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« The Wisdom of Fundamental Curves (Revisited in 2012) | Main | No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world »

January 13, 2012




regarding the Lumina number, you might call what i said as microsoftian, but I know some companies did this too boost sales number when needed. and I believe that balmer will help nokia for this number, because if nokia looks successful, then Microsoft hope other will trust WP7 and buy it.

So, i think microsoft might be buying the devices from nokia, maybe around 1-3 million unit, put it as Q4 2011 result, and will be using it as giveaway in 2012, and as an offer for employee discount.


(Thanks eurofan, Tomi & al. I’ll try splitting this posting in two parts as the original does not go through even though this does not seem as long as some of the replies earlier).


Tomi, some counter counter comments to some of the issues.


OK, be it then 20-25 % in mid/high level segment (I just never see those). It's still much less than 75 - 80 % and does not indicate high customer preference. I'm sure Nokia WP-QWERTY is coming ...

On the contrary, on every tech-aware review they know that this is just the first from Nokia.

Pointless to argue this. We clearly read, hear and see different things. Future will tell.

Your underlaying main argument in general in this article (and also other) seems to be:

a) Nokia made a stupid decision on 11.2. This can be debated, but it is all water under the bridge. Only if WP-strategy collapses this will be revised.

b) The way it was communicated was the most self-damaging campaign in any industry ever (I completely agree, very very incompetent way of communicating the strategy change) and caused the big crash in market share (it was already severely declining in my opinion, but this made it much worse).

c) If Nokia had staid with original strategy (Symbian, Meego) it would have been more profitable during 2011 (I completely agree) and had bigger market share (agree)

Then you draw conclusion:

a) + b) + c) -> Windows Phone strategy can not work

This is simply a wrong and foregone conclusion. Nokia did not make the strategy change with 2011 or 2012 in mind. This big strategy change needs time to execute. It's a kind of miracle that Nokia has got so far with WP since 11.2.

We don't know yet what will happen. This is a darwinian laboratory experiment on Nokia but it does not _prove_ that it will have to lead to disaster.


Part II:

Again, it's almost a miracle Nokia had decent WP to sell at the end of 2011. They did not target to sell it 10 million pieces during 2011. As you know there was a big change in component chain with WPs. Also factories need time to adjust themselves. Both take time. Not all operators were selling WP earlier.

Now "a) + b) +c) -> you could have sold xx million more Symbian phones from own factories during 2011 with bigger profits".

True, but Nokia was not targeting for 2011 or even 2012 with the strategy change but all the years ahead. What we know now does not indicate a failure for WP strategy or that Nokia would have done something wrong with Lumia implementation. You can always question the decision but that is not the written topic of this article (although it is at least underlaying).

I checked now and it was a T-mobile salesman, not AT&T. See recent Nokia conversations article. Yes, somewhat biased source ...

If you respect opinion from UK, then how about The Daily Mail which gives all 5-stars to Lumia 800 ?

Specs are not everything. N9 is neither a flagship by any tech spec (camera, display, processor, NFC was already in C7, ...) but still it is a wonderfull, desirable phone as such.


Part III


We simply don't know at this point. What I can see is that on Lumia 800 is the best selling phone in business segment. Does not prove anything, but does not look bad either. There is only handfull of operators giving this kind of information from enterprise segment that I know of (Elisa is one of those btw., they don't have Lumia yet).


To make a somewhat fair comparison, adjust for time for availability on market and for the geographical distribution. But even that is futile. Nokia did not aim to sell it in many-many millions during 4Q. They aimed to design, implement and introduce it on important markets in controlled manner on record fast schedule. That was the goal and that it was delivered is more than most expected. Just as a detail, if you look at some of the operators now selling Lumia it seems to be the first WP ever there, contracts & training etc. were needed. Many things needed to gain momentum.

Lumia 800 will propably sell the around 1-1.5 million during Q4 (Nokia will never tell this I'm sure, they did not even tell N8 numbers although it according to most analysts sold around 3-4 million in 2010Q4)

And again this does not prove:
" a) + b) +c) -> WP strategy will never work and Lumia is going to be disaster"

ps. any reference on the ten most sold smartphones in China ?

Prasenjit Bist

Hello Mr. Tomi,

Day by day ur blogs are becoming the cry of a looser a man who has lost connection to reality. I can prove that all 13 points u said about lumia to fail are false and ur personal biased opinions.
Just let me give 2 3 examples( i can't write 1000 lines it hurts )
1. Lumia not designed by Top Nokia designers. Who is Anton Fahlgren, Axel Meyer etc the industrial designers they are the seniormost and most talented. Axel was the head of N series Design.

2. Lumia not built in Nokia factories. sud i sent you a Salo made Nokia Lumia 900. did not u see the live feed from Salo during Nokia World. Are u eldar murtazin's friend and go for dope together and then make up Nokia rumours.

3. Lumia is not coming with Nokia components like CPU. u said that when did Nokia designed CPUs. Nokia dictates optics , certain ICs used in RF and optics etc etc but no matter whether its Nokia N95/ Nokia Lumia 900 components are sourced and assembled at Nokia factories.

4. No Qwerty phone elop missed. whooa Tomi so happy jumping like a ass. Man its only 3 products in the portfolio wait wait hold ur breath..... more products coming.

5. Lumia not good design missing blah blah blah... but N9 gud why bcoz it has that meego okay... listen old man lumia and N9 are built with minimalistic design they removed everything thats a phoney and then u have a design every one loves including arch Nokia critics.. its a one piece body with minimum openings . How many use HDMI how many people use other craps.....

6. Nokia 710 feels platic yes its a basic windows phone available in US for $ 50 on contract.

7. Stephen Elop made a colossal mistake by making those symbian comments... which comments the ones that you guys created. still yeah elop made mistake and he must rectify and pay for them i agree.

Please get a hot bath then a cup of coffee and take deep breath, sit down on ur sofa think with a calm head a decision has been taken the bullet has left the gun.... now do not look back wat has been done or sud not have been done... think how Nokia can come back..and I see Nokia making a strong come back another point You said Nokia will face retail boycott with dual sim.... fyi Nokia sold millions of dual sim within 3 months and lead the segment in India....


Nokia betrayed legions of legacy customers in the last years, by insistently failing to give an acceptable level of customer support and ‘at least’ operational Symbians in hands of the high end users. The last models were a bunch of bugs and mistakes, missing everything on a critical transition phase to the not-so-known W7 platform. I suspect millions of those users already migrated to Android and Iphone after the series of frustrations with the last Symbians. People that loved Nokia, loved the past, and that will NEVER forget the depth of the betrayal in the last couple of years with cheap quality, ambiguity (curiously Nokia was never ambiguous, and now it’s part of this Company as the W7 manufacturer says “Living the ambiguity” is part of that culture), and now it’s too late to bring them back. Sad story of a great Company that made history in cellphones 10 years ago.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Ben and nic (will do Earendil separately)

Ben - thank you very much for the kind words. You can see that from my side, I am flabbergastered that Elop is doing all this (and being allowed to do it, by the Board). At some point it should be obvious, that he is just causing so much damage, he has to go. Even if for some reason the Board felt that the Microsoft strategy is 'wise' for example to try to get to the USA market, then clearly Nokia has not abandoned MeeGo and is still creating new Symbian devices now, so its about time to re-evaluate. I hope the Q4 numbers will finally wake them up..

nic - the 'high end' is not incompatible with QWERTY. Even in the US market there are premium Android smartpohnes with slider QWERTY keyboards and the USA is the severe laggard in mobile including messaging. QWERTY is not synonymous with cheap.

On the sales commission, yes good point. Except did you know that Microsoft was the only platform for which the sales reps received no commissions before? That was one of the many gripes the carriers had with Microsoft. So this is not any kind of competitive advantage now, it is only catching up to what others are doing. But it will help no doubt.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Earendil

First, thanks for the lengthy reply to many in the thread. A few points I'd like to touch on.

Obviously yes, the Nokia partnership is good for Microsoft but not the other way around as you say.

Very good point about the smoke and mirrors that Elop and the Microsoft style of marketing is known for.

On your fourth point, we'll know for sure tomorrow when Nokia reports, but the very alarming numbers are now coming from Nokia traditional suppliers like Texas Instruments and ST Micro - whose components go to traditional Nokia featurephones and Symbian smartphones - that their sales have been disasterously low for Q4 (component maker sales towards Nokia obviously) which suggests falling sales of Symbian - AND alarmingly, dumbphones at Nokia. We'll know tomorrow if that is the case.

