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August 23, 2011



Lovely stats Tomi :) Can't wait to read the discussion on this one!


For Symbian^3 Q4 2010 was the quarter with the best opportunities:

1) the hype was at it's maximum
2) finally released after long wait
3) with a camera flagship no one had
4) defect wheren't already known but the trust on Nokia was still very high regardles of N97
5) christsmas
6) smartphone market booming
7) America want to lead the mobile for obvious economic reasons, and america's press understood it
8) america's press smelled the possibility to lead the mobile OS market with the complementary iOS and Android (closed and open)
9) America's press started shitting Nokia (Symbian) seriously

in Q1 2011
1) at the beginning of the quarter Android surpassed Symbian
2) the shit launched by America's press reached every people interested in a Nokia phone
3) the Nokia execution problems delayed the necessary Symbian^3 update
4) the shit and the real Nokia execution problems convinced many, even the Nokia BOD, that Symbian was doomed
5) internal projection showed that even the new Symbian^3, after starting well, have problems
6) Elop knows that the next Symbian, Symbian^4 aka Symbian Belle will be better than Android, iOS, WP7
7) Symbian^3 has reached a local minimum but the next version is very dangerous for America because could close the game
7) Elop understood that he couldn't have a better choice to do what he done (MeeGo is coming to help Symbian)
9) He done it, on both front Symbian and MeeGo
8) He had to do it great to prevent the Symbian^4 and MeeGo come back


Rubbish it took a small team 9 months to create the entire swipe "layer". So unlike symbian which has great "guts" and a right crappy UX... the N9 has a great UX and good "guts", that puts Nokia on the same footing as Apple- fall in love with the UX and work on the rest after. That said the meego/maemo Harmattan OS still outclasses WP7.


@ Samsonite:
We know that Nokia lost share in the smart phone market for years. However, they managed to increase volume quarter after quarter. Still Nokia's performance was bad compared to competitors. Isn't this the reason why the Board fired the old CEO and brought in a new one?

So, how would you measure Elop's performance in light of the numbers available:
- Nokia's Smart Phone sales (volume) decreased for the first time under his reign
- Nokia's Smart Phone market share - after declining for years - fell off a cliff, cratered, imploded.
- Nokia's Smart Phones make losses for the first time in Nokia's history.
- Nokia's shares lost about 50% value since Elop took over.

So, what exactly did Elop do positive for Nokia? Is Nokia's execution better, faster? Do they sell phones customers want? No, they do not offer the N9 that customers (like me) want.

As Tomi writes very eloquently Elop's performance as Nokia CEO will be taught as a showcase how to rapidly destroy a company and destroy shareholder value.

Now, if you evaluate Elop's performance from Microsoft's point of view, his score card looks differently. However, last time I looked Elop was paid by Nokia to be CEO. As such he should have Nokia's success in mind, not Microsft's.


I think in 2009 it was clear that the execution of Nokia's previous strategy was failing so badly that the company had to come up with a new strategy. The productivity of Symbian SW development had been awful for several year, Meego was delaying more and more, and the services organization was only able to make slidewear to show their super ambitions plans for location aware services. Kallasvuo's strategy about services and Nokia as an Internet conpany was so abstract that engineers couldn't understand it. Strategy was based on in-house SW engineering, which was doomed to fail i.e. the combination of old and tired SW engineers in Finland, cheap subcontractors managed by non-technical product managers and cheap Indian SW engineers badly communicating with the rest of the SW organization didn't have a chance to beat Nokia's new rivals in North America. Nokia's way of SW development i.e just count how many buses of people are needed to do job was embarrasing to the art of SW engineering and the result can be seen in 6 million lines of Symbian code, which nobody was interested to look when it was desperately made open source.

But the question still remains why Nokia's Board chose the ongoing gambling strategy with Microsoft as the only SW platform provider. Why it couldn't do like other vendors: use several platforms and let the markets decide which platform will win. In addition to start making WP7 and/or Android phones, Nokia could have made heavy personnel reductions in Symbian SW but let Symbian OS live as long as customers want to use it. Meego people also would have deserved a fair chance to fight in the platform war.

So why Nokia's board chose the gambling strategy with Microsoft? And why Tomi is blaming Elop and not Nokia's Board for choosing the "wrong strategy". Isn't Elop just executing the strategy given by the Board?


A lot of the "comeback" in Q4 for S^3 was due to Nokia stuffing the channel. That clearly caught up to them earlier this year, and their sales crashed.


It's bacause Stephen EFlop is NOT acting towards Nokia's best interests but rather Microsoft's.

Now this is the danger being brought by hiring ex-Microsoft employees. Companies such as Nokia and HP (and in the past up until now - Yahoo, Novell and VMWare and MANY MANY OTHERS) already are suffering the consequences of hiring staff from the evil empire.

For instance, we all know that Stephen EFlop has already killed MeeGo OS which is based on Linux and is a serious threat for the mobile OS market. And now it is HP's turn. HP's current Enterprise Software Head (Bill Veghte) is also from Microsoft. WebOS, as we know it, is also based on Linux. And no doubt, Microsoft did such thing as "Entryism" at HP to kill WebOS. Yes, Microsoft is evil. They will kill every competitor (via Entryism technique) supporting Linux and will kill it if it will try to compete with WP7. You know why Microsoft is doing this? Because they want to dominate (or cough... almost MONOPOLIZE) in the same way they have captured the PC Software Market now wherein they take a commanding lead.

I think, if EFlop will continue to reign at Nokia, we might not see Nokia developing a new OS anytime soon while Symbian is slowly being killed to give way for WP7 (and we all know that MeeGo is already pronounced dead at Nokia's camp due to EFlop.)
Let's all hope Samsung doesn't get targetted for their Bada OS (which is based on Linux kernel) or Intel for holding on with MeeGo. And also Google, which HAS and WILL ALWAYS BE Microsoft's biggest challenge because of its Android OS based on Linux, too.

Hope Nokia and HP will survive and their board understand the dangers of appointing executives from Microsoft. Anyway, just posted these links since I think it would be an interesting read.

In short, Microsoft is currently doing an INDUSTRY-WIDE HIJACK.


Didn't the Galaxy S II sell 5 million in 85 days?


@PlatformWarrior: There wasn't MeeGo in 2009 so MeeGo strategy couldn't have failed then or be delayed.


"Symbian, the world's bestselling OS with the best ecosystem ..."
Best ecosystem ?
I must have lived in another world, since my experiences with Nokia's ecosystem are rather different.
Bestselling OS : yes, as long as there was no serious competition, which changed completely when iOS and Android appeared.

I read some interview with an ex-Nokia engineer who worked at Nokia before Elop arrived and left because of frustrations about the way things went at Nokia at that time.
I found it quite revealing and it explains what we already knew : the decline of Nokia is not something that suddenly happened the last year, but because of company policies that were not up to the task anymore, and that already for a long period.
It was just a matter of time to see the catastrophic results of that policy.

And then you need someone to rock the boat.


First, I think it's better to replace "Elop" with "Nokia boards". If Elop needs to be fired, why he doesn't get fired until today? Who has to be blamed for that? To be honest, I have the feeling that you just see the whole Nokia only from the outside shell. Symbian or even Maemo Harmattan alone won't save Nokia from Apple or Google domination these days. Sad but true.

Second, yes, there are a lot of changes happen inside Nokia these days, but it doesn't mean that all of changes are bad or negative. Most people don't like change and try something new. But without changes you always stay in the same level. The world of technology specially in mobile business changes a lot and rotating very fast. I think Nokia "stays" too long before Elop.

Seems you know the RnD situation inside Nokia. Well, that's true more or less. I have nothing to say. Your suggestion to have different OS running in parallel without killing one or two was also a good point. Maybe it was part of agreement with Microsoft but as you said, Nokia boards have to agree and approve it.

@Asko: The Meego/Maemo projects to design UI/UX for N900 and underlying hardware driver/adaptation was starting in year 2009. Due to complexity, a bit internal politics and not well managed, Meego was always late and not "resulting" as expected.


@PERUS: MeeGo and Maemo are different projects. MeeGo is Maemo + Moblin and was announced at February 2010. So it could not have been late in 2009.

N900 using Maemo 5 was announced and demonstrated at September 2009 and started shipping November 2009. I cannot see how Maemo 5 could have been always late if design UI/UX for N900 started in 2009 as you said. It seems sort cycle for Nokia if they managed to do it in substantially less than a year.


You know Meego/Maemo doesn't matter what's important is Qt if you write an application in Qt you can port it to all relevant OS's heck there is even a port to Android.

Earendil Star

@ Jessie, thanks you for your enlightening post.

It seems there are quite a number of MS trolls roaming in this blog as well.
It is rather easy to spot them because instead of replying to remarks with facts supporting a differing view, they just go on repeating baseless slogans.

Victor Szulc

First of all: regarding the N9... Tomi, mind if I borrow your timemachine? Cause surely, since you're so convinced the N9 is awesome and could make a fortune for Nokia, you must have somehow travelled into the future and tried it out, no?

Becuase nobody else know much about it, nor have they been able to try it or see it in action, besides Nokias brief preview. Previews can be decieving, so despite the positive press about it, for all we know it could be riddled with bugs: Which is why it's much too early to predict whether it'll be a success or not. Sure it could be a big seller, on the other hand, customers might be scared away by the lack of apps and ecosystem and leave it well alone. A handful of positive initial stories in the press means little and guarantees nothing. Just look at the Pre!

Regarding Symbian3 and the first family of phones running it, sorry but anyone who claims that it is competitive or as desirable with modern Android handsets or the iPhone lives in a parallel universe.
Both were universally panned in the press (American as well as European), and the N8 reviews that didn't outright dump on it, were little more than lukewarm. (Even the few reviews that were almost positive all mentioned how Symbian just couldn't keep up)

And the sales were hardly a resounding success. More like a failure actually, compared to Nokias expectations. For a different perspective, look at this:

5 million phones is what the Samsung Galaxy 2 sold in just 85 days. Yet it took Nokia a whole quarter (ok, partly!) and three different phones to reach this?

According to Nokia themselves, they experienced higher presales for the N8 than for any other device ever.
That would really have to be a high number for them to make that statement, so let's assume that they sold 1 million before launch.

That would mean that the Symbian3 phones only sold 4 million once the phones were out and showed to disappoint.

Many of those four million were the cheap C7 phones, and the N8 itself was priced a whole 20-25% below the price of Android handsets.

Those sales number still look impressive? Hardly. Especially when you keep in mind that Nokia lowered the prices towards the end of 2010, and that it happened during the Christmas quarter.
(And actually, the previous source estimates that Nokia only sold 1.7 million Symbian3 phones during the 4th quarter...)

So yeah... The decision on Feb 11th is no great mystery. Nokias sales had grown LESS than the overall market for a long time allready, making Nokia lose marketshare. Nokia last hope: Symbian 3 had just proved to be a big disappointment, and since the Symbian codebase over the years had turned into a collosal mess of interdependencies, they knew that an update to Symbian (including a modern browser) would be at least six months away.

Meego? The chief of development at Nokia estimated that they could only have THREE Meego phones ready by 2013, which would be way too late.

The only choices were Android and WP7, and since Google wouldn't give Nokia any considerations, but Microsoft did, the choice of the board was obvious. WP7.


Love how ms fanboys keep repeating that symbian must have been killed because of crashing share and meego because it had no devices and then just go straight to logical conclusion that only way for Nokia was/is wp7. Apparently it has huge share and still growing, and of course Nokia started selling wp7 phones from day one.


@ Earendil Star:

Welcome... I've been observing Microsoft so keenly lately and they appear to be really desperate in winning the smartphone OS war at the expense of killing competition through inside hijacking or through demanding of outrageously high royalty fees on Android OEM's until such time OEM's steer away from Android. In fact, I was happy Google did the first move on Moto since Microsoft also appeared to have been offering to buy Motorola Mobility as well. Just imagine Microsoft garnering Nokia and Motorola's patent advantage and you'll see how the market will go.

I so hope that Nokia will survive the Elopocalypse and Microsoft's death spiral.


Steve Jobs just resigned... how does that figure?


Steve Job's resignation as Apple's CEO does not impact Nokia at all, as Nokia suffers through self inflicted wounds. As long as the Board and Elop do not resign, Nokia will go down the hill.


I like Nokia.

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