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« First Look into Microsoft Nokia Smartphones in 2012 and 2013. Expect climb-back to barely 8% markets share by Q4 of... 2013 - best case scenario | Main | Myths and Misdemeanors: Lets Examine Some Very Widely Held Myths about Nokia, and the facts behind the story »

July 26, 2011




Nice blog as usual. The numbers are even worse than I could imagine. It's a great idea putting a daily figure to this "poison".

Any idiot could do things better, unless he has a mandate from the BoD to do what he is doing now. If I was a Nokia shareholder I would start a class action suit against "Gold Standard Ormilla" and the other Directors.

Somebody is hoping to buy Nokia on the cheap and we all know who it is - MSFT


Tomi T Ahonen

First to all

I deleted a couple of pointless comments. The rules here on my blog are simple - you must have read the blog before you post comments. If you comment contains something that I would have to write 'as I wrote in the article' - that is a total waste of time for my readers and me. I delete all those comments immediately.

Specifically - you know who you are - that topic was CLEARLY covered in the blog. Don't repeat nonsense, respond to my blog article and your comment will remain. But if you ignore my writing and post drivel here, I will delete your comments like I have done with hundreds before.

To all others, please keep comments coming (hi Jorge, I'll return a bit later to respond to your comment, don't worry obviously this was not directed at you)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


The board of Nokia is like the chamber 46 in the manga Bleach. The truth is that they are all dead but no one knows and the real person making the decision is the bad guy.


This proves that the amount of words in analysis has nothing to do with it's validity. Do you know why you got comments from people who didn't read the whole thing? It's because the entire piece is so off base that reading it is pointless from the point where you say Symbian wasn't a dead OS.

Nokia was/is rapidly using up their customer loyalty. Ever since the new generation of smartphone OS's entered the market it's been abundantly clear that symbian simply won't cut it anymore. If you sell inferior products and the only thing keeping your sales up is customer loyalty you're running on borrowed time. Claiming S^3 is a valid competitor to iOS, Android and yes, Windows Phone is foolish in the extreme. Have you read reviews of Nokia smartphones lately? The hardware has been recieving praise by almost everyone but the software has been found lacking, and that's a big understatement.



Well, I don't know about iOS or Android, but somehow claiming that S^3 ISN'T valid competitor to WP is foolish in the extreme squared squared squared. The sales numbers speak for themselves, the fact is WP isn't competitor to anyone.

You have to wait few months before Elop's work is complete and S^3 will have sales somewhere around zero, THEN WP will face competitor it can match.


As an N8 owner (bought it in October) I can say that S^3 is NOT good, and it didn't advance forward at the speed that was promised.

Here's a brief history of my feelings about N8:
- Just bought it. Hardware is stellar, unique features as Zune music playback and FM transmitter, great camera, great media device overall. Software is not good, but, coming from E71, there are a lot of cool new features.
- New Year. Still enjoying the device. Waiting for the delayed software update with QWERTY keyboard and new QT-based browser.
- April. Still no update. Getting bored by the phone, but waiting for a 2nd wave of WP7-devices.
- End of July (now). No hope for the software update. X7 and pink N8 ship with Anna already, but somehow it's not available for existing N8's. Symbian^3 is buggy, stupid, and 100% outdated. As soon as 2nd wave of WP7 appears on the market, I'll grab it. If N8 breaks down now, I'll grab the most cheap Android as an interim device.

So, sales of S^3 last fall were good, because it was acceptable, and some promises have been made. Now S^3 is very old. Just look at E7 or X7. How do they sell? Bad.
Would they sell better if Symbian was still the main platform? Just a bit, because there will be more QT-based apps. But Nokia will be doomed even worse.


One thing is adding another OS (WP) to the list, another is voluntarily killing the current (at the time) best selling OS and it's (promising, see N9) successor to make room for the external one. What Elop has done is a deliberately HUGE criminal act.


Speaking of N9 - it's NOT a "magical profit-making" device. It's a very beautiful experiment, and that is why it is loved by the press. Commercially, it's hopeless - check out the poll at, 81% say that N9 is too expensive. And that's Russian market, where Nokia's share increased last fall.

