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


Blog powered by Typepad

« Lets Talk Handset Features - My Hypothesis is that Screen Size Trumps Everything | Main | MWC Related News Day 1 - Samsung Galaxy S5 and other news and non-news »

February 24, 2014


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What Does It Mean that Nokia Launches 3 Smartphones on Android, Now? It means desperation and that Windows Phone is dead:



I agree this smells of desperation. This is how I see it:

MS-Nokia is offering a limited Android with low end 4-year old hardware, made to imitate Windows Phone and no access to Google infra/services (out of the box, anyway).

The idea is to try and stop from MS & Nokia Asian/emerging market share from being a total fiasco, by selling Android phones in emerging markets at cheaper rates than WP phones, because WP just can't compete there (MS stupid insistence on too high royalties, royalties, too high ASP and thinking their brand means something).

The idea is to make emerging market users become Nokia (the brand) users first and then WP-style UI users/MS-ecosystem users second and only Android OS users (and masqueraded Android at that) third.

This way MS-Nokia is "abstracting away" Android UI/OS and Google ecosystem/services, while trying to stop the hemorrhage of market share from MS and Nokia.

Of course, once you own people's calendar, email backlog, accounts, etc. it's going to be very hard to switch. This is what MS-Nokia is aiming for. Own the data. Own the accounts. By any means necessary.

Then, slowly and surely they will change this low end phones to be WP phones (when they can finally ship cheap enough hardware) with similar interface and MS services in the future.

They are betting on the fact that most ordinary users will not care or notice this transition.

And then jack up the prices, once they've done this (and own the data/accounts).

That's the plan. Simple 101 OS abstraction / UI layer logic. Nothing fancy. Any economist should be able to figure this out in a spreadsheet.

I don't think it's going to work. People in India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the rest are not stupid. They want the best services and full access to the ecosystem, not some watered down Microsoft-Nokia versions.

But time will tell...



This is never going to work. Nokia still has the problem that other manufacturers will enter that price segment as well - and not with some crippled stuff.

So, when facing the decision to buy one of these crapphones or a real Android - even if it may cost a tad more, the choice will be obvious.


It means that Windows Phone is dead?!?

In other news, FOUR MAJOR NEW OEMs for Windows Phone were announced at MWC - LG, Lenovo, ZTE and Foxconn will now make Windows Phone devices. And so will five additional smaller OEMs like Xolo and JSR.

It is certainly dead now. With OEMS expanding from 4 to 13!!!


Baron gets fooled by propaganda again, heh!

What does this OEM expansion for WP mean in reality?

Actually, two things:

- Microsoft is trying to give the impression that they are not the only manufacturer using the platform
- taking Microsoft's bribe money and not delivering is actually a nice way to make money.

My prediction: This will fall completely flat. So far nobody except Nokia managed to move a substantial amount of Windows phones and this will not change in the future. People do not buy Windows phones, they buy Nokia phones.


Tomi - sorry to say, but you are missing the point.

This is a MASSIVE attack on Google from Washington State - Both Amazon and Microsoft are now in the AOSP camp, eviscerating all signs of Google Services from their Android devices.

Sadly, you (and others) will be reporting these devices together with Google Android for market share, and are missing the point that this is really a completely different ecosystem.

So when you report iOS, would you report it as BSD-unix market share? Surely not.

You also don't group Android, Meego, Tizen, etc under the "Linux" OS category, right?

Grouping Amazon/Kindle Ecosystem and Nokia X/Microsoft Cloud Services under Android makes equally little sense.

The potential loser in this story is no other than Google. Yet another powerful organization has forked their baby and excluded them.

I think it is a great move by Washington State vs Google. Awesome even. And potentially good for Microsoft. Get cheap phone buyers as quickly as possible to Microsoft Services (and away from Asha apps), while Windows Phone (8.1, 8.2, etc) comes on-line supporting cheaper HW.

Guess what is next?

A MASSIVE layoff of all the ASHA S40 developers - within about a year. Which will make Microsoft Devices get closer to profitability.

Elop is executing baby. I'm psyched.


Suddenly, the last year news about Google trying to lock down the android SDK to avoid fragmentation look different.

My guess is that the android apps API can be the de facto standard that everyone have to support in a few years. I found this situation comparable to the Flash player in the internet browsers arena. Both of them might be theoretically superseded by HTML5, but the reality is actually far from that, especially for the mobile apps.

