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« Timing? Why did Stephen Elop announce Microsoft in February when first phones take a year more? | Main | The real numbers for Nokia Q1 are hidden under China sugar-coating »

June 03, 2011



@KPOM you just show us your low mental capacity because you haven't even read the whole Tomi's post :) Was that really the dependence between the market share of the certain OSes and the stupidity of an average usa citizen my comment was all about?

So do you have anything to oppose the facts about Gaddafi fighting against terrorists who are backed by usa or do you mean that Al Qaeda has nothing in common with the terrorist who organized 9.11 atacks on usa?

Corbett: 'Osama Bin Laden a CIA asset' -
James Corbett, editor of the Corbett Report speaks about ties between the CIA and the Bin Laden family, something not so many people are aware of.

Special for KPOM

CNNNN - Stupid Americans

There's even a scientific research on the whole USA stupidity thing ))))

CNN: How Stupid Are Americans?
Historian Rick Shenkman is interviewed on CNN about his new book, JUST HOW STUPID ARE WE? FACING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN VOTER (Basic Books, June 2008)


I agree with Andreu Castellet. Also note that it appears to be Apple that is driving the development of a new SIM card, as even Micro-SIM (first used by Apple) is bigger than what they'd like. That sounds like leadership and innovation. Apple isn't necessarily doing the hardware innovation themselves, but they are pushing the rest of the industry to do so with their demands.

Adrian Bunk

"The first MeeGo devices are in the market (some tablets and netbooks came first, this spring, the first went on sale in Singapore)."

Tomi, you are wrong on that: The WeTab MeeGo tablet is in German shops since September 2010.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all,

I am heavily travelling again (posting from CDG Airport in Paris). I will come back when I have a bit more time and will respond to all of you, please keep the comment coming, this is very good discussion we have here

Tomi Ahonen :-)


As an Indian I can attest that we can probably give the Finns a run for their money when it comes to our trust and belief in Nokia. I love and respect Nokia for treating us on an equal footing with the rest of the world (the iphone 4 was only recently launched in India) and it pains me to see this US = Entire World line that Elop seems to be taking. Can't see how the Americans will design a phone that will be able to out do the folks that came up with the N8, E7, N95, etc.

It is even more painful, to see Nokia partner with Microsoft. I had always seen Nokia as the champion of Open Source Software. Symbian, Maemo, Meego - all Open Source. And Qt - probably one of the most important (if not the most important) application framework for Open Source Software. And they abandon all this and go with Microsoft.

I love my N8 and was even recommending it to my friends before the announcement from Elop. I hope that you are right in hoping that Nokia board is looking for replacement, because Nokia is one company whose demise no one would be happy to see. And I hope that MS does not end up buying it.

Thanks for the entire three part series though, excellent (if depressing) read.


Really a pleasure to read your blog every single time. I honestly hope that Meego, or any other derivative of it, comes out to save the day. Because I am certain Microsoft OS do not have that ability. I just think that being a customer on an emerging market it is really painful to see a top Brand like Nokia loose space even here. I just hope that Mr Elop has that ace very well kept and that is why we all think he is either incompetent or plain crazy. But again living in an emerging economy has thought me that most promises made from the deck of a sinking ship are mostly false, and just ways of buying more time. In a nutshell time will tell.

As for all the comments above, about Japanese devices not making it Globally. I will just say that it requires an advanced infrastructure to use advanced devices. And the US was never even close to Asian standards. Unfortunately my country uses the same ancient standards as the US.

Once again Tomi, thanks for giving away your knowledge. (Honestly you are giving away free lessons)
Huge Thanks.

Andreu Castellet

Ah, the Japanese...

