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« Huawei CEO Says Could be Interested in Acquiring Nokia but that Windows Phone is 'Weak' | Main | News from the Smartphone Front: Blackberry Results, other news »

June 25, 2013

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vladkr

Tomi,

When you'll write Nokia's obituary (it should be sooner than I expected, which will make me loose for the "predict Elop's kick-out date" contest), don't forget to mention his social achievements:

- That Elop lied, saying Salo factory won't close (Feb 13th 2012)
http://yle.fi/uutiset/elop_salo_remains_important_to_nokia/5297777

- How he humiliated Romanian workers :
1 He Ratnered products made in the Cluj factory, making them unsaleable, leading to factory's closure.

2 He closed factory, kicking out all its workers

3 He offered the Ratnered, unsaleable (due to his only action) to fired workers as a compensation.

- The trick Nokia used to not pay compensations to most fired people in Finland - sale of Business Units (ie Symbian) to partners = new work-contracts = seniority reset to zero = no need to pay compensations if fired before one year... what actually happened.

+ if you can find any explanation why Nokia needed to open a new factory while all the others are idling.

vladkr

Could have the Huawei story been a trick/fake to scare Microsoft and force them to move (finalize the acquisition) ?

ejvictor

@Hansu

> Meego shared the same app situation that was even worse WP7

WRONG, wrong, wrong......at release the N9 could have deployed the Alien Dalvik engine and run android apps, plus QT apps. Not allowing this to happen was another 'present' to Microsoft.

Hansu

@ Spawn it wasn't Elop who said it was Kai Öistämö who said it in a Businesweek article how things really went when Elop took over and how things were in 2011. As for the Meego app situation Symbian's Ovi store had 50000 apps in 2011 iOS had almost half a million yet Symbian was outselling the iPhone now why is that? And Meego tablet's were launched the why didn't they succed since Meego is a great OS no question and as for Snapdragon on Lumia almost everything else runs on Qualcomm chipsets Samsung, LG, HTC etc
http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/57372-stephen-elops-nokia-adventure

Jusu

@vladkr
You bet! If Windows Phone looses the only manufacturer that is fully committed to WP, how much would it sell? Nothing.

ejvictor

@Hansu Microsoft astroturfers don't last long here. Stop asking bullshit rhetorical questions, deal it NO ONE WANTS TO BUY A WINDOWS PHONE.

Hansu

@ ejvictor 5,9 million did last quarter alone buy a Nokia WP

ejvictor

@Hansu, focus. If you don't stay on topic you risk deletion. You seem to have little past history with Nokia. Nokia use to sell 6 mm of ONE model in a quarter. Clearly Windows Phone was an epic fail for Nokia, employees, and Nokia consumers who were used to innovation and diversity.

keithzg

I'm sick of the repeated nonsense of "oh, there was no way many MeeGo devices could've been produced!" That's just something Elop has claimed, and we have no reason to really believe that, as he (or any other Nokia executives) have never really backed it up.

In fact, Felipe Contreras---a Nokia software engineer working on *device adaptation*, ie. putting OSes on multiple devices, ie. pretty much the most relevant person you could possibly ask on the question of how many MeeGo/Harmattan devices they could pump out---publicly disputed Elop's claims.

http://felipec.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/my-disagreement-with-elop-on-meego/

Everyone at all interested should read the whole post (if you haven't already, as people who follow the goings-on around Nokia!) but here's some relevant passages:

"Some time ago I received a private email directly from Elop (just me, nobody else in CC, I am not going to go into details as to why), in which he explained that the biggest problem was the small amount of MeeGo devices in the years immediately ahead.

This is simply not true.

...As I explained Elop, if we wanted to ship 10 devices with OMAP 3 (the same platform of the Nokia N9) today, there is absolutely no problem from the software point of view: all the UI software remains the same, and the hardware adaptation would probably require few modifications, if any.

The problem is when porting to an entirely new hardware platform, say Snapdragon. Suppose only 3 devices are planned on the “years immediately ahead”, well, then it makes sense to have 3 different hardware platforms, and each one of those requires work from the hardware adaptation team, not from the upper layers, though. However, that’s not a technical limitation, it could very well be 30 devices instead of 3, it’s basically the same amount of work for us. IOW; what matters is the hardware platform, not the number of different devices.

Note: all these are merely examples, not actual plans

Funnily enough, Windows Phone only supports one hardware platform: Snapdragon (and in fact only certain chips). So MeeGo already has an advantage over Windows Phone; you could ship more devices on more hardware platforms. All we need is the word.

