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« In Bloodbath News: Nokia Q1 Results: Market Share Crashes to 7% yes, one fourth of what it was before Elop Effect | Main | Certain Road to Death and Definition of Insanity (updated) »

April 23, 2012

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ejvictor

Good clear facts... waiting for @Baron95 to stick his head in the sand... god I miss that guy!

vladkr

I don't know if Nokia was dead in North America in 2011, but according to official results Nokia published, they managed to sell even less in 2012 than in 2011.

Nokia had few troubles in 2007-2010, but what Elop did was a Titanic effect:
Facing an iceberg, Titanic's captain ordered engines in full reverse and steered to the left. The full reverse order completely annihilated the steering, the ship went straight and stroke the iceberg.

Nokia faced few fails, the N97 for instance... and instead of applying corrections (steer to a direction to avoid obstacles and competition) it was decided to make a full reverse: Symbian and Meego are put to junk, full energy is put on Windows Phone, which is quite the opposite of Meego; what do we see now? Nokia is out of control, and goes straight to troubles.

Well done captain! The worse is that the captain still doesn't understand (or admit) that the ship is sinking, so he maintains full power to the wrong direction.

Can this guy be proud of himself?

P.S. Today, the demo Lumia 710 at Costco in Quebec city (as in FNAC Velizy, near Paris) still don't work. The seller at Costco doesn't know when they'll put a new one (it's the 3rd week now)

vladkr

mmm... I changed my mind: Titanic is not the best analogy for Elop... no, Elop is like those Middle-Ages doctors, who tried to cure about anything (flues, headaches, colds) with bleeding and trepanning. Too bad that Nokia had a cold, and that they got the wrong doctor.

Tomifan

Just looking at that graph tells me how wrong you are. At mid-February (just before Nokia-MS announcement) Nokia should have been on rising trend. Still increasing sales. Still increasing market share. Still increasing revenues. That's HALF of the Q1 at that point. There is no way that post-Feb-11th of Q1 could have caused a drop so bad if first half had been still on rise. Flat Q1, perhaps. Drop after positive half? No way.
Nokia was falling already, shop stocks being full of N8s that were not selling. Elop saw that and acted.

Tomifan

@vladkr:
Titanic captain ordered LEFT engine to reverse, thus adding double steering effect. You use almost as valid facts as Tomi.

vladkr

most specialists agree on that both Titanic engines were on reverse before the shock.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi ej, vladkr, Tomifan

ej - thanks.

vladkr - I like the Titanic analogy, but in your telling of the story (I honestly don't know the facts of how it sunk) the Captain seems to have identified the correct problem, and applied a reasonable response to try to fix that specific problem but in the way he executed his solution, he made the thing worse. In Elop's case, there were massive problems at Nokia (in marketing and execution) but Elop misdiagnosed what was wrong, he actually evaluated something that was a success and deemed it a failure, and then proceeded to further damage Nokia in his 'remedy'. I can't even immediately think of a good historical analogy or imaginary analogy to exactly how he botched things up haha..

I do like the middle-aged witch-doctors more as an analogy, but they were more ignorant. Elop was not ignorant of how well the smartphone unit was doing haha.. Again, it is difficult to try to think of the sheer stupidity of his actions.

TomiFan - at Mid-February you say? I have actually calculated, for the fun of it, the EXACT growth rate of Nokia from Q3 to Q4, divided by month, extended into January and February. Then I took the EXACT rate of decline from Q2 to Q3 - see it is the more steep decline. And split it by month, and used the same rate, and plotted it BACKWARDS into Q1 ie to March and April.

And those lines intersect almost exactly at mid-month of February. And then I counted the actual sales of Nokia smarthpones for China, and the rest of Nokia markets, and it comes out almost exactly square and correct. The growth of Nokia Symbian powered by S^3 and the N8 and E7, continued - GROWTH to mid-February, and from that point, the collapse is at that steep decline curve as we see from April on. If Nokia was reporting the data by month, it would be obvious. But you cannot provide ANY evidence of your hypothesis, that would conform to the math, or can you (I have tried out all the plausible scenarios, you know how nuts I go with my stats and math haha).

No, you make a good point TomiFan, but the truth is, that Nokia smartphone sales did continue its growth up until Feb 12 or so, and then collapsed. And that can be calculated and the math is consistent with all Nokia reported data including regional sales etc.

PS if N8 sales had stalled in January of 2011, they would not be bestsellers stil l one year later in January 2012 haha. Sorry. You lose TomiFan.

Keep the comments coming,

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomifan

I'm sure those specialists also agree with you that Titanic went straight to iceberg and the long hole on right side was made by aliens?

Laughing

@vladkr, Tomifan:
Your exchange of comments is more entertaining than Tomi's blog. Please continue.
BTW, the curve ship makes when guided by rudder is definitely smaller in slower speed. Titanic just had too small rudder to begin with. Makes good Nokia analogy then. :-)

karlim

Ok. I do agree that the facts that you provide are irrefutable. But they certainly are not all the facts. Only the selection of facts to support your theory.

Here is another set of hard facts that you have ignored.

Nokia market share losses 5% in Q3 and 5% Q4 2010. From 39% to 34% to 29%. And in Q1 2011 - there was nothing new that Nokia introduced that should/could have reversed the decline that started 2 quarters before. Symbian 3 and N8 shipped on the first day of Q4, other Symbian 3 handsets shipped during the same quarter. None of them stopped Nokia market share decline. So - losing another 5% of market share in Q1 didn’t need Elop effect. Losing those 5% was just a natural progression of the trend that started in in Q3 2010.

Now let’s look at the actual Nokia market share in Q1 2011. Bingo. The same 24%. Can you provide good reasons why and how Nokia could would have stopped market share losses with the portfolio they had (N8, C7, C6-01 and E7 which shipped very late in Q1), and which didn’t slow the market share losses in Q4? If not - then the actual unit volume drop in Q1 was simply a function of a slowing market growth. Rapid growth of smartphone market in Q3 and Q4 helped Nokia to keep anemic unit growth from Q3 and Q4, but when sequential market growth stopped - those saher loses simply translated into actual unit volume losses. And it would have happened Feb. 11th or not.

Other facts. That huge jump in Nokia smartphones revenues came from a one single source. The introduction of the new Symbian 3 line of phones - N8, C7, C6-01. And Nokia reporting the number of units shipped to carriers and distributors. Not end user sales. There was no single reputable source confirming or insisting that N8 and other Symbian 3 phones end user sales matched the shipments into the channel. I did check. I think every one of them. Gartner, IDC, Canalys, Forrester, Strategy Analytics, etc;

And Nokia performance in Q1 can be as much a proof of Elop effect, as a proof that Nokia simply stuffed the sales channels with S3 phones, that the wholesalers were not able to clear via sales to end users. ANd with tons of unsold S3 inventory sitting on their shelves Nokia partners simply stopped ordering Symbian 3 phones. Not because of Feb. 11th, but because they still had a lot of them unsold. There is simply no way to definitely prove it one way or the other, unless someone leaks the real numbers of Symbian end user sales someday.

And all Nokia Q4 positives - increased sales, profits, ASP, even the unit growth - come singularly from those 5 million Symbian 3 smartphones shipped into the channel and recorded as sales.

Volumes of the main (at the time) Nokia’s smartphone line based on the old Symbian 1 OS fell off the cliff already, declining by 3.2 million units in Q4 2010. PArt of that was undoubtedly cannibalization by N8, C7 and C6-01. But if you look at the ASPs of the old and new Symbian line - these phones targeted very different price tiers, customers/markets. So the cannibalization very likely was very limited and can not account for 3.2 million unit drop for “old Symbian”.


Some one more data point that I think support my theory more then yours. February 2011 Kantar survey of U.K. smartphone market you have referenced in one previous post.

