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« Big Milestones by Some of Our Faves: Angry Birds, Layar, Guardian etc | Main | Why Nokia OS Strategy is Right for Nokia, and shift to Android or Phone 7 would be madness (now) »

February 09, 2011


Rurik Bradbury

WP7 is the right move. It will get Nokia back into the US market and give MeeGo cover until the Qt -> Symbian/MeeGo developer proposition is actually up and running.


Great article, thanks a bucnh!


Did Nokia hire the same marketing group that put on the "Developer losing his iphone 4 in a bar"?

The community is buzzing - we'll find out the reality behind this memo on Friday.


Tomi, I think it's valid. The WSJ has also now carried it, and I'm sure they've checked it out.

I actually think it was intentionally leaked by Nokia as a trial balloon for the market and analyst reaction prior to whatever gets announced on Friday.


BBC News saying that it has confirmed the memo as genuine....


Really? Do Nokia own the BBC now?

Pro tip: The BBC don't always get it right.


what Elop should be doing is putting as much effort into speeding and intensifying MeeGo development and marketing, as in my experience this is the best platform currently available. It's the most open of all and it has very very nice development tools for for C++/Qt, declarative QML and WebKit for HTML development. And if I can judge from predecessor Maemo and well by the fact it is so much open then the potential is really huge. But I guess his past at the dying Microsoft (even Bill Gates doesn't believe in it anymore if I judge by the fact that he is selling large quantities of Microsoft shares), could be a real danger. And if this truen sout to be true then I guess Nokia will just dye together with Microsoft. it will be slow and painful but well, even the biggest die some day. So what I I'm trying to say is: I hope Elop is smart enough to keep his past behind and keep away from Microsoft and do the right thing and focus 100% on excellent open platforms for the future which are MeeGo and Qt.

 Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

just so you know, as I CLEARLY stated in my blog that i AGREE with the sentiment of the supposed Elop 'memo' but I find several statements in it erroneous or bizarre - I am of course deleting all comments that suggest I am somehow in 'denial' about Nokia's troubles and comments that suggest I think Nokia is doing just fine.

The rules on this blog are clear, that you have to read the article before you are allowed to comment. Anyone who is not adult enough to understand basic English when I clearly both in opening to the blog - and in the conclusion of hte article I repeat myself, saying about the supposed memo that its 'sentiment is right'. I only take offense to the errors and bizarre issues in the memo. All who try to waste the time of my regular readers, by posting comments that were not related to the actual blog article as I wrote it, are now deleted. Stay on topic guys, I'll respect all views that are related to the actual blog including 'Tomi you are an idiot' etc, but not those who didn't read the blog.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


There is a thread to these comments that says that Elop is a microsoft spy/psychopath/saboteur and that he will push Nokia towards WP7 for that reaosn.

Here's another possibility. Maybe the board of Nokia actually made the decision last year that WP7 was the way to go, and that's why they fired OPK and hired Elop. Even if this si not true Elop clearly has the board behind him for whatever he announces. I am predicting:

1. Licensing of WP7 (Android is too competitive)
2. Immediate death of Meego and slow death of Symbian (the developers and NOK fanbois will scream but what is the point of having two competing OS).

We keep hearing from the fanbois how advanced Nokia was in smart-phones (they had all these specced up phones before apple etc etc). Simple question: if they were so advanced why are they in the position today where it looks strongly like they are doing a 180 on smartphone strategy?

I think you guys were all deluding yourselves. They weren't really that advanced. Instead they were doing the opposite of Jobs/Apple. Instead of carefully deciding to add a technology/feature, picking a cost-effective supplier, implementing the feature robustly in software, featuring it on all their phones (as Apple has done), Nokia did:

1. Spew out features like diarrhea and see what sticks
2. Compensate for #1 by choosing the most expensive and highly specced feature (hello 13 megapixel camera!!!!). I don't even need the resolution offered by a 5 MP camera. That's why some of their smartphones are so expensive.
3. Don't think about how the software operates the feature (someone earlier made a comment about 'always-on WIFI/3G' and how Symbian failed epically to make this seamless). If a feature is difficult to operate then there is no point in having it.
4. Segment their phones like crazy. I know this is against the Tomi wisdom but it leads to farcical end results like this:

'Nokia N8 vs Nokia E7 Dilemma – What would you sacrifice for: Camera or QWERTY Keyboard?' (

Why not be courageous? Pick a set of features that you think are essential but not luxurious. Make them work. AND PUT THEM IN ALL YOUR PHONES!!!


