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

« Nokia Autopsy on MeeGo - One last look back, Before we look forward on the New Nokia | Main | Noki-Soft Windfall - who wins most when Micro-Kia hand away lucrative smartphone empire bigger than Blackberry, bigger than iPhone »

February 15, 2011


Don McLean


I very much appreciate you efforts and the article was quite good reading. I noticed though some particular apsect which is missed in the perspective you've give us. That is how operators will react to Nosoft and what will be the effect of their reaction on Nokia sales in 2011/2012? What I read somewhere is Mr.Flop praising the WP7 as the most "operator-friendly". Nokia surely had good relations with operators (not in US, obviously) so how those two add to equation you've deduced in your blog?

Thank you

Don McLean

@ [email protected] | February 15, 2011 at 01:23 PM

"Something still confusing to me is the fact that they consider Meego as a testing platform but still they will put one device in the market"

I think they may have some legal obligations on those matters in their partnership with Intel. So they need some real device to get away from this. Can it be so?

christian maurice

Thanks for the analysis!!!

But your estimation for Nokia marketshare is optimistic for Q1. Elop said in the burning memo that Android is now the number 1 smartphone OS since the 3rd February. And I think like you it is the best scenario, it will be worse because they will not sell the 150 millions Symbian smartphone in two years. At best the Nokia marketshare will be in the low ten's but I think it will in single digit. At the moment Google, RIM and Samsung staff drink champagne. In MWC, no presentation of a new WP7 phone by the other partners!!! You said Microsoft gain but they anger all the other partners...

Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and RIM will be the winner and maybe Apple if they lauch an Iphone mini. Android and Bada will go up very high.

And the worse is maybe after how will go the integration between Microsoft and Nokia services. If the excution is not good, the launch and integration of Nokia services in WP7 ecosystem can be very slow. They took a big gamble...

Christian Maurice

Android is already 350 000 activation a day!!! Eric Schmidt at MWC!!!


Nokia committed several mistakes already this past few years. I don't think they would like to do it again. I think that this is a good move for Nokia, as much as it hurts my feelings. Nokia is struggling with release dates for Symbian OS, and spending a lot of money just to put pinch zooming, kinetic scrolling, etc on their devices.

Microsoft is the biggest winner here, because of SEARCH. let's say that in 2012 there would be 450 Millions smartphones, according to Morgan Stanley, some 11.5% will be under WP7, which would use Bing. that would bring and additional 51 Millions people to Bing, of course minus the one who is already using bing, and the ones who will switch the default search engine to Google. Still that's still a big number. remember that 1% in search equals $1 Billion in market cap.

So here I am thinking, would Nokia get cuts on revenue generated from searches originating from Nokia Windows Phones? Because if this is the case Microsoft really has a proposition here.

But I really do wish that Symbian would be just pushed down to feature phone level, then Nokia would kill S40. considering that prices of hardware gradually falls, it's possible to produce a Symbian "dumbphone" under $100 by the end of the year.

Ville Aho

Thanks Tomi!

Their's a lot of unnecessary drama going around. It's actually pretty simple if you think about it.

Would it be better if Nokia was not reliant on anyone else? Absolutely! Is this possible? No. Nokia is in the position where they have only two choices. Go with Android or WP7. MeeGo and Symbian are not viable options. Why? Because, Nokia is in this mess because of Symbian's incapacity to fight against Android and iOS. So, Symbian is not an option. In general, people seem to see MeeGo as some kind of a savior. But have you seen it? Neither have I. So, what's left? Android and WP7. Obviously WP7 is the better deal of these two and the only way to fight against Android's world domination. If Nokia went Android, then they would be in trouble.

Should you like about the fact that Nokia will be using WP7? No! Is it the only option? I think it is.



Regarding the absolute requirement to attract a large international crowd of innovative developers in order to nurture an application ecosystem, the way Microsoft set up its marketplace is not exactly enticing. The web is already full of long articles detailing the procedure to get registered at the Microsoft marketplace. It varies from one country to another. For instance:

This kind of red tape (and this is just to get registered) will not help make WP7 popular as a development platform compared to Android or iOS.

