Is Nokia really dying?

For one thing — I am asking, not declaring — is it because that Windows Phone is, for now, still a lackluster choice for smart phone buyers? That is, would WP phones do better if it was not Nokia?

Or Nokia is just an incompetent player in the smart phone market comparing to its past glory on simple, sturdy but elegant feature phones?

Nokia is entering its death spiral. It’s running out of cash, it’s running out of time, and it’s running out of options. A year ago, incoming CEO Stephen Elop made a brave decision to break with the past. He ditched Nokia’s Symbian operating system and decided to focus all of the company’s high-end development on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

…Elop, who had just come from Microsoft, must have known that choosing Windows was always going to be a gamble, even a moonshot. But in the tech business, if you’re not aiming for the moon, what’s the point? But the moonshot missed its target. Now Nokia is crashing into the sea.

RIP, Nokia (1865–2014) | PandoDaily

If you ask me, I’d say the company is betting its future on an unstable foundation, which is the Windows Phone system.

2017 note: Windows Phone died this year.

Choosing Android might be a mediocre yet safe bet, but it could keep Nokia competitive for a while to produce phones and strategies comparable to Samsung’s. True, it’s like standing on a ball to go for Android, but it’s standing on two stacked balls with Windows.

I don’t think Nokia will die in 2014, maybe just retreat from the mobile market. If it does, its still huge feature phone market will be taken over by Samsung without a hitch; and its (Windows) smart phone turf will be scavenged effortlessly by Apple, Samsung and other smaller Android players.

A few months ago, I wrote about that Nokia should acquire WebOS and start from scratch to run for the third-largest mobile OS provider, but it didn’t happen. To corporate decision makers, WebOS could be a risky choice comparing to Microsoft; but it’s a rather independent choice that wouldn’t go down with Windows Phone if it fails (it’s still possible).

With hindsight, trying Android or even WebOS is actually not really more risky than Windows. But what’s done is done, I am still expecting Nokia to come up with some refreshing stuff to change the game, not just throwing in the white towel.

Addendum: a while ago, a Finnish medium reported that Samsung would acquire Nokia, and this rumor was later banished by the Korean phone maker.

If I were Samsung, I wouldn’t bid for Nokia either. I’d just wait to see them making funny decisions (if any) and watch them go belly up. That saves a lot.