We can incur in a serious mistake when trying to compare Japan's way of managing telecommunications with most of the rest of the world. Japan has been praised for DOCOMO's i-mode, but... was that truly mobile internet user experience? It was a very powerful ecosystem with an amazing variety of contents and the first example of a respectful behavior of a NMO towards developers, but it was a walled garden. And the big, very big invention of DOCOMO with i-mode was the ability to achieve all that with a 2. network technology and devices that we could rank here as nothing higher than featurephones, with pretty primitive screens and so on. Look at Japanese terminals vendors: Sharp, Fujitsu, (Sony agrred with Ericsson), Panasonic...Do they lead anything outside Japan? Their ability to build that ecosystem based on half-rusty, half propietary OS derived from Symbian or Java is remarcable, but it hasn't become attractive for most of the markets so far.Nokia's turn to Microsoft doesn't look like good news to them.

Do Europeans or North Americans, Australians, even Koreans, resemble to that? Not indeed. In some respects -I'm not discovering that myself- Japan has been a sort of Galapagos case in technology:it has gone its own way in the evolution path. Whgen they went 3G they had a tremendous customers base with i-mode, and now they are going LTE. It's not an example we can imitate -European and American imitators of i-mode failed all-, although we could learn some lessons. One of them is the way telecom operators are more or less requested to cooperate in networks development, for example: network neutrality is a subject regarded in Japan in a way completely different to ours in the EU or America.

Korea is a different case: Korean companies as LG or Samsung have taken a leading position in mobile devices so far. We will have to wait for new developments to see how things develop: Samsung's Bada is a serious chance to develop an ecosystem of its own based on Samsung power on featurephones segment: LG has different problems because they seem to have been focused on hardware rather than OS and software. We will have to watch also how they take advantatge of the inmense tablet opportunity. But anyway Koreans live in the same ecosystem we are, possibly one step forward in many respects.



Don't make joke from yourself.
Learn some history and some facts.
And give some credits to who truly deserves it - to Apple.
No wonder that with such "analysts" and executives like you Nokia is going down like stone.
I long time gave up on market leading Nokia, after using their 4 mobile phones/smartphones and I never used iPhone.


Delusion, really?
How can Nokia leading so far ahead, stay so far behind?
When you overprice underspeced hardware (compared to competition) and add obsolete software (Symbian) - the results are predictable.
And Elop has very little to do with this.
To me it was the end of Nokia in 2009 when I installed mobile apps from Google, which were superior to anything Nokia could produce on their own smartphone, on their own OS!
RIP arrogant finnish company, you will not be missed.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi All

I am working to respond to a huge overload of replies to the series of blogs about Nokia. I will respond to each of you individually and you can see on Saturday I started with the first several dozen comments. I will return soon to respond here too

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok, next set of replies. I am still on June 3 replies

Hi Heimo, khim, don, Omar, Blender, Peter and STiAT

Heimo - haha yeah, my rant may make me seem delusional too, I'll grant you that. These have been written with some late night coffee after heavy travel and long customer-events, I could probably have done a better job of them if it was a less-busy time in telecoms consulting haha...

But then on the point you draw, 'execution' - isn't that exactly what I have complained about Nokia from LONG before there was an Elop and years before the Microsoft strategy. I complained about execution regularly, and in my big blog on 'how to save Nokia' from January 2011 (a month before Elop's strategy) I made again a big point that the individual tech solutions mean nothing, if Nokia continues to mess up the execution. But at this point, on Nokia CEO delusion, thinking Nokia's 'design' is at fault - and that somehow if they switch to 'West Coast design' it would somehow miraculously 'fix' Nokia's execution problems! Come on, Heimo, isn't that just making execution worse, now if they shift design to another continent?