On Lumia to be flagship globally - so so so true, sadly. We look at past flagships and even when Nokia falters (N97) they still at least designed great phones by their specifications even where the production and software let it down. The Lumia 800 is a pathetic flagship now, severely damaging Nokia's brand and competitiveness. The existing Nokia customers with 2 year old phones who come in now to try the Lumia, will be severely disappointed - and then will be lost forever to the iPhone or Android.

Great comments overall, 100% agree with you obviously. Cheers!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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I appreciate your effort, you have share informative and also useful post here and people who are planing to get Windows to Nokia Lumia series they just read it once. I have using Samsung smartphones and I think Samsung now the new king of this industry.

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I see that the usual MS fanbois are praising the WP OS and the current THT Elop strategy, despite their arguments being debunked time and time again.
The problem is they always reply providing comments that are completely off topic.

outlook 2010

The camera utility is limited and restricted. Windows Phone 7 doesn't even support dual cameras (that came with 7.5). There are many application developer issues that are not supported - like the hottest area right now, Augmented Reality. Nokia's past flagship phones have proudly done AR, but not these Lumias. And there is no support for NFC. And you cannot transfer apps and various content via bluetooth etc. The system is very restrictive and limiting.

Chris D

Just wanted to say: great article! It seems Lumia has sold more than one million devices in Q4, so it is far, far short of the 6.4 million you were looking at. (We all know that "well over" means nothing, unless there is a clear number.) See
There are more bad news: Their operating loss was about $1.3 billion. And they are selling fewer Symbian phones than expected

outlook 2010

There have been many commentaries of the issue, perhaps the best direct response was by Don Reisinger at eWeek. He gave 10 reasons why Windows Phone will fail. His arguments are very good, but they are somewhat USA focused and still do not tackle some of the biggest reasons why Windows Phone - and Nokia Lumia - will fail. Lets take this issue logically, reasonably and with facts, not just conjecture and opinion and hope and hype. And lets start where most sensible marketers start, not from the product but from the consumer. What is it that we, smartphone buyers, want. And readers, this is again one of those ultra-long Tomi Ahonen essays, about 16,000 words (more than a full chapter in a hardcover book) so go get yourself a good cup of coffee before you start. It will probably take you half an hour to complete this article but I promise you, it is stuffed with facts, stats, insights and go

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Reason 3 - Look and Feel is not competitive. Nokia Lumia has gotten good reviews for its appearance but nothing beyond that. And by its one form factor alone, it will not win many converts, but on the abandoned other form factors, and its lack of typical Nokia elements, it is a downgrade from what Nokia has been in the past, and yet is not competitive with rivals today.

cheap nike air max

Nokia has taken its customer base and walked it in front of a firing squad, and shot it dead. Destroying 75% of its customer base in three year! This is corporate suicide. This is a hara-kiri by the CEO.

Brett Bergeron

I'd just like to comment on your third point, about the look of the phone, and redirect it from a (purely) opinionated stance to one of strategy.

Looking at an array of handsets in any store, consumers are going to judge first by the appearance of the screen and hardware. The iPhone has an iconic, modern and simple approach to design that connotes value. Consider that Apple is almost a luxury brand in the tech world, focusing on higher quality materials with matching higher price points.

Samsung really lacks a distinct design language and instead mimics the iPhone. It is clearly chasing the coat-tails of its chief competitor with products like the Galaxy Nexus. No hardware buttons, the same slate form factor, etc. They're trying to speak to consumers purely on the level of tech and price point. They are not trying to compete with design.

HTC does a good job of marketing its industrial design as a differentiator from the iPhone and other droid phones. The HTC One X is made with a durable aluminum and treated with a special manufacturing process to make it feel more organic (micro oxidation). The case bodies often have shallow angles, which contrasts the iPhone's hard edges in an effort to make the phone feel young and sleek. It's definitely a friendlier approach they're trying to take with the product.

Finally, let's consider the Nokia Lumia. Its round, soft unibody has plenty of bright color options--soft blue, pink white and black. The combination of colors, gentle contours and simplicity of the exterior give the device a very feminine appearance. Its plasticity makes its surface diffusive to light, which makes it look less like a fancy car (ahem, Lexus). To many, these design decisions by Noika create a weakness. I find it no coincidence that men complain about its appearance during tech reviews. From a strategic perspective, there are very few phones that look feminine. They're all very masculine and Nokia's design decisions are clearly driven by a desire to differentiate.

