I fear the next time I write you, it will be to say goodbye.
I’ve noticed you’ve run into a bit of trouble lately with your handset business. It seems as though you could use some advice from someone who cares. Allow me to start from the beginning.
You had one clear message when you announced your first Microsoft powered Lumia phones: these are the real Windows Phone devices. And you weren’t just blowing hot air. Microsoft backed you up. They even appeared on stage to help drum up excitement and drive that message home.
You seemed to hold a special place in the manufacturing line for Microsoft. Where RIM and Apple make their own hardware, Nokia, you would be that for Microsoft. You made sure Microsoft felt comfortable with that decision by going all in on Windows Phone, too. Then came the announcement of the Microsoft Surface.
Instead of the Lumia Surface, or Lumia 10 (for ten inches), Microsoft announced they’d be making their own hardware. Ouch. Sorry, Nokia. Apparently, even though you pledged allegiance to Microsoft, they still couldn’t trust you to deliver. You aren’t good enough to make their flagship tablet. But at least you still have phones, right? Yeah, about that.
This past week, HTC teamed up with Microsoft to announce both the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. HTC is calling itself “the new face of Windows Phone.” Which is totally cool with Microsoft. I mean, c’mon, Windows Phone is the name of both devices.
Shouldn’t you have Windows Phone in the title of your devices? Like the Windows Phone Lumia? Microsoft is getting behind HTC now. You can keep doing their thing, but HTC is where it’s at. Again, sorry, Nokia. Microsoft couldn’t trust you with tablets, and now they can’t trust you with phones. So what now?
Elop, we know you made some rather unfriendly comments towards Android in the past. But we’re willing to forgive you. And so is Google. I’m sure they’d love to work with you.
Look. We’ve seen the article in Reuters. Reporting that you, Elop, have until early 2013 to turn things around. To prove that betting the farm on Microsoft was the right thing to do. Do you really want to keep waiting? You placed everything you have in Microsoft, and they just proved they aren’t willing to place everything they have in you. How many more times do you have to be stabbed in the back by Ballmer and company before you realize it’s time to get out?
You don’t even have to do everything Google wants. If you don’t like how Android looks, change it. You can still lean on the massive ecosystem and developer support Google has amassed. No other platform can offer that to you. That’s the truth. Any other platform you could flock to would either limit what you can do with software or offer no developer and user support.
Nokia, Elop, you can make Android your own. It has a huge, robust ecosystem. It’s already the winning platform in terms of marketshare. The cost of admittance is free. What else do you want? You’re not Microsoft’s number one anyone. You’re playing second fiddle to HTC now.
I can promise you a Nokia manufactured Android device would sell like crazy. Look around you. Google search “Lumia Nexus.” The demand is there. You just have to snatch the opportunity. You can still make Windows Phone devices if you want; both Samsung and HTC have a hand in Android and Windows. You’re just running out of time.
I hope this made some sense to you. You’re a master craftsman of hardware. You have some of the most talented engineers on the planet working for you. You have a loyal following. You know how to command the marketplace. Don’t waste it all waiting for Windows Phone to take off. I’d hate to see you go. We’d all hate to see you go.