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November 02, 2011

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DEKRA

The sheer hatred that seeps from this blog when either Elop or Windows Phone crosses the table. It destroys an otherwise very nice read.

While the facts aren't wrong or distorted. There is a one way train of thought; a true best seller of a phone can't make any ommission in specs like a front facing camera etc. Let me tell you, I've had FFC's in every Nokia I had (4 years long) and have never used them. The same goes for friends with iPhone4's.

There are markets where it might be used more or demographics that are more likely to use them. But when the majority doesn't use them and incorporating one into you design would cost more time and money the decision to drop it makes sense.

General reaction to the Lumia 800 is good, a lot of positive comments, news and previews. The tendency that you have is to compare what Nokia was in the past, feature packed phones that could do everything decent is what Nokia should be now as well or else they will fail.

Times have changed, in part due to Apple, people expect a very smooth user experience. That is something the Lumia line does provide. Yes, it does lack some things that even I would miss, but the jerky and unreliable experience with Symbian powered phones I can also miss like a big headache. It's a sense of lose some and win some. In this case the whole smooth UX is what will sell the Lumia's together with the very nice hardware and feel the exterior has.

Don't forget that Samsung even sold the orignal Galaxy S without a flash on the back. That still sold like hot cakes while it lacked something even the more basic camera phones had.

Thom McKiernan (@thommck)

I was slightly surprised to see a lower spec than the N9 but I think this is simply a marketing decision, i.e. get something out for Christmas.
I predict the next WP Nokia in 2012 will be up to iPhone 5 (rumoured) standards. They surely started working on it at the same time as the existing Lumias. This way it will seem like a mega-improvement to a sturdy existing product line.

Alexander Harrowell

It's the old Nokia 90%-of-great antipattern, innit. E7 - six kinds of awesome, but without the great camera from the N8, etc, etc.

eFlop

Why is the Lumia 800 a downgrade from N9? Simply because the all the internals are completely different. The Windows Phone platform just doesn't support all the hardware that Linux does. It only supports certain Qualcomm chipsets. One of the key strengths of Linux is the excellent existing hardware support, and the fact that if the support for a certain piece of HW doesn't exist yet, anyone can add it.

The Lumias use Qualcomm MSM8255 (4-band radio integrated) whereas N9 uses Texas Instruments OMAP3630 + Nokia (well, sold to Renesas last year) 5-band radio.

Vikram

The list of specs don't matter. Usability matters and Nokia was outgunned from 2007. The iPhone 2G was outsold but only because it was on many fewer carriers.

No one cares about NFC (yet). It isn't a selling feature especially now with people using Apps + Data as the wallet (see Tapbuy and the the new Square App)

I have an iPhone 4 and 2 Android phones as I travel overseas all the time and the Lumia 800 is what I will use to replace my Android phones. Prior to the iPhone I bought Nokia phones because they truly were the best phones in the world (especially loved the Communicators) and Nokia has always had beautiful hardware but frankly the N95 did not match up with the iPhone regardless of the Nokia's appstore and ecosystem and at the time some better specced tech. The Software Is What Matters for most use cases. Nokia software - the experience of the phone - was far short of the iPhone, especially since the iPhone had iTunes and a far superior web-browser.

I am really looking forward to the Lumia 800 which is the first Nokia phone since the iPhone that I want, and I hate MSFT - but Windows Phone 7 is very nice - and I am looking forward to the Lumia for my travels.

Not having the front facing camera is a little lame, I admit. I read somewhere that this is because they didn't have time to engineer it in for the holiday season. I don't think that it was because of Elop choosing simply to forgo it.

Pdexter

People wont care about the specs, it's great to see Nokia finally understanding it with 800.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi DEKRA and Thom

DEKRA - I call it as I see it. I have said VERY plainly on this blog when anyone in the industry makes mistakes, be it Motorola or Vodafone or Sprint or indeed Nokia. In the case of Nokia, I called it when Elop made mistakes (and celebrated when he made right choices too). And it seems I am increasingly being proven right. For example I said on this blog the naming decision change was idiotic. A huge marketing cost involved. Now only months later, the decision has been reversed. If Elop had been smart, he would have done the right thing the first time around. I call it as it is, but clearly this new naming scheme is not in line with what Nokia announced at the time when I was critical - and as you can CLEARLY read in my blog, I am supportive of this newest decision on that marketing/branding decision. I understand you DEKRA read this blog story in isolation, and don't know I have been commenting on the industry for over 10 years and over 12 books. I have a record haha..

