That’s why the Finnish phone giant has poached Stephen Elop from Microsoft.
For almost three years, Elop has been running Microsoft’s $19 billion Business Division, its most profitable unit, which includes its Office suite. Before that, he held top executive positions at Juniper, Adobe and Macromedia – all Silicon Valley companies.
Here’s what Elop is up against: Nokia still has the largest volumes in the phone industry, but its revenues and profit margins have declined over the past three years; Nokia earned $10.6 billion on $75.2 billion in revenue in 2007, and that was down to $380 million on $58.8 billion in 2009.
Profits are shifting toward smartphone offerings from folks like Apple, which differentiate themselves based on advanced operating system software and apps. Nokia instead has bet the farm on Symbian, an underpowered smartphone OS that has failed to hold its own against the newcomers.