Stuart Henshall

Tomi, Nice analysis and method for getting the discussion going. I know you point out - this is the most optimistic scenario more than once. I'm afraid it is very very optimistic and I am much more pessimistic.

Nokisoft doesn't have till next year to get phones out and even early announcements - won't result in consumers postponing a purchase for a new Nokisoft. Only real products can make a difference.

The 18 month timeframe you speak of suggests some impact / implications for the manufacturing units. This seems understated. Plants would appear to be tooled for all the wrong products and even plans in the pipeline mean that closing plants is all but inevitable.

The change is inevitable now. There's no going back. I wrote that elsewhere last week. For most the question is.... how do we get Win7 phones out the door...

Unless they can do speed and have some internal change processes in place to facilitate the grieving and the "what needs to be done factor" it will fail. So far communication appears mostly outward facing... I'd really like to hear how it is being addressed and managed internally. You recognize this requirement - however the "change agents" that kick start the working through the aftermath - better know their OD organizational development tools. They also need to be excellent action oriented facilitators. Right now it's not just about communication - it's how it is internalized and harnessed to effect positive change.

Change programs of this magnitude (almost never happen to begin with!!) - how you cascade it through an organization usually don't start with a single point event or announcement (certainly not from within a company). Having one - the Win7 inflection point makes it much easier in terms of reforming... storming and norming... They don't have months to decide what they stop doing.. what they start doing etc. And all the answers can't come top down. They need it to work bottom-up as well.

They also have to have the power to put real demands on MS - to bring them in - second elements into the business etc. Otherwise it ain't going to have a chance. Which are the 250 MS employees that are making this happen? Do they even know? Who's training / integrating the MS partnership?

Every Nokia employee can see today that their company and job is in danger. The market has voted and the share price is down. They can jump - but few will get the chance to get a better job in weeks. They can take their time over that. Best thing they can do is respond differently today to the crisis - it is of their own making. The smart ones will move the cots in and ask not why but how can the impossible.

People can and do thrive when under siege. I hope for Nokia's sake they decide to.


Elop and the board are myopic twits:

Seriously the conventional thinking on this deal is appalling and clearly illustrates how if you have a hammer (Elop) all you see in life are nails(WP7).

If Nokia would be serious about winning back the space they would have made a deal with Google, so they could kill Google. How? Sign up with Google, many analysts believed this would have been a bad move for Google since Nokia could have commoditized Android even more and pushed down prices and margins.

EXACTLY THE POINT!! Kill all series 40 phones and deploy android phones, BUT:

1) Skin the android marketplace in OVI.
2) Over the next 12 months skin Android in a Nokia UI.
3) Ovi Maps ported to Android.
4) Skin an Android e-mail client (buy or licence)as Ovi mail.
5) Keep all the good Nokia bits proprietary (Camera, Hardware, etc)

This allows Nokia to capture the feature phone converts and gain share.

Phase 2
1) Deliver the strategy to have Meego /QTat the high end.
2) Meego runs Android Apps.
3) Since the “Nokia Android” experience is all skinned in Nokia – Ovi and UI, Nokia can then create flagships Meego phones that become the upgrade path to all the android entry level phones.
4) Symbian users would rather move to Meego and with QT. The Symbian developers have an upgrade path to Meego via QT.

Now that would have been a strategy!

As far as Android being enemy number one…well no one know how Android will falter now that Verizon (USA Carrier) has the iPhone – Verison being THE biggest proponent of Android in the USA..


Hi Tomi,

I was wondering if you aware of the Nokia Plan B on FB/Twitter &



"If MeeGo was a disaster and years behind schedule, that makes sense. If Fujitsu is able to ship a notebook - not announce but sell it - this week in Singapore, that tells me MeeGo has been ready for a while. Nokia just refused to let it emerge because a CEO had another agenda - perhaps driven by his deep stock portfolio still owned of Microsoft?"

This is the key, and sadly as you point the future for Nokia will be to become a low cost dumbphone maker, after they fail with WP7, there is no turning back.


I read the whole blog entry.

