I am the market Nokia lost

Remember when more than 50% of mobile phones in people’s hands said “Nokia” on them? When 50% of those phones had that iconic/irritating/annoying signature ring tone – often because folks hadn’t worked out how to get them off the default – long a prelude to yells of “Hello! I’m on a train/in a restaurant/in a library“.

Well, this week, a memo from the new Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, has been doing the rounds online, which sums up the ferocious drubbing the once dominant Finnish company had in the handset market, at the hands of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS, and how it is now poised on the telecoms equivalent of a blazing oil platform.

I am part of the market that Nokia lost, maybe even forgot. I have a drawer which could be called “my life as a mobile phone user”, littered with old Nokia handsets, many of them iconic in their own right… the 2110, 6110, 6150, 6210, 6310i (probably one of the best handsets Nokia ever made), 6600, and three Communicators, the 9210i, 9500 and E90.

Why did I stop using Nokia?

Well, the last Nokia handset I tried was the N97, and since then I’ve been an iPhone convert.

While those around me used swishy iPhones, my previous loyalty to Nokia was rewarded with a slow and clunky UI, a terrible keyboard, and the appallingly bad software to run on your (Windows only) PC for backing up and synchronisation.

Nokia couldn’t even focus on keeping up with the needs of it’s previously loyal and high-yielding power users, for whom migrating handsets was always a pain, never mind the fickle throwaway consumer market.

Is it any wonder folks have deserted Nokia?

They have made themselves look like the British Leyland of the mobile phone world.

On a complete sidebar – any guesses on which airline will start up a HEL-SFO service first? There have got to be yield management folk looking at this in the wake of this news!

Update: 11 Feb 2011, 0855

As the pundits predicted, Nokia have announced they have aligned themselves with Microsoft, and their Windows mobile platform.

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