Sander van der Wal

A comment about Elop being hated by the Nokia developer community because the destroyed the Qt upgrade path. Not that I hate Elop, as far as I am concerned he is trying to get Nokia out of it's own mess. The people that are to be blamed (and not hated) are the ones who did not forbid the creation of multiple competing UI API's on top of Qt during a time when Nokia still had a change to win developer mindset. For instance.

I used to think that putting Qt on top of Windows Phone would have been a good idea. It is, but not for Nokia and neither for Microsoft. It is only good for developers.

To belabor the obvious, it is bad for Microsoft because it devalues the WinPhone platform.

For Nokia it is more of a mix.

Primarily, it is bad because it creates a confusing message about MeeGo. If MeeGo is good, WP is not needed. So MeeGo is not that good.

Secondly, consider what would happen if Qt was ported to Android. Developers could move their apps to cheaper hardware, giving the hardware competitors an ecosystem paid for by Nokia. I am sure they would love that, I would, but for Nokia it is not good.

The only thing that would make sense for Nokia is that they would have more WP apps with Qt on top of WP. But then, look at the amount of time Nokia took to get Qt running on Symbian. It took years and years and years, and it is still not completely finished. I cannot image that bunch being able to port Qt to WP in a year. And with the size of the Symbian/MeeGo developer ecosystem, there won't be that many apps missing.



And the fact that Elop is trying to kill N9 in every possible way, including pricing, supports your point how exactly?

If WP is such miracle, then why not start with same (or even higher) price as N8 and N9? It has superb UI and lots of ecosystems, people are lining up before stores just to touch it, so giving it away for 200 euros would be grave crime, right?

John Phamlore

I try to read everything you post, but I still can't understand how you can argue that Nokia should have ever even considered Linux over Symbian.

Here's another speculation (I am no insider obviously) on how Nokia's flirtation with Linux led to catastrophe: it is the root of the current problems with US carriers.

Nokia in the early 2000s deciding to switch to Linux led it to eventually ally with Intel for MeeGo. For this the US carriers would never forget and never forgive Nokia until it made its present purge and capitulation to Windows Phone 7. The reason is that Intel was also helping to back WiMAX, initially marketed as a possible existential threat to the US carriers, a threat to provide an alternative dis-intermediate the US carriers.

Intel is also being punished. Essentially the US carriers will kill off mobile Intel products and do their best to damage Intel's market for notebooks, with ARM tablets as the replacement. Just today I believe Engadget is carrying a story about an HP AMD Zacate notebook with Verizon LTE connectivity. Meanwhile Intel efforts such as mid books go nowhere.

Just today Intel said it competes with Qualcomm:
Not long ago Qualcomm was in full lawsuit mode vs Nokia, for their lifeblood is their tax on mobile technology through their patent portfolio. But Qualcomm has not dared to present an existential threat to the US carriers, and LTE with a Qualcomm tax is preferable to what was threatened with WiMAX.

To see how badly the Linux blunder clouded Nokia's judgement, notice how Qualcomm and Nokia's fortunes diverged over the past decade. At the start of the last decade one would have wondered if Qualcomm could continue to extract its IP tax considering that neither European nor Asian nor developing markets would be all that sympathetic to a US company. But by the end of the decade, Qualcomm had agreed to a patent cross-licensing scheme with Nokia so that Qualcomm could offer a full wireless solution on their own chips, had taken a license with ARM, and had purchased from AMD a mobile GPU division to create a complete ARM SoC.

Meanwhile Nokia did ... nothing to advance its own ARM SoC, the path that all of competitors Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung chose. Nokia was apparently deluded that its alliance with Intel, the weakest and most hated company trying to break into mobile computing, would actually prod Intel to produce chips that could actually be used in a Nokia energy efficient phone or tablet. Also Intel has no mobile GPU solution having to license from PowerVR, a company they do apparently own a piece of but which they hardly can push around. And Intel does not as of yet offer its fabs for contract work such as Samsung can perform for Apple.

Has there ever been less gained from a technology alliance than what Nokia has gained from allying with Intel?


@ Giovanni
Isn't Elops timing perfect then? Nokia gets to launch their phones with mango right off the bat, they will be backed by Microsofts massive marketing department. They'll get games integration worth a damn for the first time since the original snake.
Microsoft KNOWS WP7 in it's current form isn't a real competitior. It lacks so many obvious features, multitasking for one. It will be a real competitor with mango though, quite unlike what S^3 could ever be.

Do I think what's happening now is the best that could happen to Nokia? No, of course not. There was a time when Nokia could have had a chance going their own way, sadly they failed to innovate and were consequently left in the dust. Steven Elop is trying to salvage as much as possible from a very bleak situation, without a change in direction Nokia would be reduced to manufacturing dumbphones for emerging markets. I for one believe Nokia should be a smartphone powerhouse once more, not from any misguided loyalty but because the hardware is so damn good.


Potentially we could spends pages and pages of virtual ink speaking about Symbian, was as terrible as painted by Elop, or as good painted by Tomi.

But if you stand on Elop side, as Nokia CEO, Timo made already a list with the 12 biggest mistakes made by Nokia CEO, now you may question some points of the 12, but still Elop made so clear mistake, like the Osborne effect, that are simply unbelievable.

You may want to think that Elop is stupid, that does not know maths, etc etc ... but I don't believe a person at that level, even if is a criminal can be stupid.

So ... Elop is a CRIMINAL, no other options.

Now, Timo is calling "Elop must be fired 'for cause' and sued by Nokia investors."

I'm with it ... Timo you are highly influence, you also own an internet space ... it would be nice to collect Nokia investors, and act against these people ... I own was what consider a lot of Nokia shares, what could be enough for by a house with garden in Finland in the good Nokia days ... I don't accept that a CRIMINAL did rubber my money, as you painted Nokia was on the possible path for make good profit every quarter till 2013, like it did always since before 2000 ... we as little nokia investor WE NEED TO AGGREGATE AND MAKE A CLASS ACTION AGAINST ELOP AND HIS FRIENDS.





You really know how to amaze your reader :)

I really hope that it's not too late for BoD to fire elop. I know how powerfull the Nokia should have been. Do you think that if BoD fire elop now, Nokia could grow back faster (trying to catch up what's been missing), or that's part is lost forever?

As of now, I'm really confused on what spell that elop or MS has put on the BoD. Why BoD didn't react at all at elop stupidity. it's really a criminal to let elop destroyed nokia.

if you watch the leaked sea ray video, you could see that elop were breaking the fourth and fifth wall. I think when he's saying that if there's something in sales, should talk to him, he's trying to answer your writing about the boycot. so, i think the leak is intentional (thus breaking the fifth wall, because he's communicating with you).


Wow, each blog I read Timo I want to puke on my shoes. Hand me a pot of coffee, better yet make it a triple. Having worked for Nokia throughout the 90's here in the US market under Paul Chellgren & KP Wilska (great leaders) reading your thoughts makes me utterly sick. "The Osborne effect" as you have brightly pointed out is the ultimate crime here. We never discontinued a handset model without having ramped up volume on a new unit and having carrier support/buy in on it. Elop didn't cancel just a single handset he destroyed an entire fleet of handsets. Could anyone imagine BMW telling their dealers & the world that the 3 Series will be discontinued in 24 months and never replaced, but we are still going to make millions of them and we expect our dealers to stock the inventory?! Really? They would clean house on the 3 Series model. This is product marketing 101... and Elop didn't forsee this? As if the carrier/dealer community had a vested interest in Symbian moving forward??
As far as Symbian rev3^ and Anna updates they would have been more than up for the challenge of Android and iOS, at the end of the day the carriers dictate which smartphone moves of the shelf not the consumer... with Nokia scale/volume (at least in Q4) they would have been in the ballgame to compete. Meego should have been a great highend to midrange smartphone platform to build on from mid 2011 and on.
Looking forward to what you have to say on how Nokia and it's board move this ship in a new direction. This is an utter discrace to one of the world's great brands.


This whole blog in the last few month is just gone crazy. RIM and Nokia were DISRUPTED. By now it's obvious. Here is good article which explains what happened and why:

There a lot of trouble with disriptions (read "The Innovator's Dilemma" and "Innovator's Solution" for good overview).

The most problematic characteristic is the following: usually it only becomes obvious if techlogoy is disruptive or not LONG after the fact (8"HDD, 5"HDD and 3.5"HDD were disruptive, but then 2.5" were not and 1.8" were A DEAD END). That's why we can excuse Nokia when it fumbled around with Maemo (insane Intel alliance can not be excused because by that time it was obvious that we are in the middle of disruption).

The next serious problem: the usual strategy (talk to customers, work harder, make product better) just DOES NOT WORK. EXISTING CUSTOMERS JUST DON'T NEED THINGS disruptors offer. But they lust about them. And disruptors are imporoving things. FAST.

This is ANOTHER problem of disruptive technology: PARTNERS don't need a disruptive novelities. They don't have a large enough capacity (HDD and hydraulic diggers), of they don't last long enough on one battery charge (iOS and Android smartphones), or... whatever. This is NOT what your partners are asking about. But some OTHER people want these novelities (or else disruption will not work). And their resellers, partners and subcontractors are growing and learning. FAST.

This means you usually don't have a luxiry to develop your own adequate replacement: usually it's better to buy some newcomer while you still have money and slowly transfer your activities to new department (don't try to grow nevelities in your old organization: it's a disaster 9 times out of 10). You are on borrowed time! You own cutomers are first slowly, them more and more rapidly switching. YOU MUST DO SOMETHING FAST!

And here's the cinch: you CAN NOT DO ANYTHING FAST. Your old organization is too entrenched in "we'll need to polish this or that thing to perfection before release". You don't know neither how to iterate in small steps but quickly (a-la Google) nor you know how to iterate in huge steps but rarely (a-la Apple). Instead all your improvements are small, incrementall... and often they are improving the wrong thing (who cares about quality of optic if your phone does not give you good traffic-based driving directions?).

You think Nokia can manage 0.5%/month share drop for year 2011 with SYMBIAN? I can understand why people stop reading at this point.

To see the fate of Nokia under "any monkey" leadership you don't need to look far: take look on Blackberry.
1. It had few new models in 2010 - like Nokia.
2. It had "solid upgade strategy" (with QNX upgrade) - similar Nokia.
3. It grew in 2010-Q4 - like Nokia.
4. It held the market share in 2011-Q1 - like Nokia.
5. It too collapsed in 2011-Q2... uhm - like Nokia.
THIS is your base scenario you should compare with Elop's reign. NOT rosy phantasyas from your article.

2011 destruction was in fact inevitable! BOTH RIM AND NOKIA RAN OUT OF TIME!

What any competent leader (who knew that it's a disruption) should do? Sell phones on new platform in 2011-Q1. It does not matter who will make them (HP, Samsung, HTC or even ZTE). They must be good (by NEW definition of good) and they must be on sale. IF NOT THEN YOU MUST PREPARE SWITCH IN SILENCE AND STRETCH YOUR OLD PLATFORM'S LIFE AS FAR AS POSSIBLE! You trump your old platform, you explain how it'll continue for years, you continue business-as-usual - and all thye preparations for new platform launch are from separale location and perhaps even with separate branch. Paint them as "an experiment" (and be ready close if by some chance your old product is accepted by market - it's possible, too).

Instead Elop have chosen a platform which is "basically good, it only needs slightly more time" (this is THE ONE THING YOU DON'T HAVE when disruption is changing the industry) and then explained how we'll drop old platform like a hot potato (this is something you should never do unless you are realy to SELL the replacement).

So yes, while your estimates of Elop competency are on-target there are nothing to change now. Nokia is too entrenched in WP7, it can not quickly switch to Android or something like WebOS (besides WebOS is not all that hot either) and RETURN TO SYMBIAN WILL NOT CHANGE ANYTHING.

THIS ship left the port. Gone. Forever. It WAS possible to slowdown Symbian destruction and stretch the life of that platform by 150 millions handsets - but for THAT Nokia should have done the EXACT OPPOSITE from what it did. And by now it's too late. Symbian's reputation is trashed, Nokia's reputation is trashed, WP7's reputation is trashed... They have one last chance - and that is to whip WP7 as soon as possible. And even this is tiny hope at best.


@khim, you are just a bullshit. Nakia is nokia, blackberry is blackberry. complete different products. Crap Steven Elop is a total failure by any standards no matter how you paint it.

@tomi, well done again. numerous nokia individual shareholders and consumers support you.

I want to add more costs caused by crap elop's recent crime:
1. Immediate $2.9B inventory has to be written off due the abandon of the symbian;
2. 5 months chao disruppted nokia's R&D and marketing effort;
3. $10B brand value completely lost due the unprecedent self-attacking on Nokia from its own CEO;

COnclusion is simnple:
Elop is criminal, betrayed everyone including Miicrosoft, he works on an agenda from US Short Sellers who's purpose is to destroy Nokia completely, transfer wealth from all individual shareholders.
Elop needs to be sued and put into jail for life.

Jorma Ollila the second who needs to be sued.


@khim, ask your uncle Sam to push down nokia share more, please. or nokia has a solution to liberate itself from US short sellers hands:

1. Lay off those incompetent developers and their multilayer managers ; cut 50% R&D headcount is much needed;
2. Keep Meego and Symbian as main platforms and improve them on both hardware and software fronts,
a. upgrade high-end models with highest speed 2.0 GH duo-core cpu-gpu, 1024x640 4.3 display screen, 2GB ram, 64 GB Flash memory, 2000mah battery; (meego)
b. upgrade middle-end models with 1.2 duo-core cpu-gpu, 840x584 4.0 1GB ram, 32 GB Flash memory, 1600 mah; (meego)
c. upgrade etry level models with 1.0GH single-core cpu-gpu, 640x360 3.5 512MB ram, 16GB GB Flash memory, 1200 mah; (symbian)
3. Keep MS WP7.5/8 as middle-end line which shares same hardware platform as Meego middle-end device;(Qt as porting tools)
4. Open the option with android;
5. add voice cdma support;
6. setup strong relationships with att,tmobile,verizon,sprint,uscellar,cricket for usa market;

A well managed R&D team doesn't need more than 10,000 engineers. A lot of works can share the same code base (core-os, device driver, apps, globalization, etc), cpu-gpu-dsp motherboard, case etc;

fonts have to be open for free download or even auto-downlaod when users navigate to different language web pages; treat users friendly will bring more users, it is free mouth-ads.

all-in-all, stuborn, crime-oriented ceo steve elop has to be fired first, jorma ollila second

7. bring skype, flash 10.3, silverlight 5, html5 compatible browser to ovi store;
8. bring zillow, redfin, etrade, mobile online payment into ovi store;
9. enhance ovi maps for globalization support, by default show localized maps giving users option to show translated version;
10. integrate ovi music/video/podcast/radio into ovi store;
11. bring all famous games into ovi store;
12. software tutoring, developing tools/utilities into ovi store;
13. online dictionaries, scientific calculator, office suite;
14. open android apps support;

Earendil Star

Quick comment on what khim says, that Nokia compares to RIM... uhm, no.

If you check RIM, it just barely goes down in total number of smartphone shipments (14 to 13 m) compared to Nokia's freefall (28 to 17 m).
If you check RIM's financials, it looks much better off: revenue: up 16% yoy, profits: down, but still a healthy +$695m, handset shipments: up 18% yoy to 13.2m, playBook shipments: 500,000 in their first quarter. Now, everybody is saying RIM is dead, but that's a clear overstatement: what is happening is that RIM is steadily loosing market share to Android and Apple, the hot OSs now. It is facing huge problems because it is loosing its "status symbol" position, but it is gearing up to come back and fight, with it's own platform, master of its own destiny. Whether it will succeed is a different story. But at least, it's trying.

Now, just look at Nokia. FREEFALL in handsets, smartphones, revenue, profits, you name it. Current platform zapped, former future platform (Meego, fresh new looking OS) zapped, boycotted by its own creator! Expectations are being aroused for this new WP (that already looks old, it has been out for ages now) that no-one is buying, and might be coming in numbers only in mid 2012. No longer owner of ANY of its ecosystem (store, maps, etc.), everything gifted to MS! No new hot product, just announcements and leaks. Tablets? What's a tablet? Is it hot? Oooops, Nokia needs to wait for Windows 8... but that's just coming in 2012... so probably they'll do another experiment with Meego in the interim. In practice the new bright future envisaged for Nokia is to become a commoditised WP hardware producer.

Come on: RIM is having a cold, Nokia is in no-return coma after a near mortal Elapse. Any comparison is ludicrous.

And all the other disruption talk? Tell it to Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple (an old company) and was able to reinvent it.

Nobody assumed TH Elop to be anywhere near Steve Jobs in ability, but what one assumes of a CEO coming to the rescue, is for him to save the place, not to put the whole house on fire. Unfortunately that's probably not what he was called for. He was put there to commit arson.


@Earendil Star When I've compared Nokia to RIM I've compared execution of the strategy Tomi preaches (push with the old platform, continue with planned transition) with similar company attacked in similar manner (both RIM and Nokia are disrupted by "new wave" of smartphones so it's enough to have a rough estimate). As you've noted RIM is doing much better, but it STILL goes down in absolute terms - and in rosy estimates of Tomi (which he calls "absolute worst case") Nokia goes up (Q2-2011, Q3-2011, even Q4-2011). How? Why? IMNSHO this "absolute worst business-as-usual case" is actually "pretty good business-as-usual case". His main justification is the fact that Nokia grew 7% in Q4-2010... well RIM grew 14%, so why Nokia should perform better then RIM in this "absolute worst business-as-usual case"?

As for "master of its own destiny"... we'll see, but for now this destiny does not look all that great.

@Earendil Star And all the other disruption talk? Tell it to Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple (an old company) and was able to reinvent it.

Heh. Steve Jobs... Steve Jobs is MASTER of disruption. Even so, let's review just WHAT he did when he returned to Apple?
1. When he returned Apple was in the middle of long, slow, painfull project which was destined to replace old, cranky, obsoleted MacOS with a new core:
1a. Steve Jobs cancelled it on the spot. In fact he and his company were brought to replace it with another OS: NextStep. This OS was used by computer "so popular" that it was no longer sold by that time:
2. Said MacOS X was announced two years in advance:
And even after release it was rejected by a lot of users and developers.

Looks similar to what Elop did? Unpopular OS combined with iconic, but failing hardware maker == success?

Well, not so fast.
1. MacOS X was property of Apple. Yes, Apple paid $429 million for it, but it was fully under Apple control. In fact ALL development for ALL platforms not controlled by Apple ceased on the spot. Nokia is betting on the OS it does not control.
2. Till MacOS X was ready Apple concentrated on what it WAS able to do well: hardware development. iMac, iBook, etc. Nokia abandon's the existing hardware.
3. When the times were tough Steve was able to ignore old hatred and sign a deal with Microsoft. It was critical for many reasons. Nokia decides that "Google can stuff it, we'll go with Microsoft" - only because Google refused to give them special preferences (and why should they?).
4. Old plaform got two more revisions: MacOS 8 and MacOS 9. Sure, they were incremental improvements over MacOS 7, but they showed that "MacOS X is for the future, MacOS Classic is for today". Elop managed to squash all hope for the Symbian future.
5. And Apple offered a transition path (even if MacOS Classic and MacOS X are even more different internally then Symbian and WP7). There are nothing like that in Nokia's plans.

Elop picked some ideas from Steve but added his own pro-Microsoft bias and arrogance - without thinking all the details. No wonder the result is a disaster.

As for today... Apple can not be disrupted by Android: they both offer the same "new way of life": "There's An App For That". They may compete on price, on nuances of execution, but they have the same concept in the core.

But Nokia and RIM are different: they offered totally different idea of what the smartphone is (RIM offered "interactive pager" and Nokia offered "communicator" - which are centered around different paradigms) - and THIS paradigms didn't fly. Apparently more and more people like "There's An App For That" lifestyle and that means RIM and Nokia must change (and FAST) or die.

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