I do agree with you when you wrote 'Nokia lacked the courage to follow their ideas to the end' - totally agree with that! And that was the problem I had identified over a year ago, that was the issue (execution) that I emphasized when Elop was hired, and that is arguably, what Elop was being rewarded in the early months of his stewardship of Nokia, because Nokia seemed to get some of its execution issues under control. But this Microsoft adventure has killed all that. This is delusion by the CEO.

khim - sorry, your facts are simply wrong. NTT App Store would not make any sense for NTT to offer abroad, as it (at the time) didn't have an international footprint. It is now offered abroad (Guam, India, the first NTT international footprint nations)

Mobile banking? NTT DoCoMo's FeliCa has since been adopted by its RIVALS in Japan! That is a far harder achievement than spreading it on your own empire abroad. LG Chocolate vs iPhone. Check out the facts, khim, in the first year Chocolate outsold the iPhone and then LG understood how big touch screens would be, and expanded their touch screen product line, and since then LG touch screen phones have outsold iPhones every year. Sorry.

don - good points. I agree WP7 was going to struggle in whatever scenario, even with Nokia, but now that Microsoft bought Skype, WP7 is a non-starter.

Omar - thanks! And we actually agree very much with what you write, but what you weren't probably aware of, was how much Nokia had led the ecosystem thinking in smartphones from long before there was an iPhone or Android. I wrote the follow-up piece in this series about Elop, about ecosystems. I won't answer your specific points here, they are valid, but I think they are all covered - with all the facts etc, in the blog article about ecosystems. I'd ask you Omar to read that blog, and post a comment there if you still feel I missed parts etc, and lets bring the discussion there. But you were very correct to bring up the ecosystem dimension to this discussion, it is a very valid point. So valid in fact, it deserved its own blog article, eh? Thanks.

Blender - thanks. I think we agree on the main points, right?

Peter - thanks. I tried to find references of the Samsung model, it seems to me that it was only announced but not shown at CeBit in 2006. I believe it was shown for the first time at CeBit 2007, in that way it won't be shown before the LG model.

STiAT - thanks! Yeah, its very difficult to understand this market from a global perspective, because it changes so very fast, and for the 'expert' to have a good global view, the expert would really need to have constant exposure to the main regions of the world on a regular basis. So even if someone has lived for a few years in Europe, say and then America, and visits Asia, that isn't enough to understand. You have to have regular contact to the mobile market for many years, in the different regions. Even then you often miss some trends etc. Like now that I live in Asia, I feel very much disconnected from the European scene even though I used to live in London and before that in Helsinki etc. But at least I get to visit all regions many times per year, for more than a decade, and as my customers tend to be the carriers/operators, I am very closely exposed to their domestic market conditions. That is the kind of insights I try to share through this blog.

Thank you all for writing, I will be back with more

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Next set (am still on June 3)

Hi Vikram, virgil, Theodore and John

Vikram - the LG phone was shown to the design contests like in Germany early in the Autumn of 2006. Meanwhile, Apple's 'iPod phone' project was killed by Steve Jobs in 2006, and he sent the project team back to the drawing table. That phone was a semi-traditional handset with a smallish screen and plenty of buttons. Jobs felt it was not radical enough. Not Apple'ish enough. No, I think its very likely that Jobs, or his designers saw the LG, and thought 'that is radical enough'..

On who did what first. If the argument is 'who leads' then yes it matters of course. Who leads in space? Russians went to space in 1961 with Yuri Gagarin. Americans went to the moon in 1969. The Iranians now put a few insects into orbit in 2010. Who leads? Its clear.

But if you want to argue that Apple makes things easier to use, I will happily grant you that argument. I argued it on this blog - BEFORE the iPhone was ever sold, that it would forever change how all phones operate. This is Apple's core competence. But you cannot say that trumps every innovation. Its ONE area. Apple is easiest to use. Fine. But Apple didn't do near field first. Apple didn't do 3G first. Apple didn't do video recording first. I would argue, video recording is a VERY relevant USABILITY factor for a cameraphone. And then, even for the master, Apple, try taking pictures with the Apple way of controlling the camera, or Nokia with its dedicated camera buttons on the side where they belong. Even Apple 'usability masters' get it wrong. Same for SMS text messaing. Compare iPhone to Blackberry (or Nokia E-Series QWERTY phones).