As to forward-facing camera. If you don't use it, is pretty irrelevant. If the 'vast majority' of users don't use it, is still pretty irrelevant. All operators report a small percentage of their 3G traffic from videocalls and related video services. It is not a 'killer application' that the industry originally expected/hoped over a decade ago but there is a steady trickle of the traffic - and here is the point - this is 'Metcalfe's Law' in action - you need the installed base of users - the utility of the network increases in the square of the number of nodes in the network - so the 3G operators/carriers WANT every phone to be videocall enabled - so that the few who feel they want to do a video call, will find a friend's phone is also capable of it..

So its 'not' about whether 75% or 7% or 0.7% of people 'use' videocalls - if any handset maker now offers premium 3G phones without forward-facing cameras - the carrier will not appreciate it. The number of users or traffic is irrelevant, because due to Metcalfe's Law the operators/carriers 'need' the number of potential users to grow..

If you want to argue that the 'general reaction' to mobile has been good that it should in some way influence me, you are on the wrong blog. I truly couldn't care less what others write about this industry. After 12 books and with more than 100 other authors quoting me already, I 'HAVE' to give 'MY' honest view, not cater to what is the public opinion. I would be a fraud otherwise.

Thom - I hear you. It would make sense, if the N9 was sold as the top-line flagship phone. But in case you didn't know, the biggest markets for Nokia smartphones were Europe and Asia. The biggest markets in Europe were Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and France - and NONE of these will get the N9. So in all of those markets (as well as many in Asia) the best phone the customer can see in any store - is the Lumia 800. And while you and I do know its a mid-price phone due to a marketing/segmenting reason, the consumer doesn't know that. They will take the L800 and compare it to the iPhone 4S etc and while before Nokia seemed to have 'competitive' phones, now the L800 is definitely an 'inferior' phone - and not just will Lumia 800 phone sales suffer - the overall Nokia brand suffers.

I do agree with you that once Nokia has most of its smartphone portfolio on Windows Phone - we will have very good premium phones, including something 'better' than the N8/N9 and another better than the E7/N950 etc...

Thank you both for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

E.Casais

> And the N9 is an impressive package indeed

No, it is not, and when announced it was a portent of how low Nokia was falling:

no HDMI;
no USB on the go;
no SD card;
no FM radio;
microSIM card instead of miniSIM;
no replaceable battery;
no support for Flash, nor for file uploading in the browser.

In terms of specifications, the N9 was _already_ a big step backwards compared to the N8. Granted, it was a half-hearted development. But with such bare specifications, why would a Symbian, iPhone or Android user consider it as a flagship?

The new WP phones are actually targeted at consumers -- hence the absence of so many technical features, and the emphasis in WP 7.5 on a smooth UI and on social networks.

If this means that Nokia is abandoning advanced users, especially in the business market, then I really do not see how the company will be able to rebound.

By the way: did anybody notice that these features that are now disappearing (front-facing camera, SD cards, USB-on-the-go, HDMI, WLAN tethering, FM-radio) all relate to connectivity (as in "Connecting People"), and that the new WP/MeeGo/iPhone devices all seem to force people to connect to the cloud, instead of to other devices or people?

@rodrigottr

Tomi


In my analysis the weakest point of Nokia's and MSFT's strategy with Windows Phone is not on the definitely true missing points of the Lumia 800. Is about its support from other important stakeholders who have a very big influence over end consumer sales.

One of the things that most surprises me is the fact that any Android or iPhone from last year can perform better the use of one of the newest MSFT services (Skype) better then the brand new, and also called the *the first true windows phone* Lumia 800. There is no front face camera!

But that is not the weakest point.