Not to mention the fact that most of the hardware adaptation is already done by hardware vendors. They do it because it’s the easiest way to demo their hardware (it’s Linux). I tried to explain that on an earlier post where I show many examples of people porting MeeGo to a plethora of devices (it’s easy and fun)..."

N9

Burning platform memo. The press gave Elop a lot of praise for this memo and his creative writing - presumably because of the picture of the "burning platform". It does not seem to be well known that this is a common term used in the literature about organizational change. If you read upon it, one realizes that this memo is not the result of some critical analysis about the specific situation of Nokia at that time but simply a piece of propaganda to achieve a desired effect (the switch to WP), following some well-known management stragegy. The "Oh shit" moment story falls in the same category.

zlutor

@Hansu: "I mean 3 new Meego Devices before 2014 only Apple can do that and survive" - wider portfolio is more probable better but what those three Meego devices would have been?

Because if they would be desired ones - like, in fact, the N9 even though it has its weaknesses, too - then those three devices would keep the boat afloat because people would like to have one, thus they would make Nokia brand as such desirable. Direct consequences in feature phone segments are obvious...

Exactly what happens with Samsung nowadays...

An when Meltemi devices - and we see new Ashas, too - would provide the same or similar UX in lower price segments the picture would have got put together.

That would have been heaven for developers, too - Nokia planned to use Qt/QML as primary development platform from top to even S40 - according to CTO at that time. Qt/QML is the primary dev. kit for BB10, Sailfis, it is available for iOS and Android development now (http://v-play.net/) and it will be available for free from Digia soon...

Current Lumias at the top does not generate "I want one, or at least one Nokia phone' feelings. Maybe Nokia EOS will change it but I doubt it...

No to mention what technical difficulties would prevent Nokia to release all Lumia models with Meego? None...
The WP ecosystem is not so strong behind. Yes, there are more apps for WP than for Meego now. But serious app development for Meego has been aborted before it was really started. So, from this aspect that 20k apps somebody mentioned before is HUGE achievement...

But see Sailfish, they are open for Android apps - that could have been available for Meego, too. According to rumors, Alien Dalvik was offered to Nokia but the did not want to us it...

About the development cost related to Meego/Meltemi: Jolla has put Sailfish onto the table - there is nothing more to say about it. The funny is that significant funding of them came from Nokia Bridge program, so in fact Nokia financed part of the development... :-)

So, it can be true that the ship approached the iceberg but there was plans how to turn he wheel. I do not know whether execution would have been fast enough but probably Nokia would not be in worse financial situation than today with that plan, too...

And it would be an independent company keeping its fate in its own hands...

zlutor

@Spawn: you do not have to convince me about this topics... :-)

paul

IDC just announced European shipment figures for Q1 2013.

Nokia has went from 8% market share last year shipping 2.3 million phones to 5% market share this year shipping 1.6 million phones. If this rate of decline continues, Nokia will probably be in the Others category. Incredible considering Europe is a core market which they dominated only a few years ago

We should all get behind Jolla (the true Finnish innovator) and buy their phone. It would be hilarious if the Jolla phone ended up outselling Nokia.

zlutor

@hansu: of course, ifs over ifs - we are talking about speculation, no? :-)

I do not say Nokia did not need change - sure, it did, and still do. Believe me, I know what you are talking about when you talk about its internal structure...

What I say in my(!) opinion Meego (with Android app compatibility)+Meltemi+ new Asha platform sharing the same UX and hopefully the same development tool set would be better way to go. At least not worse...

But it really does not matter since Nokia went WP way and we will see really soon whether it start really working or not. I think there is not too much time left - Elop was directly questioned on the shareholders meeting this year and I'm sure he will not get the same question next year.

In one way or an other...

zlutor

@paul: "It would be hilarious if the Jolla phone ended up outselling Nokia." - it would be hilarious on one side and it would be very, very sad at the other side in the same time...

Only exception if both of them delivers in range of tens of millions... ;-)

ejvictor

Guys it's not just about meego, Nokia is more then just one OS/device. @Hansu don't act like a troll and just cherry pick the argument that supports your Microsoft army point of view(that doesn't work here we are analytical and have a healthy skepticism of 'press release journalism). We will never know what would have happened if eFlop fixed execution. If Symbian looked like android in 2011-belle,carla...etc, if the N9 was fully supported, if the N9 ran android apps,if Smarterphone was added to the mix, if QT 5 was released on time....

