My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« Lenovo? So The Rumors Start - Some Idle Speculation About Nokia Buyers and Reasons - UPDATED (Samsung) | Main | The Mobile Moment is Only Months Away - Preparing For the Biggest Number Ever - Yes That Day Is Near: When One Tech Passes Human Population In Size »

August 06, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e0097e337c8833017743f15c51970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dispatches From The Battlefield - Some Digital Jamboree Notes from various Smartphone Makers:

Comments

John Phamlore

Tomi,
Given your continual praise for Symbian, one would naturally feel anger towards those who within Nokia had their own agenda and killed off this OS in favor of their own. Unfortunately for you, those zealots were in fact proponents of Linux not any Microsoft OS.

You must surely know these zealots attempted to destroy at least $400 billion of value in Apple by trying to get Apple to trash Apple's OS heritage in favor of Linux:

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/scott-forstall-the-sorcerers-apprentice-at-apple-10122011.html

That which became Symbian never had the full support of Nokia. Yet still every time there was a technical hurdle, a relatively small team could work miracles. According to Wikipedia "Much of the credit for EKA2 goes to a single Symbian kernel engineer, who began the project as an experiment many years before it became an official part of Symbian OS."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EKA2

Microsoft didn't make Nokia ally with Intel supporting WiMAX and thus angering its one potential ally in the US, AT&T. Microsoft didn't make Nokia waste its time on WiMAX instead of acquiring the IP to be able to one day produce a LTE wireless radio so that Nokia could serve the future US smartphone market; instead surrendering to Qualcomm in 2008 losing the patent battle and now being forced to use a Qualcomm SoC solution. Microsoft didn't make Nokia place political hurdles against Symbian development for years, in effect declaring a burning platform memo for a decade for a failed transition to Linux. Microsoft didn't make Nokia waste about five years trying to develop a GTK/Gnome-based UI only to give up and buy Trolltech and change direction to Qt.

All of Nokia's wounds are self-inflicted, started at least by 2002, pre-date Elop, and are caused by its decision to obsolete what was to be come Symbian in favor of Linux.


Buttface Elop

Elop's intention with the 808 PureView is obvious. He already did it with the N9.

The reason he didn't stop these two products from being manufactured is simply the fact that he wanted to create a hype with these two. Since both devices were absolutely standing out of the crowd, they happened to have positive critics everywhere. By using the same look for the Lumia as it was used for the N9, he thought people would be stupid enough to go and buy that "hyped" phone. But they were not. The were able to differentiate the N9 from the cheap, design theft committing Lumia 800.
Now the same with the 808 PureView. But this time, it's the word PureView that got the hype. And that's why he made only a little number of 808 PureView to generate the hype and make the PureView brand become popular. Next step will be a cheap Lumia with PureView. But again, people can differentiate and will find out, that PureView on Lumia will not be the same PureView as seen on the 808 PureView.

Matthew Raymond

Some of the HTC One series phones would be able to compete with the Samsung Galaxy SII and III if they had a MicroSD card slot. Instead, they're pushing cloud storage, which is a poor choice for the US market where people have limited data plans and weaker privacy laws that the EU.

Baron95

This is nothing more than the "Winners take all" that is common in the technology industry. In this case, the winners are Apple and Samsung - all others perish.

Today, consumers have too much info and very timely via internet, and lots of low friction options to buy technology. Things move to the "winners" mach faster. If you are not a winner, you don't do OK - you die.

Microprocessors: Intel, AMD and ARM Licensees. All others (Motorola, National, Sun-spark, IBM Power PC, etc) dead.

PC OS - Microsoft and Apple. All others dead.

On-line music - Apple and Amazon. All others dead.

Social Media - Facebook. All others dead.

Next Gen Mobile System - LTE. All others (WiMax, etc) dead.

Search - Google, Microsoft - all others dead.

kdt

@Baron95 --almost right, but in Social Media you have Twitter.

vvaz

@john

What killed Nokia was very inflexible attitude towards Symbian. I was observing Nokia struggles starting in 2007 from Maemo sidelines and it was constant battle of small group of hackers against Symbian stronghold.
Yes, GNOME was a dead-end (mainly because GNOME developers refused to allow some changes necessary for mobile devices to go upstream, forcing Nokia to keep its own fork of parts of environment or using sub-optimal solutions) but even when Nokia saw the light and bought Trolltech it ended not with one unified platform but something which was essentially special, separate version of Qt for Symbian.
Even despite all those adversities small group of people inside of Nokia was able to produce N9. Without Symbian related obstacles they could deliver it at least one year earlier, and without Elop (he started to cut Maemo projects well before Feb 11) on Spring of 2011 it would be second generation device - maybe this time with proper hardware.

elm70

@baron95

LOL

For your theory, winner take all

So, iOS & Android are the winners

All others are dead or will die :-P

So you beloved WPhone is dead from your post here

Tchuss

E_lm_70

Ps: is Japan the most advanced market for smartphone? If yes, the from gs.statcounter there is already 50% market for iOS, 50% Android, and the other below 0.1% market

Baron95

Hey ELM 70 - why the LOL?

The "Winners" list is not a constant. Yes, today in mobile computer (smartphones, tablets, internet music players) OS/Ecosystem, Android and iOS are the ONLY winners. MOre specifically Samsung's implementation of Android and Apple are the winners. BBOS, Symbian, Meego, Bada, DoCoMo, WebOS, Windows Phone 7,x are the losers.

Similarly in PC OS - Apple OS X and Microsoft Windows are the winners. Google Chrome, Linux, etc are the losers.

As PCs and Mobile Computers converge, it is unclear if Windows 8 can migrate from PC to phones/tablets or if Android can migrate from phone/tablets to PCs or neither can.

So we may end up with Apple (converged iOS/OS X), Microsoft (Windows 8/Office) and Google (converged Android, Chrome, Google Docs) splitting the market or, one of them may fail.

If I were to bet, I'd bet on a split (by revenue, not by units as Tomi counts) of the mobile computer market circa 2015 as: 30% Apple, 25% Microsoft, 45% Google.

But it can be anywhere depending on how each executes - there are no guarantees.

Baron95

Oh, and either way, even if Windows 8 succeeds in mobile computers, Nokia will be no more than a bit player. Samsung, HTC, ZTE etc will *always* outexecute Nokia due to culture.

Former Symbian Evangelist

Tomi, is the 808 potentially even a bigger hit than the N9? With the N9, there were very few markets that sold it after initially saying they will not. For the 808, markets such as USA, UK and others have been forced to make it available "unlocked" even though this was not initially planned.

jack1059

Again to I I can't help but agree. In depth analysis is hard to disagree with. On the nokia front I walked into my local best buy the other day and noticed that the lumia 900 was missing from the display phones. Replaced by a Samsung gs3. And again, I wonder wtf is the board of nokia thinking? The CEO is clearly working for Ms. But the board. A truly sad case of industrial sabotage on a scale never before seen in corporate history.

jack1059

For the prediction end of it. I agree. Android and iPhone as 1and 2, with blackberry 3. Why blackberry? They chose the right independent ecosystem / os approach. Combine that with security features, the fact that no one really trusts ms. Nokia is a dead man walking. And who else do you have at 3? Blackberry. Unless they monumentaly screw up bb10, which I don't see them doing. They might, but they look like they are moving carefully with it, which is a good sign.

Asko

@Baron95 "Microprocessors: Intel, AMD and ARM Licensees. All others (Motorola, National, Sun-spark, IBM Power PC, etc) dead."

For example PowerPC is not dead. It is very strong on the console markets (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii), remote management boards/cards on servers and other embedded solutions.
IBM makes still many different servers (IBM Power Systems) with PowerPC.

And Oracle and Fujitsu still make SPARC servers and supercomputers. Even MIPS is still used on embedded world and network solutions.

They may be dead on desktop but otherwise they are kicking well.

Spawn

@John Phamlore

> Linux not any Microsoft OS

Actually Smbian and MeeGo formed one ecosystem and the plan was to integrate S40 there too.
The logic is simple: Make all 3 stronger with a shared eco-system. Ever wonder Qt for Android was done and made it upstream? Yes, that was in Nokia's best interest.

Elop was correct on one thing (but I doubt it was hin coming up with that): Its a war of ecosystems and not of platforms.
Nokia had platform #1 and they tried to decouple the market share from the platform so they could easily offer S40, Symbian, MeeGo and maybe even Android while using the same ecosysten on all of them. There very own ecosystem. Something nobody else did and still does not offer.

Symbian was not in competition with MeeGo. They where partners through the ecosystem. They could have made each other stronger. A win-win situation for Symbian, MeeGo and for Nokia.