That survey recorded all customer purchases for the period of 12 weeks. Starting on Monday, November 21 and ending on February 20th (+-2 days). Note - that according to Kantar methodology - they do record all purchases by 30 000+ households who are members of their panel.

From previous September Kantar survey, Nokia’s U.K market share dropped from 23.% to 12.4%. A 46% drop. There is no way Feb.11th could have accounted for that huge a drop. Remember - all the purchases over those twelve week were recorded at the time they happened and were part of the Kantar panel sample. Let’s assume the worst case scenario. After hearing that Nokia is abandoning Symbian on Feb. 11th - not a single Kantar panel member bought a single Nokia Symbian smartphone. And also lets assume that 1000 of panel members bought a smartphone (Kantar is recording not only smartphone purchases - so not all of 30K bought one). At 23.1% market share that will mean a total of 231 Nokia smartphones would have been bought in 12 weeks, or about 19 panel members buying Nokia smartphone a week. In 11 weeks before Feb 11th - they would have bought 209 Nokia smartphones. If not a single one of them bought Nokia phone after Feb. 11th - that will still leave Nokia with 209 recorded smartphones and 21% market share in Kantar survey. Which leaves Nokia with 19% market share in the absolute worst case scenario - if Elop effect cause 100% stoppage of all Nokia smartphones sales. Not 12.4% Kantar actually recorded. Which makes me conclude that catastrophic Nokia Symbian sales decline in U.K. started way before Feb. 11th and Elop effect had very little to do with it.

Btw, if the catastrophic Nokia Symbian unit volume drops in Q1 and Q2 2011 were caused by Elop effect, how do explain even more catastrophic drop in Q1 2012?

Whatvere damage Fe. 11th and Elop effect caused to Symbian sales - happened during Q1 and Q2 2011. When unit sales dropped from 28.3 million to 16.8 million. But Nokia was able to limit the damage and stop the decline at 16.8 million units in the second half of 2011. Actually - Symbian unit sales increased in Q4. To somewhere between 18 to 19 million units. No way to tell for sure since Nokia didn’t break out smartphones in Q4 2011. They only said that Symbian sales increased. (The opposite of what some commenters on allboutsymbian.com claimed, which led them to some erroneus conclusions about huge N9 sales).

So Nokia had a steady Symbian unit sales from Q2 to Q3 2011, then grew unit sales from Q3 to Q4. And then again, a huge unit volume drop off in Q1. Percentage wise - even worse to what happed to Nokia in Q1 and Q2 of 2011 combined, unit wise - also much worse then Q1 2011 drop from Q4 201. What happened - there was no Feb. 11th, or any other collosal Elop blunder to cause such a sales crash?

I, and some others, explain this phenomenon in a much more simple ways. We do not and never insisted that Apple/iPhone killed Nokia. If it were only for the iPhone - Nokia will probably still be doing ok, and maybe even would have had the time to transition to Meego.

It was Android that killed Symbian. Or, to be more precise - Android devices with the specs similar to the one’s the first Motorola Droid/Milestone -the first highly popular Android smartphone, and the one that started the explosive Android growth had. At each price level, when Android 2.x devices with the specs comparable to Moto Droid and above were released - thay quickly killed most of Symbian sales in that price bracket. $450-600 in 2010 (when Nokia profitability problems started), in mid tier ($250-450) last year - which translated into volume drop, and this year it is happening in high volume $250 and below price tier, and now Android is killing not only Symbian but also upper tier S40 Asha phone sales too.

Asko

The investigative journalism program MOT was aired today, Monday, on Finnish national television YLE TV1 and it had phone interview with Tomi. Nokia's destruction was the program's topic.

It is refreshing that Finnish media is actually talking about how bad the situation is for Nokia. Before this the media has let Nokia and its directors too easily.