The weakest point is that Windows Phone is a plan B for HW makers (a way for HTC, Sammy, LG feeling not so dependable of Google) and a plan B for carriers (as they priorities are the more carrier friendly Android). That means HW markers will spend less money and energy on WP then Android and also carriers will also spend less on WP then Android.

The question is: WHY?

HW makers: Why would HW markers invest on a paid OS which is less customizable, which has a smaller ecosystem, which has a smaller support for cheaper hardware, which is less known by users, which has less carrier support?

Carriers: why would carriers invest on a less customizable OS, with smaller ecosystem, with no support for cheaper hardware, less known by users which demands a bigger sales effort, and which is fully integrated with the heavy data demanding Skype?

For both the only answer is: for not being 100% dependable of Google. And much more on HW makers side then on Carriers side. Carriers are not as afraid of Google as HW markers are. And carriers have a much bigger power to influence consumers then HW makers have.

And there are some more important points: while Apple has their own stores and are less dependable from carriers the carriers fully engaged on Android for delivering their products, does MSFT or Nokia has any own Stores?

What about brand? How can they send users the message that Windows Phone is different from the Flop of Windows Mobile 6.5? How can they show users so used to having a Apple experience on their phones that this Windows experience will be different from its windows experience from PCs and also different from Windows Mobile 6.5?

So. the real first challenge is to fight for Mindshare.

I see that MSFT and Nokia will have to face some big challenges here and in the circumstances they are now they are only an alternative for not being 100% dependable of Google and that means they are not that interested on WP to sell amazingly. They only want it to sell a little to show Google they want Google to walk straight and to never give Motorola better conditions or they go walk with the competitor MSFT.

I've a deeper analysis to share with you in my blog

www.apitoemercado.blogspot.com

for some information about WP challenges look here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-phone-is-selling-so-poorly-last-quarter-it-finished-behind-a-platform-youve-probably-never-heard-of-2011-8

http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-elop-why-use-a-nokia-windows-phone-2011-10

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-great-argument-for-more-microsoft-stores-2011-6

DS

Maybe it is that Elop have split the N9/Lumia 800 intro countries basing on the software ecosystem relevance?
The markets in which users are primarily focussed on app availability got WP7, markets that Elop hoped to cash on Nokia brand connected with superb user experience, sell N9 as a super-feature phone, one that does the expected set of advanced functions best in class.
In my country (Poland) N9 is honestly marketed as a Nokia flagship( I can't report about operator availability). Markets that have mobile phone users mind wrapped around ecosystem idea N9 is replaced with L800 not to confuse customers.

Jonathan

Good thing first. Tomi acknowledges that Nokia management did major blunders *before* Elop. Trying to make Symbian suitable for touch screens and the resulting N97 and friends were huge mistakes.

Elop is cleaning up the mess.

Bad things coming, Tomi still is under delusion that N8 was a great phone and that S3 had a future. It was a dog with a great camera.

Regarding software, still, a year since release with the Anna update, it is a horrible mess. Not nearly matching the user experience of even iPhone 3G, not to mention 3GS or 4. Starting from the browser, a very minor part of the internet phone experience... :)

Hardware wise, forgetting the camera, N8 was years behind the competition. it was ARM11 CPU, not Cortex-A8, as N900 or iPhone 3GS a year before and everybody else who was even trying to be current. The budget wonder, ZTE Blade with 25% of the retail price has a comparable CPU, and actually more fluid user experience (I tested it last spring, before Anna)

I have been hearing great things about Belle, I hope it is not a huge let down as Anna was.

A small correction, E90 Communicator was contemporary to the first iPhone, not 3G, it was released mid 2007. It was *huge*, about double the volume of iPhone, and frankly, iPhone's virtual keyboard beats the crap out of E90 (your mileage may vary, I know some people, surprisingly few, still vouch for physical keyboards)

kevin

Regarding the Lumia, I find it hard to blame just Elop. I believe it's more likely that Nokia engineering is still unable to execute in a very rapid fashion. Because of the use of Windows Phone, the Lumia 800 has a different CPU from the N9, thus much of the hardware internals are likely to have been reworked. Plus the hardware-to-WP7 interfaces are new for Nokia engineers. Thus, both of those could easily account for the lack of NFC and FFC. Better to not have them at all, than to have poor implementation.

