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April 11, 2012

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Comments

zlutor

They should push N9/N950 and N808 with full power outside of North America…
Lumias are just not received well enough to save the balance sheet - at least now...

Prasenjit  Singh Bist

Tomi, I know u r a busy man. But i want to say a personal sorry on this blog. I too made nasty comments after wandering at various fan boyish sites turning a blind eye to the problem. But now I agree 100 % to what u write our analysis matches ur predictions.

Nokia will be gone Q3 2012. RIP NOKIA if Elop continues...

xplt

@Dave: What about bloated Zune, which messes up with playlists? See: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fhabrahabr.ru%2Fpost%2F141786%2F&act=url

Dave

@xplt I don't know about Zune (mentioned Mac). Is it worse than the people having trouble upgrading to Belle because Nokia Suite has some error creating a backup ("not ok") and the only suggestions on the Nokia forums are things like "try deleting all your mesages" or "try to delete your email settings" or "factory reset" ? :)

One of the things I dislike about WP (and iOS, Symbian is slightly better) is the dependency on a PC, something which is supposed to go away completely with WP8.

don_afrim@twitter

Nokia needs to abandon Windows immediately and go for Android, nothing else will save it. Too late for Meego.

Android is now for mobile what Windows is for PC's.

There will be two eco-systems in the future mobile space just like the pc market, only this time Microsoft is not part of the two :-)

If we have no change of direction from Nokia soon, Nokia will phase out and Apple or Google will buy it for 5-10billion just for the patents and shut it down. I think down the road, as tablets will be more capable they will phase out the traditional PC and Microsoft can hit the road.

John Styles

Presumably you saw this http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/11/noka_lumia_bug/

Tomi T Ahonen

Thank you everyone for the comments, I am utterly despondent today with this news, I hope to come back soon to respond to comments

Tomi Ahonen

J

Where is Meltemi that is supposed to replace S40? I'm personally more interested on it than Lumia.

zlutor

The annual meeting of shareholders getting more and more interesting in May!

There will be no result of Q2 available before it - seeing whether there is something to be aware of in the USA or not - and situation looks anything but rosy... :-(

AtTheBottomOfTheHilton

Everything is going well and according to plan I think. Nokia is just a tool for Microsoft in order to pump out as many models as possible. In real life Windows Phone has very little appeal which clearly shows on the sales numbers of the Asian manufacturers, Samsung and HTC. Their sales have been modest and therefore they also limit their models. If there would be high demand of WP7, then the Asian manufacturers would have produced many more models.

So, the profits of Nokia is not really important here since the goal is to pump out as many models as possible and if it breaks Nokia in the process of making WP7 popular, then it is a double win. In reality the WP7 strategy will fail and Nokia should brace for bankruptcy. After that Nokia will be on auction and partially sold, I guess Microsoft will buy with Nokia's eye stone NavTeq among other things. Then Microsoft got rid of a competitor and got the assets that were of value to Microsoft.

Tomi, Stephen Elop is not incompetent or delusional, he is a cynical corporate assassin good at his job and he knows what he is doing.

Also, I think Nokia will get more money from Lumia sales in Q2 however, the cost of marketing and under cut pricing will take its toll on Nokia so don't expect any profits about time either. Microsoft basically keeps Nokia on life support as long as they need the company, investing every last dime on getting WP7 popular. Useful idiots have the tendency to die when they are not useful anymore.

Tomi T Ahonen

Just mentioning to those who post comments who may be new to this blog. I remove all comments that are impolite to my readers - you may freely be critical of me haha - and I remove all that reflect the person leaving the comment did not read the blog. You have to be specific to the topic in the blog and if I was forced to answer in a comment saying 'if you had read the paragraph that..' - that is a waste of the time of my readers. Such comments are immediately removed. Also there is some spam and inappropriate comments on this blog regularly, I try to remove those too. Keep the discussion on the topic and polite, you are very welcome to participate in the discussion.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Ninjustin

I'm sorry but the playbook is not the reason Blackberry is doing so poorly. Their phones just don't stand up against any of their smart phone competitors.

Nokia has shot themselves in the foot going specifically with Windows Phone OS. If they would at least do some Android phones they could turn themselves around some.

vladkr

So, if at the beginning, it was the platform that was burning, Elop managed to burn the whole sea, wow, that's impressive.

Will the Lumia be a success in North America ? As it's given for free (a bug on the first series makes Nokia refund $100 on a device that used to costs... $99 and costs now $49). So price will help, but a flagship for $49, isn't there a problem?

