When I came to know of the launch of Nokia N9, my first reaction was - What????, and followed by a slow, sigh-flavored Why??
Imagine you are on a stage delivering a speech, and your pants suddenly come undone, revealing your red polka-dotted underwear, you have two choices - you can either gently apologize and excuse yourself, and announce to the audience that you will be back shortly with a new pair; or you can attempt some form of humor about falling pants and polka dots and such...
It is obvious that the latter choice doesn't count as "saving grace". It counts towards "making matters worse". Sometimes its wiser to not do anything and just wait it out till you get a chance to wear a brand new pair of pants again.
It's surprising that Elop and team are not able to fathom that stop-gap arrangements are just that - stop-gap. No matter how elaborate and wonderful the arrangement -- the N9 has a new design, no buttons, NFC, a new OS (the first and last phone on MeeGo), 1 GHz processor -- but all smartphone fans out there are today more aware of their AMOLEDs and qHDs than ever before, and can therefore be quite ruthless in shunning a phone that they know has no future.
It would perhaps have been more sane to just announce to the world that Nokia will not launch any phones till Fall of this year, when it finally comes out with WP7. All great companies have to reinvent themselves once in a while. Even a complete reset perhaps if the market so demands. But if done with some forethought and clear thinking, the market can actually respect a company that announces significantly reduced sales for two quarters, followed by revised revenue guidance for the next few quarters. Much better perhaps than to invest resources in creating a new phone that won't sell much.
They believe they are stoking a fire. What they have ignored is that there's a difference between the fire burning down your house, and the fire slowly burning in your hearth. The actions taken now will determine whether the house remains or not.
Wait for your new pair of pants, Nokia. It's worth it. We have sworn by your phones, and I am sure it's not very difficult to regain lost ground against those iphones and gingerbreads if you can get your act together again - in time.
Or this Fall, could be your final fall.