Futurist conversations: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on the future of Nokia


In this final video in the series of ‘futurist conversations’ between myself and Gerd Leonhard of The Futures Agency, we discuss the future of Nokia as a keyhole on where the mobile phone market is going.

Here are a few of the points we make in the conversation:

* Nokia did not have the foresight to take critical steps including adopting touch screens, easy-to-use software, and making their phones fully-fledged Internet-enabled computers.
* Nokia until recently dominated almost every emerging market and some developed markets, yet is completely dropping Symbian, the platform that its customers know.
* The key question is whether Nokia can successfully make the transition to Windows Phone.
* Its strength is in low-end systems, so it is a major challenge to reposition globally around a high-end platform.
* In countries such as Indonesia, India, or Nigeria Nokia has completely dominated the market.
* Over the next year or so hundreds of millions of Nokia users in developing countries will shift to feature phones. This will be a make or break for Nokia on retaining existing customers in that transition.
* Efficient Chinese phone manufacturers are enthusiastically adopting Android to create well-featured low-cost phones.
* Apple is very likely to launch a low-cost phone, given that they are now able to do that while adhering to their standards, which is a challenge, however the bigger threat to Nokia is Android.
* Nokia has reinvented itself numerous times during its history, and may be able to do it again.
* It needs to seek to disrupt existing markets rather than take market share.