On the Business Week article, it has some good reporting but the MeeGo part is clearly self-serving by Elop. The idea that Nokia could only do 3 phones by 2014 is ridiculous. It takes 18 months to design a totally new phone from blank sheet to selling in the store. So if Elop wanted new MeeGo phones in February 2011, he'd have them on his desk and in stores on all six continents, by August 2012. A silly thing to say, he had only 3 phones for 2014. That is simply because Elop had himself been killing, postponing and torpedoing all MeeGo development (to which most MeeGo management have resigned in protest, including Nokia's CTO now on Friday)

For MeeGo as 'absolute failure' the absolute evidence that is untrue, is that MeeGo devices have already launched from February (first was a tablet PC by Fujitsu selling in Singapore in early February) and at four handset makers have since re-committed to MeeGo ie ZTE, Huawei, LG and Panasonic, as well as the world's biggest mobile operator China Mobile. if you want to believe that MeeGo was dead, feel free. I am not in the position to study the software. But I trust the statements that have been made. There already are MeeGo devices in the wild, and we'll have plenty of handsets, if for no other reason, because China Mobile will specify them for its network. I will be here on this blog to announce them when they come (or to note if MeeGo is killed off for any reason).

virgil - haha, agree totally with point 1. Elop has no respect by his staff and employees. The morale is about as bad as one can imagine. This is not a company ready to take on Samsung and Apple and HTC and RIM etc.

On iPhone the bad phone but great pocket PC, I totally agree with you. I've often said the iPhone is the grandson of the Newton PDA (via the iPod, its direct parent).

As to UMP's actually yes, Nokia has studied that market and pursued it rigorously, starting with the Communicator. The latest E7 is a good example, while its both phone and PC, it is far more PC than phone. But most Nokia smartphones were - rightly so - more phones than PCs. The primary purpose even of smartphones is.. not apps, not the web, not voice calls, but SMS text messages, yes, even in the USA, said Zokem study of 10,000 smartphone users earlier this year.

What Apple DID do, is to convert the PC-oriented geeky nerdy Mac users to the iPhone. They all were fully 'app' aware, from the PC. They were also already conditioned to use the iTunes store, hence App Store. But this is not normal smartphone usage. And the apps phenomenon has been driven by the restrictive US carriers, ie its a particularly USA-centric phenomenon, it is even more driven by games and by free apps. There is plenty of expert opinion saying the app phenomenon is short-lived, likely already a bubble and its economics are leading to a crash. So, don't hold your breath haha, that the iPhone style app is the definitive formula for pocket digital device usage haha..

As to other PC-like behavior, many experts (including myself) believe the web usage on the phone will far exceed the app usage, soon. And if so, Nokia was there literally a decade before the iPhone. The Communicator series has always been an excellent 'real web' (ie not just WAP) surfing device of its generation, and again, the E7 is excellent at that - full BT mouse and full BT keyboard support, full HDMI digital display output so you can watch your websites on the giant plasma TV screen of your home or hotel, etc... So yeah, Nokia has seen this side and pursued it for a long while. But - the majority of smartphone use is communication, not computing. That is why the PDA lost out to the smartphone back in the early years of the battle. And it is why Apple had to add things like MMS support to its iPhone..

I agree again with you that the DOS/Windows lesson tells us that the best doesn't win. Good enough wins. And sadly, Symbian S^3 was definitely good enough now. But Elop killed it now, just when Symbian had achieved that equivalent level of what Windows 3.0 did vs the Mac (The first windows version that achieved significant market success and outsold the Mac of the time)

I also agree Android is unstoppable for at least this 'generation' and about a 3-5 year window. Maybe a new OS war could erupt toward the end of the decade and then some could challenge Google Android but now they have taken an unassailable lead, and all rivals are messing up their modest chances, most of all Micrsoft after selecting Skype and guaranteeing they will never be supported by the carriers/operators.

Theodore - good point, but please consider this. How was sharing pictures with that first iPhone (with no MMS) with your friends who didn't have a website but did have MMS on their phone? MMS is used by 42% of all mobile phone owners. How can you say Apple is better at usability when something this vital is not even supported. Nokia did support MMS on every phone in 2007. You see my point. See above about camera, video etc.