Kimmo

Like Nokia in 2007 you fail to recognize the innovation that the iPhone brought. All you can see is hardware features like "built-in pico projector" that are not important to sell a good experience in the mass market. So iPhone had nothing on N95. Jeesus

Apple launched Appstore in the summer of 2008. The Ovi Store was launched world wide in May 2009. Apple had freereign on developers for a year and all the innovation was happening there. Just like in operating systems all the major app development is happening in the Nort America.I´m sorry but Appstore dominated Ovi Store in every possible number be it revenue, number of downloads or apps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store_(iOS)

It´s true Nokia was not killed primaraly by IOS. Apple was making premium products at premium prices at the time. They are making more money than Nokia on fewer phones. Not that bad?

But Android was hugely influenced by IOS. Android killed both RIM and Nokia because it could be on every price level

Nokia unit sales grew from 2009 to 2010 and guess what? It still wasnt enough. Its marketshare crashed from nearly 50% to less than 30% because the industry was growing faster than Nokia. When your marketshare declines this fast on a market that is growing like a rocket it will mean that soon your actual units sales will start to take a hit which leads to total collapse. The board recognized this and began looking new CEO in spring 2010.

Symbian^3 launched in Q4 2010 of course there was some pent up demand from Symbian loyalist. Nokia still wasnt stupid enough to think they were not in longterm decline or the product they put out was good enough to fight Android.

Tomifan

Thank you Tomi for fast reply. Let's talk a bit about N8, shall we?
WHERE it is bestseller? At least in Finland the operator published bestseller lists are (still after March numbers) lead by Lumia 800, topping N9 and even iPhone 4S. (And please don't negate this fact by refering to Finnish MTV3 news about operator sales reps not promoting Lumia in UK, as you did last time.) But I'm willing to believe that there is some part of the world where N8 still makes good sales. Good for Nokia.

It's past midnight here in Finland. I'm not going to re-extrapolate your figures to check them. Instead, I'll offer some different data I find interesting - Nokia Q4 results from last 3 years, comparison to previous quarter (Q3), as seen from press.nokia.com:

Quarter/Year | Smart devices net sales quarterly change (%)
Q4 2011 | +25%
Q4 2010 | +22%
Q4 2009 | +26%

Q4 2010 is the "Nokia before Elop effect" you refer to. Surprisingly, it seems that in 2010 Nokia had WORSE growth for that specific quarter than year before or year after. Not only that, but Lumia-powered Q4 actually gave Nokia better growth momentum than N8-powered Q4.
And just to twist the knife a bit, the Q4 2009 was also better in terms of growth, meaning that whatever device was being sold at that time still topped N8 what comes to improving sales. I don't know why you stick to that Q4 2010 so eagerly.
Similarly, Q4 Year-on-Year (YoY) change of devices net sales (sorry but older results do not make difference between Smart devices and normal ones):

Quarter/Year | Devices&Services net sales YoY (%)
Q4 2011 | -29%
Q4 2010 | +4%
Q4 2009 | +0.5%
Q4 2008 | -26.9%
Q4 2007 | +14%

Q4 2011 is hardly a "crash never seen before", would you say? Q4 2008 was already almost as bad as 2011 and those years between were merely beating a dead horse. Sure, 2010 was rising. But not as much as 2007, where they came down FAST.
Who was in charge 2008 when Nokia last time went down like crazy? Not Elop.
How bad were Apple and Samsung? According to you, insignificant compared to Nokia.
Was CEO fired then? No.
Actually, after 2008 crash OPK was in charge for over a year and Nokia saw sales start to INCREASE...
...before he was fired. Could it be (once again) that inside the company board of directors saw something you as an external consultant don't have access to? In any case, I'd give Elop about a year more before they switch CEO. If they do.

ejvictor

@ Karlim… like you said unless someone gets detailed spreadsheets from Nokia we will never know the granular detail.

BUT take some of your own assertions - if Nokia was stuffing the pipeline and carriers were taking the inventory, it’s only because they knew that eventually the product would sell – Nokia had very good conversion rates.

