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« The Ecosystem Myth and Stephen Elop's Alternate Universe at Nokia | Main | To Save Nokia Would Take These Steps - Urgently As In Right Now! »

June 09, 2011



I just hope that Symbian updates arrive before Nokia becomes bankrupt.


In my experience the most obvious answer is usually (not always but usually) the correct one.

On the day Stephen Elop made his announcement about killing off Symbian I wrote to the DG Competition Unit at the European Commission stating that I believed this was a deliberate strategy to devalue Nokia in preparation for acquisition by Microsoft. I received a reply on the 18th of February saying the unit will 'closely monitor developments' blah, blah, blah...

I would like to point out to contributors like Vikram that before Elop's announcement Nokia's sales of smart phones was still growing, not as fast as the market as a whole (which is why their market share was decreasing) but they were not in decline.

Also Qt Creator was in beta and was/is better than any other development tool in the mobile arena. Qt Quick also made creating stylish, animated user interfaces a breeze. The lack of a pretty interface is really the only thing Nokia has been lacking.

There was really no need for Nokia to panic, they were doing a decent job of positioning themselves to cause the 'next major disruption'. Now they are a dead man walking and that's all thanks to Elop.


Elop killed the biggest selling smart phone OS on the planet and replaced it with the smallest and Leebase thinks that's the best plan he could have come up with 0_o

Here's a comparison of Symbian v WP7 functionality:

You could create a similar chart of Symbian v iOS and Symbian would win that one too.

If Nokia had a problem it wasn't Symbian.

So Vatar

Lee, I see your point and you agree that Elop's worst mistake was to announce Symbian's death without having an alternative ready.

However, you ignore some fundamentals:

1) Nokia sold more Symbian phones quarter over quarter until Q1 2011. And still in Q1 2011 they are #1 in smart phone unit sales globally. Somewhere in Q1 2011 sales fell off the cliff. I have no hard numbers, but unless you are a Nokia insider you have them neither, but maybe we can agree that Elop's Feb 2011 announcement pulled the rug underneath Symbian. It was wildly reported even in the main stream press in Europe that Symbian is finished. So far so that my 80 year old father asked me if he still should get a Nokia!

2) MeeGo: Yes, it was mis-managed (why management prior to Elop went for MeeGo instead of sticking to Maemo is beyond me). However, it also showed a clear migration path using Qt as umbrella: MeeGo for the high end, Symbian for mid tier, Qt as the glue. This strategy seemed sound (execution was awful), and meant that going with Symbian today would not be a dead end as new functions and apps based on Qt would be available for the foreseeable future.

3) Disruption: Elop is apparently of the opinion that Nokia needs disruption. He killed Symbian, relegated MeeGo to insulated research project and killed the Qt strategy as MS does not allow Qt on their Windows Phones. So, Elop disrupted Nokia's migration path, there is no way from here to there. He is betting the whole company that Nokia will be successful with WP as an upstart. If not, fine, MS will survive. Nokia not. Android however could be open to Qt, so if Symbian is too bad and MeeGo too late why not going Android AND WP and winning time to come back with their very own platform?

4) Listen to some of Elop's recent statements. He is talking like a MS executive, not the Nokia CEO. He hopes that HTC and Samsung will be successful with WP Phones!!! ( ).
As somebody pointed out, he apparently sees Apple's iOS and Google's Android as his competition, not Samsung, HTC, RIM, and the cheap Chinese phone manufactures. This is the right point of view from Microsoft's perspective, but should not be Nokia's perspective.

5) Execution: I happen to think that Nokia's execution was the main culprit of their downfall. I cannot see where Nokia's execution improved since Elop was hired. On contrary.

This is my point of view:
I see that Nokia traded a sound strategy (Qt) which they executed awfully for a bad strategy (WP). And the switch is executed horrendously.

Say what you will. Elop was hired to turn the company around. Obviously he is not the man capable of managing the turn around (Nokia's shares lost more than 40% since announcement of Elop's new strategy).

Elop is a fail. Nokia is still failing. get rid of Elop as long as there is something that can be rescued.


