The problem with focusing on the low end is that the low end market is declining faster than expected, so it is a race against time.
Worldwide, for every smartphone sold last year, two low end "feature phones" were sold. That's about a billion low end phones. But the annual growth rate for smartphones was over 61% last year, while feature phone sales declined by almost 3%.
It is difficult now for Nokia to return to Symbian platform. It would be a disastrous step if it does so.
Nokia should keep its focus on the low end market to keep itself afloat while trying to establish itself as a smartphone player
The mobile phone technology is mostly now become accessible to many small companies. That is why the base models of the good old brands are not catching up in the market. I feel that good old brands need to price their base models at least 30 to 50% less than the small manufacturers to survive and throw them out of the market.The high end phones they need to focus much and include all possible comforts to make it successful.
With the partnership with Microsoft, Nokia will be able to slash a large chunk of software engineerings, targeting to save cost. It effectively increases profit margin. Layoff is a bad news to everyone. Nonetheless, it may help to save the company.
However, what important is I am hoping Nokia would not lose its spirit. I hope they would keep the human technology spirit and continue leveraging it to bring a better Windows 7 phone to the market.