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« The Wisdom of Fundamental Curves (Revisited in 2012) | Main | No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world »

January 13, 2012


Michael Demetriou

I would like to point out some inaccuracies in reported phone specs: The N95 didn't have xenon flash, the N8 was (probably) the first 12M smartphone, not the first 12MP cameraphone (it was probably the Samsung Pixon12 and it was sold in europe, but it wasn't smart) and the N900 didn't have usb flash drive support out of the box (the N8 and E7 had it) but the open source community made it real.

Jari Herrgård

Interesting reading! One note: Lumia does have an FM-radio.


There's lots of good analysis here, but some of the comments on the missing phone features and lineup seem premature to me. Nokia has said that they intend to ship 10s of WP variations in 2012. I'm sure the super camera phone, the qwerty phone, and the low cost phones are all coming. The mono-block slab format was clearly the easiest to get done quickly (with outsourced parts) and that form factor dominates the top 10 best selling smart phones for Q4 2011, so makes send to complete first. I don't think 3 phones announced in just over 1 quarter is the extent of Nokia's WP portfolio, just the start. It was many months after the N8 was announced that the E7 was introduced (and at least now shipment isn't half a year after announcement like on the N8).


A few countercomments. Somehow I have the feeling this is in vain.


Let's think about consumer smartphones. You have the stats, so how many procent of smartphones in >200 $ category have a physical QWERTY ? My quess: less than 10 %. If they are so desirable, then why consumers are not buying them ? They just buy touchscreen devices ...


Lumia800 is not a flagship phone. Not claimed to be and not supposed to be. It just happens to be first WP phone from Nokia. 900 can be said to be on a flagship category. They still have decent cameras which is enough for consumers. For camera enthusiastics there is rumours on last Symbian flagship ...

Consider this: Lumia800 was designed and delivered from scratch in maybe 8-10 months. Why Nokia is able to be record fast now when it was record slow in the past years ? Please turn this negative.


Just opinions and counter to what I read on most blogs. You might just as well complain about N9 look and feel.


The damage was already done. Don't blame the new phones for that.


See 1). Also did it occur, that these are just the first WP from Nokia ?


Partly same as 6)

Concerning capacity / global availability: components & schedule are big restriction here.


How was Meego better in this respect ? How many apps it would have had at 12/2011 if it had staid the strategy ? Please don't tell that 50 000 symbian/qt apps would have been ported in this time.

Personally I believe (you might have some stats) that less than 1000 apps is 90 % of all daily apps usage. Nobody needs 50000. Same bullshit argument was always used against Nokia.


An AT&T sales guy said that WP has least returns. Maybe he was just lobbying for MS, I don't know.


800 is not a flagship. It is just first. And most consumers don't care.


At this point, there is even less evidence concerning enterprise reactions than customer reactions


Somehow Nokia Lumia made it to both T-Mobile and AT&T now. When there were last middle/upper class Nokia phones on two operators in USA ?


How does this hostility work in practice ? There is now 40 operators selling Lumia. Why do they sell phones that they are not willing to sell ? How does this work in practice ? Please explain. I can see that Lumia is available for 0 euros on many big european operators, which does not look like boycott to me either.


By 1) I mean the percentage of sold smartphones in >200 $ category. Not from the amount of phone models.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

Thanks for the comments. I deleted a few that talked about typos - because I clearly said in the blog that I am still editing and cleaning the blog. Also deleted a few that clearly didn't read the full blog (one even said so).

to the rest of you, thanks for the comments. I am utterly dead. I think I set a personal record for text production, 15,000 words in 12 hours, so about 1,250 words per hour and every part of my body aches not just my fingers and wrists.

the above is unusually rough but you guys see my main points, so don't crucify me for some of the detail that I didnt have time to double-check (some camera spec or model number etc).

Lets talk about the main points, is Lumia already doomed, are those 13 points relevant to smartphone market success, what did I miss or get wrong - and do you agree haha..

I will try to fix the text, tone it down a bit from the hostility towards more perhaps humor, but I need a fresh mind to do that. And I have to add tons of links etc. I will also try to shorten the text but honestly, I don't think I have much energy to do that really properly. This topic once again angers me to the sheer stupidity which is illustrated in how botched this launch has been. If Elop had given the Lumia project to any mid or senior exec at Nokia - who was a Nokia veteran - he'd be selling many times more Lumias now. but I'm too upset and tired to think straight.