As for not launching in U.S.: Nokia is going to get one chance to make a good impression on the American public on its return, so Nokia could be waiting to launch with a better smartphone (obviously not the Lumia 710 but maybe there is a Lumia 9xx coming in 1Q2012), and/or Nokia could be seeking to first build up good press overseas and gain some momentum. Nokia may also have calculated that it would easily get drubbed by iPhone 4S (in sales and reviews) on Apple's home turf in 4Q2011; even HTC is estimating a sales decrease qoq because of iPhone and because U.S. is such a big part of their sales.

I can understand blaming the naming decision on Elop but not these other things.

Tim F.

I can't believe after finally starting to sound like you slightly understood the changes Apple (at first) and (now, additionally) Android are forcing on the market, you repeated your same old tech spec comparison rant with EVERY SINGLE generation iPhone AGAIN... as if that wasn't the time when Nokia died, as if we haven't heard your rant over and over again, as if you weren't wrong then and still wrong now. Spec sheets aren't going to win Nokia anything.

Is the first Nokia/Windows release a winner? Probably not, but your arguments are still largely irrelevant. Both Nokia's hardware and Window's platform are behind. They shouldn't worry about leapfrogging the competition; they just need to focus on getting in the game, getting their houses in order with modest sales.

@rodrigottr

@Kevin

"As for not launching in U.S.: Nokia is going to get one chance to make a good impression on the American public on its return, so Nokia could be waiting to launch with a better smartphone (obviously not the Lumia 710 but maybe there is a Lumia 9xx coming in 1Q2012), and/or Nokia could be seeking to first build up good press overseas and gain some momentum. Nokia may also have calculated that it would easily get drubbed by iPhone 4S (in sales and reviews) on Apple's home turf in 4Q2011; even HTC is estimating a sales decrease qoq because of iPhone and because U.S. is such a big part of their sales."


Amazing how you can prepare so many sofisticated explanations but haven't even mentioned the simplest explanation:

Elop did not his homework. He had not enough time, or the guys he delegated this function failed on produccing any results on grabing carriers support on the US. From 11 Feb until now Nokia simply stood the same.

belstaff jackets outlet

Welcome to the Carnival of the Mobilists, the best blogs about the mobile industry of the month. This time we cover the month of September - give or take a day or week or two..

@rodrigottr

@Tomi


You didn't even mentioned how the colors of the body of Lumia 800 don't match with the WP branding colors.

While the body uses the CMYK scheme (cian, magenta, yellow, key), the same we find in post Anna and Belle icons scheme and other products including Nokia branding.

Windows Phone uses the same RGB scheme (red, green, blue) since Windows 3.11 and they tottaly don't match with the body of the Lumia 800 (ment to be the body of the N9)

the result is this ugly thing:

http://www.beatcity.co.uk/nokia-lumia-800-unveiled/
http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/26/hands-on-nokia-lumia-800-710/

neither cian, neither magenta match with blue.

Even being a small detail what I'm showing is how hurried was this phone.

Funny was how even against Elop's interest, one of the most noticiated facts from Nokia World 2011, and entirely made by independent bloggers, was the update of the N9 firmware and the release of the N9 in white.

The N9 is THE winner.

Jagdish

Once again as expected venom being spewed from the Tomi snake.....Was Tomi kicked out of Nokia for non-performance? Is that where the hatred stems from..haha..Time to investigate the real intentions!!

Asko

I think there is very obvious reason why Lumia has inferior hardware compared to earlier Nokia phones and to current Android phones and iPhone. Nokia hasn't designed the Lumia phones but has bought Lumias from the Compal's phone product catalogue. After all Compal is ODM. They have been fully designed by Compal. The manufactured "Lumias" are being offered to multiple hardware marketing firms including Nokia. Only difference being the covers and branding.

