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

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« What Happened to Blackberry? RIM reports 10% decline in smartphone unit sales for Q2? Decline? This year? | Main | Imagine, the Lennon Imagine Lyrics, applied to Nokia CEO and strategy? »

June 24, 2011

Comments

cycnus

@branedy

I totally agree when you said that microsoft/elop main purpose on nokia is preventing linux to became mainstream.

If nokia meego hp successful, then nokia meego tablet also successful, it's only one step away to became the mobile atom netbook platform, then suddenly the microsoft castle seems to be build on falling domino.

it's open source vs. closed source
it's a finnish freedom idea vs. american capitalist idea.
it's the way MS to intimidate and destroy their main competitor... in american word... FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt)


Markus

So utterly stupid delusion of Tomi Ahonen. A man of Symbian.

This is a battle between Apple, Google and MS now. Its about software and global domination. Nokia is not about software. Never was.

RIM will die, WebOS will be niche and Meego would have been niche.

Boris

Yes, MSFT is doing "fine".

Why MSFT doesn't reveal how much WP7 phones are sold? No, it's secret because it's in the range of statistical error. All what they say is how 90% people who bought it are satisfied. Complete joke.

And there is another perversion - MSFT earns more money on the sold HTC Android phones, than on the sold WP7 phones (because of the IP settlement).

Why some people can't accept truth that WP7 is complete and utter disastre?

gzost

@staska - you took the words right out of my mouth (though I guess I wouldn't have put in the effort do it in this much detail, or done it as well).
Tomi, you're fishing for straws here. Steven Elop _may_ have changed his tone of delivery a bit, but he hasn't waived from his message: Symbian will be phased out (with the value it still has being extracted, i.e. no immediate killing, which would obviously be insane), Windows Phone 7 is the new OS of choice, MeeGo is a research project. The only thing that has been added is the information about S40/Qt. Maybe they were overly optimistic about pushing Windows Phone downmarket, but more likely this was still in the works back then, or they didn't want to have too many messages at once.
The announcement of the N9 doesn't change anything about this. Sure, it looks nice, and yes, a good number of people with loud voices in the blogosphere may want it now. Let's see how much of this is left and translates into sales come September, or whenever and wherever it actually hits the shelves. Whether it then sells 10k,100k or possibly even half a million - it doesn't matter. Nokia's course is set until at the very least mid-2012, when the first successes or not of the WP7 strategy will be seen. While it can be argued whether the switch to WP7 was good for the company, changing back to Symbian and MeeGo now would certainly be suicidal.

(regarding the N9 - some further thoughts at
http://gzostinthemachine.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/the-last-of-the-nokians/)

james

This guy makes me sick. He communicate, work as if he's a Microsoft's employee (it's maybe the case". He said Nokia have to put all its efforts to supports Microsoft's ecosystem, "Samsung, HTC, LG have to unite against android"

Hey guy! wake up!!! your job is to make nokia competitive! We don't care about Windows's ecosystem! Do you think that LG, HTC and Samsung are worried about WP7??? no because they have Android and they want to sell devices!!! If you don't understand that go back to Microsoft!!

Please Nokia's board, wake up and fire this guy before Nokia will be destructed.

BUCKNadine28

One understands that our life is not very cheap, however people need money for different issues and not every person earns big sums money. Thus to receive quick home loans or just commercial loan will be a right way out.

John

Isn't those billion QT devices now going to be S40?

Cloud_Connected

Hello Tomi, interesting read as usual; also was your answer to a post containing the thus far actions of Nokia´s BoD.

I keep asking myself "What is going on inside Nokia? are there two fractions: Old style approach with Meego, Qt and Elop, M$ and WP7 on the other side?"

Why does Elop see the need to time the intended leak of the WP7 device only two days after the presentation of the Meego N9? Why does he fear the N9 and it´s success? Elop is the Ceo the route should be clear for everyone and despite of that he´s taking such action! Why?

CTO Rich Green, a proponent of Meego didn´t leave Nokia right away but is on "holiday" till the end of the year? Why not quit everything and bring in your expertise at another firm which is trying to build up Meego like Intel or LG?

