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July 06, 2012

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Comments

Spawn

@LeeBase

Sure. In any business your lose is your competitors win. That is not and never ever was a topic.

> Elop has failed to save Nokia

Not only that. His strategic decisions where the reason why Nokia turned from the market-leader into a dying company on junk state within a world-record time of a little bit more then a year.

To make that happen its not enough to do nothing. You need actively to apply a series of huge mistakes to make such a disaster happen and earn the title of worst CEO ever.

> Meego wasnt ready

The N9, that hit market before Lumia btw, proves you wrong.

Louis

@Spawn: Tomi wrote a series of blogs in early 2011 discussing how Nokia was imploding. The analysis isn't dissimilar to what Lee is saying now. (At the end his suggestion was to focus on qwerty and SMS, which shows Tomi is better at collecting data than extrapolating from it. Look at the recent O2 survey to see what happened to SMS.)

Nokia was in trouble unless it could come out with an updated product line for the modern era. By this I mean a home for App usage to grow, which is what the operators need to sell expensive post paid contracts with data plans. The price of voice and SMS is crashing with their importance.

All the available evidence says that Meego was not the answer, being perpetually late and buggy. Android would have been.

I don't really think it is that complicated.

Spawn

@Louis

http://mobil.stern.de/op/stern/de/ct/detail/digital/smartphone-nokia-n9-exotisches-one-hit-wonder/1770646/?mobil=1

"Das Nokia N9 ist eines der besten Geräte, das die Finnen je auf den Markt gebracht haben"

Translation: The N9 is one of the best devicea Nokia ever made.

The whole article prises the N9. Stern even says the N9 is better then the iphone.

It ends with the suggestion to definitively try it for example at the.next holidays in a country like swisterland which offers it. So, yes, they do no suggeat to travel to buy the phone but buy the phone when you travel next time (you have to know that germans travel a lot) :-)

Kenny

Here is something to back up Tomi that salespersons refuse to sell Lumia phones:

Source: Nokia Support Forum - http://discussions.nokia.com/t5/Nokia-with-Windows-Phone/Carphone-Warehouse-London-customer-service-against-Nokia/td-p/1489130

I happened to experience the attitude of the sales people at carphone warehouse today. I was checking out another phone when a guy walked in and asked the sales girl "I'm looking for a smartphone like the lumia 900. Please tell me the plans available".

So here was a customer who came primarily for the lumia. The reply from the girl was
"That is a bad phone. It has windows os. No apps at all. Battery life is 3-4hrs. You have to update phone every week. Do not buy it. Buy Android".

Now if Nokia was ever wondering why their sales in UK is below par, look no further than these retailers, who are more interested in selling Android phones than anything else.

Let me know your experiences at retail shops and what you think Nokia should do to stop this dastardly sales pitch against them.

Louis

@Spawn: I have already read the whole thing. If the recommendation is that people who only care about not having an iPhone or Android and don't care about Apps too much check it out, this isn't a mainstream hit. It's a geeky curiosity that doesn't have WhatsApp, which is pretty much a sine qua non of selling smartphones in Germany.

Ben Daglish

Nokia is now at Utter Junk State. It is like garbage with biohazard sign. As wanted as used needles and cutting shrapnels of glass in a hospital junk trunk.

But, the truth is that Symbian was selling because nobody had told the truth to the public that Symbian was junk. Well they had been sort of told that, but nobody had driven the fact to their brains with a 1 000 000 ounce hammer like Stephen Elop The Conqueror did.

Nokias fault is that first, there are top execs who are incompetent, imbeciles and impotent. Verge on a cardiac arrest.

The second fault is that those middle managers and engineers that should know the truth are just like that hospital guy who published 25 item list of what would make Nokia great again. That was talk from a brain who has stagnated, boring thoughts, not from real cutting edge mobile world. It rings the bells in those 35-somethings brains who are so mediocre, so has beens, so boring... people with families, holiday plans, mortgage worries...relationship worries... That item list is nowhere to take Nokia to any heights. BELIEVE ME!

