Former Nokia employees described to the NYTimes the frustration they encountered while at the company. Stories of a touchscreen phone killed off three years before the iPhone ever appeared are only the start of their worrying problems. [NYTimes]
The article pretty clearly illustrates why Nokia failed to capitalize on internally generated ideas which were years ahead of their time: management bureaucracy and design by committee.
Contrast that to Apple's "whatever Steve wants" style, and you'll see why Apple was able to actually get products to market when Nokia couldn't.
Nokia also did a demo of the touchscreen smartphone for a focus group of business users, which is also something you won't see Apple do. Again, if Steve thinks it's "insanely great", it gets the green light. If not, it's toast.
While you run the risk of one individual potentially making bad product decisions, Steve's track record since returning to Apple has been unparalleled in the annals of business history.