Nokia's leap of faith

Nokia might be in trouble, but chances are a technology giant will save it.

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Arguably the world's most hyped gadget, it needs no introduction. The iPhone is a modern technological craze all its own, and Apple hardly requires help promoting it. But it seems they are getting it anyway.

In a speech to his employees leaked online, Stephen Elop, the new chief executive of Nokia, criticised his own company's mobile phones, unfavourably comparing them to Apple's handset and music player.

"While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? " he said. "We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time." With such inspirational words coming from their competitors, its a wonder Apple even bothers with a marketing department.

However, it is hardly a secret that Nokia, once the industry leader, has lagged in mobile phone technology for several years. Mr Elop's melodramatic words are not exactly revealing, and could be a hint that Nokia will soon be realigning itself. On such subtle leaks, stocks often rally.

Mr Elop said Nokia was like man standing on a "burning platform" pondering whether to jump into "freezing waters" to save himself. If Nokia does indeed take the plunge, cold economic realities might dictate that the likes of Microsoft or Google would be waiting with a lifeline.