Nokia is chronically ill with mediocre, stagnated, too-Finnish people. Their brains don't just have it to lead Nokia to anywhere.

There is no solution to Nokia's fate. It is very dying company at the moment. Fire Elop but it is not going to save you. Look at Nokia stock. It is in death spiral like a Spitfire with a stalled engine, dead pilot and leaking, burning fuel tanks.

Jah

Ben Daglish said:
"But, the truth is that Symbian was selling because nobody had told the truth to the public that Symbian was junk"

That's so bloody funny!
Somebody really needs to tell Ben the truth, he's as thick as pig sh*t.

Ben Daglish

Jah, its true, it was like a horse who was still running because it didn't know it was dead. Or a guillotine victim's head (sorry for the macabre expression!)

Of course sooner or later it would have become clear to everyone, how utter junk Symbian was. However, it was Stephen Elop who was a catalyst in the open discussion how bad it was. That advanced also our knowledge about mobiles OS's. Now everyone knows the difference between iOS, Android and Symbian... a while ago the public thought they are all the same!

So, thanks must go to Stephen Elop for advancing and expanding our knowledge!

Toni Nikkanen

I've seen this Skype problem being thrown around a lot and I never get it!

There's been a Skype for Symbian for years. There's been Skype for Nokia N900 and N9. Skype for iOS, Android... none of this ever was a problem for carriers.

Suddenly, Skype for Windows Phone, this is a HUUUUGE problem. Why? Remember, carriers can always pull traditional carrier-stunts and disable useful stuff on their phones - including Skype, why not?

MIP

@Ben Daglish

You're an idiot on all levels.

1) Saying that Symbian was selling because people didn't know how bad it was, as opposed to people buying it because it was good enough, just proves that you have no respect at all for consumers' choice of platform. Instead you believe that you, or anyone else, have the right to tell people what's good and what isn't.

2) In the *hypothetical* case that Symbian were in fact so bad, as Nokia's CEO you still shouldn't state that publicly as it torpedoes your own products, which makes it a huge mistake either way you look at it.

3) If you need another idiot (i.e. Elop) to tell you what OS is good and bad, then so be it, but don't include the rest of us in your ignorance (read: stupidity) by wanting to thank Elop for "expanding our knowledgde" (i.e. "buying into Elop's lies").

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

(I am so overwhelmed by the effort to get this done, feeling just that I am tired. I have stopped even feeling suicidally depressed as I felt through much of yesterdway still when writing that first draft.. BUT. I have a bit of news)

I don't want to add one word more to that monster. This will eventually be its own blog story too, but it IS of interest to most of you reading comments here and yet it really 'isn't' about Elop. So here's the HUGE news I just learned a moment ago via Twitter

A group of Ex Nokians have just launched a company called Jolla. The company features mostly MeeGo and smartphones related people. They will be working on ... wait for it ... producing smartphones that run on yes on yes on YES - MeeGo !!!

So if you loved the N9 and N950. If you felt it is SUCH a shame that Nokia won't make more. Here are Nokiadudes and Dudettes, out of Tampere who will make them for us. And might I say, Elop has been meddling in their life a lot at Nokia, so this company could very likely give us the true potential of MeeGo, not the watered down rubbish after Elop. If you thought the iPhone was the Jesusphone and the N9 was the Godphone, what is this then? What can possibly trump God anymore? I know, Santa Claus haha...

Hey. Seriously. Congratulations Jolla !! I will do a proper blog about it very soon hopefully on Monday. This is the best news I've had about 'Nokia' in months. I wish you the very VERY best and I pledge here to support Jolla totally and comprehensively in any way I can.

Any Journalists, Bloggers, Industry Analysts etc reading this blog - please run stories about Jolla as soon as you possibibly can!

Any Investors.. This is THE tech opportunity you wanted to find when you started to read my blog. Contact Jolla NOW.

Tsemppia !! Jolla Jolla, Mee-Go kapulassa hyva on olla. Me emme ole mikaan Nokianolla, koska meilla on parempi polla.

Good luck Jolla Team!