Ironically, this is one step into the direction of the prediction I have made already 10 years ago: someday, Microsoft will have no other choice but to publish his own Linux distribution. Not really that today, but still in the good direction. The reason is very simple: Linux will become a so huge market that Microsoft can't ignore it and will be forced to port his applications to it. View from that perspective, the today news is relatively well aligned, even if it's actually the android Linux distribution that forced them to act, and that Microsoft try to hide that fact under the Nokia brand.

Giacomo Di Giacomo

I am beginning to think that this is a move by Nokia management and employees to keep their jobs safe, since having to depend on WP means being jobless in a few years at most. They are doing this now while they still can, before M$ takes over.


I think that again this is proof that the Nokia/ MS-management has no clue, really.

The only upside on these phones is the Nokia-brand - and perhaps the build quality.

All other features are inferiour to a real Android phone.

Can you use Google instead of BING as a search engine? On my Android phone, I could chose BING as the default search engine for Chrome instead of Google.

You can also install various launchers, even WP-wannabees like Launcher8 on Android. Will Nokia allow users to replace these tiles with something else, like Nova or Apex launcher?

I assume they will force their users to use the phone as is, with no options.

They do not understand that you need to offer a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) when releasing a product - there actually must be a reason for customers to prefer your product.

This is also one of the reasons why WP failed so spectacularily in the market - it offers nothing the competition doesn't, except for useless gimmicks like a tile-based launcher which you must not replace.

Now the same concep is repeated with a forked Android version, this really is the idea of a genius!


What is amazing is that Nokia X is getting more press than the Galaxy S5.

I can't really blame the press, though. GS5 still no 64 bit (remember the we'll have it soon). GS5 no ship date yet - "April" is what they are saying. GS5 copies Apple's fingerprint sensor on the home button. Still plastic. Still looks like GS4/GS3.

And - of course - it does not uses Samsung's application processors. Instead it uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801.

So what is the story of MWC?

Samsung shows nothing truly new in phones. Meanwhile Nokia is using cheap HW and non-Google Android to create a cheap phone bridge from S40 to Microsoft Services, while signing up more Windows Phone OEMs, including Tomi's favorite to be #3 - Lenovo.

And Google has a full blown rebellion in their hands against locked down Android.

That about sums it up.

And in a few months large screen iPhones will be out. Ouch.

Samsung has clearly already played its best cards and now will suffer.


Quote from Android Police (the pro Android, Samsung ball-licking crowd):

"Samsung has never disappointed as much as they did today."

I could have said I told you so, but I won't.


Maybe the BBC was talking about the British market only?



"What is amazing is that Nokia X is getting more press than the Galaxy S5."

I think you hit something there. Maybe that's the sole reason to do it - to get some buzz in the press - clueless as it is.

"I can't really blame the press, though. GS5 still no 64 bit (remember the we'll have it soon). GS5 no ship date yet - "April" is what they are saying. GS5 copies Apple's fingerprint sensor on the home button. Still plastic. Still looks like GS4/GS3."

That's the problem with the press. They don't care about quality. All that matters is empty buzzwords ans superficialities. Like with the S4 again the most important thing, i.e. increased screen resolution gets ignored. Strangely enough, nobody complains that the iPhone 5S is still the same clunky design like the original iPhone - something so sensitive that you need a protective cover to prevent serious damage in case you drop it. Never needed such a thing with a plastic covered Android phone.

64 bit is completely irrelevant unless it brings some provable performance boost. But everybody with some tech knowledge knows that by itself it will never do.
As for the plastic covers: Good. I hate metal covered phones. They tend to get damaged far more easy than plastic covered phones - even worse if you consider that most metal covered phones have no removable parts, i.e. if the phone gets damaged it'll stay damaged. A damaged removable plastic cover can be replaced.
But yeah, I know. The tech press seems to think that creating unrepairable devices is the way to go. Fortunately Samsung givess these idiots the finger - each and every year. And as it looks they get rewarded for it.

Tomi T Ahonen

Guys... lets keep this discussion on Nokia X and related topics ie Android, Windows Phone, Microsoft. Lets keep Samsung's Galaxy and other MWC news away from this blog. I will go post a topic on MWC news where we can debate the merits of S5 and the other news and non-news

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Yes - we should keep this discussion on Nokia X. It is a very exciting development.

Remember that it is Nokia's tradition to have multiple OSes for high and low end.

