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« Apple Results? Beyond Monster Quarter selling 37M units of iPhones to 25% market share | Main | How Many Lumia Sales? As Nokia (and Microsoft) ashamed to reveal number, lets count - and compare to N9 MeeGo sales »

January 26, 2012



Hi Tomi,

Would you not say that the state of affairs is due to the crazy arrogance and mismanagement of OPK and JO before Elop?

The missed opportunities? the missed trends? I would argue that if no change had been made there would be no future for Nokia, whereas now, they have a future in what will be a bigger ecosystem than iOS.

As for the staff cuts, there is a huge amount of dead wood in this and any company that went through a dot com growth trajectory like that, its just a readjustment to market realities.




I am not sure if i should feel good or bad for nokia are they reading this numbers? How cant they tell elop was wrong and they should fire him right now.
And congrats your % market was on spot



Once again, you show us why Forbes say you're the best.

I also very curious on why the nokia board were so blind. Are they bribed? threaten? drunk? drugged? or simply idiot?

Nokia was had the BEST ecosystem.
They have QT that were used to build apps for Linux/Unix.
They have QT to glue Maemo and symbian together so the transition to Maemo would be easy.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi C, Tomifan, jo and cygnus

C - I said VERY clearly that problems existed before Elop. Read the blog!

As to trends, Nokia set the trends and Elop admitted as much - come on, Apple admitted as much for stealing Nokia patents and then agreeing to pay Nokia. Does your phone have NFC or dual SIM? Nokia had an app store four years before the first iPhone etc. I am not suggesting Nokia was always perfect in its execution, but on trends, Nokia set the trends, not missed them.

Tomifan - fair point. But regardless, the evidence is now fact. The year 2011 did see Nokia set a world record in destruction of a global leader in its market. All marketing professionals say that market share matters (as long as you are profitable) and this will be seen as the biggest marketing blunder of all time. Maybe I don't know the internal stuff at Nokia - bearing in mind I am an ex-Nokia exec and they still use me as a consultant a decade after I left and one of my books is a official Nokia book - perhaps I do know haha.. But the facts are now irrefutable. This is a failure. The biggest ever.

jo - thanks. But yes, we should all weep. Nokia was destroyed in 2011. Now its a question can some of Nokia be salvaged before it is all gone.

cygnus - thanks. I am totally puzzled about the Board too. Ollila has now been replaced, it seems he didn't care anymore last year. Truly a shame as he would have been remembered as the great man of mobile phone handsets, this last episode tarnishes his reputation. He should have stepped in last Autumn and fired Elop...

Thank you all for the comments

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Some are saying the N9 sold up to 2 million units.....


windows phone is a dead platform, no way its ever gotta be bigger than iOS. unless apple fuck it up like nokia is doing in it now. looking at their numbers they doing better than nokia.

nokia right now only chance is brand name push windows phone, but it never gotta grow enough to recover marketshare and profits, symbian on had.

true, symbian was on the dead bed, but if pr1.2 meego is a sign that its feature wise better succesor to symbian than windows phone will ever be.

no point having dualcore with windows phone when there no multitask to take advance of it, or features , games that push it. and likely will ever be.



In Allaboutsymbian, someone point out that nokia say that from the PDF.... the sale of Symbian smartphone in Q4 is declining compared to Q3... Therefore the number of N9 could be guess at least 1.5 Million.

cut and paste from AAS:
"Did you read the report at all? Symbian sales in Q4 declined. Q3 was 16.8 smart devices. No N9 and Lumias were on sale back then, page 9.

Sales for symbian declined in Q4 over Q3 so even if you leave the symbian sales at 16.8m eventhough it declined.
1.3m Lumias 2.8-1.3=1.5m Nokia N9."


@Tomi, @All

Too easy jump on Q4 number and say Nokia Windows Mobile was a disaster.

Before it was already know that Nokia WM phone could not be more then 4m unit produced for Q4.
Analysts predict already around 1M unit sold for Q4, and this was based on production capacity.

So it was impossible for Nokia sell more WM phones due to production limit.

The big problem is the increasing decrease of sales of other Nokia phones, clearly mainly due to the Elop Effect (eFlop)



Bob Shaw

This is an extract of an article by Kevin Tofel on Nokia at Gigaom.

"You can’t overlook what Nokia has done in the 11 months following Elop’s pronouncement of massive change. The company quickly retooled its hardware and software for Microsoft’s platform. It has won a number of awards for its new devices and actually got people at the Consumer Electronics Show talking about Nokia for the first time in recent memory. It hasn’t announced devices only to have people wait six months to buy them. And it has two carrier partners in the U.S. in AT&T and T-Mobile.

The important part is this: for now, Nokia is delivering on all of its promises; something I can’t recall happening for a number of years prior. And that, at least, gives it — and to an extent, Windows Phone — a fighting chance."


Hey Tomi, your blog and are really good!

Do you think there's gonna be an N9 successor since it most likely beat the Lumia?