Tomi T Ahonen :-)
The world's first Jollafan !

Spawn

@Louis

> All the available evidence says that Meego was not the answer, being perpetually late and buggy.

1. It hit market before Lumia
2. Buggy? That is your single argument?

> Android

Yes, I agree they should have offered Android too.
No, I do not agree that any strategy that limits itself to only one system, may it be Meego or WP or Android or Symbian, while ignoring all alternates is a good one.
There is a reason Samsung has Android AND Bada AND Tizen. There is a reason all 3 of them will sell well (2 already do and Tizen will do too).
Heck, even the maker of Android - that is google - has with ChromeOs a second system in the market.
The most stupid thing you can do is to kill of choices you may nerd later to adapt to new requirements, market needs, customer demands. Elop's crime is not that he gave WP a try and failed. His crime is that he killed all alternate choices Nokia needs now to survive effectively killing Nokia.

Spawn

@Louis

> this isn't a mainstream hit.

1. Der Stern is not a tech magazin run by geeks. Its a mainstream magazin.
2. Remember the conditions the article was written under. N9 and with it the app store, the ecosystem, got killed right before release. The article was written right after the release. Sure they a) where not as much apps in the store.likr for iphone that time but that changed meanwhile and b) sure does noone invest into an ecosystem that was declared dead (but yet as of today you find still lots of apps of ppl/companies who still did knowing that they do cor an dead end - that I call imprrssive. An impressive sign how well this would have worked out for the Symbian/MeeGo/Nokia ecosystem if not killed before.
3. Also remember that the N9 still sold better then Lumia while being effectively a dead end, not market, killed off. That is impressive too.

With all the partners and investors and the state of thr.product itself (as we saw with the N9 that got praised everywhere from mainstream to tech magazins) I have no doubt it would have becoke a huge success-story.

Spawn

@Ben Daglish

You hit the nail. Thanks.

@Tomi

That are the best news since a long time.
Nokia's reborn before its dead :-)
Lets spread the message!

Ravi

@Tomi

My opinion has been that there was only one sensible way for Microsoft to reconcile Skype and Windows Phone: give up on the carriers completely and go direct-to-consumer with "Skypephones" in every country where the carriers can't legally stop you from "roaming" onto their networks as a WiFi fallback (e.g. as an MVNO or with mountains of prepaid SIMs or whatever). Getting a "good enough" user experience for that would be hard (and the carriers would fight very step of the way), but if they had it pulled it off it could have been massively popular and disruptive. Nokia would have fit well into this, I think. Their deep handset experience would have a key contributor towards getting the "good enough" user experience. And, to me, that sort of bold vision is the only possible reason to go "all-in" on a new ecosystem the way Nokia has.

From that viewpoint, the early stages of the partnership would have just been training exercises for the real battle. For a while, it seemed plausible. And yet, here we are, over a year later, after many missteps and other execution issues and it is becoming harder and harder to believe another shoe is going to ever drop.

So I'm left with: Was Microsoft really arrogant enough to think they could hold Windows Phone in one hand and Skype in the other? And Nokia was stupid enough to go along with it? Wow. I was so sure they had to be working towards something bigger.

n.n.

Thanks Tomi for the epic blog writing. It must have been like a marathon to write it! It is really impossible not to let your rhetoric bring a smile on a readers face! Thanks again!

dotpeople

Thanks Tomi for the history lessons, strategic analysis, sales management lessons and exemplifying an ethos of critical thinking and freedom of expression.

Thanks to the designers and implementors of these devices:

- Blackberry QWERTY devices since 2-way pagers
- Motorola Startac, Palm Pilot
- Nokia N900 Maemo Linux QWERTY, N8 Symbian, N9 Meego Linux
- Samsung Galaxy Y DUOS QWERTY (BB clone Android dual-SIM with VPN)
- Samsung Galaxy Note (iPad / iPhone fusion clone)

Best of luck to #Jolla in their valiant pursuit of human freedom-of-augmentation (a.k.a. mobile-optimized, open Linux smartphone / mobile computer).