See this:

Looks like its going to be Nokia and Microsoft


So we now know that...

This was a memo that was sent to all Nokia employees. Except it wasn't.
This was a memo that was sent to some Nokia employees. Except it wasn't.

What this appears to be is, at best, the transcript of a speech made by Elop published by him on an internal blog and, at worst, the output of someone else posting on the blog. You see, in my company, we can all post on the internal blogs.

Hmm... interesting.

nokia employee

@tomi, we know u love nokia, but your long verbose opinions can be somewhat overwhelming. the memo is legit, and there needs to be huge shift in the company to succeed in this space. pls dont be in denial of the bleeding course we are on because of our current platform strategy.

the original intent over the past few years of nokia's was good and courageous, and you cant blame the market leader in trying to grow their own proprietary platform and ecosystem, however one day we needed to wake up and realise it is not in our core competency to succeed without valuable partnerships. that is the real definition of a true ecosystem, you contributing your strengths and balancing your weaknesses by complementing it with your partners.

in any case we appreciate ur support, but please calm down a bit


I'm from the US where everyone (but me) has an iPhone or Andriod. IPhones are pretty, Andriods are smart. My N8 is both! one cares. Here, no one knows that 12 mega-pixels exist on a phone.

Nokia needs to learn US marketing. I tried to buy my phone from Nokia's US online store. I couldn't! They messed up and confused my simple phone purchase and after a week, I finally went to

I fear that someday soon I will have to downgrade to those other common ugly or dumb phones. :(


Quote: "Now what really hit me the first time I read this memo, that made me 'decide' it cannot be right, is the line in it that reads "Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes." This sentence refers to the widely-reported Canalys numbers about Android OS overtaking Symbian in Q4 of 2010. But right after it was released, many analysts have said the numbers don't add up! It is a math error! You don't build corporate strategy on someone's math error haha. Canalys have jumped the gun"

Facts: The Canalys numbers cover the October, November and December quarter. But Elop's memo says "this week", which presumably was the first week of February, i.e. well into Q1 2011.

Ahonen is comparing 2010 apples with 2011 oranges. I'd expect more accuracy.



(Corr.typos caused by WinVista and Microshit keybord)

 Tomi T Ahonen

More replies

Hi years, Nok, Romain, ryzvonusef, Alex, Tom, Andre and don

years - Thank you, I know, my name even means 'I am crazy' in Japanese

Nok - thanks. Would you mind posting the same comment under your real name so we can verify it too?

Romain - haha, ok, I'm sure we can find some if we dig enough, but if the 'big trend' is either 'touch screens' or 'capacitive screen touch screens' certainly the first was the bigger trend (from previous inputs being keypad).. The more we go to specific details, we can find the evidence, but then the issue becomes is that really a 'big trend' haha.. But I see your point. And yes, Friday is now ever more fascinating haha. I am betting on Elop being the smart dude I hear from my gossip, that he is very good at listening and learning and therefore... haha..

ryzvonusef - thanks! Actually almost same reply is on the Financial Times article, and it is of course the standard Nokia reply from years and years ago, for all cases when there is some silly rumor about Nokia (that often surface)