The minute CEO EOLS product carriers cancel all orders. After Feb 11 in second half of 2011 Nokia didn’t rescue anything – fire sale!!!! Nokia loyalists got great deals. Nokia closed all its stores – In USA I bought an E7 for under $200, my GF got the pink N8 for around $200. Nokia moved a lot of Symbian phones at those prices- to loyal Symbian users.

The “Symbian” unit increase in Q4 2011 was a combination of Belle, on new phones, Elop back-peddling on Symbian support and yes the huge buzz around the N9 (again we will never know the real numbers).

Android didn’t kill Symbian – the CEO killed it – Android just picked over the corpse. Just remember from Feb to late August Nokia had no new devices to sell.

The huge Q1 2012 drop off 1) Bug Jar closed for N9 effectively saying PR1.3 last upgrade, device is dead – China dead….AND 2) CEO single mindedly focused on one platform that has no mid-low end… AND 3)market realizing that WP 7.5 is not going to save Nokia and that Apple and Google will keep staying ahead of WP8. Look how iPhone launch moved back to October – to kill WP8.

If it makes you happy... Android killed Nokia. But it’s not much of a kill to stab Nokia in the leg after the CEO gave it a head shot :).

karlim

Tomi re: your comment @TomiFan re: calculating Nokia growth rates by month, from Q3 to Q4 to Q1.

Did you calculate them for Symbian overall, or split them between Symbian 3 and Symbian 1? I'd try that myself - but I'm pretty bad with Excel :)

If you have not done the S1/S3 split calculations - I believe you may get some interesting numbers that way. A 3.2 million decline in S1 units in Q4, from zero to 5 million new S3 units.

Another interesting thing to do would be to include ASP into the mix. We have more or less clean sample old Symbian ASP from Nokia Q3 2010 numbers - 136 Euros. We know Symbian 3 sales numbers in Q4 - 5 million. And we know combined S1&S3 ASP for Q4 -156 Euros. So finding the likely S3 smartphone ASP in Q4 should be possible.

How it affects the Q1 2011 ASP drop - it may be hard to tell. Facing serious sales decline, whatever the reason, Nokia may have engaged in price dumping again. On the other hand - Nokia pretty much limited their price dumping options with early OPK 2010 tricks to hold on to market share, and then launching S3 phones at such low prices. So it couldn't lower prices too much without plunging the smartphone unit into losses already in Q1.

Anyway - with a number of realistic assumptions - the S1/S3 split and ASP should be an interesting model to play for someone who knows how to use the tools (I don't, beyond some very basic stuff that's easy to replicate with hand calculator :).

Who know's - it might even give you some more evidence of Elop's Effect that will convince even a sceptic like me. I like to think of myself as a pretty open minded person, ready to admit mistakes when hard data stares me in the eye. Our disagreements here are mostly because I can find a much more simple and obvious (to me) explanation of Nokia's decline. Like Android, and linearly extending Nokia market share losses (5% a quarter), if Nokia does not have a significantly better device to reverse the decline. It gets Nokia to 24% market share in Q1 2011, 19% in Q2, 14% in Q3 and 9% in Q4 and 5% in Q1 2012. Actually worse than real Nokia numbers even today.

vladkr

Like you, I'm quite sure Stephen Elop knows exactly what he's doing. What is frightening to me, is that I don't understand why he does that. Of course, I'm not a multi-million $ guy, nor have I a mba, but I do know few millionaires, and they don't manage their companies like Elop manages Nokia.

So what can be his aims?

1. Make it weak and cheaper to buy for Microsoft ? At that rate, Nokia will soon become an empty box, and what will MS do of an empty box?

2. Kill the biggest competitor? That makes sense, but maybe there was for MS a cheaper way to do so. Then ruining Nokia won't necessarily put a good reputation on Windows phone.

3. Offer the best products to customers?
Well, if customers obviously reject the product, it's logic to try something else, isn't it.

For example when Renault released the Avantime (mini-Van-coupé), it was massively rejected by people, so logically Renault stopped its production and tried something else.