> Symbian never had the full support of Nokia

If you believe that full support means only focus on Symbian and kill of all alternates like happened with WinPhone then, yes, it.did not had that full support since that was not the plan.

The plan was about the ecosystem with Symbian, MeeGo and S40 participating there. That was what had full support (Qt IS the preferred Symbian development framework for thay reason) until Elop.

> Nokia place political hurdles against Symbian development for years

If you happen to dislike Qt and the ecosystem-strategy but prefer something else then yes. Otherwise Symbian got a great development framework pairing up with MeeGo to form the all-winning ecosystem.
Symbian was included, no a focus-point, on the ecosystem-strategy from the beginning.

> declaring a burning platform memo for a decade for a failed transition to Linux.

The transition was not about replacing Symbian with MeeGo.
The transition was moving away from a platform-focus to an ecosystem-focus and Symbian and developers was.not only included in that it was central.
Symbiab was number #1 and they saw its decreasing. Slowly but still decreasing its position. So, the plan was to transition the number #1 position from the platform to the ecosystem and wxpand it to other platforms to make all of them stronger, not bind the success of the company to a single platform but have options and offer more then one to fullfit market demand whatever that demand is or may become.
The ironie is that this was a winning-strategy and it was all done and rwady to be executed. But Elop decided to abort, go with all-in-one and not Symbian but the (then unproven and as we swe now not ready to compete) WinPhone. He did an U-turn doing everything different and he for surw failed with that (as numbers prove). If you drive opposite direction of the winning-street you are in the losing-street. Simple, easy, clear.

Spawn

@Buttface Elop

Indeed its Elops intention to bring out a Lumia Pureview. He already say "the technology will live on" meaning not on Symbian but on our new WP8 Lumia.

But that was not why N9 and Pureview came to market. Elop tried to prevent the N9 from coming to market. But luckely the previous management made atrong contracts with Intel so they had to produce two phones and deliver one to customers. That could not have been undone so easily. But they tried succeasful to limit the impact it had by naming it dead before, not offering it in most markets and keeping as silent as possible about it.
Elop himself tried to prevent the Pureview from coming to the US and inly later gave up once the demand was stronger then his stand in Nokia. That says us something about Elop's stand and the mistrust he has in the BOD. After all the BOD may sleep bit they are not dead (yet).

So, yes, Nokia will offer Lumia WP8 with Pureview. No doubt.

@Tomi

There is one topic I am missing in this article. The unexpected success of the Google Nexus 7.
That is a tablet, from Google and its selling like hot cake.

Google finally made it to have Andeoid on Tablets a success too. That is huge cause so far the tablet-market is what Apple dominates but not any longer it seems.
There is also those ohya (or however its named) game console running Android which looks promising. That means Android may become a serious competition for Pkaystation, xbox and Nintendo soon too.

If it continues that spead Andeoid becomes a central platform and ecosystem for all kind of technology devices.
The only thung missing right now are desktops. Anyone like ti predict when Google is going to offer Android for x86 on desktops? I think latest end of 2013 but very likely sooner.

Baron95

@Asko Yes you are correct - PowerPC is still used in servers and embedded applications. I should be more specific that it died in the desktop and mobile computer segments. Similarly with SPARC. The point was that both of these CPUs (and many others like Alpha) got decimated in the desktop (and general server market in some cases) by the winners, despite huge backing and marketing efforts from Fortune 100 companies. Power PC had the backing of Apple, IBM, Motorola (remember AIM), and Apple almost got killed because it bet on the wrong processor, and had to switch to Intel in the end at huge costs and risks. Sun's ambitions on the desktop also died with SPARC. Similarly for DEC and Alpha. Similarly for IBM and Power.

They all had to retreat to less competitive roles - servers and embedded. And soon they will be killed there too.

When you think about it, it is quite amazing that virtually 100% of the PC (desktop/laptop) market is Intel/AMD and virtually 100% of the mobile computing market (tablets, smartphones) is ARM. Similarly in smartphone/tablet market, we are at 90% already being iOS/Android. When they had 0% share just 5 years ago. It is an unbelievable concentration of power. Unprecedented.

But that is the power of winning tech platform wars. There is virtually nothing that RIM or Nokia or anyone else can do, once they get stuck with the losing platform.