To me, Nokia cumulates several problems now:

- Bad strategy (only one OS, and a weak one)

- uncompetitive products (Samsung/HTC/LG/Whatever)

- bad timing : Lumia products sold after end of the year holidays, Lumia 900 sold after Pureview technology exhibition, and knowing that a new Windows OS will be available after 6 months.

- bad communication: what I read about the profit warning is that it's "Nokias competitors faults, they sell more dumbphones in Asia". How old is he? Why does Samsung sell more than Nokia? Any idea?

- autism: Nokia executive seem to live in a parallel world where everything is okay, where people -users, developers, resellers, love WindowsPhone. Are these guys paid millions of Euros to get stoned ?

- bad reputation... Nokia is a shade of itself. Nokian tyres and Nokian boots are more reputed than the phones.

Legends have in common that they're about a deep past. Nokia is a legend now.

All my best wishes to Finnish (Salo's) economy.

Aleksis Chávez

I believe most readers here would label themselves as advanced users when it comes to handsets. I just have to say that from the point of view of a bit more demanding customer the Lumias just don't offer a feeling that 'I'm gonna get things done' with this phone.

iOS phones obviously are increadibly user friendly and even though they aren't especially for geeks they get things done for you. I bought an iPhone 4S just for the financial apps like bloomberg and e-banking app from my bank. Not available for Symbian or WP.. Okay Bloomberg is available for symbian but it's unusable.

Then there is the Android with which you have the cheaper crappy phones and the samsung flagships.. I've tried midrange phones ans the new Galaxy Nexus and I gotta say it would have been an easy switch from Symbian from the users point of view..

And then theres the WP7 with the Metro UI, and Bing, and IE and that stupid XBox avatar. I don't trust my pc running Windows 7 to work properly so needles to say I dislike all the elements, that I try to avoid with my PC, appearing on my phone.. Plus no e-banking app nor Bloomberg.

Symbian well.. I think the Anna and Belle updatea just mess things up atleast for me. After Belle on my E6 no more push email for example.

Meego then? I've tried a class mates N9 and it seemd pleaasent enough for being a stillborn. How great would it be with proper and continued developement. And does it really support Android apps with minimum effort? Publishers for Android could have so easily flooded the phone with android apps and symbian apps, the usefull ones, could have been ported to Meego aswell and voíla, a huge ecosystem. I hate that trend word..

So Vatar

At this state Nokia can only survive if they

1) Replace Elop immediately, but also some (most) of the BOD
2) Keep WP and Symbian to generate some revenue, announce Android and deliver Androids using N9 form factor / design as fast as they can
3) Mid and long term: Bring back Qt strategy (Symbian / Maemo / Meltemi (???)).

But I am not sure if Nokia really has enough time to implement (3).

So, can Nokia survive at all? Tomi, some of the ideas you write in our other blog are outdated and cannot be done anymore as there is not enough money and not enough expertise left at Nokia. But I agree, an Asian CEO linked to carriers would give Nokia maybe a fighting chance.

zlutor

@So Vatar: "deliver Androids using N9 form factor" - in vast Android ICS runs on N9 (almost perfectly).
Even dual boot is working (Android and MeeGo can be selected during booting the device).

But I do not know whether it is feasible strategy. Who know what the contract between M$ and Nokia dictates... :-(

cke

Its possible to look at the same data and come to completely different conclusions.

You postulated that getting into tablets works for some (apple samsung lenovo) and not others (motorola rim nokia) because some are PC companies and the other handset companies. I think tablets works for some because they are on the right evolutionary path and will thrive in the future. It doesn't work for others because they are unable to evolve and will soon be dead dinosaurs. PC taking over handsets is simply evolution.

You say Lumia is utterly non-competitive because of its shortcomings. But it is a REV 1.0 version. Rev 1.0 always sucks - but it contains the essence of a new vastly better offering. Iphone rev1 sucked too: no GPS, 2G, 2M camera, no front camera, no video, no accelerometer.

Nokia says that they are losing in 3rd world markets now. This means smartphones are defeating feature phones everywhere - Symbian/Meego or anything underperforming an Android-class are not viable alternatives for Nokia. They are behaving logically and doing the only things possible for them.

So Vatar

@zlutor:
Yes, maybe a short term quick fix to put Android om N9 (in addition to offer MeeGo worldwide). I just fear that Android does not run well enough on current N9 hardware due to Android's higher resource needs.

But anything helps that Nokia can sell at a profit now. And if it is the N9 running Android. Or rubber boots to keep the company afloat until they find their standing again.

Tomi T Ahonen

For early visitors, please note, I have added several paragraphs and did some corrections to my math in the above haha.. So you may want to re-read the story now.

I will have to do plenty of thinking about Nokia and this Lumia total disaster and smartphone collapse (the Cliff and all that) but today am just devastated and can't even think straight.