I don't care to convince you of the Lumia one way or the other. But remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and creating something unique can produce a commercial advantage. The physical design of a handset is its first introduction to consumers. It is the first thing seen in the advertising and the first thing seen on the sales floor. It is something consumers will touch, and it is an experience that should be considered more deeply than "what looks good to me."

So next time you think about the design of a phone, remember that your personal preferences are myopic. You have to consider design from different perspectives--audiences of diverse gender, age, cultural background, etc. Doing this will give you a deeper understanding of the processes at work behind the scenes and you'll have a better grasp of the a product's potential.


I love to see such precise predictions about the future because when you go back to them later and read them you usually get a great laugh. I predict at least have of the predictions will be incorrect. Anyone ever read old predictive articles in various PC and IT magazines? This is going to happen! That is going to happen! "It's obvious that X will keep Y from ever being Z again!"

Humans have never, ever, been good at prediction future events. That doesn't seem to stop many from prognostications about the future, and usually delivered with articulate confidence!

I read recently that Nokia was having problems keeping up with demand for the Windows phone. I believe at this time I will be moving to the Windows platform. At the moment it seems that Apple is falling behind other phone makers in power, technology, ect. However Android interfaces can often be busy, and vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. If Windows 8 becomes popular, and I like it so far, Windows and the phone will be well integrated, and that's what I want.


I am still in shock on what happened to my beloved company. You have no idea how much! Nokia was that safe thing you thought it would always be there. In this case, selling phones with great specs and functions. My first phone was a Motorola because I couldn’t buy a Nokia 6110. Even with that Motorola, I still looked at the Nokia every time I saw it at some store. Then, finally, two years later I could buy mine. I got hooked to the company and only bought their phones no matter what. I had a 3530, 6610, 3500 classic, 6060 and 6131. I don’t like flip phones like these last two Nokia’s, but I still bought them because they were reliable Nokia’s with the specs I was looking for at their time.
I have two words for you: Nokia 5800! That was THE phone and given the horrible Lumia’s and Asha’s, my beloved Nokia 5800 is still THE phone and the company that made it is no more. My 5800 is working properly, but I need something more modern for my daily tasks. So, of course I went to Nokia’s website to see what they had to offer. I used GSM Arena comparison tool, read the phone manuals and that was when my anger towards Nokia’s started. I realized that my FOUR YEARS OLD phone is more modern than anything Nokia has to offer TODAY functions and hardware wise. Worst yet, they have the audacity to offer WP phones (Lumia 800) stripped of what my Nokia 5800 have (camera, Bluetooth file transfer, better phonebook… my 4 years old phone has TV out) for the same price of my phone at its release time in Brazil back in 2009. I did pay the double for my phone when compared with smartphones of other companies back in 2009, but I won’t do it again to have less than I have now. Why would I spend something like US$ 900 in a Lumia 800, when I can get a lot more functions and no hardware limitation in a Galaxy Ace Plus for US$ 400 or a little less?
Nokia board of directors allowed this Elop to do what he did. Firing him now may be too late. Moving to Windows Phone was wrong in some many levels, but the worst one was for them to believe that Nokia’s clients would go for any crap they put out here just because it is a Nokia. What we loved was combining Nokia, software and hardware. There nothing of this anymore. WP is the Windows Vista of Smartphone. The hardware now was turned to crap since the software can’t handle what they had to offer previously. Nokia? This will probably be beside Titanic’s remains in the bottom of ocean. I hate Elop, hate Microsoft and won’t buy any more windows or offices or whatever from them. However, with our without Elop big mouth, I would still buy the 808 Pureview, but although we do not have a price yet, it is set to cost at least US$ 1,200 in Brazil. So, too expensive. I am now looking in the Samsung Galaxy’s.


This is pretty one-sided, don't you think?

Rita Dawson

The Reason 3 is really true. The look and feel is never competitive when it comes to Nokia. Nokia can be said for look. the reason 4 is also one factor as just with the word Nokia, people seem to ignore it. I agree with the Reason 7 - Fails in variety of models. You can't count the number of failures indeed. LOL.

Rema Sah

Fix to "Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working"
Watch solution at following youtube video:

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I used to be able to find good info from your blog posts.


Your means of telling all in this post is really nice, every one can effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.

Rema Sah

Fix to "Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working"
Watch solution at following youtube video:


With blogs like this around I don't even need website anymore. I can just visit here and see all the latest happenings in the world.

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