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August 20, 2013

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Allan Funt

Agreed that a Micro$oft powered tablet will suck profitability out of the company. Another thing that struck me was that Elops main argument about moving to Micro$oft was that Nokia was no longer going to waste time and resources on OS development - Now the Amber updates show that Nokia has swapped one old dog (Symbian) for a crippled dog (Windows Phone)and is now developing core OS features for Micro$oft.

asturcon3

" I was on this blog critical of Elop and I agreed with the decision that he was fired."

Like that :D

eduardo

As I have said previously, my guess is that if Nokia were to launch a Windows tablet it would be because it was a condition of its agreement with Microsoft.

I wonder if this means that Microsoft is going to subsidize the tablet.

Kenny

@leebase
>Having a tablet that runs real Microsoft windows is going to be compelling for some segment of the tablet market.

Nokia wants to make Windows RT tablets which doesn't run Windows programs but its own Win RT apps. This os has already failed with consumers and other manufacturers have fled Win RT. What makes Nokia think it can do better?

On another note, Windows 8 tablets aren't popular either for the same reason as Window 7 tablets which have also failed in the market - lack of tablet apps. Most classic Windows programs are not touch enabled or designed for tablets. Furthermore who wants a tablet which will be susceptible to virus and malware just like a PC?

J.O. Aho

Quite mad to make a microsoft WindowsRT tablet, those has failed badly and been the device with highest return rate ever as customer were so dissatisfied when they couldn't run old x86 based applications.

AndThisWillBeToo

"which would start with announcing a new parallel smartphone OS platform, either MeeGo (or its derivative, Sailfish) or ******* or Firefox."

Rriiiight. I'm sure betting on any of the uncensored OSes is a straight way to victory! If betting on unproven WP7 with miniscule app offering was bad, what is betting on those OSes with virtually zero existing devices and apps?
Android... That's a different story.

Brock

I can only agree. Every big tablet company like asus has quit the plans for new rt tablets and even ms has been sued in the usa for the fail of the rt tablets (and not telling/warning the stock holdings how bad it is) and now, after all have seen that selling rt tablets are a catastrophy, nokia jumps in the boat and is trying to sell the tablets which noone wants... a tablet that is incompatible to the apps on their phones... thats absolute the wrong way to save this company.

Brock

@leebase
"Smartphone don't exist in isolation anymore. They are part of an ecosystem. Tablets are an expected part of the ecosystem."

Thje thing is that WP and WinRT are two different ecosystems and are not compatible. With RT you can only use apps from the Win8-Apps-Store. If you buy an android or ios tablet, you can use all of the apps you like on your phone now on your tablet but win8 rt and wp are two different os, only same thing is the first part of the name, windows, nothign more.

Tester

>> The thing is that WP and WinRT are two different ecosystems and are not compatible.

And herein lies RT's biggest failing. It's a system, that's incompatible with everything. It can't run Windows desktop apps, it can't run Windows Phone apps.

So what can it run? Yeah, right: Microsoft Office!

And Nokia expects to make profit off it? How, if Microsoft itself failed dismally?
Tomi is right. Nokia is a phone company. They are known for producing mobile phones, not computers. Sure, they may get some sales in countries where their name still means something but they will need utterly clueless customers to sell these things. Everybody with a shred of knowledge will know Surface RT's failure and steer clear of these things.

But this announcement proves without a doubt that Elop is not working for Nokia, he's still doing Microsoft's business. Because they will be the only ones who could potentially benefit from such a crazy business decision.

The only alternative is that Microsoft is financing this thing to get some tablets into the market without the tarnished Surface brand and Nokia is the only company in bad enough shape (or with a crazy enough CEO) to play along.

@Leebase:

The problems with RT are not in execution, they are technical. This system is just not attractive. As has been said, Android tablets and iPads can run their smartphone counterpart's apps directly which instantly gave them a huge repository of software. Microsoft, as usual under Ballmer, failed to see this very important selling point and made it incompatible with everything that could possibly have given it a boost.

And just in case someone mentions Surface Pro, yes, that disappointed as well but it was a huge mistake to release Surface RT first, let it do all the damage and then come with the Pro version when the reputation was already in the dumpster. The failure of this really was an execution problem.

foo

There's another problem with Microsoft's strategy.

They are still trying to pursue Apple's 2007 strategy, where they developed an UI and kept it for 6 years.