It's wrong to think people will like your product just insisting, and Apple is not an exception; remember Apple Newton ? It was a brilliant device that wasn't accepted by the public (though a good idea as showed later successes of Palms and pocket PCs).
Remember Mac G4 cube? Brilliant, but a commercial fail.

Even things like Apple TV or mac mini, which for some reasons are still kept alive (it doesn't jeopardize Apple's future anyway). Don't tell me people buy it just because there is an apple on it, they just don't.

People buy iPhones, iPads because they like it and because they know what to do with it. People don't like Windows phone 7.5 and many people don't like beta releases of Windows 8 (which is supposed to be quite similar to WP8).


So please, explain me, maybe understanding will make a smarter man of me.

P.S.1 Rudders on Titanic were clearly too small to be effective, and the "Full astern" order was given, I insist. Anyway, if you don't believe that full reverse is a bad idea, shift your car on reverse while cruising on a wet/icy road - after checking there is no one around of course - and you'll see it's a bad idea.

P.S.2 Radical changes are rarely good in industry; aircraft maker Marcel Dassault used to think that small improvement are much better than radical changes; that's what his company always did with its planes, that's what Apple does with its products.
Making Nokia bash its Oses and replace it with WP is just as stupid as if Dell CEO decided to replace Windows with OS2/warp because Windows' growth (after Vista and 7) isn't as good as OS-X's one, despite its much bigger volumes.

Troed Sangberg

Featurephones sold well after the introduction of the iPhone - for a while.

Smartphones sold well after the onslaught of third party apps on iOS and Android - for a while.

But the only future was in Mobile Internet Devices, and Symbian was never a contender. It simply lacked the third party support.

The only way to explain how it was possible in late 2008/early 2009 to see why and when RIM and Nokia/Symbian would start to decline is to understand that what is simply referred to as just "Smartphones" are actually two very different things (see link below). I thus use the term MID to describe what is today a market of only iOS and Android.

When the world changes, you need to change with it. IBM is often referred to as being the best company at understanding when to disrupt your own business, even if it's still successful.

http://blogs.sonymobile.com/troedsangberg/its-not-about-smartphones/
http://blogs.sonymobile.com/troedsangberg/speed-of-innovation/

Do I miss Symbian, having spent the years between 1999 and 2001 creating what was essentially an "iPhone" five years before the iPhone? No, not really. It was built for phones, not Internet devices. I seldom make phone calls on my MID ;)

(Btw, on the fallacy of projections of the future: It never crossed my mind that Ballmer would offer up such an enormous amount of cash - I was sure Nokia would go Android in 2011. The alternative would be to wait and suffer until Web apps make the issue of operating system moot, which seems to take a bit longer than first projected (2012).)

karlim

@ejvictor

"... Nokia had very good conversion rates"

Maybe they did. Before N97. Maybe.

The way Nokia pushed N97 down carrier throats, promising slaes and arguing that it's just a short term software glitch, will fix it. Pronto. Only to have the first Nokia exec ever to come out publicly and do Ratner and Osborne effect on the most profitable, high end 400-600 Euro Nokia devices -N97 and N97 Mini. By saying - N97 was crap - even if we have pushed millions down your throat. But we learned our lessons and next gen will be much better... That was not Elop. That was the beloved theoretical Nokia savior Anssi Vanjoki. In February 2010.

After that - carriers went unanimously to saying FU to any Nokia device above $400. And the only way keeping up the volumes was Symbian price dumping, mixed with still important S40 pushed by the same sales force. And promising, and then giving 12Mps N8 flagship at mid tier less then $400 mid tier price (wholesale). Well, until wholesalers/carriers couldn't move even the trial volumes talented Nokia sales force convinced them to buy.

"...fire sale!!!! "

Really? You bought E7 for under $200? Where? Nokia, authorized reseller with all the warranty commitments and not on on off 3 day promotion? Because I can't find E7 cheaper the for $300 on Amazon even today.