One day, historians will record "management crimes against humanity", i.e. unnecessary destruction of human creative output and time-limited opportunity. This article will be an exhibit.

Sander van der Wal

For one moment I thought that Apple led by Jobs was playing the role of the Finnish Army, that Nokia was the Russian Army and Elop was playing Chuikov, trying to save what was to be saved from the iPhone counterattack, after Nokia invaded Apple's mobile computer and MP3 territory with their N-Series, what computers have become, Nokia being the number one MP3 manufacturer in the world, and all that.

But it was not so.

Interesting news about the MeeGo ressurection, though.

P

Very interesting reading.

However, I do not really believe that Elop is the world's worst CEO. According to me Nokia has the world's worst board. Steven Elop is a Trojan and the goal has always been to break down Nokia which succeeded very well.

The reason why Nokia became a target was that two monster companies banded together to make MeeGo project fly.

You can read about here to understand what a threat this was against Microsoft: Understanding MeeGo - http://bergie.iki.fi/blog/understanding_meego/

Consider that giants like Nokia and Intel collaborated to come ashore with this solution, if they would have succeeded it would have risked to destroy Microsoft's business model.

Scorpion

Thanks for relating the Winter War. I had already read about it but nothing like this one. That said I'm afraid Greeks have already fought a bigger opponent and won a decisive victory in the battle of Marathon (modern estimates consider 10000 vs 100000 as plausible, but even at 10000 vs 50000 it's just crazy).

As for Nokia... I remember getting my first (low end) Android device shortly after Elop's announcement. Otherwise it was going to be a Nokia with Symbian (I wanted a device with a free software OS). Ironically, each time Elop tries to clear the way for Windows Phone by killing Symbian, MeeGO, Meltemi and whatnot, it benefits Android. Great job from Elop, indeed.

The one thing I don't get is how Nokia accepted to be borged in such a way. I don't know how the high level corporate stuff works, but Nokia apparently even gave up the right to touch Android. It's as if Microsoft had bought Nokia, except that it didn't. How the shareholders, the board, and even the Finnish state let this pass? How is that possible? (Nokia shareholders do not seem to be the same than Microsoft's). If someone has an explanation...

Antonio

Tomi, I enjoyed very much this post! Both your reflections on Sun Tzu's teachings applied to Elop and your vivid recount of the Suomussalmi battle, which I did not know about. I see you are a big lover of military history, so you may also want to read about the battles of Las Navas de Tolosa in medieval Spain, a cornerstone in the Spanish Reconquista, and the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) in which the formidable Spanish Admiral Blas de Lezo with less than 4'000 men defeated an English fleet almost 30'000 strong.

Nok down

Elop is not insane.
Elop is not delusional.

Elop is a chess player...

He's been very methodically unraveling Nokia...while suffocating Symbian, Meego and Qt in a death embrace.

His ( and Microsoft) ultimate checkmate is the killing of Qt as a viable development platform.

Qt is the ultimate threat to MicroSoft's existence...
Qt eliminates dependence on MS Visual Studio which feeds apps for MS WinXX
Qt allows true develop once deploy to multiple OS platforms.

Nokia stock price will stagnate at US$ 1....Nokia will not be allowed to die but kept in perpetual coma under Microsoft life support systems.

That is the endgame Elop pursues.

Nok down

So you students of Sun Tzu need to understand your enemy much better and evaluate them properly for the deliberate criminal execution to make Nokia comatose.

Nok down

Place your bets.

Elop will divest everything else, but he will not divest Symbian, Meego or Qt.

Elop will simply keep those properties and not allow anyone else (with decent market muscle) to develop them further.

shavy

Its pity the n9 design belongs to nokia now. Arghh.. the n950 design belongs to nokia too.. double arghhh!!!

Jolla need to start from scratch

1. A award winning designed phone.
2. New app store
3. Nurture new developer or courting existing one to developed apps
4. Cultivate and nurture consumers for meego os

Jolla need to get ready for patent war too. The evil giant microkia are ready to bounce on it instantly. The momemt jolla release the os and phone.

Its a rocky road ahead..

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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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