Alex - haha, now you're implanting horror scenarios into my fertile creative mind haha.. I see conspiracies everywhere!! Seriously, good point. I would, however, think that if this was verbatim accurate - and as reported, was circulated at Nokia - then obviously Jorma Ollila and the Board have also seen it. And either the plan to ditch MeeGo/Symbian/Qt whatever was already pre-approved by the Board, or immediately after the memo was circulated, Elop got a call from the Chairman, about what will fly, and what won't fly with the Board haha.. Abandoning MeeGo (and Qt migration path) would make Nokia look ridiculous. The only variation I could see, is an accelerated abandoning of Symbian if that was the need, ie 'more' MeeGo (that Ollila and the Board could approve) and no way can I see them approving an Elop proposition to take on a third OS alongside Symbian and MeeGo (Android or Phone 7). Not now, when MeeGo is coming and Symbian S^3 already sold 5M units in its first quarter. But haha, you know Alex, we've seen stupid moves by big companies many times in the past too. Lets just hope Elop is as smart as he is credited in being..

Tom - I have read your first sentence honestly over 20 times and I do not understand what you mean. If you're back, please repost the point you wanted to make of where I am confused with percentages, ok? Please explain a bit what you mean, and I'll happily respond to it.

But so you know, I was about to delete your comment. Your next statement is against the rules of this blog. You HAVE to read my blog before I allow you to comment. I never said I disagree with Elop's claimed position or how he sees the perilous position of Nokia. I EXPRESSLY stated that I AGREE with the sentiment of the memo. I only commented that it has so peculiar faults in it, that to my mind, it doesn't seem authentic.

On your specific questions 'is Nokia smartphone profit going up or down' it was going down until Q3 when it turned into going up. 'is profit per smartphone going up or down' it is now going up in Q4. Is Nokia selling well vs US - obviously not, it has been doing worse for about 5 years straight. But against European rivals, Nokia is dominating smartphones in Europe, its ranked number 1 in all markets except France if I remember the latest numbers correctly (where it is second). Is Nokia UI and OS competitive currently - it sells 2x as many units as iPhone and 4 times more than the biggest Android provider. I think it clearly is more than competitive. It is not the 'best' but it is certainly beating the pants off its rivals. Will it be next year with dual core ARM etc.. Who knows next year. Look at my forecasts for this year, I was off on most of my forecasts, but I tended to get the rankings about right haha.

Andre - haha yeah totally agree! I've said on Twitter and on this blog before, that if Elop announces Phone 7 or Android, then sell Nokia shares immediately. It is the sudden, irretrievable end of Nokia's hegemony.

don - you know, there is honestly a frightening proportion of possibility in what you write, but again, I am very confident that he is a smart guy, and has listened honestly - he WANTS to win, he WANTS to be the CEO who rescued Nokia, and he has no reason to not listen to all facts with an open mind. I happen to think, that any intelligent person who looks at the picture today, in 2011, will not pull the rug on MeeGo or Symbian, but I'm just a blogger and pundit haha..

Ok, will return with more, please keep the comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)

James Katt

1. Top Notch User Experience - like the iPhone. Definitely not Nokia.
2. Ecosystem - like the iPhone. Definitely not Nokia.
3. Modern, extensible operating system - like the iPhone. Definitely not Nokia.
4. Software is more important than Hardware - like the iPhone. Definitely not Nokia. Nokia can't do software very well. Apple is the best in the world at software.

The iPhone changed the world of cell phones.
Everyone else is a follower.

Nokia, however, is getting left behind.



being too early is the same as being too late.
One of the many problems of Nokias service unit is that they "sell" services to program managers from the devices unit and not to customers.


"While we are on competitors, Nokia's real competitor is Samsung (not Apple) and all at Nokia HQ know this. "

As long as Nokia continues to believe that, you'll never be 1st place.


Denial is not just a river in Africa. What you don't seem to understand is that Elop is telling a story for dramatic effect. The numbers and details you are obsessing about are not that important, they are just background noise to Elop's purpose. You are seeing the trees, and missing the forest.

As for your comments upon trends, you take Elop's story TOO LITERALLY. He's saying exactly what you are. Nokia didn't capitalize on its first mover advantage. That's missing the trend. Sure, they had touchscreens first, but did they promote them the way Apple did? That's what missing the trend is about.

We'll know all by Friday.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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