So no surprise from the angle of the smartphone wars. Nokia just reported its Q4 results. Its exactly that promised 6.6 million smartphones, 4.4 million of those are Lumia on Windows Phone and 2.2 million are on Symbian. Nokia also tries desperately to trick people into believing suddenly the S40 based featurephones under the Asha branding are somehow 'smartphones' - but we are not falling for that conjuring trick. We go by the accepted industry definition and Nokia's CEO doesn't get to change the rules of the game when he finds himself deeply in a hole, losing.
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So, Nokia smartphones? Profitable? Not a chance. The smartphone unit still deeply in the red, produces 22% loss per smartphone sold. How is the Quarter? 6.6 million total smartphones is 5% up from Q3 (while the industry grew 30% in the same 90 day period), so Nokia is again regressing further behind. Nokia's market share in free-fall, from 4% in Q3 to 3% now. And yes, for those who might be new to this story - Nokia had 29% market share only 24 months ago, it is BY FAR the biggest collapse of any market leader, ever, in any industry! From 29% to 3% in 24 months. This is a world record in management failure.
Lets recap the Nokia fall:
Q4 2010 - 28.6 M smartphones - 29% market share (first quarter Elop in charge of Nokia, smartphone unit sets Nokia record for sales, revenues, profits). Nokia is 2x bigger than Apple and 4x bigger than Samsung in smartphones
Q1 2011 - 24.2 M smartphones - 24% market share (Elop Effect in February)
Q2 2011 - 16.7 M smartphones - 15% market share (smartphone unit plunges into loss-making)
Q3 2011 - 16.8 M smartphones - 14% market share (N9 launches on MeeGo but Elop also kills MeeGo)
Q4 2011 - 19.6 M smartphones - 12% market share (Lumia launches) Nokia fallen so fast, is half the size of Apple and half the size of Samsung in smartphones.
Q1 2012 - 11.9 M smartphones - 8% market share
Q2 2012 - 10.2 M smartphones - 7% market share
Q3 2012 - 6.3 M smartphones - 4% market share (Nokia smartphone unit profits so bad, lose 49% for every smartphone sold)
Q4 2012 - 6.6 M smartphones - 3% market share (revised Lumia on WP8 launches) Nokia now so tiny in smartphones, Apple is 7 times bigger, Samsung 10 times bigger
(in this same 24 month period, the global smartphone market has exploded, more than doubling, growing 130% in size)
THAT, my dear readers IS A WORLD RECORD in collapse of any global industry market leader. No company ever, not in mobile phones, not in computers, not in TVs, not in cars, nowhere! Never has any market leader collapsed as fast as Elop has run Nokia's smartphone unit into the gutter.
FULL YEAR NOKIA
For the full year 2012, Nokia hits 35.0 million smartphones sold which is down 55% from 2011 and for those who really want to cry, yes, just before this Microsoftian Madness started at Nokia, in 2010, when Nokia still ran Symbian, they sold 103.6 million smartphones - and made a big profit on that business too. Back to today, what is 35 million smartphones worth in the market share battle for the year? 5%. So Nokia's 2010 total year market share of 35% is now slashed to 5% for 2012 under Elop's new strategy.
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And yes, the likely range of what Nokia can do in 2013 is essentially projected from the 3% it is currently selling, so without any 'judgement' a reasonable window of what Nokia might do in 2013 in smartphones, is a market share of 3% plus minus 2 points, so anywhere from 5% down to 1%. Do NOT DELUDE YOURSELF into thinking Nokia can somehow magically recapture its 25% or 30% or even 15% or 12% market share. Your best case is near 5% and the worst case is near 1% and you can safely take the middle ground and expect Nokia smartphone market share in 2013 to hang around that 3% mark.
