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« After short break, am back to blogging, many stories coming | Main | Smartphone Penetration Rates by Country! We Have Good Data (finally) »

December 08, 2011




Well, this is getting hilarious. For almost year you guys have hearth attack every time tomi says that Q4 2010 marked turnaround for nokia symbian sales, repeating to death that that christmas was just random bump, symbian is old and uncompetitive and on fast slide into irrelevance regardless of what Elop did.

And now, right here on this blog, you declare that "the trend Nokia has decidedly broken" based on one quarter of data which even doesn't show reversion of trend. And the funniest part is that what broke this trend is - wait for it - symbian! Yep, that crap os which forced Elop to immediately go with wp7 to save nokia, now somehow managed to grow from ashes.

This isn't just fanboyism, but looks more like good old astroturfing. But as I said, I'm eagerly awaiting yours analysis Q4 lumia results, that will be something to watch.


This would indicate that decline of Symbian started long time before Elop announced MS strategy. This is only for China but similar thing was happening elsewhere too.



I'm responding although I'm not tomi, but who is perfect, right?

I think this idea tha ms has some sort of ecosystem nokia could use for its advantage was nonsense from the start and xbox is prime example of it. Consoles have totally different user interface, if you want develop game for both devices you are actually creating two different games and you must work very hard to make them concurrently playable in the end compromising both with no effect, because people will always play Skyrim primarily on console (or pc) and angrybirds on smartphone. At best there will be two separate worlds, one with xbox players and second with mobile players, with just game scores and overall tables on start screen in common.

Besides ms has currently about 40 millions of users on xbox live, that isn't even two quarters of sales for nokia (well, wasn't before Elop happened) so this bit of the deal is another gift for ms, because smartphone hw is becoming faster and faster by the day and consoles will be endangered spiecie in short time, with pc for top performance, smartphones (wifi connected to tv) for everything else. Really, nokia doesn't need xbox(live) at all, but for xboxlive nokia is one of its last chance (but this is true for whole ms/nokia deal, of course).

Earendil Star

Regarding market cap... interesting topic!

Apart from the fact that market cap depends... on the market... since share price is its fundamental driver... (that's why benchmarks are used when measuring success...)
Apart from the fact that market cap change depends... on the specific dates you choose...

Fact is that:
Last time Nokia had market cap > 200 bn (approx 225 bn - estimate on share price) was back in 2000... Do you remember the Internet/High tech bubble?
OPK became Nokia's CEO in 2006... with a Nokia market cap of approx 75 bn...
OPK, as CEO, after one year in office (as TH Elop today)... witnessed a DOUBLING in Nokia's market share value.
How the heck were 200 bn in market cap distruction by OPK calculated????
Please stop making up nonsense arguments only to justify untenable allegations.

Now let's go back to something more serious.

1) If Nokia holds up, it will be thanks to Symbian, not certainly to its Lumias. Check the figures (Q3 & Q4 estimate).
It was no coincidence that TH Elop had to change his original strategy and re-offer Symbian support & development, which originally had been scrapped.
MS realised that Nokia was dying and had to intervene to stop the premature demise by offering renewed life to Symbian with Anna and Belle.
Again, just another nail in the coffin for the arguments that Nokia -without WP7- would have miserably failed, à la RIM.

2) It's ludricous to purport that -if adopting Android- Nokia would be one of the many, while -if adopting WP- Nokia would distinguish itself.
Nokia's choice of WP puts it in the same league of the other OEMs shipping WP on their phones.
Exactly as would have been the case if it had adopted Android.

3) What is really shocking is that almost nobody is saying what is really happening.
The actual truth is that IT IS WP that is distinguishing itself by being able to exploit Nokia's brand, NOT the other way round.
If WP will have any success with Lumia, it will be thanks to Nokia's strength worldwide (e.g. brand, carrier relations, etc.), not to WP appeal.


Nokia might now be saving WP (if everything goes according to MS's plan), but the opposite message was sent through.

This is the power of MS: money, PR, ability of putting its trolls in the right places at the right time.

Bottom line: terrible fate for Nokia, good bet for MS.

custom research paper

I think this is really a very nice post.



I'm glad you brought that "trend decidedly broken" thing up.

Yes - I fully agree with you it's way too early to talk about major change in trends based on one quarter data. This Q3 halt/slowdown in Nokia smartphone unit shipments decline will either be followed through in Q4, or not. Only then we can start talking about changing trends. And, depending on actual numbers, probably even then we'll have to use some qualifiers, because even two quarters can be an anomaly. Based on Q3 numbers - I can only say that it is an indication that the rapid decline trend may be broken. We'll see one way or another in about 40 days when Nokia reports Q4 results.

I used that "decidedly broken" line deliberately, to show how absurd it is to base far reaching conclusions on just single quarter data point, which may or may not be an anomaly. And to see if any of old Nokia fans here pays attention, and will call me on it.
Glad you obliged :)

But it is strange that you happily accept the same one quarter based conclusions from Tomi without ever questioning him. And I'm talking not only about Q4 2010. I'm talking about this very post also. And Tomi's 14 million Nokia smartphones forecast, which you do not question. Despite it being solely based on a one time coincidence of Nokia's Q3 actual numbers falling in the middle of Tomi's "optimistic" and revised "pessimistic" forecasts. And despite the fact that since Feb. 11th Tomi has been wrong in forecasting Nokia quarterly sales every time he did it.


Hi all,

I was thinking the success of Apple iphone/ipad is NOT about apps or hardware.

If we're talking about the hardware, apple hardware is WAY behind android now (720p) or Nokia (12MP Carl Zeis), but it's about some overlook specs, and Nokia WAS the king of this until apple come in, and got sabotaged by the American CEO.

First.... before apple time
Nokia could win the battle of the phone because ..... Polyphonic ring tone, MP3, Snake???, Clock on the phone, GPS, Camera, better camera, good camera, exchangeable cover.... and so on....

Right now, what people want is smooth touch screen UI. and that's why apple is winning because it's OS were build for it.... but with the introduction of DUAL CORE and QUAD CORE it's really change the game, as one core could be use for UI, and the other core for anything else.....

And that's why apple try to make SIRI the next big things, and google have the conversations mode (translating voice on real time) also as the next big things.

This is where nokia kind of a bit lost..... they don't have the next big things....
they have the best GPS.... but android is also not far behind...
they have ESPN for Nokia 800????.... what??? ESPN??



I'm glad you finally noticed this! I actually anticipated your move and consequently immediately recognized that you planted the phrase deliberately into your post, so I played along and continued with my plan by not including any comments on tomi's numbers, deliberately, to allow me, now that you responded as I was expecting, to underscore my point. Which is that it doesn't matter if it will be 11 or 14 million units, the problem is with whole wp strategy and with ms itself.

Unless ms is going to completely change itself, in short term this show will end with sales of couple of tens milions wp phones at max, as ms is using last bits of innovation from n9 and finances generated by symbian, before nokia is swamped by ms ideology. And then wp/windows 8 will crater.


The reason why Android was not a choice is Navteq. More precisely Nokia was investing too much (5.7 G€) in maps. Android comes with Google Maps and there is no use of Navteq maps in Android environment.

Actually Navteq is losing its value all the time and Google is one of the players causing that. Google is quite self-contained in maps nowadays. See the tiny copyright text at the bottom right corner of Google Maps and you can see mostly (c)Google around the world and even in US. The wiki style Open Street Map and its ecosystem are also providing a free alternative for many potential Navteq clients.

I think maps were playing an important role when considering between Android and Windows. Elop had not ruined much at that moment and the coming Microsoft partnership disaster was not visible then.


Tomi, During earnings call HTC has forecasted that they will ship only 13 million smartphones in Q4. A month later they have issued a profit warning that their Q4 sales will come in 25% below expectations. Which probably means that they will ship only 10-11 million smartphones in Q4.


Tomi - one fact i can never accept from your theories that Nokia would have been fine with Symbian... I have the N8.. and it sucks big time compared to the big OSes.. Even with the recent Anna version Symbian is bad.. just so damn difficult to use it..

and coming to Meego - I tried using a Meego phone.. first impression.. except the Hardware - the software is the same old Standard menu of icons.. nothing different.. no widgets... no customizable home screens.. and worst thing..outlook doesnt sync contacts.. now how will these create passion amongst the youngsters or enterprise users to create a compelling thought to buy a Meego phone...

I m not WinPhone is the best there.. it atleast gives a life line.. to me without Windows Phone Nokia is a goner.. soon to be sold company like they are doing Vertu now.. With Windows Phone it gives them to fight back.. Mango is a fantastic OS.. simple, different & good user experience...

I can understand probably your frustration is coming from the fact that Elop killed the Finnish Home grown OSes.. hey thats the fact.. Symbian sucks & is behind Apple or Android by 5 years now...

sample research paper

liked everything very much:)

Earendil Star

Just how people like cherry picking and ignore using financial data properly...

OK, let's take OPK from July 2008 to October 2010 (when THT Elop took his place), and let's forget that before that he had presided over a Nokia boom, and let's forget that the iPhone was released in 2007. Let's also benchmark against the Nasdaq (well, you know, in 2008/2009 there was something called "The Great Recession").

The gap between Nasdaq and Nokia (ADR) opened in mid 2009 (before that they were faring similarly), and ended up at 60% approximately (actually 61%).

Let's do the same with THT Elop, from October 2010 to present. Oooops... gap is also 60% (actually 63%)...!!!

By the way, it's % change that counts, not absolute value when comparing fairly...

So, what's the point being made here?

I am not denying OPK failed to react timely to the iPhone. For this he was rightly or wrongly ousted. But he had no easy task: first he had to acknowledge the challenge (easy to do in retrospect, but difficult at a time when Apple was Mr Nobody in the smartphone space and Nokia firmly n.1 worldwide), then to react trying to maintain Nokia's independence (yeah, at the time this was still a concern...). The strategy was slow but had its merits, and recognizing Symbian resilience in Q3 2011 (as opposed to RIM, for example), it could have even worked.

On the other hand, THT Elop failed Nokia totally. He destroyed its ecosystem, zapped its independence, and for what? For a third party OS that is faring last in the market.
Result: Huge gambit that might still fail (which means terrible risk management). Furthermore, Nokia is now just an OEM and MS subsidiary.
No way Nokia can ever hope to go back to the profits it made in the past.

Yet THT Elop might be considered successful (at least so far), if you look at him for what he is: a MS employee carrying on MS's agenda.

Captain Anonymous


"Why didn't Nokia buy Android before Google? Why didn't Nokia buy Palm Web/OS before HP? Why didn't Nokia buy QNX before RIM? Why didn't Nokia align itself with Amazon? They did nothing under OPK/Jorma."

That's not strictly true. They went on a shopping spree with little idea of how to integrate their purchases into a coherent whole:

However, they also figured out, eventually, that partnering was the way to go with services. It could be argued that Yahoo! was an unfortunate choice for that.

Ansii vanjoki

Under OPK everything is so Slow and meego was one of the project in that time

Kalle inventor of many things, accomplisher of nothing

What killed Nokias dominance? Well it was the humble HTTP stack, which made the browser slow and thus people flocked to other guys who just happened to look at their crap and made it work. If N8 or 5800 or any other Nokia phone had had a decent browser Nokia would be fine. iPhone still has a crappy and limited interface. Two things that separate it. It crashes seldomly, browser is nice and screen has high resolution. You say wait that is three things, but then again I was already picking and choosing.


Super post! Just like your blog professionalism! Keep up the good work.



Ok... I don't know about you guys but I have a feeling most of people aren't here because they want to get informed or to debate about the future of mobile industry. They just want the thrill of stating their opinions and defending their beloved brands and that is making this debate so poor, exhaustive and ridiculous...

Whenever Tomi writes about anything else besides Apple or Elop, like how Mobile is changing things in Africa, he is just ignored by most people here and that makes me wonder: how people who don't really understand or care about the true impact of mobile technology on peoples lives can know about smartphones when smartphones is just one only and single type of product inside what is mobile.

It strangely seems that since Apple created the iPhone, only 4 years ago, suddenly everybody who has an iPhone or Android phone became mobile specialists!! It doesn't matter anymore if the guy writing above has more then 10 books about the subject! If you read Gizmodo and Engadget then you're already a specialist!!


And then these people just come here with all their pre conceived ideas, 100% based on personal passions, and not even once open their minds to change their views one little bit...


If you have your personal passions, AT LEAST, DO LIKE TOMI AND STATE THEM! Tomi is Finnish and has a past on Nokia. Is completely understandable why he could have a passion about it and he is not hiding it from you. He is showing that to you but also showing the reasoning of why he believes Nokia did the wrong move. But if we are here to really develop a debate and not just confront the best ideas we find to defend our passions we pretend to hide then we should DO THE SAME and state WHICH ARE OUR PASSIONS AND WHY ARE THEM OUR PASSIONS!

As I did it here, many and many times before, I loved old Nokia because they used to make good and strong phones, easy to use and completely open to user's desire to explore it deeply in the way he thinks is the best for himself. In my opinion Nokia was a truly Community Dominated Brand.

I also hate Apple because it does the opposite and controls the device more in Apple's favour then in the owner's favor. Even if the owner is the guy who pays the bill. Which in my point of view is absurd. Anyway...

I'm an open source advocate and my belief of why Nokia should have stayed with MeeGo and Qt is because I believe the more open, the more flexible and the more the ecosystem empowers the user and other players the more the ecosystem has adoption.