Hey, TomiFan, I never delete comments who disagree with me just because they disagree, provided they read the original text and stick to the topics, you are fine, I'll get back to responding later..

And EK - love the signposting of your comment haha. Were you a debater too?

Laters, dudes and dudettes

Tomi :-)

Volker Hirsch

Hi Tomi, I'll just have to point out one rather misguided statement: to pull N-Gage out of the hat to claim Nokia's gaming prowess is, to put it politely, brave. N-Gage didn't fail once, it failed twice. Spectacularly. Both times. In spite of tons of money having been sunk into it. I know of no one who ever made an N-Gage game without being paid top dollars by Nokia for it.

Given that XBLA isn't there yet (really?), this is of course of little relief to their current situation but a working XBLA integration would be miles better than N-Gage ever was.

I'll let you get away with it as I know you don't tend to spend your nights in gaming sessions... :p

Other than that: what a tour de force... :) Speak soon!


@Tomi I know you say you never delete comments unless they do not stick to the topic. But where the heck is my 1000+ word response to your comment went when I replied to your reply to my Christensen/disruptive innovation comment? Unless it was some of your bloggin system's - Typepad's- fault, as I saw quite a few people complain. In that case - just do try to think and care about commenters here, more. A better system is just a few clicks away, and if you'd like to have a state of the art - I'm sure - you'll find a lot of help to do comments on your site via Disqus. Or just move to already - they do have offers for thought leaders like you and should help in transition. Believe me - it will be worth it. If you care enough.

Now gettin to the topic at hand.

#1 reason - Messaging/SMS.

Ok. No problem with that 68 or 83% of consumers use their phone for SMS. They do, I know.

The question is - have you heard about the concept of "good enough"? As in - this thing can do SMS good enough? Very few of those who send SMS, except for real hard core addicts (SMS is addictive, as you know), care enough for physical QWERTY keyboard. And Nokia knew it way before Elop. Or they would have made much more bestsellers with QWERTY instead of T9 keypad. And most of Nokia pre-touch bestsellers were T9 - for a decade of SMS ascendancy. And T9 was good enough for SMS, as touchscreen became later.

If SMS was the key consumer choice criteria - why the heck would anyone need/buy a smartphone? Which of Apple's and Android's smartphones can do better SMS then NOkia or Blackberry?

Good enough is good enough. And everyone today does SMS texting option well enough. Physical T9, QWERTY or touchscreen. Except for niche heavy addicts/texters.

And even if "90% of US smartphone owners said they would want better SMS text messaging" - what do they mean by that? Would they choose a better text messaging phone with QWERTY or better T9? The numbers prove otherwise.

No matter what they say they like - text messaging is good enough on every phone by now. And they voted with their wallets in 2010 and 2011 for iPhone or some Android. None of which is a superior texting phone to Blackberry.

And as for your NPD 46% QWERTY phones in U.S. number. Well, maybe you'll provide a link to that report, because when I Googled - I found only this one:

And I noticed that you said that "NPD said in 2010 that 46%" ... bla bla bla. The question is what year NPD was talking about? 2010 or 2009? When according to them, best selling phones in USA were BB Curve and LG Env3? And, if NPD is in any way reliable, what do their stats at the end of 2010 and 2011 say about QWERTY/texting preference? In actual sales numbers?

#2 Camera thing

If camera megapixels are so important, why the heck are we stuck here. For 5 years, between 5 and 8 megapixels? Nokia N95 did 5 megapixels in 2007. Samsung Pixon upped it to 12 megapixels in 2008. Since then nobody cared much about it, until Nokia reached Samsung’s 12 megapixel count in late 2010?

iPhone didn't get there yet. Android with Sony Xperia thingie(s) will get there in 2012. Samsung -despite getting first to 12 megapixels in 2008 - never bothered to put it on its bestselling Galaxy S or S2 (5 and 8mpx).

Is camera (after 5 or 8 megapixels) is really that important, or is it already good enough?

