Nokia's 6th straight quarterly loss, announced this morning, is obviously rough on the company, but it wasn't hard to see coming. For some time now it's been clear that only a sucker would buy a Windows Phone before the next version comes out. Lucky for Nokia, we're just weeks away from that.
Back in June when Microsoft revealed details about Windows Phone 8 they also revealed that current Windows Phone models--including the ones that Nokia is trying to sell today--would not run the new version of the OS. Since they had just made a great case for how compelling the new version was, the obvious subtext to the message was that the current models were a dead-end. You'd be smart to wait for the new ones.
To underscore this message, in September Nokia debuted their Lumia 920, an impressive device and one more reason not to buy a current model.
To clarify, not only is it dumb to buy the current models, it's especially dumb to buy one with a long-term plan from a carrier. This gives the carriers no reason to waste time trying to sell these models.
Within a few weeks the new Windows Phones from Nokia and HTC and others will start hitting the market from the carriers and in Microsoft stores. They will be running the new Windows Phone 8 OS, which has many great selling points and which is a much more desirable target for app developers.
Nokia's old markets were dying anyway and they had to make some sort of move. Windows Phone seemed like a reasonable bet and it still might be. Maybe not next quarter, but by the quarter after that we should know if they'll survive.