Nokia: We depend on uninformed customers, deception preserves brand value and uncompetitive software will keep us competitive

In a previous post I asked whether Nokia’s strategy is dependent on a “built-in assumption that end users are inherently stupid.”

Nokia confirmed that this is indeed the case.

“Millions of consumers are oblivious to the announcements that we have made,” she said. Those consumers value Nokia’s brand, she said, and will continue to buy devices provided the company keeps making competitive products.

via Nokia’s Jo Harlow on the Move To Windows Phone, the Future of Symbian and More | Ina Fried | Mobilized | AllThingsD

There are three statements being made:

  1. Nokia is counting on uninformed customers, not just end users but the shops and operators which will keep stocking the end-of-life product lines. There needs to be a conspiracy of stupidity for this plan to work.
  2. Nokia’s brand will survive even after customers are deceived into buying lame duck products. The idea that buyers value a brand that is offering products that the company does not believe have a future is cynical.
  3. The absurd implication that Nokia’s products will be “competitive” even though management asserted clearly and emphatically that the software they run–the very basis of competition for any smartphone–isn’t. If a smartphone is expected to be competitive even though its software isn’t then it’s not competing on the basis of software. If it isn’t then how smart is this smartphone?

One gets the sense that Nokia is undergoing significant ethical decay.


To paraphrase the ethical dilemma:

“We want a three horse race. We’re not there yet. In the meantime we have a sturdy donkey that can still walk. We expect 150 million people to bet on it.”


I take issue with the ethics of jumping off a burning platform while selling tickets to tourists to come visit.