IDC just reported yesterday that Nokia had fallen from 39% market share in Europe to 11% in smartphones, lost literally three out of every four customers they had in Europe just six months ago. The biggest in Europe in smartphones is now Samsung at 22%, with iPhone number 2 at 21%, third is HTC at 14%, fourth is RIM also at 14% and down in fifth place lingers Nokia smartphones at 11%. I suggested Nokia would fall globally to about a quarter of its market but that would take a year. They are failing much faster under Stephen Elop's misguided mismanagement and in their biggest and most profitable market they have lost in less than six months three quarters of their market already. The situation at Nokia is far worse than any of us could predict.
To give some more understanding of Nokia smartphones, I did a bit of very complex and time-consuming multi-dimensional optimization modelling on their quarterly results data and some other data points we have received. We can now paint a very accurate picture of what Nokia was like in Q4 of 2010, the last quarter before the Elop Effect happened on Feb 11 and destroyed Nokia's value.
This type of analysis was not possible until Nokia released its profitability information by division this July, but now we can calculate the actual contribution of not just overall Symbian handsets to all handsets of Nokia (previously some Nokia smartphones vs dumbphones info was only aggregated into one handsets unit). And why I can only do it for Q4, is that in the Q4 2010 quarterly results investor call, CEO Stephen Elop confirmed the sales number of 5 million Symbian S^3 handsets sold in Q4. If we had that official number for Q1 or Q2, I could do similar analysis for newer quarters too. But here is the full picture of Nokia smartphone and dumbphone sales.
So to be clear, we know as certain numbers the unit sales, average sales prices, sales revenues, and profitability of the dumbphones/featurephones (ie non-smartphones) and separately the smartphones. The smartphones side includes both older 'uncompetitive' Symbian S60 based smartphones, and the new, initially VERY competitive and user-friendly Symbian S^3 smartphones that were selling like hot cakes until the Elop Effect killed the success of all Nokia phones, not just Symbian S60 but S^3 and even Nokia branded dumbphones.
What we did not know is the split of Symbian S^3 vs older Symbian S60 in units sold, revenues, average prices or profits. We furthermore did not know the regional split of all the phone types dumbphones, and the two types of smartphones. But some patient multidimensional modelling will get the numbers as we have some critical data points added, the 5 million S^3 sales number and now the profits by divisions.
This is Nokia Q4 of 2010, the quarter when Symbian's new S^3 was released (led by the N8):
Type . . . . . . . . . . . . Units . . . . . . ASP . . . . . . Revenues . . . . Profitability . . . . Operating Profit
Dumbphones . . . . . . 95.4 Million . . 43 Euro . . . 4.1B Euro . . . . 11.5% . . . . . . . 470M Euro
Symbian S60 . . . . . . 23.3 Million . . 128 Euro . . .3.0B Euro . . . . 9.3% . . . . . . . . 276M Euro
Symbian S^3 . . . . . . 5.0 Million . . 284 Euro . . 1.4B Euro . . . . 19.1% . . . . . . . . 277M Euro
All smartphones . . . 28.3 Million . . 155 Euro . . . 4.4B Euro . . . . 12.5% . . . . . . . 548M Euro
All Nokia phones . . 123.7 Million . . 69 Euro . . . 8.5B Euro . . . . 12.0% . . . . . . . 1,1B Euro
So, how did the so-called 'failing' Symbian S^3 do then? It sold 5 million copies in one quarter - thats second only to Apple's iPhone 4 and far better than any other new OS version release, or new OS launch or new smartphone model line launched ever - including more sold than Samsung's latest Galaxy.
How did it contribute to Nokia? It jumped Nokia's smartphone average sales price so much, that Symbian S^3 smartphones earned on average 2.2 times more than other Symbian based smartphones. Nokia's new S^3 average sales price gets it in the price range of HTC and Blackberry (while still obviously half that of Apple's iPhone). Just as a note, Microsoft's head of Windows Mobile, Andy Lees, said in July to Microsoft developers that the average sales price of Windows Mobile based smarpthones is only 200 dollars (vs 284 Euros for Nokia's Symbian S^3 which is about 411 US dollars) and that would be down to between $100 and $150 next year. So Nokia had a huge growth engine in Symbian's latest S^3, which it swaps for an undesirable OS whose boss says their prices are being nearly halved in the next year. But I digress.