Compare this to the multiple skins of Android:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/the-great-ars-android-interface-shootout/

You may not like all versions of Android UI. But it is quite possible that you'll like one of them.

Meanwhile, with iOS and Windows Phone, you may have any interface as long as it is the default one.

In other words:

Microsoft is pursuing a strategy that is starting to fail.

ej victor

Brilliant way to fix execution elop! Forget about being a "first mover", who needs to be in the pack with all the followers! Only after has the product been thoroughly panned by the technocrati, rejected by the consumer, dump on educators at cut rate prices, and written off by Microsoft does it merit Nokia's attention. I know Myth Busters proved that you can polish a turd, but this is ridiculous. Or is it that it takes Nokia 31 months -since January 2011- to get a polycarbonate shell out the door?

Hansu

Nokia making a tablet in itself is a good thing hardware has never been a problem for Nokia (N97 excluded). The problem here is that why RT why not make a full WIN 8 PRO with unique Nokia design new Haswell chips and selection of vibrant colours and a nice camera to as a top off. I am pondering Nokia knows full well that WIN 8 RT is not catching on or do they know that Microsoft is pushing an new version out or something else we dont know only time will tell.

khim

@Hansu: Nokia making a tablet in itself is a good thing hardware has never been a problem for Nokia (N97 excluded).

Actually that's wrong. Nokia was always able to create good hardware, but it's process was slow as molasses. Long upgrade cycle, slow and careful testing, released after years of development. With traditional phones it was not a problem, but as you've notices when Nokia tried to develop anything in hurry the end result was abysmal. And they've lost whatever engineering talent they had thus process is even slower now.

@Hansu: Why not make a full WIN 8 PRO with unique Nokia design new Haswell chips.

Sure Nokia can do that. But tablet will be available for sale sometime in 2015. This will obviously be a problem: Nokia needs something to sell today, not in 2015.

Hansu

@khim The slow process of testing and getting things approved was one of the main reasons why Nokia is in the state it is now that was fine 5 or so years ago but now time to develop and test and doa trial production run is a luxury that only Apple has anymore. As for developing something in a hurry give me an example of a fast development gone wrong. As for the 2015 if Nokia is commited to a tablet relase in 2015 i doubt if they have an WIN 8 RT version allready developed as suggested they probably also have a WIN 8 pro version somewhere

Allan Funt

@Hansu...Still turfing for Microsoft!?

@Hansu: why not make a full WIN 8 PRO with unique Nokia design new Haswell chips.

Duh because that isn't the "tablet" market, that is the Slate PC Market, which is in deeper shit then the "other segment" of the tablet space. Execution, Execution, Execution!!! As far as RT is concerned all they had to do is machine a polycarbonate shell - they are more restricted with RT then they are with Windows Phone.

Design without user experience does not sell! Look at what happened when Nokia put windows phone on the award winning N9 design - utter total crap rejected by consumers.

Hansu

@allan funt not really but there are allways two sides to a coin I agree making an RT tablet is not the smartest decision in the world by a long shot if you are going to make a Tablet make a decent one on full OS and give it all the features it needs. The Lumia 800 was a rush job but then again it was never really made by Nokia the only Nokia part about it was the casing and the badge the rest was designed in the US. This is my problem with tablets they are bigger than smartphones and have a bit more umph under hood and a bigger screen and are fine for playing around but proper work a PC/Laptop will allways be better for that just like a dedicated Game console for playing games. My point with this why do people have to carry around a smartphone wherever they but then take a tablet alongside for something more serious only to have to go to PC for the serious stuff why not make tablet that does both RT is like ios on the iPad or android yes you can do 90% of the stuff you do on a computer but you have to go to a computer time and again. Making a PRO version would eliminate that last 10% and make it so much more usable day to day for work play whatever.

Alan Funt

@Hansu

Nice fairy tale, but we prefer fact over fiction, experience over wishful thinking.... As a daily user of a Samsung Series 7 slate for almost two years with windows 7, windows 8 and now windows 8.1 let me reassure you it is the worst $2,000 USD I ever spent in my life, and a shining example of what is wrong with Microsoft and how out of touch they are with mobile computing.

The Lumia 800 wasn't a rush - all they had to do was put a plastic case around Compal hardware - stop making excuses for a shit product (windows Phone 7.x). This entire exercise of doing a tablet now with any windows product show how utterly broken Nokia's management brain trust has become.

