The outgoing chairman of Nokia Corp., Jorma Ollila, admits that Nokia was just too slow with its smartphones development from 2008 and onwards despite identifying early than advanced mobile phones with Internet connectivity and smart software were meant to be the future of cell phones in general. But it is early to bury Nokia, says Mr. Ollila, as at present the company is preparing a range of innovative devices.
“Four years from mid-2008 to today the returns have not been where they should have been. The company saw it and it was broadly accepted but the software capability and particularly the platform software knowhow was not there. The competitors were faster, and bringing their solutions to the marketplace faster,” said Jorma Ollila, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Smartphones are clearly a key, but only one element of the mobile always-connected computing era. There are tablets, transforming tablets, notebooks, various hybrid devices and so on. Both Apple and Google already provide software platforms for various devices, while hardware designers thinking of new form-factors. Nokia, which used to make tablets in early 2000s and even released netbooks in late 2000s, understands the mobile trends, according to Ollila, and is preparing its own breed of devices. Moreover, Nokia plans to offer special services that would differentiate it from the rivals.
"The combination of new products and Nokia services will make a difference. [...] Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future,” said that outgoing chairman.
Although Jorma Ollila believes that Nokia is back on track now and the public should wait for the results, it is pretty clear that there is a long road ahead of Nokia. Microsoft Windows Phone and Windows 8 software platforms are in many ways very powerful, however, what matters is whether Nokia will be able to use its unique technologies on those operating system. Some former Nokia executives say that many of Nokia's innovations will simply not be supported by mainstream operating systems that are not designed in-house.
Jorma Ollila is leaving Nokia, which was founded in 1865 in Tampere, Finland, this week after serving 27 years at the company which once had market capitalization of $300 billion after a series of massive successes that occured thanks to his extraordinary execution and business sense.