@So Vatar

Let's take your points one by one

1. Selling more phones quarter over quarter when the market as a whole is growing like crazy and you are consistently lowering your margins is not a great achievement. What is more significant is the fact that Nokia's market share kept dropping as did the average selling price of its phones. There was no way in hell they could have sustained this. There's no point in saying that Nokia was the #1 handset vendor until Q1 2011 - sooner or later they would have been overtaken by Apple (and then by others). Of course Elop's annoucement of the Windows switch (which I admit, sounds like the dumbest thing to do) caused Nokia's sales to plummet but it isn't as if they were doing well before the change. I am pretty sure the board was thinking of switching to a third-party platform *before* they hired Elop.

2. Yes, the whole Qt strategy sounded wonderful on paper but they did not execute and here, execution is 90 percent of the battle. Not just execution but timely execution. The more you delay, the more market share you are losing. Had Windows Phone 7 come out a year earlier than it did, chances are they would have had a much bigger market share. God alone knows when MeeGo would have been ready and how much market share Nokia would have lost by the time it finally came out. We are not privy to such information but I am pretty sure that if a complete bug-free version of MeeGo was almost ready to ship then Elop would not have gone with WP7. If the Business Week article that Vikram linked to (in one of the earlier comments) is to be believed, MeeGo was in such bad shape that Nokia would be able to release only 3 or 4 handsets before 2014! Is is any wonder that Elop decided to dump it?

3. No CEO chooses a disruptive strategy unless he thinks he is in a desperate situation. I doubt if Elop is some kind of pyromaniac who loves setting things on fire just for the heck of it. This isn't a fire that he set. It is, as he described, a jump off a burning platform and things aren't going to look pretty for a while. BTW, I do not share your confidence that Google would allow Qt to be used on Android any more than Microsoft would allow it on WP7. Oh, theoretically it *could* run anywhere. It is after all, cross platform and the desktop version does run on Linux as well as Windows. However, mobile platforms are extremely tightly controlled and nonstandard APIs are not tolerated.

4. Well you take Elop's statements out of context. Given Nokia's current situation, they need to have the Windows platform do well. Nokia does not have the power to establish the Windows platform all by themselves - they are not what they used to be. So, in the short term, it will do Nokia good if the platform as a whole does well. Of course, in the long run, every rival phone maker is competition.

5. I think it is too early to judge how good the execution of Nokia under Elop is. If they can come out with a bug-free, cutting-edge handset by the end of the year and follow it up with a bunch of attractive handsets next year then I'd say they are doing quite well. Of course, if the new handsets get delayed by as much as the Symbian and MeeGo handsets were then this bet hasn't paid off and Nokia has jumped from the frying pan to the fire.



Nokia should have taken the MeeGo devices and changed the OS to Android, they should also make devices that could run WP7 or Android.

But they had a real management problem there for years and OPK just accelerated the problems with his Notebook product, that was late to the game and overpriced. He was a clueless CEO along with his CTO. The E90 and N900 where examples of poor products, along with MFE and Nokia messaging.

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 :-)



Nice article ... quite late for my point of view.

The board will not Fire eFlop, from one simple reason.
The shareholders controlling Nokia want exactly what is happening now.
The shareholders controlling Nokia are the big American Funds that have huge investment in Microsoft, Apple and Google.

You need to realize that smart-phone and tablet is the new exploding market that is going to put some shadow over the PC end NetBook market.

This market was till last year dominated by Symbian.

When they tell that Symbian is not selling in US, when they tell US customer don't like symbian, or Symbian is not good enough for US people, is a plain lie. Fact is that since years US carrier are not providing any or very limited availability of Nokia mobile phone with their contracts.

Why US carrier don't want to sell Nokia phones ? ... Simple ... American Lobby don't want Nokia phones in US.

Same Lobby have got control of Nokia stocks (thanks to very diluted ownership) with relative little money.

eFlop has executed exactly what is good for American Lobby : give a 2nd chance to MSFT Windows Mobile, and took away Symbian.

