What is Nokia planning?

They say that if you've got a problem, acknowledging it is the first step towards solving it. If that's the case, then Nokia looks like it's just taken that first step.

The Finnish phone maker has had a grim time of late. Profits and market share have fallen since the arrival of the iPhone in 2007 and Android a year later. Nokia still makes great phones, but its software - the outdated, open-source Symbian OS - can't keep up with Google and Android's functions, usability and range of apps.

This has led some to speculate that Nokia will abandon its own software platform and start making Windows Phone 7 or Android phones. And while we don't know anything for sure, that's looking a lot more likely after a memo sent out by its CEO, Stephen Elop, today.

Elop was brought in last year to shake things up at the phone giant - and it seems he's taken a long look at the company, and he doesn't like what he sees.

Nokia is 'standing on a burning platform,' Elop tells his staff in the memo. He tells the story of a man who lives on an oil platform, and wakes to find it on fire. He takes a leap into the unknown, jumping off into the icy sea, only to get rescued. Now, says Elop, it's Nokia's turn to take a leap into the unknown to face the threat of Apple, Google and cheap Chinese competition. 'We have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us,' he explains.

It's stirring stuff, and well worth reading the whole thing. But the real question is - what does it all mean? We'll find out on Friday, when Elop is due to address the public with his plan to turn things around.

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