Spawn

@Baron95

> RIM or Nokia

RIM does one thing very different to Nokia that give them, in my opinion, a much better point to start at. BB10 is not a new ecosystem from scratch. Android apps are running there, Qt apps are running there. That gives them an ecosystem bridge to Android and Symbian in a similar way MeeGo would have been. Surr, its still a new device/OS from just one single maker unlike WP8 which will have different manufactors, different device-offers. But then bringing an Android app to BB10 or bringing a Symbian app to BB10 is rather easy. That gives them a huge advantage over brand-new Metro (please do not argue about WP7 ecosystem since there was and is no).

You can see the fruits of RIM's Android and Symbian bridge already today with the Playbook. There are far more high-quality Android and Symbian apps in the Playbook market then native apps made for the Playbook. The collection of apps and hence possibilities is impressive. The playbook itself is not. What they need is acctractive hardware, cheap hardware, a wide range of offers. I find it an eyeopener the CEO does try to partner to address that.

From a pure strategy point of view RIM does better then Nokia and I would expect they will do better in the future cause of that too. They wil very likely not be able to come close to Android or Apple but I think they will be able to keep a decent market share ebough to make profit again.

That is unlike Nokia which, as one of many WP8 resellers, has to compete against the other WP8 offers in a brand new ecosystem without any bridges.

2013 becomes the year that will show us how these strategies compare to each other. I may wrong and maybe Nokia is able to win huge again whild RIM continues ti fall but I somehow doubt that but think the opposite will happen.


AtTheBottomOfTheHilton

@Spawn

RIM is doing the right thing here, creating their own operating system. As you said BB10 will be everything Meego would have been. The BB10 preview, the Playbook OS is very nice in terms of user experience. Also the Playbook multitasking is the best I've seen, Symbian user will feel right at home here. Another thing I like is that you can close applications by default, unlike Android.

RIM is creating something of their own and all that effort will pay off. Nokia tries to do the opposite, do nothing of their own and that will eventually make them poorer.

I expect RIM to get good reviews once BB10 is released and many Symbian users will move over to RIM. That third ecosystem will be BB10, that also include Android apps.

John Phamlore

Tomi,
Given your mentioning of Nokia's IP, the following yes-no question is vitally important to understanding Nokia's current position and future possibilities:
Does Nokia have both the IP and the industry alliances to produce "worldwide" LTE wireless chips like Qualcomm is claiming it will be able to do, chips that can function not only across the two major US carriers AT&T and Verizon but perhaps even China's own version of LTE, as well as other major markets?

I would argue there is no evidence that Nokia could ever have actually produced such a chip even if it had never hired Elop. And if Nokia could not have produced such a chip, if Qualcomm did not sell Nokia the solution, Nokia was dead in the high-end smartphone market in a few years, and their Board of Directors would have known that. Even if Nokia had the wireless IP, it would have had to invest in its European fab partners to equal the die shrinkage that Qualcomm can get from TSMC. (TSMC has enough problems apparently supplying just Qualcomm and Nvidia.)

Spawn

@AtTheBottomOfTheHilton

> RIM is doing the right thing here, creating their own operating system.

Yes, it is. They own that platform, control it and can move forward on it whereever there focus will be.

But I also think partnering with others would help them a lot. RIM indeed.needs and will focus on e.g. business customers, on high end.
With an own OS that is to much focused. They need more devices, more fields. Someone who can and likes to focus more on the lower and mid segments, the mass markets.
That the CEO sees that and is trying to make that happen is a very good sign. I think they will find partners and are able to spread that OS that platform.

> As you said BB10 will be everything Meego would have been.

That is not what I meaned or wrote. The N9 was just one device of many running MeeGo that would have hit market.
Nokia was not only able to do what RIM cannot do, a large segment of all kind of.devices and offers, but that was there core capability. Noone was to do that like Nokia. They alone.could have made MeeGo a success in terms of market share.

RIM can not. They are rather focused and I do not see them in a position like Apple to cut with just 1-2 products a large piece of the market share cake. Nokia btw failed on that too (one Lumia, how stupif for someone like Nokia). The times RIM was able to get huge market shares with a limited offer are gone once and forever.
But they dont need to. RIM can make money and profit witg a smaller market share too. As we see with Android vs Apple the market share is not.in direct relation to the profit. That means you just need to have the more profitable part of the.cake rather then the largest one. That is where RIM focus on unlike Android and unlike WinPhone (Apple is in between and they really are amazing on that, unique, impressive).