Look at the mind-less eFlop strategy:
While 100% of revenue is based on Symbian phones, eFlop say to the world that the platform is on fire, that Nokia (was the 1st eco-system with Ovi+Symbian) need to find a space as 3rd ecosystem. eFlop announce collaboration with MSFT, and announce the end of life of Symbian.

Now ... how can you attract a customer if you state that your own product is at end of live, and furthermore is so terrible that you need to abandon quickly ?

Think more ... Symbian was an open OS, with multiple development environment (Java, Flash, QT, etc), being part of OVI, with latest changes did cost only 1$ for submit an application to the market and get a revenue share very easily ... Ovi was growing at the moment that eFlop kill Symbian.

Now, Symbian user, have similar need as Android users, both are open OS, with less restriction like iOS (that need a jail-breaker for get freedom) ... now ... Symbian users will not migrate to close environment like MSFT WM .... so eFlop strategy was wrong since the 1st day. In fact, on 1st day Nokia lost 30% of market value.

eFlop is there for the good of American Lobby ...
Nokia have been left in Americans hands too long ... and this is the outcome.

As shareholder, (I keep my stocks even with huge loss, since there is the possibility of a take over in any moment, so some loss maybe recover by this event) I'm losing lot of money ... but ... you and Finish people ... you are loosing the company that was your flag and proud in the world ... the company that in the good days did contribute to 20% of your national GDP

What a shame for Nokia ... what a shame for Finland.

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok, first set of replies

Hi Vikram, n900, So, HCE, anynomous, Omar, hari and Boris

Vikram - I hear you. I agree, Nokia's seeds of its troubles were sown years ago, and Nokia had tons of problems before Elop was hired. I would think, that you might agree, that Nokia's primary problems - throughout the whole Nokia organization not just smartphone OS platform choice - were 'execution'. And we thought Mr Microsoft 'software speed/internet speed/cloud computing speed' guy Stephen Elop would focus on primarily fixing Nokia's execution problems - which would touch all of Nokia's units, than spend his first year micro-managing a platform switch-over.

But my question to you, Vikram, is that has the CEO done a competent job in this transition? The announcement hurried on February 11, when he had no phones to sell. The damage now that 'so surprised Nokia' that they promised handsets to deliver a Billion dollars of profits in April at Q1 results, and then issued a profit warning (a Billion dollars of profits wiped out) only six weeks later. How utterly incompetent is that? And now all the utterly stupid statements that anger their distributor chain - after they started their boycott - ie dual SIM, ie US design, ie Skype etc. That is sheer lunacy. That is why its not just smartphones that were hurt, now the channel is also punishing Nokia's featurephone sales. I am certain we'll see both a decline in dumbphone unit sales AND a severe drop in the average sales price of dumbphones this past Q2, when Nokia reports in July. So do you think this is competence or incompetence. Do you think this CEO has performed well enought be allowed to stay? The stock market punished previous CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo over 4 years, by the share price cut by 55%. Now since February 11, Nokia's share price has fallen 52% in four MONTHS. If OPK was incompetent enough to be fired, and Elop achieves as bad performance at 12x faster speed, isn't he 12x more due to be fired?

n900 - thanks

So - totally agree, yes Elop should have turned Nokia around. Instead he made matters far worse.

HCE - that is unfair, and you know it. OPK was not fired because of Symbian and even less because of MeeGo. Elop was not hired because of Symbian either. The problem Nokia had last summer - you know this well as you HCE commented on those blogs - was Nokia dramatic decline in its profits, its market share and its customer loyalty. The problems Nokia had then and have still today were of execution. Nokia was far too bloated and slow, to do anything reasonably responsive to the market. The N8 and Symbian S^3 are a perfect example. If Samsung and Google had released the N8 and S^3, they would have been released as intended, for Christmas 2009 and the world would have seen a magnificent iPhone killer (remember, its rival back then was the iPhone 3GS, not the iPhone 4). The specs of the N8 were awesome in that time scale and now looking at S^3 using it in 2011, it is still very good today. Back in December 2009, it would have been absolutely drop-dead awesome come-back by Symbian. But Nokia had the vision and design, they could not execute and the phone hardware and the OS software were full of bugs and problems. So Nokia delayed and delayed and delayed. Not problems of design, problems of execution. That is why Nokia was in trouble. And OPK was fired due to his strategy of attempting to buy market share for Symbian in a price war that Nokia was destined to lose and was pulling the whole Nokia corporation profit machine under the water. Lets be honest here, HCE, on this blog, ok..