#3 Look and feel. US

Really? Did you read U.S pundit and tech blogger reactions after CES Nokia Lumia 900 announcement? Just a couple of most prominent:

John Dvorak:,2817,2398716,00.asp

Dan Lions (aka fake Steve Jobs)

That's two of the biggest. We are still missing Walt Mossberg and David Pogue - we'll see what they have to say.

But overall - reception of Lumia, especially in Look&Feel department in U.S by tech and not so tech press has been overwhelmingly positive.

#7 number of models

You've been ridiculing Nokia and insisting that Nokia will be hardly able ship anything WP last year. Unless, maybe, at the very end of the year. When they proved you wrong on that - you switched to "not enough, crappy phone" mode.

Then you started ridiculing Nokia because they've only got Lumia 710 and only on T-Mobile in U.S, and why they can not get on more carriers. When they announced Lumia 900 - well, you again switched to saying it's not enough - only one phone on one carrier.

Exactly when it will be enough? When Nokia announces the next phone on Sprint or Verizon at Mobile World Congress? Or when they have 3 phones on each U.S major carrier next year?

And what about that great former Nokia U.S. sales team that only managed to put 1 flagship on one carrier in 3 and a half years? Only to be canceled because AT&T won't market or subsidize it adequately?

And what about AT& being so f%^ked and pissed about Nokia because of X7 cancellation? So pissed that AT&T CEO will come on stage at Nokia press conference and tout Lumia 900?

You seem to forget that it takes time to build quality models on new OS, requiring new components, approach, etc; And that Nokia already did way better then you expected in your best case scenario in February or July, at getting Windows Phones to ship. (Not talking about sales yet)

#8 Apps, ecosystem

Symbian has 100K apps. Really? The reference you must be quoting should be Distimo (despite the reliability of it). This one:

Well, they do say that Nokia store has 100K+ apps. The problem is two fold:

#1 they do include themes,ringtones, screensavers and other similar non app stuff in the numbers.

#2 It's NOkia store - it does include all the Java 2ME apps for S40 (non Symbian devices). And the last time Nokia reported the split, about half a year ago (they changed the site so it's hard to get to full numbers), it was approaching something like 30 or 40% in Java apps for S40. And Java apps were growing something like 10 faster then Symbian apps (adding between 5 and 10% a month to the split). So by now Java apps have to be at least at 50:50 split to Symbian, very likely - more. That means- there are only 50K Symbian apps in Nokia app store at best. And they include stuff that nobody else counts as apps.

No matter how you look at it = it took 10 years for Symbian to get to 50K "apps". Or, to look things better - it took 2 and a half years since the launch of OVI store. It took Windows Phone only 15 months to get there.

And, if Windows Phone could do it with only 1% of the market (as opposed to Symbian’s 70-30% in the time they had), what can they do when those percents and growth numbers start climbing like crazy. To only take Morgan Stanley's 37M WP No for 2012 - WP OS growth will be in the hundreds of percents depending on Q4 2011 results. And that does not even count other WP vendors. If developers already wrote 50K apps for Windows Phone, when it was stalled or even declining to 1%, don’t you think they will notice these huge growth numbers?

Looking only at the growth numbers - every expert who watches them, agrees that WP App Store is growing way faster then Android or Apple's app store grew at a similar point of time since launch. And every developer already heard stories on what happens if you get in early in a new gen app store and achieve even moderate success.

Sorry. Friday evening - gonna go, or wife will not understand. Will get back to the rest of your reason critique if you are interested, later :)


You mix global and local statistics all the time... Nokia's smartphone presence in the USA specifically is very very weak. We must compare the Lumia 900 and 710 to the N8 and C7 in the USA, not globally. Of course we must think about the global results in the end, but the interesting subject is Nokia "re-entering" the American market.

And the Lumias were pretty much directed to the USA, I suspect they will never be released here in Brazil for instance. You talk like it's a flawed design for here, but they are in fact not trying to sell it here.

And regarding what the consumers want. If they really were just concerned with SMS, and not with browser and apps and games, (and what about music?) smartphone sales wouldn't be increasing. This is where the difference resides, so it _must_ be important. It's where lots of innovation will take place. It's about tomorrow not today. These stats reflects the consumer today and yesterday.