So-new Symbian phones started shipping this fall with Belle. And old Symbians got Belle only in February. Btw - the only new phone Nokia started shipping in Q1 last year - was E7. And that was $700+ WERTY niche device few cared about.

So please, do explain - what is so different between Q1/Q4 in 2011 vs 2012? And how Q1 huge drop is different with and without Elop effect?

Baron95

Tomi, you get an A+ for perseverance.

Now, please explain to your readers, that the Nokia figures you used are sell-in - i.e. shipments to retailers (mostly Operators, in the case of Nokia). And please, please, please, explain to your readers that those smartphone orders are issued 60-90 days prior to shipment.

You are trying to be tremendously disingenuous to suggest that *ANY* meaningful shipments reported by Nokia in Q1 could have been altered in the last 6 weeks of the quarter (post Elop memo).

You will have absolutely no credibility left if you fail to acknowledge these simple facts of the smartphone order-shipment cycle in this industry.

So, in fact, the poor shipments in Q1, were *KNOWN* to the Nokia board by lower orders, lower book-to-bill ratios that were happening in Q4/2010. The Elop memo and the Microsoft partnership were *reactions* by Elop and the board to what they *WERE ALREADY SEEING* way before February.

You can write as many thousands of words as you want. *Nothing* can change the fact that the low shipments in Q1/2011 were due to low orders in Q4/2010, *prior* to the Elop memo.

Regards,

B95

Steve

Baron95, So what you are saying is that the real downfall started as soon as Elop took over?
So the Elop effect is real but it should be 6 weeks earlier and that all good results were really the work of previous CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo so Elop only have losses even from the start.
Why do you think that Elop didn't do anything good when he started and things were looking good?

He explained quite well how he ended up with those numbers and if you check all the reports it should become clear to you to.

Sander van der Wal

All the Nokia smartphones that I saw in stores in Holland during 2009-2011 were free with 30 euro contracts. The iPhone was always as expensive as on the first day it was introduced, with the same contract. The theory that Nokia was fine doesn't explain this fact either.

Then the famous interview in Business Week, with MeeGo not going to be ready for three years, this theory des not explain this fact either.

Then that 400.000 developers number. That number has been given bij Nokia for years and years and years. If, after the succes of Ovi Store, that number hasn't grown, it shows that the Symbian/Qt strategy did not get any kind of traction at all. Again a fact which is not explained.

A theory needs to explain all the facts which have been observed, not just the facts that support it.

Also Memelti was introduced months after the memo. There was only a hint of Qt being ported to feature phones before that.

Alternative theory. Nokia lost lots of credibility with early adopters and the leaders of the early majority with the bodged N97. So when good or even better competitors showed up, these people switched. This caused an accellerating trend of decreasing market share. Together with the lack of developer traction and Nokia's inability to create a better OS on time meant that the board choose to go with a different OS.

ste

Tomi, can you add RIM to the graphs?
They had no Elop.

Michael

You are exactly right. "WAS" success.

You say that OVI was success because 4 out of 6 inhabited continents used OVI store and that on 5 of 6 inhabited continents Symbian was used.

You are talking past here. We are talking future here.

That was exactly Nokia's problem! Those technologies and services were success in the past. Do you really think that just because a technology was dominant in the past that it can also be dominant in the future? Do you really believe that? Especially in electronic consumer market.

You are approaching technology as if it were Coca-Cola, no real change in recipe, really, all we need is good marketing.

Companies fail because they fail to change and invent, as simple as that. Nokia thought that the future is certain just because present is assured. The future is only certain if you invent, Nokia didn't.

DVD was invented in 1996 by many companies including Sony. Should Sony never invest and develop Blu-Ray in 2002 just because DVD was good back in 1996. And this is just 6 years gap. Should SONY tweak DVD for the next 20 years even if it meant that competition came along with HD capable media?

You can assure yourself that it wasn't iPhone that killed Nokia. In my case it did!

Vikram

Android + iOS killed Nokia. RIM showed all sorts of positive growth just before it fell off a cliff - much like the graphs that Tomi is showing for Nokia.

