©2014 INSEAD Case Study
In late 2010, Nokia is confronted with a fundamental strategic decision. Its competitive position has been eroding rapidly, and its existing operating system –Symbian– cannot be upgraded to compete against Apple’s i-OX and Google’s Android platforms. Nokia has had a new operating system under development for several years, but progress is slow. Nokia is negotiating with both Google to join Android (an “open” platform) and Microsoft (itself seeking to strengthen its Windows’ Mobile). To reach a decision, Nokia needs to compare the features of the operating systems, their value as a platform, the advantages or disadvantages of fully open vs. semi-open propriety platforms, and the determinants of competitive advantage between their offerings. It also needs to assess the innovations of its potential partners, their future strategies, and the likelihood of their success. The case allows a comparison of the strategic choices of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung, and their organizational capabilities.