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Phone Wars

Nokia chief issues frank memo outlining company's plummeting performance

Stephen Elop says Nokia not fighting mobile war with “right weapons” and is losing ground to its competitors.

NOKIA CEO STEPHEN ELOP has issued an internal memo to staff saying Nokia is on a “burning platform” and the company must decide how to change its behaviour to compete with Android and Apple.

Elop said there is “intense heat” on Nokia from its competitors and noted that the dramatic market share dominance of Apple and Android came more quickly than expected.

While saying that Nokia has some “brilliant sources of innovation”, he added that the company is losing ground to its competitors and has had a “series of misses”.

The Standard & Poor’s ratings agency is also following Moody’s in putting Nokia’s ratings on negative credit watch, Elop said.

Published by Engaget, the memo reads:

While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time. At that time, we thought we were making the right decisions; but, with the benefit of hindsight, we now find ourselves years behind.

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.

We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.

Elop says that Apple now “owns the high-end range” while Android holds the mid-range market. He says MediaTek has been encroaching on Nokia’s shares of emerging markets in the lower-end price range.

Elop joined Nokia from Microsoft in September 2010.

Read the memo in full on Engadget >

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