For a week or so now we've been mulling over Nokia boss Stephen Elop's frank admission that the company needed to “build, catalyse or join a competitive ecosystem” to turn around its fading fortunes.
However, we've finally been able to get our hands on the full 1,300 word memo that comment came from, and rest assured – the rest is far, far worse. Nokia, Elop says, is “standing on a burning platform”.
Elop's internal comments to Nokia staff certainly weren't met for wider consumption – though an anonymous leak to Engadget took care of that – but has words remain a remarkably stark and brutal assessment of where the company finds itself.
“While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia?,” he writes. “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 memo comes ahead of Nokia's much talked-about Capital Markets Day this Friday, where Elop is expected to make a major announcement on the future of the company. Many expect him to announce an alliance with Windows Phone 7 to get its smartphone agenda back on track, and while that remains to be seen, it's clear he has little confidence in MeeGo's ability to get the job done.
“We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough,” the memo read. “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.”
Apple, meanwhile, he praised for “redefining the smartphone”, while Android, he says, has become “a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry's innovation to its core”.
“Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem,” he warned, before delivering the now-familiar: “This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.”
It's safe to say that the entire mobile industry will now be focused on hearing news from the Capital Markets Day get-together in London on Friday. We'll give you the news as soon as we hear it. In the meantime, you can read the grisly 1,300-word memo in full over at Engadget.