SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nokia's newly named chief executive needs to focus the company on fewer handsets supporting more operating systems and move its headquarters to the U.S., said Gerry Purdy, a veteran mobile systems analyst.
Nokia has a great base, selling more than a million handsets a day, "but it’s clearly not the right mix of models, software and services," said Purdy in an open letter to Stephen Elop who joined Nokia from Microsoft recently.
What's worse "your entire business in North America is in the toilet," said Purdy, principal analyst of MobileTrax LLC (Atlanta). It wasn’t too many years ago that it seemed like most everyone had a Nokia phone in North America, but [now the company is] almost non-existent in the lucrative North American market that is now leading the world in cellular innovation," he said.
To turn that around, Nokia should rationalize its product line around fewer handsets, Purdy said. He recommended the company use an outside industrial design firm to create a new look-and-feel for the company's feature phones and smartphones.
Low-end Nokia handsets should use Symbian, and higher end models should give users a choice of mobile operating systems including Google Android, Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 Palm WebOS or MeeGo. "Using a special SIM card might be one way to approach it," Purdy said.
Nokia "could become a leader in providing resources and support tools to enable developers to create a core app and then easily migrate it to other OS platforms," he said. The company also needs to reorganize its Ovi online store and partner with third-parties such as Rhapsody to deliver more media services.
Perhaps most controversial, Purdy recommended the company move its headquarters from Finland to the U.S.
"You need to adopt more of a US-centric culture," Purdy said. "Europe originally was the center of wireless advances, but now the US is the leader," he added.