As Nokia is now the only handset maker left that does Symbian based smartphones, we can also finish our Q4 analysis for Symbian. So Symbian is now being ramped down to the end. 2.2 million Symbian smartphones is down 35% from Q3 and the market share is 1%. For the full year, Symbian sold 18.5 million units and has an annual market share in 2012 of 3%. For the quarter Q4, Symbian has fallen behind Windows Phone for the first time ever, but for the full year, Symbian has still outsold Windows Phone.
And there are some truly wild rumors that Windows Phone sold something like 9 million smartphones in Q4. Haha, like Wayne Campbell of Wayne's World might say - yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. This 9 million number is sheer fantasy. In Q3 Nokia sold 88% of all Windows Phone smartphones. Since Q3, Nokia has launched new Lumia phones on WP8 and Nokia's sales in Lumia have grown by 52% from the bad Q3 level. Meanwhile the other Windows Phone partners have been shrinking their Windows Phone offerings. So its not possible for Nokia to do 4.4 million Windows Phones and somehow the other partners to suddenly jump from selling 100,000 or 200,000 to selling 2-3 million each, in just one quarter.
That is not possible if there is not a massive new launch and global push. So what is reasonable. If we say Nokia now only counts for 70% of all Windows Phone smartphones, then Microsoft might have 6.3 million total sales in Q4. I think its less, Nokia probably did more like 75% or 80%. But yes, even this 'best case' scenario, would give Microsoft's smartphone OS a market share for Christmas Quarter and the hot new Windows Phone 8 launch, of .... 3%. Windows Phone would still lag behind Android and iPhone, obviously, and lag behind Blackberry and bada too. Only having passed Symbian, Windows Phone can legitimately be called the 'fifth' ecosystem, haha, a VERY far cry from the promise that it would become the 'third ecosystem' and command 25% market share by now...
But we don't know for sure exactly where Windows Phone is in terms of total sales this past Quarter and full year. We'll have to wait for more data to come in, especially the big analyst houses. But Nokia smartphones, and Symbian OS sales, we now have the final numbers for Q4 and year 2012. And yes, in Q4, Nokia in smartphones is definitely smaller than Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Sony, ZTE, HTC, RIM, LG and Lenovo. At best Nokia might still barely fit into the Top 10, at ranking of 10th biggest smartphone maker. Nokia was the world's biggest smartphone maker two years ago - in fact towering over its rivals, selling more than twice as many smartphones as its nearest rival in 2010. That was a bigger lead than HP or Dell have ever had in computers, a bigger lead than Toyota or GM have ever enjoyed in cars, etc. But now, in a world-record collapse of any market leader, Nokia tumbled from biggest to the brink of falling out of the Top 10. We now have to wait for the data on the other rivals - my eyes are on Yulong of China who sell smartphones in China and some other Asian countries under the Coolpad brand. Yulong might do something in the range of 6-7 million, so if they sell 6.7 million smartphones or more, Nokia is kicked out of the Top 10. At best, Nokia holds onto the 10th slot for one more quarter and Yulong kick Nokia out next quarter, when China has its gift-giving season...
For those interested, Nokia did warn us, in its official filing of Form 20-F to the USA Securities and Exchange Commission and the NY Stock Exchange, when it unveiled this risky new strategy, that there were huge risks to the change. Those risks are clearly spelled out in the long form and quite astonishingly, not only a few, but almost all of the problems that Nokia considered, have actually happened, in ruining the chances for this crazy strategy to ever succeed. You may want to read the exact text of the Nokia testimony to the SEC and NYSE, and the analysis of just how badly that strategy is failing.