Anonymous - yeah, lots of conspiracy theorists have been saying that since February, ever since the Burning Platforms memo. Who is Stephen Elop working for? If Microsoft ever made a move to acquire Nokia, then the Wall Street financial industry watchdogs would instantly initiate an investigation about insider trading, this would seem rather obvious haha. And any Nokia shareholder would probably want to sue Elop (And Microsoft too?)

Omar - very good analysis and that is much in line what I wrote back in February, that this partnership is perilous to Nokia but pure gold to Microsoft which had a history of messing up all its mobile initiatives and now suddenly got yet another 'second chance'..

hari - thanks. I posted the view of how to save all of Nokia. That is a long-shot and its chances diminish literally every day that Nokia postpones firing Elop. I calculated Nokia permanent loss (after recovery, best case scenario) for every day of waiting to fire Elop is 50 million in annual revneues, 5 millino in annual profits; each two weeks they wait drops the floor of Nokia's possible market share by 1 market share point, and every week they delay, drops the ceiling of what Nokia can recover in market share, by one point. Soon there literally is no Nokia left. And as many have commented, its not just the wreck of the buildings and factories, that might survive, what of all the talent, cheap Nokia labor, who knew they weren't paid the best at Nokia but it was a fun employer who let them build a career there, allowing engineers to re-train etc. That staff is fleeing the sinking ship - all while the captain keeps the ice berg in sight and steers the ship straight at the certain death..

What can they do. Now they are selling NSN to get some short-term money, to hide the hideous profit damage, so the Q2 results can have some prettier picture. That might get them from a total shareholder revolt before Q3 results, but it won't fix the reseller boycott. Nokia is totally f*cked. Theoretically, they could do many things to greatly help their desirability (the Pink N8 for example was the right move haha, after iPhone White, many women loved it, but it came two months too late, now nobody is willing to stock or sell any N8 models, pink or not). I wrote here on this blog in January a long piece on what is wrong in Nokia and how to fix it. Most of that is still totally true. But it requires that Nokia current line of smartphones are sold by teh channel. The channel has to somehow be brainwashed to forget Elop's silly statements, and to restore the belief, that selling a Nokia Symbian smartphone today, is not going to result in an angry customer returning to the store in a few weeks, demanding to replace it with some Android phone..

That can be done, but like I explain in my 'how to rescue' blog here this past week, it takes quite draconian steps, Ollila needs to step in, nobody else would be believed. Elop needs to be fired. Ollila needs to say that never will there be a Microsoft based Nokia phone. And then he needs to somehow create belief that the obsolescent Symbian platform will live 'forever' - a hard job to do - but by promising to migrate all Nokia dumbphones to Symbian - it would be 100 millino dumbphones per quarter, vs 18 million iPhones or 35 million Android phones. See? This way Nokia could still make a comeback with Symbian, but it would be very expensive - though considering how Elop is destroying Nokia value now, far less expensive than anytyhing touched by Elop.

Even then, it will forever be known as the burning platform OS, and can never really become the biggest and best. For that Nokia needs a good migration story - ideally now would be Android but that would take far too long and Nokia won't survive long enough to see that. So the only viable alternative is MeeGo, they have one handset ready to sell today, put it into production at the factory and sell it in September. Then rush-job to migrate top end N-Series and E-Series phones to MeeGo. 50 Meego devices by end of 2012, easily done, the full development cycle of completely new phones is 18 months.

Or Samsung buys Nokia, kills Symbian and Microsoft and MeeGo. Does premium Nokia designs on Android, puts all the rest of Nokia on bada, and in two years, the worlds' biggest OS platform will be bada with about 50% market share haha..

Or HP buys Nokia and kills Symbian and Microsoft and MeeGo, migrates Nokia's Symbian and MS and Meego phones to Palm/WebOS which instantly becomes the third platform Microsoft wanted haha.

Or Microsoft buys Nokia, fights against the carriers with Skype, and eventually kills Nokia phones like it killed Kin phones..


Boris - thanks! Yes you totally understand what I mean. I wrote in February that the Microsoft partnership might succeed, MS has defeated Apple before and the two are giants, Nokia and Microsoft. But for us to see, we had to wait until 2012. Now we don't have time, not because of a bad decision, but because of the timing of that crazy announcement in February. Elop and Microsoft could have had their Nokia cake, if they had waited quietly for 6 months, announced Nokia-MS in October with the first MS phones to show as prototypes... That would have been the smart way to shift from one platform to another..

Thank you all for comments, I'll return with more.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Tomi, I can feel your pain, but your ideas are wishful thinking.
Jorma Ollila and Anssi Vanjoki had the credibility you talk about, but no more. They are accountable for the mess Nokia got itself into before Elop was hired. Ollila selected OPK as CEO. Yes, his firing was probably triggered by the failure of his market share buying "trick", but with a good performance over his 4 year tenure he wouldn't have tried this trick in the first place.
Ollila promoted more incapable people to the top level, some of which are still there; I'm sure you know who.
Anssi did not understand the "eco-system" threat from iPhone (and later Android) when Nokia still had time to react. For example, Anssi once gave a public speech in New York talking about general-purpose OS, APIs, downloadable apps as if that were all needed for a successful eco-system. You must give Microsoft credit that they are historically the best in understanding how to build up an eco-system, even as a near monopoly. Think Ballmer's famous "Developers! Developers! Developers!" mantra. So, the idea of replacing OPK with somebody from Microsoft was sound. Also here Ollila must have been involved, although I doubt that he was still in charge at this point of his eroding credibility.
Too bad for Nokia that Elop is incapable in other ways. The selection of Windows Phone crippled Nokia in long-term (lost control over its own destiny in where the value lies), and the timing of the announcement cripples Nokia in short-term (collaps of market share).

Even if Ollila and Vanjoki would temporarily take over the way you suggest (highly unlikely), it won't be enough. Nokia is loosing too many good people. For instance, Intel is hiring MeeGo engineers to take MeeGo development in own hands. So Nokia would be dependent now on Intel for MeeGo, another delay factor in getting anything shipped that can lead a turnaround.

For years, Nokia had a credible strategy and poor execution. Now it's poor strategy and poor execution.
It makes me very sad to see Nokia on a kamikaze dive to self destruction but the most positive scenario in my mind is that Nokia has enough financial reserves to survive a few quarters of losses, doesn't get acquired, and stops the market share crash on a low level (below 10%) with Windows phones next year. In that form, Nokia can continue to exist for a few years, assuming that the operators will bring in Nokia/Microsoft as a counterweight to Android and maybe Bada for mass-market smartphones.

Then about the danger of Nokia being acquired... Yes, sum of parts more worth than the whole is an incentive, but still buyers for the parts need to be found, or one part needs to be worth more than the whole. Nokia and Siemens have been trying to sell NSN already last year, and no buyers were found, and neither this year. Huawei doesn't need NSN, that's for sure. ZTE maybe, but I think a too big fish to swallow.
Microsoft might want to buy the smartphone unit but would they get away with it, with those conspiracy theories in the open? Samsung can become no. 1 in smartphones out of their own strength - you have highlighted often their enormous opportunity with bada. Why would somebody like ZTE need Nokia's dumb phones, if Nokia's brand collapses?
So, I wouldn't discard the possibility of Nokia being stripped into pieces, but it's not as straight-forward as you wrote.


Tomi, I read the articles on Nokia - but not all the comments they have generated so forgive me if the point has already been made and answered but the main reason given by Elop for killing Symbian in Feb was that the code base had become too complicated as it had evolved and it was too expensive to keep modifying it - and presumably it was too expensive to prune it back and refresh it. (At least that is what I read at AAS). As a happy N8 owner I must admit I was rather bemused by Elops trashing of S^3 in Feb. S^3 was very late but surprised a lot of neutral observers as to how good it was when it did arrive. I suppose the evidence for it's inherent problems is the delay it took for N8 to launch. But in any case to announce it's death 12 months before you have a replacement as you point out was idiocy and I can believe (just - having experienced abysmal top management at Nortel) that Elop rushed the announcement because he could see Symbians phoenix rise. Elop would argue that this phoenix would have been a zombie phoenix half alive/ half dead and struggling under dead weight of legacy code so I would be really interested in what someone who really understands the technical innards of mobile OS's thinks of this because it is the crux of the whole thing. Surely you must have contacts with someone authoritative with technical expertise who could shed some light?


I think they should fire Elop also, fast as possible. This man is like poison. Nokia needs cure.

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Uhm! I totally agree fire him immediately before too late.

Ewan MacLeod

Tomi, I think this was the kind of post that should have been written in mid-2009. That's when Nokia needed to make the adjustments to enter 2010 and 2011 effectively. Now? It's far too late to do anything other than weather the storm. The market simply wouldn't countenance anything other than a move to Android or Windows. The decision was made for Nokia. They had no say in it. The company now needs to get on with delivering and shifting handsets!

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this is not the CEO's problem. it is the whole company's problem.

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Elop hasn't change strategy quickly enough and should be responsible for Nokia's bust.

Tomi T Ahonen

Second set of replies (am on June 9)

Hi former, hc, GJW, Antti, agoedde, Sergey and don

former - you make a good point but you didn't understand mine. HTC would absolutely not want Nokia's dumbphone unit or its networks unit. But HTC would want Nokia's smartphone reseller chain, its smartphone components sourcing and its brand and some premium units like maybe Navteq. Because of Nokia's low share price, if HTC bought Nokia (with some big investment banks financing it) and then immediately sold the handset part (to ZTE or LG or Huawei etc) and then sold the networks part (to Huawei or Ericsson or Cisco or ZTE etc) then HTC would gain the most 'valuable' parts of Nokia, the 'crown jewels' including a massive patent portfolio - for a bargain price. And instantly by re-badging Nokia smartphones as HTC (initially as 'Nokia powered by HTC' etc) they'd leapfrog RIM, Samsung and Apple and become the world's biggest smartphone maker overnight. Something HTC has wanted since day 1. Under normal conditions they could not afford to buy Nokia's smarpthone unit. Now this is feasible and I promise you, there is an HTC strategic unit looking into the costs together with HTC's financial advisors and investment bankers..

hc - I hear you and there is certainly a 'free markets' capitalist inside of me too, who totally agrees with you. Yes, recently Nokia started to disappoint. They deserve to lose market share and profitability because they were not executing well enough. And if the new Microsoft Nokia phones disappoint, there is good economic thinking that says, that then Nokia is not competitive and it deserves to die. What pains me - apart from being a Finn and former Nokia guy haha - is that Nokia HAD a great strategy, which seemed to be on the right track. Elop has now crashed this train. So its not that Nokia was failing, it was not performing excellently, but it was performing well enough in a transition (and under bad economic times) but its STRATEGY was the best of the lot, and again, just look at the buzz around the N9 and MeeGo, this was clearly a competitive product and with the Ovi and Qt ecosystem, Nokia would have been massively ahead of where it now limps in with Microsoft. Such a shame.

GJW - haha, yeah. I know Nokia HQ read the blog rather religiously, but also, that often for my advice here, they don't listen to me. And now, funniest is Elop speaking in late June, he is saying almost all the things I predicted he'd say in February. They don't listen but they end up doing the 'right' thing almost inspite of it haha... As to Nokia survival, it really depends on how quickly the Board fire Elop and hire a new replacement and renounce the Microsoft path and restore the MeeGo path. Even that now, is no guarantee of survival but Microsoft is a guarantee of Nokia death.

Antti - thanks for the HTC numbers

agoedde - I hear you, and we'll have that debate for many years to come. I totally agree Symbian was not viable - at the top of the price level ie competing against the iPhone and Blackberries and top price Androids from HTC and Samsung etc. But that is what MeeGo was supposed to do - and arguably would be competitive too based on the N9 - but Symbian even under this new Elop doctrine will survive until 2016 ! Thats five more years. For the average phone owner, that is three more total replacements of handsets at an average replacement cycle globally of about 18 months. Compare in PCs thats only one new PC, and in TVs (7 year replacement cycle) its far less than one whole replaced set of TVs. But Symbian - today, in Elop's latest statements - will live through 3 complete cycles of new smartphone handsets. How can Nokia hope to accomplish that now with Symbian under death sentence and the carriers boycotting it. That the stores await for Microsoft phones from Nokia.

If Elop hadn't killed Symbian in February, he'd have solid sales of Symbian and he'd be migrating his low-end phones from S30 and S40 to Symbian, and then sell at the top end whatever smartphones he wants. But Symbian is viable at the low end, that is what Nokia now wants to do with S40 (and Qt). I think most analysts mistakenly focused on the iPhone race, at the topmost end of hte price point (and even there, Nokia's S^3 and N8 was finally a credible answer to the iPhone, if late by a year haha).

I agree with you, he came in with a fresh look, examined the environment and made his call. What I do not accept, is that after evidence came in for Q4 of 2010 and in January and February of 2011 that the Symbian S^3 is a hit product with Nokia's first hit phone N8 since the N95 - that he now kills Symbian. And that he had the best OS in the laboratory ready to run in February, MeeGo and the N9-00 - that he refuses to give this platform the time to be tested. That Elop in his own words, rushed to decide on the new OS to decide by early February. That is just madness. He had decided he does not want MeeGo and he know the longer he waited the worse the decision to abandon MeeGo would look, so Elop had to announce his Microsoft choice in February. His ego was the reason, not what was good for Nokia.

Remember, he was expected to show the first MeeGo phone for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February that week. He cancelled the phone at literally the last moment (and its head resigned). Two days later when he selected Microsoft, Nokia's CTO effectively resigned in protest (is on 'indefinite leave' now, due to contractual reasons)

Sergey - no, its not that the reseller channel has failed for Nokia. The resellers are boycotting 'Nokia' the brand, because of the Symbian decision (and then compounded by Elop's idiotic statements like those about Skype). So the sales channel and very long term relatinships between Nokia and almost all of the 600 network operators/carriers of the world - is by far the strongest and biggest. ZTE would love to have that. Then they could instantly train the sales force to sell ZTE handsets, continue to sell Nokia where it sells, rebadge some Nokia's to ZTE brands where the boycott holds, and of course retool the factories to sell more ZTE designs - usually on Android - totally bypassing any boycott of Symbian phones.

don - haha.. Yeah funny, but I love my James Bond lifestyle. Its far easier to be the pundit than to make the tough choices... Don you and I have had that debate here before about Palm, and you know I believed in the Symbian/MeeGo strategy, but if the choice was Microsoft or Palm/WebOS - certainly Nokia would have been better off buying Palm and at least retaining full control of hte OS than now going to be a slave to Microsoft. And as HP is clearly signalling now that they are looking for handset partners - strange as it sounds, Nokia's 'second best' option after restoring MeeGo strategic path, would be to go Palm/WebOS with HP - a strategic partner that Nokia has worked with in the past (the Nokia Communicator is the result of collaboration with HP) - and a strategic partner who is not famous for screwing its partners (like Microsoft) with an OS which is robust and loved and has an ecosystem. I would rate Palm/WebOS as now a better option than going Android (because would allow Nokia to differentiate and far bigger influence of Nokia to the ecosystem). But MeeGo is the obvious track Nokia now needs to restore.

Thank you all for the comments, please keep them coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Baron95, I am embarrassed of you.
"Where is Meego ?"

Meego N9 is releasing into 29 countries in Aug./Sept. 2011.

You arrogant shorties. Cry.

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nce of that in favor of Paul), according to the non-profit Sunlight Foundation.

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You could create a similar chart of Symbian v iOS and Symbian would win that one too.

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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