In a frank memo circulated among staff at Finnish mobility giant Nokia, CEO Stephen Elop has issued a brutal assessment of the company's current situation to staff, saying that they are "standing on a burning platform".
The email, obtained by Engadget, comes just a fortnight after troubled Nokia's pre-tax profits tumbled by 22%.
In the memo, Elop wrote: "We must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.
"We have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us," said Elop, who joined Nokia from Microsoft last year after his predecessor was shown the door.
"Today, Apple owns the high-end range. Android [has] created a platform that attracts developers, service providers and hardware manufactrueres, they are now winning the mid-range," he said.
"[In] the low-end price range, manufacturers in the Shenzen region of China ... produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally, taking share from us in emerging markets.
"We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time," he concluded.
In his most candid statements since becoming CEO, Elop said that Nokia didn't have a product to touch Apple, and that its Symbian OS was completely non-competitive.
The vendor is now facing a downgrade of its credit ratings, following action by Moody's and Standard & Poors.
Earlier this week an analyst at investment bank Berenberg suggested a technology alliance with Microsoft as a potential solution for Nokia's problems.
Others, meanwhile, will be watching this week's Capital Markets Day event, at which Elop is widely expected to unveil a new strategy to turn Nokia's fortunes around.