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January 21, 2013

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BenLan

Hi Tomi,
Very interesting blog.
I wanted to say that I am so amazed how the press in France have all spread the same message : Nokia has recovered (*only*) thanks to strong Lumia sales.
It is really amazing to see how it is so easy for Mr Elop to make them telling what he want.
In fact it seems the result, as far as we know, are indeed better than expected for Nokia (mobile selling resisted, good progress for asha, no more loss for their mobile unit) BUT i don't see much why it is the effect of the Lumia.
As you explained, Lumia sale are the same as in Q2.
And all the medias compare the number with Q4/2011 when there was only one model that was being launched, the lumia 800, and only in some parts of the world, or they compare with Q3/2012, when all people were waiting for Christmas and the new smartphones.
But anyway, Mr Elop has succeeded to make everyone think that the not-so-bad-result came from the Lumia sales, from his own strategy, NOT from the agreement with RIM, not from the good result of the other subdiaries, and other phone sales...
I think by this quite cunning communication Mr Elop saved his job for some quarters more.

khim

It's not Ballmer.

See, Microsoft has long, loong, looooooong history of screwing it's partners. It works fine in short term (you screw your partners thus the profits they hoped to obtain are becoming yours), but long term it places you in position where you have weak partners and "everyone and their dog" are trying to screw you. But of course when you are monopoly it's hard. Yet when technological landscape shifts... It becomes much easier - show a small weakness - and you are a toast. This is what happened with Microsoft. Seeds of Microsoft's downfall were planted by Bill Gates.

P.S. Note that IBM was in the same situation 20 years ago (ironically enough Microsoft was "the great savior" back then) and Apple in the first stage of the same cycle (and Google is a libirator this time). IBM survived because it changed it's CEO and radically redid the whole company. Apple... we'll see what'll happen: there are enough companies who are bitter, but it's not as if the whole industry tries to screw it. At least not yet.

Winter

@anobserver
"If Microsoft does not fundamentally change its licensing policy, ..."

This is watching the "March of the lemmings", but now for real. The lemmings in the film did not turn away from the cliff.

hrx

Nokia Lumia 820 is finally arriving in Croatia in a week - retail price is 4599 kn ($810/€606), while T-Mobile (the largest carrier in Croatia) offers it for 4098 kn ($722/€540).

The availability and price announcement came as a cold shower to WP and Lumia fans - a number of them are announcing that they are switching to HTC - its flagship WP phone, the 8X, (available since November) retails for 4999 kn ($881/€660), while T-Mobile offers it for 4198 kn ($740/€554), just 100 kn ($18/€14) more than the Lumia 820. Additionaly, taking subscription into account, the 8X is less expensive - the customer pays between 250 and 1200 kn ($44-212/€33-158) less for a higher specced phone, depending on the subscription tier. BTW, all prices are for SIM unlocked phones, without subscription (contract).

With those prices, it is certain that Lumia 820 sales in Croatia will be poor (and 920, when it arrives, even worse due its €150 higher price), simply because the competition offers more for the same (or smaller) price.

On a sidenote, up until a year ago, Nokia was omnipresent in my city - you could not walk along the street without hearing Nokia's ringtones, or see someone using a Nokia featurephone or smartphone. Today, not only that Nokia's smartphones (and "smartphones", Asha) are not present, Nokia's featurephones are dissapearing because people are switching to (mostly Samsung's) smartphones. I have not seen a single Asha "in the wild", and I have seen Lumia phones only in T-Mobile's shop window when Lumia 800 launched a year ago (even the demo unit was not working, tucked in a corner deep inside the store).

I will end this post with some comments regarding the Lumia 820 price from posters on the leading Croatian tech magazine's forum:
"I have waited for them like a frostbitten man waits the sun, but with those prices, I'm not buying 820 or 920, but HTC 8X instead. 4600 kn - they must be smoking pot. "
"The price will go down by summer, because they will realize that, in this country, it is hard to sell bread, let alone expensive smartphones, an then one [Lumia 820] will land in my pocket."
"Dear Nokia, I have eagerly awaited Lumia 820, but with these lovely prices, I wish you bankrupt as soon as possible. Oh, and I'm buying HTC."

Tester

@hrx:

Now that really hurts - and it proves another point about the problems with Windows Phone: Even if it became successful, it'd be companies like HTC and Samsung who will be the winners - which both coincidentally also support Android, meaning they can easily wage a price war with Nokia - which can't afford that at all due to lack of alternative product.

So, either way, bad news for Nokia.

foo

Let's put together some of my previous images.

Here's what happened to Nokia smartphone sales after Elop announced his crazy strategy:

http://oi48.tinypic.com/dgu3n.jpg

Let's compare the lost sales (black) with the Lumia sales (orange):

http://oi48.tinypic.com/34ifvvb.jpg

Now, you'd say that the worse happened in the first couple of quarters, and things improved by now.