I think it is smart to move away from S40 with its unique environment and developer requirements to a Linus/Android base.Easier to hire developers, leverage more apps, etc.

The choice of going non-google, to me is the interesting one.

To Microsoft, the choice of underlying OS for the low end - whether it is S40 or Firefox or Android is irrelevant is largely irrelevant.

Diverting services traffic from Google to Microsoft is the relevant part. If there manage to ship volumes, Google will be the biggest loser.

This buys time (until Windows Phone can run in really, really cheap HW) and provides a bit of a hedge.

Mao Nixon

I think it's a bad sign for Microsoft that Nokia X got more press coverage than Samsung Galaxy S5. It's mean that Nokia brand is STRONGER than samsung, but WP is bad. It's like this math...

Android = 9
WP = 1
Nokia brand = 10
Samsung brand = 7

Nokia + WP = 10 x 1 = 10
Nokia + Android = 10 x 9 = 90
Samsung + Android = 7 x 9 = 63



Here is the video interview with Elop. Makes perfect sense EUR89-109 X and XL devices as "gateway devices" for Nokia/Microsoft services and tile interface for poor and emerging markets.


Ooops forgot the link....

Earendil Star

This the vindication of all my previous posts. Total. Complete.

Let' recap what has been unfolding here:
2010: Nokia's board sells Nokia to MS
THTRH Elop, Mr Nobody in mobile, is sent to Espoo to burn Nokia
All Nokia's own platforms are burnt down, paving the way to WP (P)OS. No Plan B.
Why? Because the target is to promote Lumias and get rid of Ecosystem n.1 (Nokia's)
Nokia's interests count zero for the new owner: MS
Idea is to transition 100% of Symbian to WP. Total Flop and Elopcalypse.
2014: Plan B (for MS), since WP has no apps and still no market share.
Build a Nokia Android without Google bits. Skin it like a Lumia. Load it with MS services.
Have a phone that, unlike Lumias, has a plethora of existing apps (Android's).
Plan: transition the next billion smartphone users to Lumia.
Result? Success or second Elopcalypse? Only time will tell.

A couple of observations:
Nokia was no longer independent since 2010, after Elop the Flop nomination.
Whatever was going on in Espoo had total approval by MS.
Actually, MS was the initiator and driver behind all Nokia's decisions since then.
Saying this (Nokia X) is an independent Nokia decision is ludicrous.

This move explains perfectly well why suddenly Meltemi was aborted.
Why develop a new platform when you can leverage Android and its apps ecosystem instead? MS is using its parasitical instinct at its best.

This is also the best demonstration we could have ever hoped of, that Android allows total flexibility. As I have repeated time and again, there was no comparison between the open nature of Android and the WP (P)OS no differentiation straitjacket. Android would have been a perfect choice for Nokia alongside Maemo/Meego.
Curiously (not!), Astros will repeat Elop's meme that Nokia had to go WP to differentiate. What a laugh. Nokia could have adopted this precise strategy on its own. With its own ecosystem. With its maps. Partnering with any of the dynamic Finnish startups. But, no, only when MS does it, then it is ok and acceptable.

So what does Nokia X show: that MS shrewdly destroyed Nokia from the inside , and is now fighting for survival using its arch-enemy's (Google's) own developed platform.

Will it be success or once again Elopcalypse? Hard to tell.

The risk, and MS knows it only too well, is that Xs cannibalize low end Lumia sales. So, these phones will be available only in Lumialess markets.

Yet there are some other risks here:
1) that the X's UX is so poor that customers would just jump to the real Android (or Firefox OS) instead. Leaving Nokia's image tarnished.
2) that Google provides a sideload Google Suite and users replace en masse the poor and crappy MS experence with Google's much better one.
3) that Google can make some legal case, and limit or monetize MS' use of its own IP, which I strongly doubt, given how Android was licensed (thus disproving allegations of those who repeatedly assert Android is not really open: heck, even MS is using it for free!)

So, if things go horribly wrong, MS wil simply pull the plug. Still, it will have had a nice shot at the next emerging market, the one Boring and Baseless Astros Too are racistly despising.

Shrewd and surprising move by the usual bullying monopolist. With regulators happily watching and doing nothing. As usual. But something that once again fits very well with all the puzzle pieces I've been putting together so far.

Never count MS out. They're all in for the mobile battle and will not desist, be sure of this.