And I keep remembering when you said once some japanese kids are buying Iphones just for kicks, even if their real phones were others. Can't the new smartphone consumers be thinking the same when they go purchase a new phone? Won't they momentarily forget what are their real priorities, and get the Iphone because of other reasons that have nothing to do with their "real" priorities?...

Damir Mihalička


Localization! Symbian firmware = Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech,.. ETC... ETC...


You are wrong. Lumia have fm radio. It is minimals specs of wp.


Well, while what you said is mainly true it reflects as someone as already said the now and the yesterday. I think that the whole WP ecosystem must be judged in terms of improvements speed and compare it with the speed of symbian/Meego. Symbian is at Km 100 and run at 10 Km/h while WP is at Km 50 and run quicker but too early to say at what speed. In short MS is doing the same of Apple in 2007. It has started with an inferior product compared to the Nokia portfolio of the time, but with speed of improvements and also with the famous "market distortion" has manageed to surpass Nokia. I don't understand why Steve Jobs was called a jenius for his ability on market distortion and Elop a should be called a "liar"

There is also the other part of the Elop Management, the yet obscure "Next Billion" that more and more seems to me the Plan AAA, i.e. the all internal alternative to WP based on Qt over Linux. If meltemi can run well on $50 phones then it can run fantastically on a $500 smartphone.

While in the past I too was very sceptic on Elop's strategy I now think that there is also something coocking on the front of Nokia OS.

Maybe WP is the OS to fight against iOS and Meltemi the OS to fight against Android (except for the ecosystem).

So to summarize we have to wait more to get a clear picture, nevertheles reasoned critics such your are a very great resource to tune the Nokia Strategy.


#16 Tech leaders will not get excited about WP7 because it is staying >1year behind
in the integration of the latest SoC HW. Just look at the CPU and GPU benchmarks on Lumia, which
are not really shining against technology leaders in the market (iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2).
This is something that Nokia has underestimated since N95; they have been selling
"flagships" that are ~2 years behind in the HW development (that applies to N8 and N9 as well).
Just as an example, iPhone and Android will soon introduce
GPU based general purpose computing with OpenCL and RenderScript APIs. What is the excitement
that WP7 can offer to tech leader in the next few years?


Hi Tomi,

Error on reason number 10.
N8 is not last year (2011), but last 2 years (2010).

and android since 2.3 (Froyo) support USB OTG too.

PS: I think elop will inflate the Q4 number. He put 200K of developer gift into that number, microsoft might also put some $$$ in that number, not to mention elop would put some Q1 2012 sales into Q4 2011 number.


@Damir Mihalička

I really hate Nokia Localization and i don't think it's a selling point, and I have many times e-mail nokia and talk to someone@nokia about it..... In my opinion, Nokia should learn Apple on Globalization

For those who don't understand it....
Localization... the nokia way.... creating a subset of localize language on the devices.
Globalization... the apple way.... putting all the localization on the devices, and let user choose which language they want to use. Thus a user who bought apple in Greek would be able to have Korean, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, etc.

Why Globalization is the future??? Imagine a Korean worker in UK, or Vietnamese in Argentina, and so on. With nokia, the korean worker in UK can't read the SMS from his homeland in his Nokia.

and PS, Nokia N9 do the globalization firmware way.... long live meego

Ben M

Tomi – thank you for keeping your blog up to date with new developments. Your insight puts words to all of our frustrations with the direction Nokia has taken.

I have owned Nokia stock at many points over the last year and I for one have filed a complaint with the SEC. I think there is indisputable evidence that Elop has eroded shareholder value and has a conflict of interest. Many of his actions defy logic and common sense, yet no reasonable answers are given. It is all smoke and mirrors. I think this is the type of situation where there would be power by numbers. The public, investment community, and partners need to be shaken and woken up as to what is happening with Nokia. THIS IS A BIG STORY.

Earendil Star

I see that the usual MS fanbois are praising the WP OS and the current THT Elop strategy, despite their arguments being debunked time and time again.
The problem is they always reply providing comments that are completely off topic.
Nobody has ever denied that the current strategy is good for MS.

As I said previously, just repeating nonsense does not change its nature, it remains nonsense.

