Doubts exist about Nokia's smartphone strategy from all quarters, and recent moves show quite clearly they exist within Nokia's Board of Directors. Such doubts are also shared by many outsiders.
Members of the financial media are skeptical about Nokia's snub of Google's Android. In an August Fortune article, JP Mangalindan suggests they would be wise to follow the example of Motorola, and outsource their software to Google to just focus on the hardware business. It's hard to fault Nokia for wishing to maintain control of the development of both hardware and software for their devices. Apple and Research in Motion have each proven the profit potential contained within a vertically-integrated mobile strategy.
Apple and Google both have implemented strategies that successfully cater to their developers. Their developer community is a critical component of Nokia's future smartphone success or failure. The current state of affairs should be another cause for concern within the company ranks. Members of their developer community have begun to express open doubts about Nokia's smartphone strategy, about the OVI Store, and about the dual-development track which has previous-generation Symbian OS and next-generation MeeGo OS simultaneously coexisting, without a clear roadmap for their merger or Symbian's end-of-life.
Developer Harry Fairhead summarized the situation facing Nokia developers recently, in an early-August article:
Nokia is succeeding in confusing rather than encouraging developers. It has said that it will continue using Symbian for its lower end handsets but handsets after the N8 will run MeeGo, an operating system that is in development.
So what do you do develop for - Symbian or MeeGo?
Does Nokia really expect us to develop for both?
The hacker community can often provide another legitimate early insight into perceptions of a platform. It may be worth paying attention to the growing interest around the NITDroid project, whose developers are creating a compatible version of the Android operating system suitable for Nokia’s internet tablets.