turns its back on Nokia

Uh-oh, Nokia, when your biggest fans start jumping ship, it’s definitely time to re-think your smartphone strategy.

Today, The Guru at Symbian Guru chucked in his Nokia-branded towel (and blog) and purchased a Nexus One.

Think about it: a guy that loved Symbian so much that he started a website dedicated to it, has now given up on the OS entirely. So much so that he’s not even writing about it anymore.

But I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. I mean, I was there a year ago.

I bought my first Nokia in 1999, and proudly flaunted their brand until 2009 when I defected to Android. I remember, only 6 months before I bought my HTC Hero, I was excited about the N97. The specs were unbelievable, and my N95 was a great phone for its age.

But that’s the big thing here: “for its age.” What was the N97 but a larger N95 with a terrible touchscreen? I couldn’t find one compelling difference between it and the two-year-old N95.

And then I started looking at Android phones.

Gone was the ugly font-rendering, the endless lists, the memory errors, the terrible browser. Here was the future. If I didn’t like an aspect of the phone, I could just replace that app with another one. The browser opened web pages in just a few seconds. There was an app store actually populated with apps — more so, apps that I would use!

This wasn’t like a smartphone I’d used before, this seemed like a whole new device. A whole new instrument that I could use around the house for entertainment, information, home automation, and so many other things. This was almost a whole new paradigm.

So, what I’m trying to say is that I’m unsurprised that The Guru has ordered a Nexus One. It’s got a bright future ahead of it: in 6 months the device will be running a whole new version of its OS, while the N8 will probably only be getting software patches.

So, to The Guru, I raise my glass, and congratulate him in leaving (joining?) the dark side. You made the right choice: it’s nice here on the Greener side of the fence.

Nokia, if you want to continue to compete in the smartphone market, you have to change now.