"Less handsets, with increasingly less high-end capabilities, used on ever less-capable networks and lower speed connections, by ever less-affluent (and even illiterate) users, accessing ever more old and obsolete apps, of ever less updated and modern apps, generating ever less revenues, offering ever less advertising and virtul property alternate revenue streams"

I just had to ask you to expand on your comment "less-capable networks and lower speed connections". Where do you get that from?

"the 3G mobile telecoms industry is literally more complex than rocket science"

That may or may not be correct. I have a long history in SW development in telecoms and the only software that is more complex is NASA SW. It stands to reason because it has to be 100% reliable (notwithstanding the tragedies we had in 1986 and 2006). Comments like this don't serve your article's arguments well.

"I think the strategy cannot be this bad. There has to be some sense in it, something that I cannot see. Nokia's path to smartphones is blocked. Maybe Stephen Elop the brilliant cloud computing Microsoft guy can see some other path for Nokia and sold that to the Board. It is about all I can hope for, as Nokia is not going to be any meaningful success in making phones, not this year and the next - and has ended its aspirations to build its future with smartphones."

This has to be a strange comment. You firmly nail your colours to the mast (and of course I will be seeing if you're correct by the end of 2011) and then equivocate. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and it carries more weight than mine because of your obvious industry experience, but remember you are not a person that has to run a company. You don't have the responsibility and you don't make difficult decisions. That is not intended to be a personal comment on you as a person, but a statement of fact because you don't occupy the CEO chair (therefore your opinion is worth less because if you're opinion is wrong then it doesn't really matter. If Stephen Elop is wrong then it really does matter, so he's motivated to try the best path possible.)


I own a E71 and, I alone is responsible for 5 E series purchases around me, even including really ugly E72 upgrade.
As of feb 11, I absolutely do not recommend anyone to buy anything Nokia.

In fact, if one wants to run windows phone, I'd suggest HTC since they are doing that business for years, their expertise and relation with windows developers can't be matched. Imagine Apple enters Windows Pc business, would you choose them or HP?

Funny thing is, Sony and Samsung were really genius to abandon Symbian.


Some feelings inside Nokia:

There are strange voices around blogosphere, coffee rooms, emails, corridors, homes, Internet. And the famous "If you don't understand the problem then you're part of it."

What was once professional paradise and mental home for so many is now a place of agony, betrayal and disbelief. What has happened? Everything looks normal but everything has changed.

R&D is in total gridlock. As we are told we failed. Failed bad.

Symbian became Zombian.

MeeGo became soulless ghost.

Qt is left out to rotten.

Ovi is getting closed.

Maps is given out for charity.

S40 is set to an impossible mission against immortal androids.

Windows Phone is said to be our new saviour, our incarnation of better Jesus. But it's a new religion with oh so strict rules.

Evangelists are out, sending emails and writing blog posts but only few have turned into this new religion.

Those who believe in dead Gods raise their voice so much that it hurts, disrupts all everyday activities. Oh look, it's the noisy folks that are still standing on that damn burning platform. All the smoke is making them blind.

The big majority is faithless and silent, sitting in life boats, hanging onto lifebelts but doing absolutely nothing. Eyes wide open, can't believe that Jesus already came to save them. Mentally paralyzed, too disturbed by thoughts that salvation is promised only for part of them. Some bright-eyed are trying to row with their hands. The paddles are still on the burning platform.

Then few big waves - and silence.

No more burning platform but just smoky shaky platform. But standing still.

No more lifeboats. Part of them were abducted by UFOs, mostly heros, carefully handpicked. But most were drowned and eaten by sharks.



What I dont't understand is why WP7 is so highly valued. Currently it's capabilites are more like Series 40.

For example, I talk with a friend in Korea (I'm in Spain) in a Nokia using Skype. This is not possible in WP7. I also copy files from one place to another using my phone as a memory stick with it's USB. I also can not do that in WP7. I can sell programs to my clients without having to use marketplace, also I can not do that with WP7. I can change the SD card, and again, I can not do that in WP7. I like to play games, but without native code, and without C++ (think Id software, Epic games and porting of iOS and Android games) I think that the games will be second rate (yes, I know about XNA, but it really is a amateur program)

I really don't care about the kernel, (I have programmed Symbian and I can say that it's incredible obtuse, I won't miss it) but the problem is that WP7 is almost as limited as Series 40. I hope that when Nokia ships its phones, MS has improved considerably its OS, because right now it does not offer a lot of things.