And then I have been collecting a series of Nokia Disaster 'explanations' in short blogs, each featuring only one problem, illustrated in one graph or picture. The series so far has 6 pictures:
Picture 1 - Nokia smartphone unit sales collapse due to the Elop Effect
Picture 2 - the competitive picture of Nokia vs Apple and Samsung
Picture 3 - Nokia market failure in context of other historical handset industry collapses (is truly worst collapse ever, worse than Siemens, Palm, Motorola etc)
Picture 4 - the failure of the promised migration from Symbian to Windows Phone
Picture 5 - the disasterous Lumia sales pattern using the Windows Phone system
Picture 6 - Nokia handset unit revenue collapse after the Elop Effect
I will return later with a detail blog looking at some finer points we can cull out of the results, and some of my calculations like the regional sales of smartphones etc.. But now we have the big picture. In February 2011, when Elop madly announced this moronic Microsoft misadventure, I was on this blog, and calculated that Nokia's market share by 2012 will fall into single digits. I was THE MOST pessimistic analyst. Nobody else had as negative a prognosis as I did. But even I did not see how bad it would be.
WHOSE YOUR DADDY?
After we had seen the initial carnage of how bad the Elop Effect would be, in May of 2012, I did my revised forecast for Nokia smartphone sales. In that forecast, I said Nokia smartphone sales in Q4 of 2012 would be 7.4 million units (and that the smartphone unit would still be unprofitable, AND that Nokia's market share now in Q4 of 2012 would be.. yes, I said it.. 3% !!! ). It was BY FAR THE MOST NEGATIVE forecast for Nokia in the spring or summer of 2012. Nobody else felt Nokia could fall that badly, to hit single digits in actual unit sales, in Q4 of 2012. There were many 'experts' who felt Nokia would be selling between 45 million and 60 million smartphones now (levels where Apple's iPhone and Samsung are today). I was BY FAR the most pessimistic of forecasters, but I did indeed DOWNGRADE my forecast for Nokia, and explained why the Windows Phone strategy would be failing. I said 7.4 million smartphones, Nokia managed to do worse, selling only 6.6 million smartphones. So, whose your daddy?
Was it wise to listen to Gartner and IDC and Canalys and all those other 'experts' who were talking that Nokia and Microsoft would do beautiful magic together and have 25% market share now, with that bogus 'third ecosystem' haha. If Nokia's market share was 25% in smartphones, that would mean sales of 58 million smartphones in Q4. Yeah. Who gave you value. Some clowns promised 58 million, off just by what, over 50 million. Or Tomi, who said no, it won't be that good, it will only be 7.4 million - and I was off only less than a million. Whose your daddy? Do I give value on this blog?
(And did you notice - there are no ads on this blog, there is no registration, I do not cull your emails, and this blog has been here for 7 years, has over 3 MILLION words, written in my spare time. I am not paid one red cent for this blog. I do this all, as a hobby, to share with you. And to share with my readers and fans and followers, I am happy enough to be the most published author in mobile and my 12 books are already referenced in over 120 books by my peers. This blog is very widely syndicated (for free, I don't get any money from them either). And yeah, we have 30,000 comments posted on this blog. We have a fiercely loyal regular readership, who engage in some of the most intelligent discussion in this industry, right here, on this blog - all for free.)
Yeah, sorry if there is some hint of bitterness, but some Microsoft trolls come here to badger me regularly. I would appreciate it, if some who read this blog, would actually stand up for me, and point out that yes, once again it was Tomi who got the nearest number. Again the most accurate forecaster in this industry. And all that for free? Is this not a good service I provide to my readers?
(BTW, for anyone who comes to this blog to bitch about where Tomi was off by x percent or didn't hit the number perfectly, I will delete your comment immediately unless you can provide a link to any other expert who gave a more accurate Nokia smartphone forecast of this Q4 of 2012, that was published into the public domain by the spring of 2012. No, no forecaster can hit the number perfectly, that is humanly impossible. But once again, I have been BY FAR the most accurate forecaster of this Nokia catastrophy.)
So remember, this blog is NOT an analysis of Nokia share performance or overall corporate performance. I am not discussing NSN or dumbphones or Navteq. This blog is part of a long-running series of smartphone quarterly analysis of all major players - I also report the most comprehensive quarterly listing of the biggest smartphone vendors, operating systems and even installed bases - all for free, on this blog, every quarter. The Q3 full stats for the industry globally are here, for example.
