinct possibility, given Mr. Elop came from Microsoft and could no doubt negotiate a lucrative deal. After all, Microsoft could be seen as being in a similar position – both internally and externally – as Nokia, but together the two giants could potentially create something very exciting.

With the briefing taking place at 10am on Friday, and Mobile World Congress beginning for most companies, including Nokia, on Sunday night, by the end of next week Nokia could emerge looking very different to how it does now. Let’s hope it’s for the better.


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