But lets consider cars. It is usually the Mercedes Benz S-Class which has the first use of new high tech in cars, like first ABS brakes, first air bags, etc. Why would it not be correct to say, Mercedes leads and the rest of the car makers follow? Same with phones, more than any other phone maker, its Nokia.

John - you are confusing usability with innovation. See above, I have already covered usability. As to Symbian, I have said often on this blog and many times in this series on Elop/Nokia that Symbian was not viable in the long term - but it WAS making a strong come-back in Q4, propelling Nokia to its strongest quarterly increase in smartphone average sales price ever, 15% in just a 3 month period. Symbian was not as good as the iPhone or Android, but good enough. Far better than say RIM Blackberry or Windows Mobile or Palm. Thus Symbian S^3 was viable as a mid-term transitional platform, before Nokia migrated to MeeGo. Not my words, thats what consumer surveys in many neutral countries comparing major smartphones in Q4 said, from the UK to France to Singapore. If you want to believe Symbian was rotten, feel free to do so. I do deal with facts here on this blogs and since I am not qualified to make the comparison, I go by what is reported by 'the experts'. Not what some fanboy of one side or the other says. I have said many many times here on this blog that Symbian previous editions for example were not competitive in modern touch-screen uses. I report the facts as I see them. If you don't appreciate that, feel free to go elsewhere.

Nokia had problems long before Elop. They were not primarily around the OS or ecosystem or handset design. The problems were with execution and marketing, so say most who have analyzed Nokia's problems. The smartphone design is not the problem, it is execution. The N8 design was ready for launch for Christmas 2009 and would have been a total world-beater phone at that time with those specs (And S^3). but Nokia execution suffered.

So taking the 'answer' to the issue which is not a problem, to try to fix Nokia execution with US West Coast design, that is delusion. I am not saying that many of us Nokia fans have not been delusional ourselves in various ways. But if Elop thinks, that Nokia's well designed but badly executed smarpthones can be suddenly be fixed with West Coast design, that is delusional, dictionary-definition delusion.

Thanks all

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Incredibly good and lengthy post, Tomi. As usual; this is a typical lengthy posts synonymous with your style. Lengthy but should I add succinct too?

Inasmuch as I agree with most of your syllogisms I cannot still help but ask you to consider another Elop scenario inconsistent with Delusion. Although all the evidences point towards that. 

But have you considered that Elop is deliberately ignoring the facts not on account of delusionary temperament but on account of wilful and careful manipulations. Supposing it was Elop's ulterior plan to bring Nokia to his knees through intent. Through pacivity. So that by the time Nokia gets devalued, Microsoft could have an easy hostile takeover? Perhaps.

Many of what Elop consistently do doesn't make sense! And that's why I suspect it could be deliberate. He may just be the epical Trojan horse. An industrial Espionage Mole. 


A few thoughts.

I think that Elop is delusional in the sense that he believes he is serving Nokia's interests by pleasing his former masters at Microsoft. So far, his decisions have been far more beneficial to Microsoft than to Nokia.

I also think he is incompetent. His announcement was incomprehensibly stupid as the CEO of Nokia (although brilliant as a Microsoft VP). Some have argued that Symbian was declining. Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't matter since Elop declared it dead with nothing to take its place. No migration path, no product ready to take up the slack. Nothing. Infuriates me.

This whole x or y country is stupid is . . . well . . . stupid! Anyone who has traveled knows that there are stupid and brilliant people anywhere you go. They might work different from you but that doesn't make them stupid. Also, calling Americans stupid as compared to the rest of the world is a little strange since the USA is almost entirely made up of people from . . . the rest of the world. Anyway, it's a useless topic.