And more than that, I expressly prohibit stock market speculation conversations on the blog. This blog is about digital tech, the interest is in the platforms, not on which company made a better profit in a given quarter. That is not in the least bit of interest to my regular readers - as long as the company overall is healthy (profitable), then who made the biggest profits - is a topic I delete all comments. This is not a Wall Street blog. This is digital tech blog. I monitor Nokia (and Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Sony etc) because of the smartphone platforms involved, Android, Symbian, Blackberry, iOS, and yes, the loser-platform, Windows Phone. So lets be very clear, don't come here to talk about how nice it is that Nokia corporation is reporting some profits. This blog article today is ONLY about Nokia's smartphones. You talk about other parts of Nokia, I will delete your comments. Stick to the smartphones (I will return later, with an analysis of how badly is Nokia truly sick also as a corporation, then we can talk about NSN and Ashas and dumbphones and Navteq)
WINDOWS STRATEGY FAILING
So lets get back to the smartphone-part of the news. There is no possible way to paint this Nokia news as positive. Nokia's CEO promised - PROMISED his strategy would take 2 years to implement and would yield a 1-to-1 conversion from Symbian to Windows Phone. So we should be seeing at least 29 million smartphone sales now (per quarter), that was the level when this strategy was annouced. The industry has more than doubled in size in the mean time. But rather than accomplishing his mission, when attempting the conversion,Elop has scared 17 out of 20 loyal customers away from Nokia altogether.
This picture may be freely shared
And of the 3 who remain, the latest consumer survey says the Windows Phone users are so disgusted, two out of three will not buy another Windows Phone again. So out of 20 conversion attempts, 17 went straight to competitors, 2 were tricked into trying Lumia but hate it so much, they will churn away from Nokia as fast as they can get rid of the current contract, and only 1 out of 20 attempts is a happy camper. Probably family members of Microsoft employees haha...
I will continue the series of Nokia pictures. There is much more dirt we need to uncover. This is far worse than what Coca Cola did with their New Coke, or how badly Toyota suffered with their brakes problems, or how bad the damage was to BP out of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, or the oil tanker ecologic catastrophy by Exxon Valdez. Elop has precided over the world's biggest collapse of any market leader. He has literally set a world record in management failure.
If you are new to this blog, and are honestly curious, is Elop really at fault here. Can the CEO be that bad - or perhaps, why are many management experts starting to call him one of the worst CEO's out there - like CNBC which included Nokia CEO Stephen Elop as one of their 5 finalists of who they consider the world's worst CEO of 2012 - I am not making this up. This is not Tomi's delusions. There is a growing consensus that Elop is literally one of the worst CEOs ever seen. And this is not about Tomi wanting Nokia to go back to Symbian or something silly like that. Elop has made a long series of STRATEGIC mistakes - in fact, strategic by HIS OWN STANDARD, the strategist he quotes. I took that strategist's book and compared Elop decisions and actions to how his strategic guru guides in the book, and read this: Stephen Elop Strategic Errors vs Teachings of Sun Tzu. (note, it is a VERY long blog)
And if you are more interested on the Windows Phone strategy, and Nokia's Lumia series, now with Windows Phone 8 and the integration with the desktop Windows 8, tablets, and Skype etc, then read this blog - Why Nokia's Windows Phone 8 Strategy Cannot Succeed.
So, with that, if you are hungry to understand the handset industry, I publish my bi-annual handset statistics volume at only 9.99 Euros you get 180 pages and just about every chart, stat and graphic you ever wanted. Take a look at TomiAhonen Phone Book 2012
And for those among the readers who need to plan into the future, why not take the guidance of the most accurate forecaster of the mobile industry? My TomiAhonen Mobile Forecast 2012-2015 has just the data you want. Check it out.