For those who are nerdy enough to read this site (much less, found this) it is clear to me that at some point, you have used, or at least, heard of this company called Nokia. If so, you probably also know about its merger with the tech giant that is Microsoft a year ago Well, how have both of these companies doing so far with their choices? Not so well, as it turns out. For Microsoft, the Lumia 930 marked the last flagship for the Lumia line ever since. The part of Nokia that did not go to Microsoft has to, time and time again, sell off their divisions to survive, notably the rumors about its HERE Maps division, which is on bids by other companies as we speak. So, is it time for Nokia to make a last attempt in the smartphone market? For my money, I think they should, and here is why.
The Brand Alone
While not too many own a Nokia device right now, they all know the name. There is a reason for the fact that as soon as I take out any Lumia, people always ask me to let them throw my phone on the ground. A lot of it has to do with Nokia being the company to make the legendary, indestructible 3310. The brand has come along way, and to be frank, the company has earned it. You can argue that a commitment with Windows Phone alone was a bad idea, or even hiring Stephen Elop as CEO. But nobody can’t deny one truth, and that is: Nokia is the best phone manufacturer. Every cell phones and tablets that came out of that brand have been more than reliable to users. It is the DNA of the company, and that, as far as I can see, will not change anytime soon.
To be fair, it is easy to say that the division that makes Nokia what it is in the mobile device arena is not there anymore. To that I say: Look at the Nokia N2 Tablet. Yes, it is an iPad knock-off, but once again, the precision in design and production (credit to Foxconn). Combine with the experience of more than a decade as the number one phone manufacturer, and we’ve got ourselves a real underdog.
The question remains “how exactly would they do it?” That is a complicated question. For one thing, we’ve learned that committing to Microsoft and Windows Phone is not a smart move. However, cutting away from Windows is also not the best idea. I mean, after three or four years being overshadowed by Apple and Android, Nokia first “bleep” on the radar was with a Windows Phone device, and that was Nokia’s identity for years. It is not easy to get out of that shadow, so it only makes sense for the company to embrace it. Windows has a reputation for smooth software even on low-end devices; Nokia was the king because of the low-end market, and even with Microsoft, Nokia sold the most phone in the low-end department. So, make the best out of Windows: build reliable, yet affordable smartphone. Both Nokia and Microsoft know how to do it, so why not take advantage of their skill set.
With that being said, it is the time that Nokia should invest more in Android, and the company has already started on that. The Z launcher, while not the best that I have used, shows a lot of potentials to be something special. While not totally abandon Windows, putting its focus on Android is a right direction. With all of the innovation ideas that the company has, combine with the flexible of Android, the two can make something special. Making flagship Android and affordable Windows devices can preserve the reliable reputation that made Nokia the number one mobile device manufacturer.
Will Nokia return as phone manufacturer? Sure, even its CEO says so, but not in the way that I can perceive as a good thing. To be clear, I like the N2, and that is the base of my argument to why Nokia should come back. Still, it needs to come back as a whole because Nokia can only as its best when it’s in control of its own production. Licensing its brand and/or design is doing a half-ass job. Some hardcore Nokia fans might see it as a glass half full, I decide to see it as a glass half empty. The fact is, when Nokia had control of its production, it was the champion of innovation in the hardware division. Take the Lumia 1020 as an example. Nokia was (and still is) the first and only company to put a 41-megapixel camera into a smartphone. The company proudly put a pump on the back of its phone that many people perceive as ugly. Go back a little bit, Nokia was also one of the first the companies to feature Optical Image Stabilization in its camera. Even further, it was known to make the undestructable phone. Nokia was able to achieve all of those because it was in control of its production. It was not dumb luck that makes Nokia the pioneer leader. Moreover, to make itself a reliable brand again, Nokia has to maintain the consistency in delivery these qualities, and it is not possible with a third party producing its phone.