Anonymous coward


I was told at a Nokia event, quite directly, there will be no N9 successor regardless of how well it's received by the market. MeeGo is dead and a Linux-based featurephone OS for developing markets is its successor-in-spirit.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi N9, jo, cygnus, elm and Bob

N9 - yeah, I've seen that. I will do my best to collect best info and we should know at least in early February when the big analyst houses report

jo - good points

cygnus - yeah, I noticed, and remember, Lumia didn't sell 1.3M units. That is what analysts expected. If Nokia could have confirmed 1.3M number (or more) would have said. When Nokia said more than 1M, and the Nokia analysts had expected 1.3M its sure the number was significantly less than that

elm - this first launch of Lumia was the biggest smartphone event since at least the launch of the N-Gage (world's first consumer-oriented smartphone) for Nokia. And Elop could choose absolutely everything about it - and messed it all up. He launched in Europe, but didn't give them an European-style phone but rather one that was US-oriented. And that first Lumia 800 phone will not even launch in the USA at all. What a total moron. He had all the time, all the money, all the Nokia competence to make everything perfect. A year ago, the N8 was rushed to the market as a severely delayed phone and had only normal launch marketing among big portolio of other Nokia phones. And it did 4M sales. If Elop was half-competent, with the hundreds of millions from Microsoft, he should have sold twice what N8 did.

Tomi Ahonen :-)



all the awards are due design same awards nokia n9 got, not beause windows phone.

windows phone is a huge failure.


Thanks for the reply Tomi!

So there's only going to be one smartphone OS in the future for Nokia, that is, Windows Phone, since MeeGo is dead and Symbian expires in 2016?

I really like the N9 especially the Swipe UI and buttonless front.

I'm going to move to Samsung if Nokia only uses Windows Phone as its only smartphone OS.


There's still Meltemi.

Nokia's real problem is that it came to the market too late. Market share is fine and all, but what is needed is profits.

The return to profitability is key for Nokia if it wants to show that it is still relevant. The rumored AT&T launch date of 18th March will not help WP7 numbers much in Q1, so I do expect losses to continue. Q2 and Q3 will be the decider of Nokia's future with AT&T, and how other carriers will go forward with the Lumia push.

And of course, Apollo. Will that be the game changer?

Earendil Star

If you read the press on the Nokia results, everything seems to shine.

"Above analyst expectations"

"Lumias sold well above 1 million" says THT Elop

OK, MS and Nokia paid for that. Yet, even for Microsoft, these numbers are something to be ashamed of. No wonder Ballmer did not even mention it. And if you read some comments around, even readers do not seem to believe the official propaganda.

Just consider that Lumia had -presumably- some pent-up demand, owing to the usual THT Elop (absurd) strategy of promising well in advance products that will only be sold after several months. The result? 1 million Lumias? 1/4 of the N8 on the beleaguered, clumsy, outdated Symbian platform????
When just to be on par (market-share-wise) it should have sold 7 million????

I agree with Bob Shaw's quote of Kevin Tofel that Nokia finally was able to deliver... unfortunately it did on the wrong strategy. "For now" is not an option for Nokia in a market that evolves every few months. Whatever comes out will only be good for MS (not too difficult to rise from a 1% worldwide market share for WP...) but a bloodshed for Nokia. Nokia stopped fighting the moment it hired THT Elop. From that moment on, the fight was taken over by the softies.

Meanwhile Nokia is selling its plants (the latest in Romania). Probably the idea for the future is to outsource production completely to the likes of Compal.

MS is already thinking about new moves to prop its WP platform. This could come from jettisoning WP7 and introducing the new WP8, with kernel & bits taken over from the forthcoming Windows 8 (developers will be happy of the additional workload if this is true :-). The move is to try and leverage once again on its stronghold: the PC market. This is really a crucial moment for MS. Unless it gains traction in the market of the future (ARM based smartphones and pads) it may well have reached its descending trajectory. And MS does not fare comfortably when it's deprived of its monopolistic ecosystem: how can you coerce OEMs, Retailers and Industrial Partners to force feed customers with your products, when you are no longer the Lord of the game?


@former Nokia

From morons to criminals

I don't forget OPK stating laud and open that N8 was the last Symbian well ahead it will be on shops shelfs, a moronic statement that effect N8 sales and open the ground for kill Symbian from eFlop




Tomi, what makes the 800 "U.S. Oriented"? It certainly can't be the hardware as its pretty much the same as the N9 (unless you are saying the N9 shouldn't be launched in Europe ;) ). The WP7 OS is the same everywhere. Of the Nokia addons Drive is pretty universal; and the music app cannot be used in the US (content licensing) but can in much of Europe.


Good point but the 1.3M stated for WP7 was to the end of January, the figure to the end of Q4 was likely to be around 600,000.

This makes the figure for the N9:
19.6-16.8 = 2.8
0.6m Lumias
2.8-0.6 = 2.2m Nokia N9

So even adjusting for the fact Lumia was only around for half that Quarter it seems the N9 was still outselling it on a day to day basis.

As far as I can see there was never any reason to believe WP7 would be a success for NOKIA, quality manufacturers like samsung, HTC and LG had already tried and failed with it.

The limited functionality combined with the expensive hardware requirements of WP7 also make it a poor fit with NOKIA's existing customer base who will be used to getting more for less, it seems inevitable to me that these customers will look at Android devices as their most natural progression.

Personally I think I'm going to hang on to my Symbian phone until either Tizen or Ubuntu enter the arena, none of the present options look very interesting to me.


Its amazing how well N9 sold. Considering things like it being taken behind the barn and shot before arrival, limited release, limited marketing, 3rd party developers abandoning it (no apps), Microsoft didn't give you a free X-Box for buying it etc, etc.

And they gave it up for a platform that consumers had already abandoned. Never thought that Nokia could find worse CEO than OPK. Congrats for Ollila in proving me wrong.

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