Nokia sold 28.3 million smartphones during Q4 2010, up from 20.8 million in Q4 2009 and 26.5 million in Q3 2010. While Espoo is definitely seeing growth, Q4 2010's number represents 31 percent share of the smartphone market in that quarter, according to the company's own estimates, down from 40 percent in Q4 2009 and 38 percent in Q3 2010.
Many believe that the company needs to adopt a new operating system, and we're not just talking about Meego. Android has been suggested, but for various reasons, including the fact that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop worked for Microsoft from January 2008 to September 2010, the consensus is that Windows Phone 7 is on the table. During this past quarter's earnings conference call, Elop certainly hinted that adopting a new mobile OS and ecosystem is possible, according to All Things Digital:
"There are clearly some gems upon we will build Nokia's strategy," Elop said. At the same time, he said the company must move faster than it has if it hopes to regain lost ground. In particular, Elop said the company must have a better strategy around operating systems. "The game has changed from battle of devices to war of ecosystems," Elop said, adding later that "Our industry has changed and we have to change faster." Although Elop didn't name any names, he did talk about the need for the company to "build or join a competitive ecosystem," suggesting that it might be open to shifting to a competing platform. And while he wouldn't confirm such a move, he said that the company could pull off such a switch because of its strong brand and relationship with operators.
Nokia's Strategy and Financial Briefing will be taking place in London on February 11, 2011. Let's hope that after we wait patiently over the next two weeks, Elop will tell us something much more specific about the company's roadmap.