Does anyone sincerely believe that those Symbian3 phones were going to be competitive with Android or iOS. They most definitely were NOT. And if Elop kept Symbia, does anyone actually think that Nokia wouldn't have tanked anyway? Everyone who uses these phones knows how bad the Nokia software was compared to iOS and Android. Nokia makes hardware as beautiful as Apple, but the software is what people use and it was demonstrably inferior.

Tomi is right in that the iPhone wasn't what killed Nokia then, rather it was Android (via Samsung) that was the main culprit.

khim

Guys, if you want to discuss Nokia and RIM collapse you must read "The Innovator's Dilemma" first.

Disruptive collapse can not be seen on graphs like the ones shown above! Or rather: you can see it - but only when it's late, way too late. In fact by the time incumbent is basically walking dead it STILL increases sales and STILL makes healthy profit. Right till the point when it loses all the userbase and sales drop to zero.

"The Innovator's Dilemma" includes DOZEN of cases and MOST of them looks like the graphs shown above: incumbent is much bigger and grows steadily, disruptor grows faster in relative term but is minuscule in absolute term and then at some point incumbent growth is slowing and then collapse is happening.

If you want to see "fate of Nokia without Elop" then you have textbook case: RIM. Sure Elop, caused premature collapse, but it was inevitable anyway.

In fact in the end of 2009 it was obvious for a lot of people. Looks here

http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2009/12/us-west-coast-drunk-on-iphone-yes-but-android-is-not-the-answer.html#comments

When Tomi was preaching that Android is useless superluxury product some people said that Nokia is doomed already because it changed the game.

Direct cites:

Tomi: If Apple is the Cadillac as a niche luxury product, then Android as Maserati, is a far far more niche, more rare luxury product.

Andrew J Scott: Android is license free, it has multiple operators and MNO's backing it. It's reach will rapidly become very big indeed. It will overtake iPhone in 2010, it is seriously challenging incumbants; and I'd expect to see a Nokia phone running Android within 3 years (if they are still even building hardware then! ;-)

THIS WAS SAID IN THIS BLOG'S COMMENTS so please stop saying that it was impossible to see or predict. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT USING VOLUME NUMBERS - sure, but this is nature of disruptive technology: it's growth speed depends not on the marketing or other similar things, but on the percentage of users which can use it (afford the hardware in the case of license-free Android).

First Nokia lost luxury sales (this was actually achieved without Android: iPhone did that), then, as price of Android phones went down cheaper and cheaper Nokia/RIM models stopped selling. When Android reached $100 (unsubsidized price) the game was basically finished. Blackberry may survive for some time on the strength of the Enterprise (it's too conservative to abandon RIM easily), but Symbian had no such protecting. Nokia can stump along for some time on the power of cheap dumbphones, but I'm not sure they are enough to keep it alive.

Elop expedited the natural process by about half-year at most. And it looks like the second alternative (if they [Nokia] are still even building hardware then) will materialize. Pity, that, but hey, it was predictable years ago.

P.S. The most poignant example of disruptive collapse shown in the aforementioned book are excavators. There are detailed process which explains how and why hydraulic excavator firms killed the cable-operator firms. How Caterpillar killed Bucyrus, basically. VERY similar to what happenes today in mobile space. Bucyrus seen the writing on the wall early and tried to adopt the new technology, it failed repeatedly and eventually Caterpillar (which had nothing to do with excavators in it's early years) killed and bought it. But there is striking difference: THE WHOLE PROCESS TOOK OVER FIFTY YEARS! It's easy to say that Nokia failed because of Elop's mistakes which led to disaster in fast-moving mobile world. But excavators show that problem is deeper. Actually Tomi himself shows that problem is deeper: he still does not understand that era of mobile smartPHONE is over. Finished. No more. Era of mobile smart COMPUTER is before us. We'll see if WP8 will play a role in it or not, but Symbian and Blackberry was not even a contender. They were relics of the previous era.

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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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