But Tomi just showed us that the Lumia line suffered another loss in the last two quarters, if compared to industry growth:

http://oi50.tinypic.com/1hy1pi.jpg

That's a loss inside of another loss!

foo

@Tomi: "For context, this is reality. Here I have harmonized the first 5 quarters of Lumia sales, to the last 5 quarters of Symbian sales before the Elop Effect. Conveniently, the seasonality is the same, so the Christmas sales spike hits the same point in the picture."

One interesting thing to ask, when you compare these two charts, is: which platform is "on fire"?

Yes, because Elop looked at the blue chart and said that *that* platform was on fire. What would he say about the orange chart?

Abhijeet Mishra

It is just sad to see what has become of Nokia now. Their hardware remains great (I constantly wish I could see Android on the Lumia 920 or in fact any Lumia), but just going with WP is clearly not the way to go. Add to that that Nokia is advertising the Asha phones as smartphones and selling well here in India, coupled with bad pricing for outdated phones like the Lumia 900 (which costs only $10 less than the Galaxy S3 here, even today!), all of which has made me lose respect for Nokia slowly and slowly. Killed Symbian, killed MeeGo, and went with an OS that they have no control over and is failing to gain traction, then also fooling people with stupid pricing and advertising feature phones as smartphones.

Bad Nokia, bad Elop! But I still hope Nokia will adapt another OS in the future, any of the open source ones that are coming up if not Android.

Abhijeet Mishra

@hrx

yikes, bad pricing for sure. Nokia has thankfully not been so bad about pricing here in India, though the Lumia 900 was heavily overpriced when it launched in September and is now only $10 cheaper than the Galaxy S3. The Lumia 820 has been launched for around $510, 920 for $700 (HTC 8x is around $630), which is around $10 more than the Note 2. No contracts here.

But yeah, it seems Nokia is not pricing their devices well everywhere, and for this I really hope other companies like HTC and Samsung do better, specially Samsung whose prices are damn awesome, at least here.

Now go buy the 8X, 820 be damned!

cycnus

Back in the year before ELOP,
Tomi said, "user don't care about OS....."
The US news site say "Symbian is bad.... but nokia rule"
which is basically translate into what Elop say "If nokia + WP it would be even better".

The reality:
Nokia + WP = Failure
So, there could only 2 conclusion
1. Symbian is good (better than WP), and US news site is WRONG!
2. Good + Good NOT ALWAYS EQUAL GOOD^2
LOL...

The real question....
Does anyone think the american media do it on purpose to discredit Symbian?? Do you think Microsoft play important role in here LONG BEFORE ELOP ARRIVE?

incognito

A slight off-topic - how the hell did I miss this article: http://betanews.com/2010/09/10/microsoft-s-stephen-elop-moves-to-nokia-what-a-waste/ - Wilcox warned us/Nokia about Elop much before even Tomi started to question his actions. Shame it fell on deaf ears...

incognito

@hrx, I wouldn't worry about Nokia in this particular case - they've lost millions of users, adding all six WP fans from Croatia to that list won't make any difference.

Wayne

The only SMS issue I had was actually a network issue that a 15 minute call to Rogers fixed. Three other friends, ironically with different phones tried to send a similar message as mine and got a similar error. All had to call Rogers to fix it. Is this a microSIM issue not removing old network info from your account?

Spawn

@cycnus

> US news site is WRONG!

How is that news? The news is that "Symbian was not good" but most customers did not got that memo, did not know Nokia was using Symbian and liked there Nokia's.

The news is all those reading Tomi's blog and know what Symbian is, what S40 is, are mobile-geeks. Most customers are not. They not even known what a OS is.

But WHAT they did know was:
1) Nokia was making great phones. Most valuable brand, customer satisfaction, loyal customers, sky-rocking sales, the number 1.
2) Nokia does not make the best phones any longer. Samsung and Apple are better.

> Good + Good NOT ALWAYS EQUAL GOOD^2

Windows Phone never was good. It never got past 5% market share. Even Windows CE was selling better.

Also Nokia was not able to add its Good's to the mix. Either they aborted them beforehand or Elop came in to poision them.

Bad + Bad = Bad
So unexpected?

> Does anyone think the american media do it on purpose to discredit Symbian?

Most of them are neither mobile-geeks nor accurate forecasters nor business-people. They write what you give them. Real journalism is rar and has in most cases a limited reach, influence, spread.

Spawn

@cycnus

About media: Where do we read and are informed about strategic plumpers, about mobile future, where do we get accurate forecasts, insights into the industry, a good perspective on past, present and future? Where are things proper analysed and not just copied from PR-messages?

CNN? FoxNews? CBS? Times? No, on the Internet. On Tomi's blog. That is telling everything what we have to know about journalism. Sad but true.

foo

@incognito - amazing article!