The profitability of Nokia's new Symbian S^3 is the most interesting tidbit - double the profitabilty compared to older Symbian S60. So Nokia profitability for S^3 was 19.5% in Q4 of 2011. And now a few comparisons: Of their Fortune Global 500 ranking in 2011 (which reflects their latest full annual results in 2010) we find Samsung corporation (includes much more than phones, obviously from televisions to microchips) was 10%. LG (similarly multi-business conglomerate) had profitability of 2%. RIM the Blackberry maker had a profitability of 17%. Nokia Corporation (including all types of handsets and its networking and Navteq units) earned a measily 4% profit. But CEO Stephen Elop discovered a true jewel in his crown, in Symbian S^3, that produced highly desirable Nokia Symbian smartphones on a 19.5% profitability! This is pure gold. And in just the first roll-out quarter, Nokia migrated 17.7% of its total smartphone production to this new hot profit engine. No wonder the smartphone unit profits surged 64% - yes, 64% in just one quarter.
I have explained here earlier, that if you manage to grow sales, grow average sales prices and grow profits in the same quarter, that is absolute proof that you are onto a hit product. Normally to get increase in sales you do it with either an decrease in price or with added marketing expenses (which reduces profitability) but with Nokia Q4, they had the very rare trifecta, increased unit sales, increased average prices and increased sales. So undeniably Nokia found itself with a big global hit in the N8 and its siblings that ran the latest version of Symbian S^3. And anyone who claims Symbian was not competitive with Android or Windows (either version) or RIM/Blackberry or the iPhone or bada or Palm/WebOS etc, is simply not dealing with facts. The OLD version of Symbian ie S60 was not competing well, it was struggling in the market and seeing declining sales and declining average prices (and declining profits). But Nokia's latest OS version and smartphones running on it, were definitely a hit globally. Now lets see where those phones were sold:
Nokia Handset Units Sold by Type:
Region . . . S^3 units . . . S60 units . . dumbphones . . Total
Europe . . . 3.7 Million . . 8.9 Million . . 20.9 Million . . . 33.5 Million
MEA . . . . 0.4 Million . . 1.5 Million . . 20.3 Million . . . 22.2 Million
China . . . . 0.3 Million . . 7.8 Million . . 13.8 Million . . . 21.9 Million
APAC . . . 0.2 Million . . 2.6 Million . . 28.5 Million . . . 31.3 Million
N Am . . . . 0.2 Million . . 0.8 Millon . . 1.6 Million . . . 2.6 Million
LatAm . . . 0.2 Million . . 1.5 Million . . 10.4 Million . . . 12.2 Million
TOTAL . . 5.0 Million . 23.1 Million . . 95.5 Million . . 123.7 Million
(Note all totals match almost exactly with Nokia Q4 2010 results). A few definitions just to be clear, we use Nokia official classification so MEA is Middle East and Africa. APAC is Asia Pacific which includes Australia/Oceania. Then when we take the above numbers, and multiply them by the average sales prices as per the above, we get the following split of revenues:
Nokia Handset Revenues By Type:
Region . . . S^3 revenues . . . S60 revenues . . dumbphones . . . Total revenues
Europe . . . 1.0B Euro . . . . . 1.1B Euro . . . . . 900 M Euro . . . 3.1B Euro
MEA . . . . 113 M Euro . . . 193 M Euro . . 873 M Euro . . . 1.2B Euro
China . . . . 93 M Euro . . . 1.0B Euro . . . . . 591 M Euro . . . 1.7B Euro
APAC . . . 44 M Euro . . . 333 M Euro . . 1.2B Euro . . . . . 1.6B Euro
N Am . . . . 66 M Euro . . . 98 M Euro . . 69 M Euro . . . 233 M Euro
LatAm . . . 69 M Euro . . . 198 M Euro . . 447 M Euro . . . 715 M Euro
TOTAL . . 1.4 B Euro . . . . . 3.0B Euro . . . . . 4.1B Euro . . . . . 8.5B Euro
(note again, all totals match very closely the Q4 results for 2010). And now lets add in the profitability of the three units to get total profits by each region:
Nokia Handset Profits By Type:
Region . . . S^3 profits . . . S60 profits . . dumbphones . . Total profits
Europe . . . 200 M Euro . . 106 M Euro . . 104 M Euro . . . 409 M Euro
MEA . . . . 22 M Euro . . 18 M Euro . . 100 M Euro . . . 140 M Euro
China . . . . 18 M Euro . . 93 M Euro . . . 68 M Euro . . . 179 M Euro
