看來 Nokia 真的是已經站在了人生的十字路口。

執行長 Steven Elop Stephen Elop 的一封內部備忘錄,這幾天被幾家媒體披露,裡頭大部分的內容可以說是 Elop 對 Nokia 員工的真情告白,表示對於 Nokia 在中、高階手機市場節節敗退,逐漸被蘋果Google 搶食光,同時新興國家市場中的低階手機銷售,也一步一步被山寨廠逼到死角,整個來看,近乎完全失去市場領導地位的現況感到憂心,因此他也強調 Nokia 必須要『改變它的作為』、因為他們(Nokia 全體上下)『正眼巴巴的看著一個平台燒了起來』。

這一切的內容也讓人不得不懷疑,先前消息的似乎真的要實現了,Nokia 採用第三方作業系統在自家手機上的可能性確實不低;除此之外,Elop 身為一個首位非芬蘭籍、自 Nokia 以外系統空降的執行長,也許更能夠拉動一票高層在未來花更多的時間來探索外面的世界,這封充滿爆炸性內容的內部備忘錄,或許真的可以視為 Nokia 浴火重生的開端也不一定;以下為一些比較值得大家思量、注意的備忘錄內容,跳轉後有全文原文,有興趣的朋友可以仔細閱讀一下:
  • "...來自我們對手們的競爭豈是火熱而已,一整個是超乎我們想像的在延燒...蘋果重新定義了智慧型手機市場,並且吸引一票軟體開發者到一個封閉,但卻是極為強大的手機生態系統,這也迫使整個市場都要做出改變。"
  • "...蘋果重寫了手機市場的遊戲規則,時至今日,他們可以說是擁有了高階手機的市場。"
  • "...Google 儼然也創造了一股超強的吸力,吸引了一大票手機工業中的創新並成為(Android 系統的)核心。"
  • "...打從第一隻 iPhone 在 2007 出貨起到今天,我們依然無法生出一個可以在使用者體驗能夠望其項背的產品;Android 系統問世也不過才短短的兩年,卻已經在這禮拜(當時)搶走了我們在智慧型手機市場的領先地位。這真是太不可思議了!"
  • "...Nokia 擁有不少堪稱一流的創新,但卻總是無法即時將他們推到市場上;我們曾信心滿滿的認為 MeeGo 一定能夠在高階智慧型手機平台勝出,但以這種速度,到了 2011 年底,我們大概也只會有一款 MeeGo 產品在市場上流通。"
  • "...要以 Symbian 為開發平台來趕上消費者日益壯大的需求,顯然是越來越困難..."
  • "...我們的競爭對手並非以硬體產品來搶走市佔,而是以一套(有競爭力)的手機生態系統..."
  • "...我們過去等於是把汽油倒在自家的平台上;我相信過去我們所缺少的,就是能夠整合並且帶領公司突破困境的可靠肩膀、領導能力,我們犯了不少錯誤、錯過了太多機會,我們將推展到市場上的速度總是慢半拍;我們在內部可以說是毫無合作。Nokia,我們的平台正燃燒著呀!"
Hello there,

There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. Through the smoke and heat, he barely made his way out of the chaos to the platform's edge. When he looked down over the edge, all he could see were the dark, cold, foreboding Atlantic waters.

As the fire approached him, the man had mere seconds to react. He could stand on the platform, and inevitably be consumed by the burning flames. Or, he could plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters. The man was standing upon a "burning platform," and he needed to make a choice.

He decided to jump. It was unexpected. In ordinary circumstances, the man would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times - his platform was on fire. The man survived the fall and the waters. After he was rescued, he noted that a "burning platform" caused a radical change in his behaviour.

We too, are standing on a "burning platform," and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.

Over the past few months, I've shared with you what I've heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I'm going to share what I've learned and what I have come to believe.

I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.

And, we have more than one explosion - we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

For example, there is intense heat coming from our competitors, more rapidly than we ever expected. Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

In 2008, Apple's market share in the $300+ price range was 25 percent; by 2010 it escalated to 61 percent. They are enjoying a tremendous growth trajectory with a 78 percent earnings growth year over year in Q4 2010. Apple demonstrated that if designed well, consumers would buy a high-priced phone with a great experience and developers would build applications. They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.

And then, there is Android. In about two years, Android created a platform that attracts application developers, service providers and hardware manufacturers. Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry's innovation to its core.

Let's not forget about the low-end price range. In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally - taking share from us in emerging markets.

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.

At the midrange, we have Symbian. It has proven to be non-competitive in leading markets like North America. Additionally, Symbian is proving to be an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop to meet the continuously expanding consumer requirements, leading to slowness in product development and also creating a disadvantage when we seek to take advantage of new hardware platforms. As a result, if we continue like before, we will get further and further behind, while our competitors advance further and further ahead.

At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, "the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation." They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us.

And the truly perplexing aspect is that we're not even fighting with the right weapons. We are still too often trying to approach each price range on a device-to-device basis.

The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.

This is one of the decisions we need to make. In the meantime, we've lost market share, we've lost mind share and we've lost time.

On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's informed that they will put our A long term and A-1 short term ratings on negative credit watch. This is a similar rating action to the one that Moody's took last week. Basically it means that during the next few weeks they will make an analysis of Nokia, and decide on a possible credit rating downgrade. Why are these credit agencies contemplating these changes? Because they are concerned about our competitiveness.

Consumer preference for Nokia declined worldwide. In the UK, our brand preference has slipped to 20 percent, which is 8 percent lower than last year. That means only 1 out of 5 people in the UK prefer Nokia to other brands. It's also down in the other markets, which are traditionally our strongholds: Russia, Germany, Indonesia, UAE, and on and on and on.

How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved?

This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally.

Nokia, our platform is burning.


We are working on a path forward -- a path to rebuild our market leadership. When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company. But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future.

The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future. He was able to tell his story. Now, we have a great opportunity to do the same.

Stephen.