Tester

@Leebase:

Ouch!

You really believe that a system that has completely and utterly failed when Microsoft handled it will magically turn into a success story under Nokia's brand name?

As for "Android phone apps on Android tablets are a terrible experience.", the only thing I'll say is that it's at least an experience. Better that than having nothing. At least I can run my banking app on my tablet. Who cares that it's not optimized for the large screen? At least it works.

>> Only the iPad has a tablet app catalog that is fully fleshed out

And why? Yes, because Apple had a jump start that gives them some advantage. You wouldn't think that this is going to change, now that Android tablets are rapidly gaining market share?

>> There is an opportunity for Microsoft here.

Is there? Really? So why didn't it work in the first round? The RT opportunity was last year when Android in the tablet space was still weak. Microsoft tried, they did some heavy advertisement and the result of all this is that they are going to write off almost $1b.
Microsoft may have a long play space - Nokia doesn't, though. They make no profit with smartphones and now they enter another high-risk business on Microsoft's behalf. No matter how you twist it, that's utter insanity - and perfectly fits Elop's character.

So this is yet again the same story as always. Microsoft will be successful because they are Microsoft and are in for the long haul. I heard this for WP7, for WP8, for RT, for Win8 and so far all of these platforms have been dismal failures.

What is it with you Americans that you attest these companies such magical attributes that are nowhere justified?

dies felices

This is the one place where I disagree with Tomi. I think a Phone manufacturer can and should enter the Tablet market (though that is not to say that Nokia is in a position to do so right now). The problem with smart phones and tablets right now, is that they don't relate to each other. You can't even use a tablet as an over-sized phone via a hands free kit! (except if you use voip)... The relationship should be symbiotic and user focused. The word 'Integration' should come in to use somewhere about here. I think the fact that Apple and Samsung both strong smart phone and strong tablets is not a coincidence.

Integration is exactly one example of how Microsoft have failed, as again both IOS and Android have app compatibility from phone to table. While Microsoft don't even have compatibility or perhaps equivalence across the Surface RT and the Surface Pro.

Therefore to return to my main point and this is only my twisted view on things but I do expect convergence between the tablet and smart phone markets. This is a great risk for any manufacture big or small. Thinking of Jolla for a moment, they have to start somewhere with their Jolla Phones but if they're to be successful they will need offer that larger productivity orientated tablet and again, the way to go is integration.

This isn't a PC vs Smart Phones thing, it a convergence thing.

Uwe


I really hope Nokia will not even try a RT tablet. Rather donate $900m to a charitable cause and call it a day.

I was waiting for Tomi's take on these tablet rumors and his estimate what the success (in volume) of the 520 will do for Nokia's margin... Now still waiting for the latter :-)))

dies felices

@leebase

The problem with a short production run is that this increases the cost per unit and thus reduces the profit per unit. This means there's a limit as how few you can produce before each unit is so expensive at cost value that there no profit in it. So far Lumias aren't being profitable per phone so how do you expect a short run of tablets to do any better?

And correct me if I'm wrong but in the commercial PC market we've had only two choices for many years now. 1 Apple, who have focused their business on the consumer experience. 2 Microsoft Windows for which their strategy has been, you want a new PC, new licence fee please, that PC needs their office software, new licence fee please, Netscape is out selling IE, then ship IE as a mandatory part of Windows so Mozilla (or what ever they were call at the time) can't compete. Microsoft don't have now, nor have they had for a long time a strategy that is able to operate effectively in competitive market.

To put it simply when there's a choice, consumers don't choose Windows, no matter what you attach that brand to.

RottenApple

@leebase:

Yeah, sure. More unreflected Apple praise and more wishful thinking about Microsoft.

Let's be clear about one thing. The Surface RT hasn't just been a failure. It has been a complete and utter disaster. Period. It didn't even meed the most conservative expectations. Office couldn't change that. The conclusion that can be drawn is clear: People do not buy tablets to run Office.