All of these things were in elops control, he choose to burn it all for Windows Phone- a choice that 'FACT' was a failure, the jig is up NO ONE WANTS TO BUY A WINDOWS PHONE and the new IDC numbers show the crushing decline.

Spawn

While on facts: Nokia had 3 MeeGo devices when Elop issued his memo. The N9, the N950 and those dual-core N9 followup which never made it to mass-production.

The N9 full-touch and the N950 qwerty. Lumia, as of today, has only one device: Lanku. No qwerty, no second device. EOS (pureview or poorview again?) may the second.

Elop's & mates made the argument tgere would be only 3 MeeGo devices till 2014? That's the first lie depunked with sources I posted in my last comment. But it becomes better. Lumia has only one device (in different flavors) till now and we are rather close to 2014. Tgat's what I call the second lie.

Spawn

@ejvictor

> Guys it's not just about meego

Indeed. Its also about Android and Elop's argument given why WP and not Android. Lets look at that.

In 2011 Elop argued: "we cannot differentiate with Android" and "its growed, all have the same offer, nobody can win"
Samsung - back then way smaller then Nokia - could, they took over.

In 2012 Elop argued: "Fragmentation, its all different" and "its not the same for everybody but its only Samsung!"

But best is end of 2012 when Nokia published its disaster Q4 numbers right 10 minutes later on the same event it became:
http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/24/nokias-stephen-elop-bashes-android-for-being-too-open-and-too-closed/

Tencent

Haha WP and IOS is getting butt huffed in europe by you guessed it android http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57591022-94/iphone-loses-market-share-in-europe-as-android-surges/

ejvictor

@Spawn have to agree that elop the smoke and mirror master has convinced everyone that the 'gloomia' line of devices is more then a single device, based on his definition we could have had two dozen meego devices out in 14 months.

@Louis agree that Intel 100% dropped the ball on chip development, again chicken and egg if no OS and devices no reason to push production. Look at android and chip development. Android a slow pig. Nokia's philosophy would be to optimize code. American response, MORE POWER!!!!!! Faster chips

zlutor

@ejvictor: "Intel 100% dropped the ball on chip development, again chicken and egg if no OS and devices no reason to push production" - what about Tizen partnership? On the other hand there are some phone models using Intel SoC but they are marginal.

Maybe those SoCs are not so good? I do not know...

Anyway now and in near future ARM, Qualcomm and Snapdragon SoCs are the king of the hill.

In my personal opinion Meego would have been more options related to used SoCs because of its Linux roots - all relevant SoCs&drivers being available for Android would be also available for Meego, too with moderate - if any - extra effort...

What about WP? maybe it is not so high priority for any SoC maker to provide drivers for that platform...

baron99

I thought "NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE (OR TABLET)" was a nice truthful and concise summary

vladkr

was this book released too early
?
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/a-new-book-unravels-nokias-smartphone-conundrum-213132511.html

keithzg

"Actually, the article implies that the only reason that MeeGo finally got finished was because most of Nokia had lost interest, so that the developers could actually do their job."

And that's the problem of Nokia in a nutshell: amazing developers, continuously hampered by the management above them.

It's why I'm not as down on Elop as Tomi is; I think Elop is a symptom, not the problem. The higher up, the worse the ability to actually understand things and the more likely to interfere negatively. I'm sure the Board went into this Windows Phone misadventure with both eyes open, but as blind as they've ever been.

It's why Jolla, against all odds, might actually stand a hope in hell, because the talent is---and has always been---there. They don't have nearly the resources that Nokia could throw around at its height (or even now, as a pale imitation of what it once was, with its headquarters on lease, European manufacturing ceased and broad swaths of employees laid off), but they also don't have the entirely counterproductive layer of management squeezing down from above.

foo

Tomi,

I don't think that Elop intentionally destroyed Nokia market value; that makes no sense.

I think the market value collapse was an unintended side effect from his effort to please Microsoft:

He decided to bet on Windows 8 when Microsoft needed it.

He announced that Symbian would be discontinued to reaffirm his support to Windows 8.

He encouraged *competitors* to join the Windows 8 bandwagon. I think this is the greatest sign that Elop was working for Microsoft! Can you imagine Apple encouraging Samsung to make iPhone clones?

And this reminds me of the biggest lie Elop ever told: he said that he wouldn't adopt Android because it wouldn't allow differentiation. What the heck? Look at the Windows Phones at any store and you won't be able to differentiate the phone based on the OS!!!

While Microsoft discourages any kind of differentiation, Elop accused Android to suffer of "fragmentation".

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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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