Will there be any decision inside Nokia at the end of the year which way to go? Is that the reason why Rich Green is in a waiting position? Could such a decison depend on Meego´s/N9 success and thus Elop sees himself forced to do some damage control?

You´ve had insight into that firm for many years - so what´s your opinion, Tomi?

Regards,
Cloud_Connected

Elop has indeed won

Nokia has already canceled support contracts with several companies - that means, the N9 will not officially be available in Germany, UK, the US...
The MeeGo development unit will be shut down in June 2012. Elop announced there won`t be further MeeGo devices released by Nokia, and that Nokia is strongly commited to WP7 (thats also why Elop leaked the Video). Recent rumors say that there is an internal investigation going on against Elop... if that is true he might in the end be fired, and Nokia could possibly change its politics. I would rather think that Nokia will be bought by Microsoft before that happens, especially since Microsoft has already announced to produce their own Tablets - which means, Microsoft still needs a device manufacturer. Elop performed very well in bringing Nokia shares down to a level where Microsoft could easily afford buying Nokia, plus Elop ruined Nokias Software development unit (sourced out developers to Accenture and sold the Qt rights). His next step will probably be to split the company in a smartphone/multimedia-device and a S40-phone-part, which will eventually allow Microsoft to only buy the smartphone part. This will probably happen within the next months, since Elops contract ends by 12/2012.

Mikko

Tomi, being a professional analyst means that you look at the facts and make a conclusion based on them. Having a strong opinion and searching bits on lines to support own ideas isn't professional.

I was going to write a similar analysis than Staska but he writes much better English than I'm capable of. Tomi, your point has become clear but for heaven's sake, be objective! If yo're running out of ideas, then how about analyzing mobile ad field? Does LocationPoint have a chance in a competition?

And to "Elop has indeed won": Nokia is still negotiating of operator contracts for N9 with operators in the countries you're referring. So N9 will be officially available in UK/U.S. etc., just wait and see. And a whole QT was not sold to Digia like you claim, it was a licensing business. That's totally a different thing.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/03/future-of-qt-brighter-after-digia-buys-licensing-biz-from-nokia.ars

People please check the facts before you write.

pjv

Thank you for a great blog Tomi!

JMHO on Elop.

1. I agree with you, Nokia´s issues were execution and marketing. On paper a guy with a proven record in sales and marketing (like Elop with a ripe product, Office) could have been a good fit. Unfortunately for Nokia, Elop did something he was clearly neither prepared nor capable to do: formulate a strategy and manage the transition. Elop may have been able to remedy what was ailing Nokia had he arrived with a correct mindset: make marketing and communication work.

What I think happened was that Elop found confort what his former (or real) boss Ballmer told him. So much so that I don´t think Elop even realized what was wrong with the setup on Feb 11 when he took the stage with Ballmer. It should have been Nokia´s Capital Market DAY, for crying out loud. Not a Microsoft promotion. Nokia´s current business was obviously not in his confort zone. I think it was only too easy to let Ballmer talk him to choose WP7.

2. The board is to blame when they let Elop do what he clearly was not capable of handling.

3. It is possible that there something more sinister going on behind the scenes. It looks way too obvious that all that Elop has said and done doesn´t appear (at least for now) to be in Nokia´s best interest but rather in Microsoft´s interest. Only time will tell. Elop has so far cost shareowners over 11 Billion Euros!! In a few short months! Sure hope Microsofts´"billions" will soon offset that!

Earendil Star

I have read a lot of comments on why WP is a good OS and why it was a good move for Nokia to abandon its (burning?) platform (which according to the same comments was pos) for the brave new world of MS.

The thing is... all those comments are just representing a baseless partisan position, they have absolutely no merit and sway the focus of attention from where the real problem lies!

The fanboy "WP is better than Symbian/Meego" arguments -or vice versa- are pointless. Instead, we should stick to the facts and leave fantasies and irrelevant value judgments aside.

The real issue here is whether the Nokia leadership is currently acting in the company's best interest or not, and I will try to argue that this is not the case. Current leadership is acting in MS's best interest, and this is bad for Nokia, regardless of whether WP is a good OS or not.

The facts are:

1) WP, despite its qualities, remains a very small player in the smartphone market: approx. 2% of total share. Saying that it will become the 3rd ecosystem is just expressing a personal hope that may or may not materialize. And everybody will agree that business decisions should not be based on mere hope, but on reality and facts. Therefore it is useless to say that Nokia should embrace WP because MS is better at software, etc.. In the smartphone realm this has not been proven, and remains hope or fantasy, until -and if- things change.

2) I would assume that a CEO with Nokia's best interest in mind, when taking a decision, would do at least some minimum RISK MANAGEMENT homework. If he steers a company, which has the luck of possessing the FIRST mobile and smartphone ecosystem worldwide, he might choose an alternative system if he believes that his has become outdated and is not worth enhancing, but in NO WAY he should choose it as his only option. No-one is able to predict the future with certainty, and playing all one's bets on a single horse when also other options are available is purely and simply BAD MANAGEMENT. Diversification is one of the most powerful weapons against risk, and the current management has decided not to diversify, which means it is GAMBLING with the future of Nokia!
If you add to this that the bet was made on the last horse, everything becomes all the more bizarre... and riskier!

3) No sane CEO would depict his own company's current systems and products, which are n. 1 worldwide, as pos, whatever the real situation was. This actually happened, and this meant insulting Nokia's customers and giving proof of TERRIBLE MANAGEMENT, especially if you also purport that you want to sell millions or billions of additional units of what you say is pos.

4) Whenever a revolutionary decision is taken, the utmost care must be taken to ensure that the transitional period is exploited so that previous strengths are safely conducted to the new platform. If instead the CEO upsets practically all previous partners (developers, carriers, internal workforce, etc.), without even trying to meaningfully convert them to his new course of action, he is DESTROYING HIS COMPANY'S VALUE AND NAME.

5) If the CEO communicates by leaked memos and videos, and anticipates strategies and products in detail even if they are months or even years away from seeing the light, he is adopting the WORST MANAGEMENT approach possible.
Apart from the questionable practice of communicating through leaded material, why in the world should he tell everyone he will throw everything he currently has into the waste basket (in exchange for the last competitor OS on the market, btw), when he knows the company won't be ready with the alternative for at least another year?
Why does he announce a first (and presumably last) Maemo/Meego phone months in advance, thus suggesting new interface concepts and solutions to his competitors?
Does he think Google will not be adopting some of those concepts in its upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich Android if it believes they are valid?
Apple does leak small details on its future products, but everything is always shrouded in mystery and doubt and when the formal announcement is made, the product is ready to ship and on the shelves on the next business day!
And there is another potential drawback: that such tactics might just raise interest too early, and when the product actually comes out it's momentum is gone and it looks old and outdated. The only way to depict this is REALLY MISERABLE MANAGEMENT.

6) Whatever one's point of view, the message that is coming out of Nokia is of TOTAL AND UTTER CONFUSION, and this is reflected by the reviews on the N9 that came out following the Singapore event.
How can it make sense to come out with a Maemo/Meego product now, after having said in February that it was born dead because the future is WP? Whatever my future projects are with WP, I should also support all other products I launch in every possible way, because otherwise I have wasted my time completely.
Furthermore, if supported, this product could have proven more successful than WP (or maybe not): this is up to buyers to decide, not up to people commenting on blogs. But as I said, it is wise risk management action to do diversify, and TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL not to do so.
Well, all this is no longer of interest, because we know that TH Elop killed all non WP products in February. So N9 has very little chance of succeeding because it was killed before it was born. If anything to the contrary is alleged, it is useless because it is no longer credible. Again, this simply means having NO COMMON SENSE at all, let alone management capabilities.

7) Nokia was building a strong ecosystem, which included hardware, software, app store, maps, nfc, ads, music, you name it, and was quite successful in doing so. After TH Elop's decisions in February, most of this, if not all, will be given to MS (and please, don't speak about billions given from MS to Nokia because that's a real joke, considering what MS gets in exchange), and everything Nokia had painfully built will no longer be its unique property.
And it appears that now WP (which Nokia will have to pay hefty fees on) will also stand to benefit from Nokia's research and development in Maemo/Meego. The farce is now complete: the “savior” OS gets improvements from the alleged pos.
Many say that the real money making machine in the mobile industry is no longer hardware or software, but what you may derive from the “ecosystem”. So why giving the best bits of your ecosystem to MS?
And remember, MS was DESPERATE to find support for its WP software, simply because it was (and is) going nowhere, and mobile is the future of computing. So why such a weak deal with MS? Why was it not possible to get better terms? Again, apart from management, TERRIBLE NEGOTIATION SKILLS by the CEO?

8) A competent CEO should recognize where competition for Nokia comes from. Anybody being asking this question in 2010 would have answered Samsung, HTC, LG, RIM, Apple, etc.. Stating instead that iOS or Android are Nokia's competitors is bizarre, also because Nokia could have easily embraced Android as an alternative platform to play against its competition and achieve further product diversification (at least Android is the market leader in smartphones...). Coincidentally though, iOS and Android are actually... WP -alias MS- competitors!
Why in the world should Nokia CEO see it crucial to provide a “third ecosystem” to the market (forgetting his own existing one), when this is not crucial for Nokia's success, while it is for MS? Is it just INCOMPETENCE?

So let's try to summarize: I do not care if WP or Symbian or Maemo/Meego is good or bad, better or worse, this is simply not the point and it's for customers to decide. And no, I am not alleging that Nokia was not in troubled waters. We all know Nokia was facing daunting challenges, and that the previous management had its responsibilities.

What I really want to say is that the current course by TH Elop makes no sense at all if your viewpoint is what's best for Nokia, and this is what is terribly relevant today.

If you remember instead that TH Elop was on Ballmer's paycheck, that he still is a MS shareholder (even if not for much longer), and ultimately that he has never really left his previous job in his heart and mind, then most of his actions become perfectly clear. The only news is that he has also proven that, whatever his agenda, he is a TERRIBLE MANAGER too.

As for MS, everybody knows their reputation and their past actions and how “successful” similar agreements have been for their (mostly perished) partners.

All comments to the contrary just fail to understand what really is going on and to recognize that what is best for MS is not necessarily what is best for Nokia.

cycnus

@Earendil Star

AGREE!!!!

In Summary,
It's not the question why Elop want to use WP7.
It's the question why DID he announce it on 2-11 (timing question).

cycnus

@Miko

Tomi loves Nokia.
I also like nokia, and would defend nokia (spreading how bad elop is)
Because I don't want Elop/MS success ruining nokia.

If we didn't stand up.
Nokia will be gone.

Jonay

@Earendil Star:

You nailed each and every point. Whenever I hear Stephen Elop talking, I hear more a Microsoft employee than a Nokia employee. I just hope the N9 proves a huge success, the WP7 deal proves a disaster, and Elop gets fired ASAP. Maybe that way Nokia would really push for MeeGo, keeping its faith in its own hands.

Or maybe Nokia could join Android's minions too. If HTC, a really tiny company compared with Nokia, can handle almost all available mobile OS under the sun, why can't Nokia?

The only thing I know is that I'll be getting my N9 as soon as it is available. Time will tell what happens then.

cycnus

@Jonay

Elop is graduated from MS university (read: had been brainwashed by microsoft).

The term "Battle of Ecosystem" is not a new.
In fact it's already a decade ago Microsoft fight @ battle of ecosystem, but never reveal the term to the public.

.... i'm refering to the Netscape vs. Internet Explorer battle...
the battle of ecosystem.... when Microsoft integrate IE into Windows.

LoveNokia

Nokia is not gone now, had already been gone 2 years ago. Many Nokia fan had no choice but to buy Android phone, that was not due to Elop but the old Nokia management.
.
If Nokia internal don't make a group and work like a team, still fight for OS, Nokia will be gone forever. Nokia lovers should write more articles to declare N9 is not setup as a failure, but the beginning for Triumph, should face Android and Apple lovers instead of fighting to Elop, after all Nokia--Meego or Nokia-Win are always Nokia, if Nokia loses its base to the outside, there won't be Nokia-Meego neither Nokia-Win.

If N9 is product of 1 year, then, once Nokia-win succeed, and get more cash, Nokia can still go back to its own system and continue its research -- if it is necessary.

Besides, why N9 should be afraid of Nokia Win, if it is really so great, can run Android applications, consumers including Android fans will buy it even there is no Nokia "ecosystem" supporting behind, actually consumers who appeared to be Android fan are actually Linux fans not really Google fan, therefore, more likely they will also support N9 which is also based on Linux.

Try not outsource Nokia hardware product, even it will lower the cost, if Nokia does, will have less chance to survive without Windows.

Joey1058

I'm going to use a metaphor here: I see Nokia as a type of monarchy. Established in tradition. Set in the old guard ways of "That's just the way it's done". Europe LOVES established tradition. Especially the individual nations. To the point where they used to go to war over some pretty mundane things. So the Americans had to solve their war problems.

Fast forward to 21C. The newest "nation" embroiled in a profits "war" is Nokia. What to do? Get an American to solve the problem! The American said point blank "You need to change". But the old guard was afraid to rock the boat. So much so, they decided to instead turn on the saviour they put up on a pedestal. So all of the surrounding supplier "countries" decided to make nice-nice with Nokia, write up a truce, and point fingers at "king Ralph" Elop. And now all the employees and stockholders considered to be Nokia's "population" are crying "Burn the witch"!

History has seen what Europeans are capable of for hundreds of years. And you all come crying to Americans for help when your boats just barely rock in still waters. As far as I'M concerned, Stephen Elop did EXACTLY what he was supposed to do. He needs to read off the board of Nokia, tell them where to shove it, and come home to America, where his talents are better appreciated.

LoveNokia

Well, guess Nokia+Windows is supposed to be a Win-Win tie, should bring both benefit to Nokia and Windows. Like US participated war due to its own benefit not exactly just to save European.

If Elop leaves Nokia now,it will be a hurt to Nokia Windows tie, will hurt his reputation (if he still owns some) -- he is still young and should care about it, the beneficiary for short term will be the fired engineer team and competitors(including Apple, Samsung, Android), and beneficiary in long term will be only Nokia's competitors.

Nokia is very weak now, needs to concentrate, deliver new products ASAP, re-win consumers -- even Nokia is losing current market, but with its history of good consumer base, still has chance to come back to the market -- many consumers are already waiting for Nokia-Windows phone even they do love N9, that is not due to N9 is not perfect, but because they expect something more from Nokia-windows join. Anybody see today's news? Apple and Samsung are going to throw new products, why are they so hurry? Because they are very afraid of Nokia coming back to the market.

vasra

Tommi,

you are still clinging to the past.

Skype or not, MS knows how to please carriers. They killed Kin to do it. They can even fully re-purpose Skype and do revenue-sharing with operators.

As for Maemo/Harmattan/Meego instances, they are dead. Elop re-iterated Nokia's position again just a week ago. Even if N9 succeeds (and it's not made to succeed), there's no going back to Meego. And Meego to him is the whole Maemo/Harmattan/Meego -instances family, not just the Meego partnership.

As for N950, it's a pure dev device. I wonder who will buy it? Some linux geeks. It'll be lucky to ship 100k devices in a year. Also, it's really old wares. The GPU is from 2006 and the CPU early 2010 stuff. Really sad.

Symbian is dead. The Accenture deal is signed. No amount of backpedaling can change that. Carriers won't buy it, unless Nokia really sells them cheap and give operators huge margins on them. Good luck on that.

So what's left?

The dreaded WP+S40+dumb phones strategy. That's it.

And that's what you will see.

No more Meego and a sad attempt to push Symbian devices that will kill Nokia's Q3 and Q4 quarters.

N9 will ship a few units, but at those ridiculous prices it won't be in the GS2, iPhone 5 or even N8 league.

It'll move a few hundred k at tops, then it's faded away.

And that's the end of Nokia Meego portfolio.

PS. You wanna bet a nice bottle of single-malt about all this ? :)

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 www.tomiahonen.com 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