The crux of the matter is that:

1) WP WAS THE BURNING PLATFORM that THT Elop was sent (by MS) to rescue, not Symbian or Maemo/Meego.
Had it not been for MS covert acquisition of Nokia, WP would be NOWHERE now in the market, regardless of its merits.

2) The Lumia 900 IS NOT YET BEING SOLD.
Yet, it's being compared to ACTUAL phones that have been on the market for months.
It is typical THT Elop tactics: announce with great fanfare, normally by "leaked" memos/videos, then deliver months later.
This is just a symptom of how much behind MS and WP are compared to the competition.
They are forced to do so because otherwise, if they did it the Apple way and announce the products when they are actually available, they would immediately be perceived as laggards. Instead, anticipating announcements of releases, they just makes things appear as if they were much ahead of what they really are.
Reality is that Lumias will have to compete with much beefier handsets when they are released. It will happen already at launch or shortly afterwards.

3) The Lumia 900 is almost exactly as the Lumia 800, just with a larger screen (but same resolution and lower pixel density) and front facing camera. All the rest is practically the same. So, if the 800 was behind (and it was), so is the 900.
Yet, thanks to MS money, the "professional" press has been kind to Lumia. As it is always kind with MS and Apple, Google being the typical exception (probably they prefer to invest in innovation instead of buying good press reviews...).
Maybe MS is right in believing that consumers are unaware of these facts and will not care if they are paying the same for a lower specd model (lower even than the N9, which, for example, has a higher screen resolution, RAM, Flash memory, etc.).
Maybe... but this has yet to be seen and proven.

4) Yes, execution has improved at Nokia. Sad is that current execution was targeted at what was essential for... MS, not Nokia.
All efforts were targeted at WP, totally disregarding a massive hemorrage on all other fronts, including using outside OEMs to deliver the phones (Compal) while Nokias own plants are working below full capacity, as this is not an issue for MS.

5) Lumias are not only for the US, they are supposed to be Nokia's current flagships, worldwide.
Yeah, I know, they are not capable of supporting all previous Nokia markets because of localisation issues.
Well, why should that be a problem for MS? Is it for Nokia? Who cares.

6) THT Elop is refraining from leveraging Nokia's full potential in all of its markets.
The N9 was sold only in smaller markets, stating clearly it would be the last of its kind, even if Nokia plants are working under capacity.
As Tomi said, Nokia would have had the means to launch its non Lumia products worldwide almost simultaneously, with all carriers, etc... yet it is no longer doing so.
Yes, finally Nokia is back in the States... but ONLY with Lumias...
All this would seem to defy logic... UNLESS... you assume that THT Elop is actually working for MS, not Nokia.
In which case, all makes perfectly sense:
WP was dying, and urgent action was needed to give it a chance. This chance materialised when THT Elop, former MS Executive, was injected into Nokia.
THT Elop objective has always been that of favoring WP, not Nokia. And the only way to achieve that was to kill the FIRST ECOSYSTEM: Nokia's.

I do not know if Lumia's and the current MS strategy will be successful in the long run or not.
What I am certain of is that -unless something unexpected happens, such as a successful untitrust probe- Nokia smartphone unit is destined to become a MS division, like Xbox, while all other assets -except patents- will be disposed of as soon as possible.


At CES, Elop started talking a lot about Asha. And Asha has qwerty, etc. If he seems to be caring about that, we shouldn't be condemning them for not having released a WP7 smartphone or whatever without qwerty. Here are a couple of new devices for those people who only care about calling, texting, sharing pictures, and just a little bit about browsing and apps. Lumia is about the high end!... The fight for the mindshare, getting more space in the USA market, or whatever.

And I think the fact they are paying $10 or $15 bucks to store sellers who sell WP7 helps much more than a lot of stuff like number of available apps, or specs... Just having people who are selling the device not telling you it sucks, is a _big_ help.


Question: Is Microsoft trying to destroy Nokia and Elop is the executioner?
I don't get it.
And if that is true who is going to stop them.
I am puzzled.



you did read Tomi's article before raising your question:"How do you measure success?"

Lumia has to be sold into consumers at least at 6.5M units in Q4 that would match the nokia n8 which was called failure platform by Elop.

simple fair straight.


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