Please keep the comments coming. It is at least comforting to read that there are others there who also are alarmed about this like me haha..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

vladkr

To survive, I think Nokia has to rethink itself completely, be a new company (like Apple in the late 90s).

Too much harm was made now... Unfortunately Nokia won't be credible if they

keep Symbian or Meego - at least with the same name - as it was killed by the memo and all the communication around it (maybe rebranding OSes could do the trick).

WP is a fail - and come on cke, it's been 10 years that Windows CE/2003/WM6/WP7 is new... it's always new because instead of updating their mobile OS like competitors, Microsoft starts all over again from a blank sheet for each new version - so shouldn't be Nokia's main target.
Android ? mmm, I think it's too late. It's like arriving late at a party you weren't invited to; no drink left, no music, and everyone asking who the hell you are.

The only way to sort up the situation (to me) is to make something completely new. It will be expensive, it will take time, but it will be the best way to rebuild Nokia's reputation.

So Vatar

@vladkr:
I agree with your notion long term, however Nokia is as step or two away from total failure. They lose market share in all segments, lose money, etc.

The first step in a proper turn around is "stop the bleeding". What can you offer your customers (carriers and consumers) right now so that they take your product and you make some cash in the transaction. Cash is king to fend off bankruptcy.

Tomi pointed out that the majority of existing Nokia customers choose a non-Nokia device when it is time to replace. What can you do now to change that? Symbian and Meego have the "don't buy me - I am dead" branding thanks to Flop. WP7 is an unmitigated disaster attracting a few customers in the U.S. only, hardly the market Nokia needs to survive. Nokia needs China, Asia in general, Europe, South America and Africa.

Strategy wise what Flop did was so wrong, most of us know that. Bring a new product (Lumia) to a new market (USA)? This is the hardest thing to do strategy portfolio wise, and it turns out to be a huge failure. One can do this if one is strong in at least two of the other portfolio areas (existing product / existing market and new product / existing market).

As soon as Flop brand-marked Symbian as burning and MeeGo as stillborn Nokia's existing products are perceived weak and this explains the collapse of Nokia's smart phone sales even in existing markets.

So yes, Nokia needs to reinvent itself. But they need to survive short term, and the question is how will they do it?

Ironically a Microsoft loan to Apple enabled Apple to survive when they were hanging in the ropes. I don't think Microsoft money will be the savior for Nokia.

cycnus

Nokia already lost China.
http://english.analysys.com.cn/article.php?aid=127990

China was one of the strongest nokia market.

Tom Chen

Great write up and I agree with some of your points, but I don't think Nokia would have been any better off sticking with Symbian and MeeGo. The ultimate ending would have been the same, death, but just prolonged. I think Elop made the right move scrap what wasn't working and trying to give the market what people were clamoring for, an innovative phone that can compete with the iPhone. He just choose the wrong OS to do that with and this will ultimate be the downfall of Nokia.

Mark

Tomi, whilst I get some of your stuff the fact of the matter is that Nokia - or rather Symbian - had 0ver 70% share in Q2 2007 and a stock price of $40.

Symbian has been dying since then, mainly because of Nokia's failure under OPK et al to adapt to the iPhone and then to the low cost touchscreen Android handsets. Symbian 3 failed to capture sales in any significant numbers outside the N8.

Elop's memo may have hastened things and, yes, it was foolish, but it's not the reason Symbian is dying. It's because nobody wants it anymore - it cannot compete at the high end and it’s outpriced at the low end.

The only handsets that are actually increasing sales month on month are the Lumias. It's time to stop looking at what Nokia was - a dominant player with huge market share - because that's gone and probably will never return. Instead we must regard Nokia as the upstart in much the same way as Apple were with the iPhone - small numbers to begin with and then hopefully a ramp up - sales have doubled in one quarter after all.

The legacy, share and volume of Symbian is falling away as it was always going to do. Elop's memo may have speeded up that process but it was a foregone conclusion and has been since 2007. The key now is if Nokia can continue to grow Lumia sales month on month. Everything else died a long time ago.

Hxs

Tomi - Thanks for excellent Analysis. .can u please explain these factors.

Symbian - if Nokia had continued with it - they would have died anyway.. Even with Belle the phones are not competitive with Androids.. Symbian has had its days before the era of iPhone..

Meego - yes it is a superior OS but very low App Support.. If I read all the reviews about Lumia - great hardware, great software but not enough Apps like Apple or Android.. So how is it possible that Meego would have been a perfect choice for the 3rd ecosystem?

I feel Nokia still has a chance with Lumia.. but how long is the question now..

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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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