BUT to get momentun and nake the overall platform acctractive and accelerate adoption, investment, grow (faster) you also need to look for the size of your cake, of the different segments. What does it helo that "all" Android apps run on your platform but you do not have anytging more to offer Android does not have too? Symbian apps work on Android too, developers reach more users/customers on Android, that (and iOs) is where the money is.
Someone may bring there Android d apps to BB10 too but how many target BB10 first? How many will not even.bother ro invest the minjmum time to make there Android apps using the RIM BB10 services?
For that RIM needs to spread BB10. They need partners that can do what they cannot do (as in not like to do cause thats not there focus).

> RIM is creating something of their own and all that effort will pay of

I think so too but not only cause "its something own" (Samsung does not have that either with Android) but cause that gives them an advantagw or at least different possibilities plus the management seems to have a clue what they need to do.
I somehow doubt that, the clue, is the case with Nokia. I think that Nokia management could take over Samsung todat and have it ruined tomorrow but just applying a range of U-turns to its.current success-strategies like they did with Nokia.

> I expect RIM to get good reviews once BB10 is released

That is not so easy. Even Android got them and the needed attention after some iterations. To draw N9 like attention and reviews.on releasing the firstdevice with a brand new OS and design is not that easy.
I think that may one.of the reasons why BB10 got moved to Q1/2013. Its.not.in that state yet. But then again, if that is the case, its a great management decision to delay. One that is really haed to fight for but worth it.

2013 will show.

Baron95

@John - Tomi doesn't get it. One of the things Elop was able to do WITH THE HELP OF MICROSOFT was to make up with Qualcomm and start collaborating. Elop was a speaker on Qualcomm's customer event.

You are correct - without that (e.g. CDMA/LTE radio) Nokia would not be able to compete in the US.

Tomi and his disciples think Nokia has this great trove of valuable IP and innovation. Most of the IP has already been licensed on FRAND (i.e. little bucks), and all derived from the ETSI/ITU sponsored GSM implementation.

That is why, with all the patents, Nokia only gets $600M/year in royalties. Qualcomm gets almost $6M in royalty and licensing revenue/year.

Ilgaz

Mr. Ahonen, I and many others, in light of newer models want to know/ understand what is wrong with HTC.
They don't have Elop, their specs are fine, updates are OK, they have prestige and respect particularly for their "make win mobile usable" legend and yet, it mysteriously does bad.
Weird thing is, store guys love htc by heart (not for $ or cuts), when they know you they suggest htc.
IMHO htc deserves a blog entry of its own from an experienced professional like you.

Henry Sinn

Ilgaz,

Good point re HTC.

I've noticed the same thing here in stores in Australia

Salespoeple all love them

cycnus

My take on RIM/BB10.

RIM realize that theirs pre-10 OS is only comparable to featurephone OS and need to remedy this quckly. But THE DIFFERENT between RIM and nokia were RIM never had smartphone OS, so although they bought one of the BEST OS out there, they don't really know what to look for.

Just FYI, from various source on the net... (not the exact word, i just type what I remember in my brain).
"QNX is one of the best OS, it's the one use on nuclear reactor...."
"The problem with BB10 (QNX) for RIM is the BB10 API were not tailored for smartphone. It doesn't even have a good calender API, thus when the first time playbook were introduced it doesn't have calender"

So,
RIM bought one of the best OS, the most slickest, Real time OS. but not tailored for smartphone. (HYPE) It would be interesting to see if some phone can have this beast (HYPE). BUT THE REAL PROBLEM is they need to catch up, and playing catchup with Android and iOS is a risky business....

1. Without BB10, and a strong android/iOS news everyday, RIM is a sure dead.
2. If media/public considered what RIM unveiled on January 2013 is half backed, RIM is dead faster, because it's commit a 'fashion-sin'
3. What is interesting is if media & public consider BB10 is good on the first take, because RIM still need to fight with ecosystem....

....
As for HTC, I guess that samsung benefit from all the news surrounding apple vs. samsung.

Huber

@ Ilgaz:

There are some issues with HTC phones:

- Battery not removable
- No SD card slot
- One X (international version with Tegra 3) is overheating and eats battery like there is no tomorrow

That's why I personally prefer Samsung.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    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

Recent Comments

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati