My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media


Blog powered by Typepad

« Some Nanothoughts for an iPhone 5 World: Why Apple Needs to Split its Product Range in Smartphones | Main | Smartphone Market Shares at Q2 and Report Card for Half-Year Performance »

August 05, 2011



if you read this blog long enough, you'll know that tomi already answered that question many times. at start bb was a small player, so operator wouldn't really care that if bb provide another solution for SMS. whereas nokia were a big player.


@Eurofan: fate of Nokia was decided few years ago. Not a lot of people seen it back then - but few did: Tomi'a article which explained in the end of 2009 that Android is a fad has a comment which quite literally said "Android is license free, it has multiple operators and MNO's backing it. It's reach will rapidly become very big indeed. It will overtake iPhone in 2010, it is seriously challenging incumbants; and I'd expect to see a Nokia phone running Android within 3 years (if they are still even building hardware then! ;-)"

The biggest clue comes from Tomi himself: his logic contain mistakes which are typical for incumbent - and he was "Nokia boy" for a long time so his logic is probably typical for Nokians.
1. He absolutely refuses to even think about the fact that what he perceived as a single market/ecosystem is in fact not - this phenomenon does not adhere to existing pigeonholes of "market research" therefore it does not exist.
2. The fact number 1 leads to the myopia WRT to troubles with development: he praises the features which were important for traditional smartphone buyers in Nokia phones and laments that Nokia developers are stuck and can not produce something which will ALSO be good for "new wave" of buyers - but Nokia developers are in fact doing their best in their pigeonhole!
3. He explains again and again that this sustaining approach is, in fact, correct - because eventually Nokia WILL produce something good for both "old wave" and "new wave". This is possible but unlikely (a lot of incumbents were destroyed by disruptive change which they met with the same stratgey). In the best case they will keep small sliver of their traditional market.
4. And when disruptive collapse (predicted years ago, remember) finally arrives he blames it all on "execution" (Elop in this case).

Since well-established disruptive collapse theory explains facts so well I see no need to invent some new Elop-centered theories. Nokia's platform WAS burning already and Nokia WAS already on the road to oblivion. Of course Elop's idea to put out fire with gasoline didn't help - but it just hastened the process which was well underway.

As for this Blackberry's theory... we'll see (or not see) the supporting evidence in the coming months. If BBM users constitute their own [small] ecosystem/market which is relatively immune from iOS/Android attacks - then RIM sales will drop but only to some stable level. If RIM is disrupted similarly to Nokia... they'll be in similar freefall soon (they are not there yet because at least THEIR CEO does not use gasoline in firefighting).

Christian Louboutin shoes

blackberry puzzle is the same as noki,I think


@Khim, I can't blame Nokia's downfall on Tomi or Tomi's blog. He is a marketing expert not a 10 man management committee. I also don't agree that Nokia's downfall was predetermined 5 or 3 or even 1 year ago; the rot had set in definitely with indecision in product planning, poor execution on Ovi, for example (I still can't figure out how to download from Ovi), throwing money away on Navtek instead of going for a license agreement, and public arrogance. You and I agree that Elop used gasoline to put out a fire, how big and how catastrophic the fire was originally and whether it extended to a platform or an outbuilding we disagree about, you and I. If Elop remained in Redmond counting profits from the MS's Office franchise and polishing his speaking style Nokia would have been out with Anna a little faster, would be flogging the E7 and N8 still with some kind of campaign with the telcoms aimed at heavy email users and consumers that want a good keyboard or a good camera, would still be facing headwinds everywhere especially China from the trend of users to go with iOS experience and would probably be facing losses this past quarter, less than under Elop, who sabotaged the sales channel. But Nokia would have all its Symbian developers still and everybody else, Harmatten, Meego, and Maemo Elop has let go. So Nokia would face the same issues Elop addressed, too much payroll for declining market share, increasingly faulty, bug filled products with rising consumer complaints and Brand weakening and difficult transition to new OS because Meego is so slow in getting out of the gate on a phone platform.

Nokia would have had to come to Elop's conclusion that full on Meego is not ready and instead released a Maemo 6/harmatten device, probably the n950 in Q1 by the latest and this would be selling as a niche product while hopefully a full on Lankku with swipe interface was developed for Q4. Nokia would start to cut back on people like RIM has done and maybe consider putting Navtek on the block. Nokia would start transitioning to N9 type devices in 2012 and hope for the best. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I think Elop will either kill Nokia or Anna, the E7, the N8 and the N9 maemo 6 experience will save Nokia in spite of Elop's best efforts and Nokia will be faced with a need to replace him to maintain coherence when WP7.5 is shown to be nothing but a long term disruption struggling everywhere in the world except possibly North America, where it might get some traction initially. One way to look at WP's high user satisfaction survey results [between iOs level and Android level] is that those very few who use WP7 like it a bunch, but they are very few, and if more people used WP7, less of a percentage of users might report liking it. I'm sure that the users of used Trabants in modern Germany "like" their Trabants, if you asked them. After all they went out of their way to obtain them. If more people experienced Trabants, less a percentage might report enjoying using them. WP has never caught on. Why should it catch on just cause Nokia builds the bricks WP is loaded into. Because it has an "ecosystem"? This is the stupidest of all Elop's stupid theories in the hand held space, that Windows Phone is an ecosystem just waiting to take off because it has all the ingredients for market success.

Meanwhile he incinerates a profitable and most widely used "lesser" ecosystem, Symbian/Ovi. If instead of acquiring Elop, the Nokia Board had kept the course and transferred some of its personnel bloat from Symbian development to fixing the Ovi customer interface, it would have been much better. As it is or was for the past year, anyone who successfully downloads something from Ovi should get a small, tin, shiny hero of the Soviet Nokia medal. The Ovi site is such a mess. That was big defect in the Nokia platform and burning it down doesn't help anything.

John Phamlore

In the United States I believe the issue was never about Skype, it's more about the war Intel has started with the carriers over WiMAX which was mistakenly initially hyped as an existential threat to disintermediate the carriers.

In my opinion the US carriers are doing their best to drive consumer Intel devices off of their mobile networks. Business customers will pay the carriers tax for data plans for Intel device access with tethering, but the data plans are deliberately structured to discourage consumer usage.

Note the past week the stories of AT&T moving to revoke the unlimited data plans of those who jailbreak their phones for unauthorized tethering.

I wonder if this animosity goes all the way back to the telecom industry being such big users of Sun's servers.


John Phamiore, Thank you for posting about Intel and WiMax. It's something I don't know anything about. Just shows how complicated things are behind the scenes.


Buildings are quite expensive and not every person is able to buy it. Nevertheless, loans are created to aid people in such kind of situations.


Good sighting there. I keep my old blackberry (only for BBM, apparently thats the messaging platform for business in Indonesia) and yet i upgraded my iPhones and Android :-)

Floral Wedding Invitations

act, Nokia is doomed for a couple of years. Last fall, Anssi Vanjoki convinced everyone at E7 launch keynote, that you can forget about compatibility issues between different phone models. Qt will fix it. Some coders started to develo


Harmattan is such a big mess.


No Nokia Meego, No more Nokia Symbian updates, no Nokia own devices option in the market, then I prefer BlackBerry, with no Nokia OS option, BlackBerry will be the winner, untill Microsoft put his hand on BB and also destroy too :-)


Can't wait to read Tomi's next blast. With all the negative Nokia/MS stories this past week, he will have a lot to analyze.

As a businessman, it is fascinating to follow Nokia's attempt to abandon the global marketplace so they can focus on - the US! Brilliant move, must say. Winphone7 will save Nokia? It can't save MS, which is losing marketshare in the US by the month. Oh - all the potential buyers are eagerly waiting for Mango? More likely they are waiting for iPhone5, as are what, a third of smartphone buyers in US?

Mango and WinPhone7 may be a good platform, maybe a superior platform, but if the carrier outlets are steering customers away from them, as evidence shows, then the Nokia self-destruction story will be discussed and studied for generations of business-school MBA students.

Hell, the Amiga was a groundbreaking computer, ahead of its time, doing operations that MS and Apple would not have for years. How did that work out for Commodore?

Tommy Men's Shirts

This is a very informative reading. You’ve really gotten my interest on many points. I agree with most of your points and am presently examining the rest. Thank you for keeping your writing so interesting.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all, am on summer vacation so responses are very slow, but am starting now

Hi Christian, Eurofan, John, Eurofan, KARINA, rizki and kissmyass

Christian - I don't think so. Both are in a mess but in a very different way. Nokia had (in smartphones) highly desirable products that were far too late coming to the market, so their best opportunities were wasted. Nokia's problem was execution (and recently, creeping in, quality issues too). RIM had highly desirable products which naturally do not sell with as fast a replacement cycle as the total industry, and whose market segments are no longer growing as fast as the industry. Very different problems need different solutions.

Eurofan (thanks for replying to the posting I had since removed as inappropriate). Yes, you summarize well where we agree and where we disagree. And I may not have been very vocal in mentioning it enough, haha, but yes Nokia WAS in trouble long before Elop came along, but any problems that Nokia had in the 'operating system' and 'ecosystem' - I do think the short-term fixes have proven more than adequate (Symbian S^3, Ovi store, Qt) and the long-term, you have heard me write time and again, that of those mobile phone handset makers, who currently make dumbphones, Nokia's smartphone strategy was not only the best, it was by far best-executed too (vs other makers who make dumbphones). And that in my mind, the evaluation of how Nokia is doing, should not be compared to Apple, it should be compared to Motorola, Samsung, LG, SonyEricsson etc - and how their strategies are working out in the transition to smartphones.

But yes, I do agree with you, there was a lot on fire already at Nokia - and I have also written several very long detailed pieces here how I would have fixed Nokia haha. But we also agree, Elop poured gasoline on that fire and today's disaster at Nokia has become an existential one, due to Elop's mismanagement (from February - if you remember, I agreed with his early firings, saying Nokia needed that in this economic climate and the new CEO is the best time to do it, so some of the bloat in staff for example wouldn't be there anyway in March or this Spring, even in 'my' scenario haha)

But yes, we agree in part, disagree in part, and that is good debate. I learn from your postings and I trust you find value in my blogs and probably you too, find more value from the comments here in the discussion threads haha..

Great example on the Trabant haha. I think thats possible but perhaps more likely, is that those who 'really like Windows' or 'really like Microsoft Office' etc products (like Xbox, Zune etc), will be the early users of WP7. So they are very strongly pre-disposed to like 'anything' from Redmond. Like the earliest iPod or iPhone or iPad users.

John - I appreciate it, and I always forget how intense that WiMax vs carriers battle was some years ago (when I'd speak at conferences in North America it was standard fare questions from the audience..).

But the Skype issue wasn't one until June. So we won't see any evidence of it until October-November, when the Q3 results come out and what's left of Microsoft's Windows Phone market share. But MS will by then have ridden the storm, and can hype the upcoming Nokia phones (unless Nokia is sold or Elop fired before that). I am telling my readers here, that this is a REALLY big problem for Microsoft. Yes, the carriers want a third/fourth ecosystem to run alongside Android and iPhone to make sure Apple and Google won't grow to be too big - but they will always prioritize bada from Samsung as number 3 - no harm and least dangerous - and prioritize Blackberry ahead of WP7 now because Skype is far more dangerous than Blackberry Messenger, which only does text. Skype does instant messaging text like BBM, but also voice calls and videocalls. Skype kills everything. And Microsoft has a Billion potential connections to Skype in PC Windows, Office Suite, Xbox etc. Blackberry has 100M users, so Microsoft's reach is a whole order of magnitude bigger - remembering Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law in communication of networks. No, because of Skype, Microsoft won't ever be allowed to become the third ecosystem.

KARINA - thanks

rizki - haha, THANKS ! you are the first empirical evidence for my theory. If it was a disease and I was a medical doctor, I would be naming it after you haha

kissmyass - ok, but this blog was nothing about Harmattan, this was about Blackberry

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


As it happens, BBM has been under the spotlight after the recent riots in London

see : BlackBerry to help police probe Messenger looting 'role' -- Met police claim popular, encrypted and free Messenger service fanned riots in Tottenham and helped organise looting

While it's about the same as blaming railway engineering for helping the nazis with the holocaust, the fact is that RIM announced it would co-operate with the police. Of course it will, and this may anger those kids away from an already declining brand.

beats by dre store

Generalversammlung Rede Obama r?umte ein, dass der Klimawandel vor allem von den Industriel?ndern verursacht, sind die L?nder


I also very puzzle.

true religion knock off jeans

Thanks for making my morning a little bit better with this great article!!


You stated that these teens have another smartphone. Is this true of a large percentage of these teens? (If true, these are some pretty rich teens

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati