Dr. Kai Öistämö, EVP devices and Dr. Tero Ojanperä, EVP services, Nokia

Between them, these two gentlemen are responsible for generating ideas that are good enough to keep Nokia at the leading edge of both handset design and consumer mobile usage.

Formerly the firm’s CTO and subsequently responsible for all of its offerings in music, video and TV, games, software distribution and social networking services, Ojanperä was the man behind the launch of Ovi, Nokia’s bid for application store success. Whether or not this will prove sufficiently attractive remains to be seen but Nokia has for many years harboured a desire to cement its place in the end user relationships. Back in the days of Club Nokia, the vendor was still to beholden to its carrier customers to make a go of this dream, but the game is far more open now and Ojamperä shoulders the responsibility of turning that dream into a reality.

Dr. Tero Ojanperä, EVP services, Nokia

Dr. Tero Ojanperä, EVP services, Nokia

His success or lack of it will no doubt have a good deal to do with the devices that Öistämö’s unit turns out, and the extent to which they can compete in the cool stakes with Apple, Android and the rest.

Öistämö probably has the hardest job in mobile phones, given that he has to mastermind the development of a portfolio that represents 40 per cent of the world market. While Apple can focus all of its intellect and finance on producing the best possible phone for advanced users with plenty of disposable income, this is only a fraction of Öistämö’s responsibility. He has to churn out mid-tier and entry level handsets as well.

Ovi and the N97 are just the beginning and while Nokia’s global market share still looks almost unassailable, the firm is under attack from all sides. It might retain leadership, but can it ensure that it still manufactures what the market thinks are the best phones and delivers what the market thinks are the best services?

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