Analysts advise Nokia to dump MeeGo

Dump Meego and switch to Windows Phone 7 is the message sent to Nokia this week by a number of analysts.

In an open letter to Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Berenberg Bank’s Adnaan Ahmad said Nokia’s move to Windows Phone 7 would benefit both companies.

The analysts urged the struggling company to ditch the Symbian OS – which has been dropped by the likes of Sony Ericsson and Samsung – as well as the unreleased released MeeGo. They said developing smartphones with Microsoft’s OS would give them a much better advantage.

The recommendations come as Nokia’s newly appointed CEO, Stephen Elop plans to talk about how he will turn around the struggling business next week.

“Get rid of your own proprietary high-end solution (MeeGo) – it’s the biggest joke in the tech industry right now and will put you even further behind Apple and Google,” Ahmad advised Elop.

“Focus your high-end portfolio around WP7, and over time you can take the cost down (that’s Steve [Ballmer’s] job and cost base) to get this into the mid-range market.

“Push your Symbian solutions into the low-to-mid-range smartphone market as quickly as possible to defend market share versus Android’s upcoming lowered cost ecosystem.”

Ahmad claims Microsoft also needs the support of the world’s biggest smartphone maker. “Two million units [of Windows Phone 7] shipped in the last quarter is not really much to write home about, given $500m in marketing programmes (ouch), but with Nokia on-side, you get access to a potential 20-25 percent global share over time – and exclusivity.

The analyst’s advice was echoed by Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, who said the switch to Windows Phone 7 “would address the key concern we have had about Nokia for the last several years: terrible software”.

MeeGo, which is in joint development with Intel, has already had its fair share of trouble despite it not even being launched. Back in November we heard that developers were none too trusting of the OS. Reasons for this included that it was late to market, it showed no signs of a solid app framework and didn’t have enough to differentiate it from other popular choices. Intel and Co. continue to pin hopes on Meego – showing off with a spendthrift attitude at a conference in Dublin where they rented the entire Guinness brewery.

And it doesn’t seem Nokia’s people have faith in the OS either. In October its MeeGo Devices VP, Ari Jaaksi resigned – leaving the company in the lurch.