That, is obviously a belief not a proven fact. It makes sense but in some times it works like that and on some time it doesn't. In the case of Android, for example, that belief makes perfect sense since was Android's flexibility that made Android attractive for OEM's and Carriers and then users.

The reason why I believe Nokia will stay on this death spiral is because Microsoft's strategy for mobile is aiming the wrong objectives. Their strategy is not based on exploring Mobile possibilities but ensuring the best Microsoft products will be linked on only one ecosystem specially designed for the benefit of Microsoft not OEM's, not carriers (remember skype?), not users, even when they depend on OEM's and carriers to deliver the product to the end consumer. No matter if this ecosystem doesn't makes sense (like console games + office + mobile) and if it doesn't generates value to the user. Their goal is making the ecosystem connected to other Microsoft products and also locking the user into this ecosystem. And for making that possible they must make their mobile OS very closed and controlled and that kills the flexibility I love and I believe is necessary for generating value to the user and other players and making this ecosystem rich and adoptable. And that is why I hate WP strategy. Besides that I hate and always hated Microsoft because of this same behavior wherever they put their hands on. Complete parasites who never worry about generating value to the user. Anyway...

Until now what Tomi said is exactly what is happening to Nokia and Microsoft. Their ecosystem has weak adoption and weak relevance due being so unfriendly to other players that not microsoft.. No matter how good or bad is the OS (and yes I tried the WP OS and liked it! it doesn't reminds me to nothing ever made by microsoft!). WP OS has a crappy sales channel as Android is evidently carriers favorite. It has no Mindshare, as Microsoft killed Windows Mobile and the windows brand is also a bad memory to bring into mobile. In OEM's Android is also evidently the favorite, except for Nokia. But while in the US Apple has strong own branded stores Nokia hasn't even a partner carrier. In Europe Nokia is stronger but has already lost a lot of territory in carriers and minds. In japan and developing countries what can we say? Terrible market loss in china and too expensive handsets for India and Brazil and others.

For those reasons going with Microsoft was the wrong move. For that reason going STRICTLY with Microsoft was the worse move. Going strictly with Microsoft and killing own baked OSs was a even worse move. And going strictly with Microsoft which by then and until now has an irrelevant ecosystem, and prematurely killing the largest ecosystem which was also own baked is definitely stupid.

And so many wrong moves coincidentally together makes us think. What if they where not mistakes but if they really intended to do that? What if they aren't the product of an incredibly dumb mind but the product of a incredibly smart mind dedicated to objectives that are not what they should be?



First, ms isn't stronger partner, actually it's the weakest from them all and just this simple fact renders the whole teaming up absurd.

Sorry, but apps will be always central, and more so as smartphones are becoming main general computing devices. No single company is able to program everything and compete with milions dedicated programmers worldwide, ms is downplaying apps just because it massively lacks in this area (well, in what area he doesn't).

You can control xbox from your phone, that's great. Only questing is who would do that when there is special controller? Are you going to throw away mouse and keyboard when ms releases similar app for windows? And I guarantee to you in few years there will be industry standard way to beam video from your smartphone to tv, so any proprietary locked format tied to xbox is just pointless exercise in old ms thinking. Funny that meego was on its way not just into smartphones and tablets, but crucially also into tvs, cars and other smart appliances. But for ms windows and office is the central thing and smartphone is just accessory designed to boost their main "ecosystem"

Btw, letting the ethical, philosophical and legal questions aside, this standard ms strategy of maintaining users by locking them up in deliberately incompatible formats and systems, limiting their choices, works only when you created the market and you have 90 % share of it for two decades, not when you are ten years late to the party, have ~ 2 % share and decreasing. But ms doesn't know better and apparently Elop is ms brainchild.


n900Lover, a couple of clarifications. I WISH Nokia could have gone the open route with Meego, it would have been the right move 2-3 years ago. But not being able to deliver until 2011 they were too late. For better or for worse, the dominant players (Apple and Android) are locking in their customers with extended ecosystems that client only players like Nokia and RIM can't hope to compete with. Apps are important, but it's a checkbox item, not an innovation at this point. WP7 has many more blue chip apps at this point than Symbian or Meego.

I'm no big MS fan, but I think your hatred of them is a bit over the top. There is a standard for connecting devices already; it's called DLNA and it's what Microsoft uses between devices and pcs and works with non-MS products like Televisions, AV Receivers, and Nokia phones. It's Apple with AirPlay that is playing with incompatible formats and interfaces. And MS can't be so proprietary if their biggest play, PCs allow both critical Apple (iTunes, iCloud) and Google (Chrome, Android dev tools) components to work on their platform.

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