APAC . . . 8 M Euro . . 31 M Euro . . .141 M Euro . . . 181 M Euro
N Am . . . . 13 M Euro . . 9 M Euro . . . 8 M Euro . . . 30 M Euro
LatAm . . . 13 M Euro . . 18 M Euro . . . 51 M Euro . . . 83 M Euro
TOTAL . . . 274 M Euro . . 275 M Euro . . 472 M Euro . . . 1.02B Euro
(once again the totals match very closely with those in the Q4 quarterly results). So, we can see now that the new Symbian S^3 was sold primarily in Europe, where 29% of all Nokia branded smartphones were Symbian S^3 phones. This is also by far Nokia's biggest market for total sales and biggest for Nokia handset revenues and profits. In it, the S^3 alone generated half of Nokia's total profit generated in Europe, while reflecting only 11% of all Nokia branded handsets sold in Europe. And this market we learn from IDC has utterly crashed due to the Elop Effect, and worse - this is precisely the market where Nokia's new N9 and other MeeGo handsets would be most welcomed and Elop refuses to sell them there. Total madness indeed. Europe was 40% of Nokia's total handset sales profits, and Symbian S^3 generated half of that in Q4. The Europeans love Nokia style, Nokia brand smartphones and were buying them madly before the Elop Effect. As the Elop Effect only affects Symbian phones, Nokia could avoid the reseller boycott by releasing the MeeGo based N9 and its siblings now, and recover much of that lost sales. The S^3 units in Q4 alone delivered 200 Million Euros of profits. If Nokia were only to recover that sales in Europe with the N9 (which costs more than 284 Euros) by releasing it widely in Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain etc (yes, Elop refuses to sell the N9 in any of those big European markets) the profits generated by the premium phone would nearly eliminate the losses generated by Nokia in Q2 !!!! This would be Europe alone, not to mention all the other regions that should get the N9, not just exotic tiny Nokia markets like haha, Kazakhstan (who are one of those 29 launch countries for the N9. How mad is Elop?)
But a few interesting observations from the above tables. In addion to Europe, the Symbian S^3 had captured 21% of Nokia smartphone sales in the Middle East and Africa region, the third best migration region for Symbian S^3, but quite surprising is the second best migration region - North America, where Symbian S^3 had taken 23% of all Nokia branded smartphone sales in Q4. Yes, obviously this is by far the smallest market, but even in North America the S^3 was driving a Nokia recovery. And we know the China region took to S^3 in a big way in Q1 but we do not have the data to calculate the exact contributions by region for Q1 unfortunately.
Two thirds of Nokia Symbian S60 sales were from Europe and the China region. So why not release the N9 in China then? We hear now that Nokia franchise stores - Nokia flagship stores in China - are suffering from the collapse of Nokia Symbian sales so badly, that they now have resorted to selling rival branded phones! Imagine MacDonald's selling Burger King branded burgers under the Yellow Arches? Thats how bad the Elop Effect has hit China. Why not release the N9 now, immediately, widely, globally?
And smarptohnes in Europe? Of Nokia's total corporate profits earned in any business in any market by any type of product, the smartphones business out of Europe generated 30% of Nokia's total profits in Q4 of 2010 - and out of that, the new Symbian S^3 generated two thirds of that profit out of Europe's smartphones. When we add China's smarpthones - these two regions, Europe and China, and their smarpthone business, not dumbphone business - generated 43% of Nokia's total profits in Q4. This is the 'Pareto Rule' ie the 80:20 rule, so as long as Nokia is doing well in Europe and China (and specifically smartphones there) - all of Nokia is fine, no matter how well Nokia does in any other part of its business, networks, dumbpohnes or Navteq, and in any other regions - North America, Latin America, Africa, rest of Asia, Oceania - it matters nothing if the smartphones business in Europe and China is crashing. Very illuminating indeed. It also gives clues to how quickly Nokia could be turned around if some idiot CEO stopped sabotaging his own sales in Europe and China.
And back to the S^3 premium smartphones. Using the current IDC numbers, Nokia's new S^3 had created a surge not just globally, but specifically in Europe. And ignoring all other Symbian S60 sales - the S^3 handsets alone had taken almost 15% of Europe - and thus S^3 alone would have been bigger than RIM or HTC or any other smarpthone brands in Europe except Apple and Samsung. And Nokia total Symbian sales towered over Apple and Samsung as recently as Q4, when in Nokia's biggest market - and the world's biggest smarpthone sales region then and now (Europe still sells more smarpthones than North America even now in Q2 although the gap is closing) - Nokia Symbian sales were far bigger than Apple AND Samsung - combined!
So now we know. Symbian was not dead. It had a strong Phoenix moment of recovery in Q4, when Symbian S^3 established a Nokia record for most sales of a new handset and new OS version, when three Nokia S^3 handsets (only one, N8, sold for the full quarter) produced a jump of 7% in Nokia branded smartphone sales, reversed a Nokia-pattern quarterly decline of 7% in average prices that had held true for as far as one can remember but rather produced a 14% jump in ASP (thus creating a 21% jump in average prices over where they should have been without S^3); and this in turn produced what must be a Nokia record (we do not have historical data to know for sure) of 64% jump in profits for the smartphone unit. And while Phoenix died flying too close to the sun, the Nokia Symbian S^3 was not dying, it was killed - by its master, the new CEO.
So what was Nokia S^3 for the corporation and brand new CEO Stephen Elop in his first quarter when he was in charge? Symbian's brand new OS version was in only 4% of all phones sold by Nokia. They were an instant hit and generated 12% of total Nokia handset revenues in their first quarter during which only 3 models had the software and only one of the three handsets was sold for the full quarter. And of Nokia total profits in the quarter? A massive 22% of Nokia's total profits came out of those mere 4% of total Nokia branded phones sold that had the S^3 operating system from Symbian. This is genuinely a 'Goose that lays Golden Eggs' It is not just a new cash cow, it is your profit engine right there. 4% of devices produce 22% of your total profits. This brand new OS and its brand new phones are the heroes of Nokia that the brand new CEO inherited. Any other reasonably intelligent CEO would have celebrated this team and its amazing new software and the brand new phones, and rushed to promote and celebrate their success, to quickly spread S^3 to all Nokia smartphones - not to fire the programmers and put an end their successful operating system.
Of course if the new CEO is not interested in Nokia's best interest, and wants to kill Symbian no matter what kind of success it can generate, and wants to replace the world's bestselling OS with the best ecosystem with the world's least-selling smartphone OS with the weakest ecosystem to be adopted by Nokia instead, then that CEO would release memos and decisions causing an Elop Effect to destroy his own products and their success. That CEO would have to be a delusional psycopath and he would not be working in Nokia's best interests but rather, in the best interests of say, Microsoft. But such a lunatic CEO would only be possible in a Hollywood movie of an alternate universe. If you look at the above numbers - and Nokia's CEO and CFO had these numbers in February when he made those fatal Elop Effect decisions - you will see that you are sitting on a pile of gold in Symbian S^3 - if normally Symbian is able to sell at prices only roughly in the price of an SonyEricsson featurephone, and suddenly you have a hit phone series selling in the prices of far more expensvie smartphones of the HTC and Samsung and other Android phones - and the Blackberry - and you have such a highly desirable new product range which jumps your profits by 68% - that is success by any measure.
What you do, is spread it to the max, not kill it. You reward and promote the engineers who managed that turn-around, you don't go firing them! No wonder morale plummetted totally after Elop's February madness. But thats another story. I wanted to share the numbers as this is the kind of stuff I do on my vacation haha.. A good multidimensional statistical problem haha, I love that, its relaxation for me. Feel free to share the above numbers and please quote TomiAhonen Consulting as the source for those numbers which are not directly from Nokia quarterly results.