Christian Maurice

Microsoft give the promise to Nokia to give them the access the north american market, Verizon disagree:

Like you said the scenario is very optimistic.

Christian Maurice

I think the number given by Tomi are ok. Elop said they want to sell 150 millions Symbian smartphone in two years. 90-100 millions Smartphone the first year is ok. But the market will continue to grow and Nokia will lose many market share... And it the best scenario where they sell the 150 millions Symbian smartphones...

Christian Maurice

And Nokia don't show any smartphone in MWC 2011 but it is worse no new Windows phone 7 smartphone at all... They try to playing catch up, the innovation is on the Android side (NFC, 4G, pico projector, 3d screen, playstation phone...). And Microsoft will add CDMA to Windows phone 7 phone, copy and paste, multitasking... They just try to have a decent platform for the moment. Asus announce they will probably be full Android. LG is not as bullish as before for WP7.

The WP7 OS is behind Android...


Nokia loose the North Polar Star!!
Every one know that the Software is firt and later the hardware!
Software developers control hardware funtionality! ergo they have all the power!
Manufactures in – China, Taiwan, Thailandia, Singapur, Corea, japan, on recycle Cargo in the middle of the sea, on a shed et.. et..- produce phone in robotic line assembly by thousand an hour, all of then need a piece of Software, without this “OS” this devices do nothing!
Ergo again OS have all the POWER.
Nokia abandon their Software Development! this is the work make by human, not by idiotic robotic mechanical brain software controlled, the most intelligent people that the company can to keep back!, Btw this kind of people are very scarce…
Maybe, like you say...firt Nokia Wp7 come from a re-branding Wp7 phone, just for show it (Nokia Wp7)
for the press


Hi Tomi,
I agree with your really grim analysis, and we will check your predicted numbers each subsequent quarter. Given the situation Nokia is currently in, your prediction is pretty realistic. But as you said, all this Elop talk sounds pretty strange and it is as if we are all missing something we don't know (yet). Elop would now want us to believe that Nokia is going with WP7, the underdog OS, to create third viable platform-ecosystem and to "beat Android". This is beyond beliavable and we don't buy it. As we know Nokia licensed Symbian, clearly superior OS at the time, 12 years ago in order to secure its leading position in the market and because they knew it would be clearly the winning platform for years to come.
So any manufacturer that would realize that they cannot be competitive with the current platform and cannot bring the future platform to the market soon enough, like Nokia has now realized, would of course go with all the platforms that they can license, that is Android and WP7, and surely would not pass on the leading platform which is Android. Then they would see which one sells better. And I am sure Nokia has indeed done so.
So why all this Elop's smoke screen talk about WP7? I'm sure it is their way of thanking Microsoft that they bought Navteq from them or in any other way cover the costs of its acquisition, a giant 8 billion cost, now quarter of Nokia's market capitalization (they didn't disclose the details of the transaction).
But at the same time they are still secretly talking and working with Google and their confidential internal documents show that they are doing Android phone(s). This was tweeted by Eldar Murtazin who has reliable connections inside Nokia. They are just not talking about this beacuse they are probably all under NDA (non disclosure agreement) from Google. This is how Google does it. Remember, nobody knew Motorola was doing the Droid until the official announcement and it was their bestseller. The same for HTC's Nexus One, which HTC then sold as Desire, and for Samsung Galaxy S. So expect Nokia Android phone in Q4 this year, approved by Google, and to be a bestseller. And you can be sure that Google would make sure that Nokia Android phones sell better than their WP7 phones, ha ha.
Remember that Eric Schmidt hinted at this at MWC when he said they are sorry tha Nokia did not chose Android but would like to see they did, and they will be welcome should they chose so in the future. So expect some remark from Nokia in Q3 that "maybe we'll do some Android prototype".
So yes, we are definitely missing something from this picture - Nokia will do BOTH Android and WP7 phones in the future, and their Android phones will sell better - Android is far better OS after all.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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 Helsinki 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