Some excerpts:

"No disrespect intended, but Elop wouldn't be my first choice to run Nokia, nor would he make my list of top-100 candidates. If someone handed me a list of people not to choose, Elop would be among the top five. I love Nokia. I lauded its handsets for years. But this great company has pissed away market share and bungled the most basic innovations since Apple launched iPhone in June 2007. Elop may be the greatest mistake of all and sure sign Nokia won't effectively execute against Google's rising Android Army or Apple's iOS cultists."

"If Elop is so qualified to run Nokia, why didn't Ballmer charge him with turning around Microsoft's mobile division? Hell, why didn't Ballmer hire Elop for the responsibility two years ago? Microsoft's mobile strategy clearly had already run aground when Elop came on two years ago. There is little about Elop's Microsoft tenure or his previous jobs that makes him obviously the leader to turn around Nokia -- or to fit in with a company with huge global presence."

http://betanews.com/2010/09/10/microsoft-s-stephen-elop-moves-to-nokia-what-a-waste/

ejvictor

What is the deal with the "Abnormal" growth of WP in Italy(Kantar numbers)? Dumping?

newbie reader

@ejvictor

// growth of WP in Italy(Kantar numbers)?
// Dumping?

Yep, I see no other explanation.

Nokia had big stock of older, unsold, WP phones. Due to previous overestimation of sales, believing its own lies :)

Now what to do with them? Selling them cheap worldwide would cannibalize new phone sales. So, dump them all in some regional market.

panax iletişim

fweregard for customers on display - the most recent occurence was shoving down the Metro interface down their desktop customers' throats. They do as they please - when they please and then it's always 'screw you customer - adapt or die'. This worked as long as they had a monopew!

nzt 48

Yes, is all those reading Tomi's blog and know what Symbian is, what S40 is, are mobile-geeks. Most customers are not. They not even known what is NZT 48?

Tomi T Ahonen

On the latest Kantar numbers

First - note that Kantar itself mentions about Windows that the USA and China problems with Windows are far worse than what little gains made in EU5

Second - that Italy jump - is not function of Windows selling particularly well in Italy its the result of Nokia's dominant position in Italy. Out of the EU5 that Kantar tracks, Italy was always Nokia's strongest market - hence when Nokia went Lumia, of course Italy will do better for Lumia than UK or France etc.

Third - the jump effect is massively distorted because Q4 of 2011 was Windows Phone's lowest point, as the other Windows partners were bailing out of the Windows ecosystem and Nokia had not yet ramped up. So any comparison Q4 of 2011 to Q4 of 2012 will be exaggerated because of that deepest ditch that Windows was in back in 2011. If you compare June 2011 to June 2012, or compare March 2012 to March 2013 - the effect is far more muted

Fourth - most importantly, compare not Kantar year ago, compare Kantar recently. So compared to November Kantar 2012 to December Kantar 2012 - and the news is devastating. Going into Christmas, as Nokia's Lumia is in top launch, what happens to Windows Phone - in USA it declines, in China it declines, in Australia it declines, only in Eu5 its slight growth. THAT is the real news, Windows Phone 8 is ALREADY experiencing a post-launch dip and the early feedback (all the problems, huge price cuts etc) suggest Q1 will be disasterous again

Tomi Ahonen :-)

John Waclawsky

Well said Tomi. As you know BB is coming out and it will be interesting to see what it does compared to what windows phone did. Windows is the problem. No one wants it. Microsoft is so used to being a monopoly they just simply assume everyone will buy windows whatever... When faced with real competition without a monopoly advantage the result is NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET :-)

Spawn

@John Waclawsky|

BB will sell but I have my doubts its going to sky-rock. There are to much limiting factors. I think it will stop the RIMM-bleeding but they are currently not in a position it makes a huge difference market share wise. Winning the fight at the bottom still makes you not to the top and that's where RIMM was not so long ago.

Tizen has more potential when pushed in masses to gain significant share depending on execution and strategies. It doesn't have much to lose but only to gain.

JollaMobile, FirefoxOS and Ubuntu will probably do well enough but not sky-rock either.

It stays an Android & Apple landscape in 2013/2014. My guess, maybe not accurate and I really hope I cam wrong on that.

p.s. yes, NOBODY WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET and yet I expect to see Surface Phone coming and going soon. Order more popcorn before!

Lasko

+1 for sharing your opinion on BB10 and RIM Tomi.

URNumber6

@ejvictor

Nokia 800 was dumped in UK and Italy in Q4 2012.

UK's biggest supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, etc...) were selling them at £140 without contract. At one point Carphone Warehouse was doing them for £116.

I think the reclassification of Ashas as smartphones may be to disguise the gross margin on Lumia sales. It's going to be interesting to see the financials when they come out to see if Asha sales|gm and Lumia sales|gm are stated separately or as a whole. If they're stated together with no breakdown you might suspect Elop is trying to hide the dreadful truth that the increase in Lumia sales in Q4 is only due to price dumped redundant stock being sold off at less than cost.

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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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