I found the blog very interesting and I enjoyed the restatement of many of Nokia's innovations. I'm all for giving them credit. On the other hand, I think you make short shift of Apple's innovations. As an analogy, think of it this way. Culturally, Japan took many ideas from China over the centuries and then tried to perfect them according to their own ideals with their own additions. Apple is much the same way. They will take what they like from the technology world at large and then try to make them better according to their goals with their own additions. That sounds easy and Apple is not the only one doing that. In fact, I'd say pretty much all companies do that, bowering ideas from others and integrating them. This difference with Apple is they hold themselves to a far higher standard than most and succeed more often than most.

Also, while I agree with most of the blog, I definitely disagree with this "There is plenty of expert opinion saying the app phenomenon is short-lived, likely already a bubble and its economics are leading to a crash."

And be replaced by what? Web apps? Not going to happen, particularly for mobile devices. There's lots to debate but lets stick to the most primal factors which are immutable, cannot be changed.

1. When you buy an app, you own it. Even if the company disappears or decides to change the app in ways you don't like, you still own it and it still works. Web apps can disappear or be changed depending on the fate of the supplier.

2. Unless the app depends on connectivity to function, it is always available to you even if your signal is not. I've been in major cities across the East Coast, Europe, and China (just a few cities there) and there has been no city where I've had a signal all of the time. Or, often enough, just enough signal to get me frustrated. But I can still write and play music, listen to music, watch videos, write documents, play games, do a little painting, read a book, whatever even if there is no signal. Web apps? No signal or a weak signal, your web app is useless. That by itself is sufficient reason for the prevalence of true apps. Although, I can see why the phone guys would rather have you believe that they are all powerful enough to supply you with strong signals all the time! But it's just not true.

3. Native apps are always going to be more powerful, faster, and have better access to the hardware of the phone than a web app ever could be. If you're looking for quality, native apps are where it's at.


Almost forgot, in regards to the whole "made in California thing", I think Elop was just pandering to his audience. Still not a desirable quality in CEO though.

Mikko Martikainen

I don't disagree with many things in your article, and I apologize if I wonder a bit astray of the main theme of Elop's delusionality. You've stated numerous times that Nokia has had the right strategy all along, that the design and ecosystem around the phones have not been a problem. The problem is and was the execution. However, the right strategy is the one that the company can successfully execute and as a result, make planned advances and gains (or losses, in some situations). A strategy that the company can not execute is never right. Never.

Then, about the design. It seems to me you don't really understand or value design and what it is. Apple is not about usability. Jakob Nielsen is about usability. Apple is about design. Good design, to be more precise. Usability is one small part of design, perhaps the easiest (yet still incredibly hard) for engineers to grasp. But still, it's only a small part. And design is not a feature of a product, with the exception of certain items that serve no other purpose than look nice. Design is the enabler of features. Design is THE feature of a product. And Nokia has really stumbled in design, big time. Sure, Nokia phones have sported sound industrial designs, but in a very long time nobody at Nokia has designed a phone. They have designed pieces of a phone, pieces of things that go together with a phone, and so on.

Let me formulate it this way: D is design, a, b, c, d etc. are features and F is the total sum of features.
You seem to think F = D + a + b + c + d + ...
when it is closer to F = D*a + D*b + D*c + D*d + ...

That's the reason the iPhone is so successful and loved, even though it doesn't have as much raw features as other phones. It's total sum of features, F, is still greater.

Then, lastly, a word about the ecosystem. Nokia has ecosystems, many of them. Apple has, if I oversimplify a little bit, one ecosystem. Elop seems to think the only way to bring the different Nokia ecosystems together was to join with Microsoft, but in all honesty Microsoft is not doing much better with regards to managing their ecosystems. So it might be a case of a blind man leading another, but perhaps they'll get lucky and stumble upon a pot of gold.

In the meantime, Apple, Google and Amazon are busy building their ecosystems according to some kind of a plan. Facebook is hard at work, also. The good thing about living right now is that we get to see how it all pans out.

beats by dre store

that means its business model had a huge hole: needing to please operators. Inability to sell another way basically dooms it in the tablet market.


Thanks for making users aware right in the begining that it is long blog....


Thanks for sharing your thoughts


Make your own life more easy take the loan and everything you require.

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