Mobile

I must say that Nokia Lumia is a smartphone by the Nokia and it has great features in it so I think Nokia will definitely able to make more better smartphones in future and always will stand in competition with other mobile companies.

don_afrim

Nokia will die, plain and simple. Maybe by design or by retardation.

kevin

@rodrigottr:
I think you read Tomi's entry where he already blamed Elop for not having a US carrier. I think you understand that I was trying to give other more likely reasons. So why would I repeat what Tomi already said? These are global corporations, not mom & pop shops. Their strategies are a tiny bit more sophisticated than you think.

The original iPhone was US-only for 6 months, then went to a handful of other European countries, and never made it to Asia. Why? Because Steve Jobs failed to get a carrier? Not exactly, as Tomi pointed out in Jan 2007, it didn't have 3G when 3G was already dominant in the key Asian countries.

The Samsung Galaxy S II launched in Asia almost 6 months before it made it to the US. Why? Because Samsung failed to get a US carrier? I could give you a really good reason having to do with iPhone but you'd say it's just too sophisticated.

The simplest reason you gave is just stupid. But I guess you would rather I just wrote "All Elop's fault. All Elop's fault. Everything is Elop's fault." Incredible.

Sander van der Wal

The last proper communicator was the 9500/9300(i). The E90 had the hardware but not the software. Notebook level hardware with candy bar phone level software, one of those decisions that alienated the developer ecosystem, and a lot of customers too.

I wonder how the Windows Phone developer ecosystem, which I expect to be mainly USA based, is going to react to a device that isn't available in their home market. Given this is a battle of ecosystems, giving a change to evaluate Elop in terms of his own choosing.

@rodrigottr

@Kevin

"I was trying to give other more likely reasons"

More likely? hahaha very funny

I didn't said it was Elop's fault. I did said he didn't produced any results. I know it is a hard job to take Nokia to the US. But the fact is that today Nokia is in the same situation, with ZERO evolution, ZERO results, since 11th Feb. Despite the US OS and the Canadian CEO.

Not surprised with that. By the hurry that was the Lumia 800 we can guess there was no time for doing nothing else.

And be aware because only because they are big corporations doesn't mean they don't make mistakes or that they don't fail.

Red

After the first few paragraphs I started skipping through the post, because I knew what was comming next, but here are two points that I didn't quite grasp:

1. You're complaining about the "huge" size difference between the N9 screen 3.9" and the 800 screen 3.7". Then go on to state, that the 800 screen is just "barely noticeably bigger" than the iPhone's screen. In fact, the iPhone has 3.5". The difference is on both sides 0.2", yet the 0.2" difference on the N9 side is huge, whereas on the iPhone side it's just barely noticeable… Sounds strange, doesn't it?

2. First you acknowledge, that the 800 was rushed, and not properly tested, because Nokia had no time to screw around. Then you start ranting about Elops "incompetence", that he didn't release more phones, that have different specs and physical keyboards. They barely had the time to complete the two Lumias, but Elop is "incompetent" because he didn't flood the market with several, different devices. Now how should he have done this?

Then again I assume, if Nokia had stayed with meego, there would be dozens of meego handsets on the market, all with different specs and different layouts, already?

SWAP

About your concern regarding front cam, mayne there were and still are some big driods from SE or Moto or LG or even HTC without front facing cams but still sale as hot cake. And your view is limited to carrier bounded phones and/or where carriers dominate especially US. And will carrier refuse me their service if I bring Lumia 800 without front cam? No, never. What do you think is pretty much irrelevant in any case. WP7 doesn't support front cam just yet. And screen size of Lumia 800 is not actually reduced. It's just some part has been given to capacitive buttons.
And as you said Nokia could claim on technical front in case of N97, what would they do with it?Enter their name in Guinness Book of Records eh? And how does you having track of over 10 yrs guarantees that you won't fail in near future?
Elop is incompetent? Show us any company which could switch their platform in just 8 months and start shipping one model at the same time as announcement.
Tomi wants Nokia to work as he thinks. Tomi wants to dictate. Tomi wanted to be CEO which he couldn't be. I know it's tough to accept it.
And if Nokia succeeds with their current strategy Tomi will publish posts on how he'd already predicted with older dates. We've already seen contradiction to his predictions. It seems Tomi is so obsessed to his own blog he forgets to look at the appreciation Lumia 800 is receiving.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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