So what number of sales do you expect? Nokia still makes loss in smartphones with 7 million sold units per quarter. How many tablets would they have to sell to make even a tiny bit of profit? A few 100000 certainly won't cut it. Microsoft's position in all this really doesn't matter. The important question is what this will do for Nokia. And short term it will mean more losses, eating further into their cash reserves. In the situation where Nokia is now, any sane management would see to evaluate business routes that have some chance of succeeding. But not Nokia. With Elop at the helm they only do things that serve Microsoft. This entire tablet story, from start to finish has only one goal: Improve Microsoft's standing in the market. It's really just another attempt of Microsoft trying to keep their failed tablet OS relevant. But where does this help Nokia? The clear answer is: nowhere at all - even if Microsoft is giving them some marketing money. If they do it's probably just like the mobile phone business - not enough to offset all costs Nokia has.

>> Msft owns the desktop both corporate and consumer.
>> Msft has a decent phone and tablet STRATEGY.
>> Msft is still fixing the kinds in it's execution.

Really? And how does it look in reality:
- Msft has pissed off consumers and corporate left and right with their misbegotten Windows 8 user interface.
- Msft currently has 3 operating systems called 'Windows', that are all mutually incompatible. There's no synergies between the systems, unlike Android and iOS. This strategy is not decent, it's completely ignorant of reality and it is a situation that's completely unattractive to external developers which isn't helped by the fact that two of these 3 systems have rather small market shares that make app development relatively uneconomic.
- Msft isn't fixing anything. In order to fix their problems they need to do the same thing Nokia needs to do: Fire their CEO whose limited vision is entirely responsible for the bad situation.
- Msft is completely dependent on Nokia right now to get their unattractive products into the market. Msft can't afford for Nokia to go down at any costs. If Nokia does, the game will be over.

As for Android tablets, what are you smoking? Even Apple isn't really doing the best business in the high profit segment here but at the lower cost point of the iPad mini. And again that idiotic remark that Android only sells when it's cheap. Your constant anti-Android FUD is really getting annoying and there's no substance behind it.

>> The app ecosystem is not anywhere near where it should be given that Android tablets have been out since about 6 months after the release of the original iPad.

Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?
A few facts to get straight:
- the first Android tablets, just like the first Android phones weren't really that great. They didn't sell well and developers rightfully said that supporting them is low priority.
- app development takes time. So even from starting at that point you'll have the planning stage and the implementation stage to factor in until an app is ready. In reality that means you'll need up to a year from the point of decision making to the final product. This is quite a significant delay.

Android tablets started to get attractive some time last year so it's no real surprise that there's still a lot of software out there that has no good support for them. This isn't something that gets solved overnight. But it will get solved, now that Android is taking the lead in market share. Those who take their software seriously cannot afford to look like ignorants.

R

leebase: "Office all by itself, is a reason some people will like RT."

Haha, yes, but I don't think you can sustain a multi-billion-dollar corporation from the profits of a market that small. In fact, many people doubt there is any profit to be made in that market.

But, hey, if the Windows RT market starts growing, then Elop wants Nokia to be the big fish in the small pond. I'm just waiting for the Microsoft misadventure to start making profits.

Tester

Is there even a point to discuss leebase's 'opinion' anymore?

It's clear where he stands:

1. Apple is the God of mobile and can't fail by default.
2. Microsoft has a long enough breath to make any turd succeed eventually.
3. Android is cheap crap that only sells at the lowest price point (a.k.a. nobody wants it but everybody buys it because they got no choice.)

And no matter in how many words it is put, it's always these 3 points to what it all boils down.
Just strange that the market figures do not really agree with it...
The most fun thing is that the market's realities seem to make 3. actually true when used for Windows Phone...

foo

DigitalTrends recognises that Nokia is helping Microsoft, but Microsoft is holding back Nokia:

Though Windows Phone is showing signs of life, it’s only because Nokia is holding the defibrillators. Indeed, the canary is dead; the hippo is humped; the wizard has spoken … However you want to say it, Nokia is in trouble. Though it is a stronger company than it was in 2011, Nokia may, again, be standing on a burning platform. Despite owning almost all Windows Phone sales, and making some great phone hardware, Nokia is not even in the top 5 when it comes to smartphone sales.

Nokia, though, doesn’t have much of a choice. Thanks to a public pact it made with Microsoft and customers, its hands are tied. If it makes an Android device (Why we want a Lumia Google Edition), many would see it as a death knell for Windows Phone, potentially hurting already weak sales of its entire line. So, with nowhere to go, Nokia continues to release new and unique Windows Phone hardware in the hope it can drive the OS to greater success.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/nokia-windows-phone-problems/#ixzz2cgxxfvZ3

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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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