And never hope the Astros stop repeating their BS and lies. Despite proving all along how biased their endless repetition of MS propaganda is.


@Baron95: "Get cheap phone buyers as quickly as possible to Microsoft Services (and away from Asha apps), while Windows Phone (8.1, 8.2, etc) comes on-line supporting cheaper HW."

I agree with its main purpose is to hook cheap phone buyers to Nokia/M$ services but what do you think about app incompatibility between Android and WP?

Good question what these people will do when update time comes: get stick to the services or go for platform where they can use their previous apps? Especially if they paid for them.

On the other hand maybe paid app is not so frequent in this segment thus they stay with services...

We will see...


@Mao Nixon:

I think your 'math' perfectly nails it.
But I see a problem with all the reporting that may easily backfire:

Since for the uninitiated reader the whole thing could be read like Nokiia was supporting genuine Android (can we expect that they know the difference between Google Android and a fork?), customers might expect to get a genuine Android device, while actually they won't.

Ergo: Customers may feel cheated and cheated customers tend to shop elsewhere next time.
And if Nokia proves they can do Android for such a low price so will competitors with the real deal.



"On the other hand maybe paid app is not so frequent in this segment thus they stay with services..."

Sorry, but what services?
We are talking about low end customers here, these are normally not those to invest heavily in services.

They may use WhatsApp or Facebook or similar stuff but normally don't have to rely on manufacturer provided services too much. And manufacturer specific services for similar tasks as the popular third party offerings won't stand a chance in a diverse market. It's pointless, for example, to use a messaging service which only reaches 5-10% of the user base.

So what does that leave them with?

Apps? And it also has been proven (and repeated ad nauseum by the American corporatists here) that these low end customers do not invest heavily in apps. So let's assume that over the lifetime of their phone they spent $20 on apps. Wow, quite an investment - and certainly not enough to make them stick if they have to choose between staying with an inferior service and going where the masses are.

Maps? Not sticky enough. Easy to change without much fuss.

Cloud storage? Last time I checked, Microsoft's cloud services are accessible from all platforms. Not an issue. And that's only if people really use them.

The customers we are talking about here want to use their phone primarily as a phone, secondarily as a mobile web browser and additionally to that as a music player, some social networking and for some generic convenience apps (which normally do not cost money so they are not sticky.) and very occasionally for some casual gaming (mostly the free to play stuff which serves as sufficient distraction for the vast majority of people.)

So in my opinion any talk about platform stickiness in this segment is grossly exaggerated.


RottenApple: "Sorry, but what services?"

- Nokia Music, whatnot...

"that these low end customers do not invest heavily in apps. So let's assume that over the lifetime of their phone they spent $20 on apps."

And that amount of money can be heavy investment at their side... On the other hand I do not think they spend 20$ on average...

But you can easily be right there is no any 'stickiness' in this price segment...



Sure, $20 can be an investment. But let's be serious here: These $20 will get held against the price for staying with the services vs. upgrading to better hardware when the time comes.

"Nokia Music..."

With those services it depends on what they offer and whether the existing content can be transferred.
As long as it's music bought in their store there should be a way to get if off the old phone and onto the new one. You can even do that on Apple's devices without too much of a hassle.

And if it's a subscription service, that can be terminated so that on the new phone another subscription service can be used, no big deal. There's no loss involved.

The stuff that can really cause a serious case of lock-in is like Apple's eBook offerings which are hardwired to Apple's hardware.

But if you ask me, offering a service that requires one's own product to be bought is a dead end business model. It only can work if one manufacturer, like Apple in the US, holds a major piece of the market. Microsoft and Nokia aren't even close to that in the countries where they are moderately successful.


Thing is new $70-$100 Android devices running AOSP 4.4 on dual-core with 512MB RAM are standard already in this, the emerging, markets since a while now. This markets are highly competative, much choice, latest and greatest long before it hits in way more expensive and crazy limited variants western markets. In this markets Google Android is not number 1, AOSP is. Its a 1 minute job to add GSP but not much do because Google services are just not demanded. Thing is in this markets western services like Google, Facebook and Microsoft are not of much relevance.

Mao Nixon

It's really funny to watch microsoft astroturfer such as Leebase & Baron comment on this news.

They used to say that "Android user can't appreciate the apple luxury ecosystem, yada, yada, yada, apple got the most profit, yada, yada, yada"

But when Nokia announce cheap phone with small profit, they talk something else.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

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

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.


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 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

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