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« In Bloodbath News: Nokia Q1 Results: Market Share Crashes to 7% yes, one fourth of what it was before Elop Effect | Main | Certain Road to Death and Definition of Insanity (updated) »

April 23, 2012




Finally someone gets it - Elop began destruction of Symbian and Maemo/Meego in Q4 of 2010. There were only internal movements but long time customers *had to know* about it (you don't have long term relationship and don't know what is going on inside). That's why slump was visible in Q1 2011 - they didn't renew contracts in Q4 of 2010! And later came memo and Feb 11. Elop policy was self-fulfilling prophecy.

He came to Nokia with promises of firm renewal, clients went with it and get new contracts in Q4 2010 - hence Tomi's rise. But Elop duped them and immediately started to dismantle 'old' technologies. In reaction they became very, very cautious when dealing with Nokia. Symbian became 'burning platform'.


AAAaaaah... sorry, as I wrote in past comments, I couldn't understand the situation, but now, everything becomes clear, I think I've got it:

Stephen Elop is a smart and wise guy, who offered the most advanced OS to Nokia; average smartphone user is stupid as (s)he doesn't understand that WP is the right stuff for him/her, way better than Symbian with its apps, larger memory, connectivity (memory cards), lousy hardware (41Mpix), etc. or even better than Android/iOS which don't deserve their success.

Really, Elop is certainly the most misunderstood guy in the world. Even economical intelligence all around the world doesn't trust him... too bad, really!


To the people saying symbian foundation being closed down and that somehow proves elopes is out to destroy symbian, please consider this.

And how does this prove elopes destroyed symbian?

Like honest question here. It looks to me like everybody is bailing from symbian.

Not a healthy symbian being wiped out by elopes.


So many people disagree, and all they have to show for facts are opinions on how bad Symbian/Nokia has been.

This blog was clean and to the point, don't let these my-feelings-first people bring your facts down.
February 9th/11th, Elop put a bullet in Symbian's head without having a replacement ready. It was a WTF moment and it was OBVIOUS that this meant the death of the Symbian->Qt->MeeGo symbiosis strategy and any other internal strategy, just as these was ready to market.

I saw this Elop stunt, and I knew instantly that this ment Nokia would crash totally in income. I thought I didn't understand enough of the market to be right, but Tomi echoed my thoughts and he did it using facts and knowledge. Other people, especially the US based tech media saw it and celebrated that Nokia finally gave up on their holy cow and it was a company saving move.

Other people were wrong. I was right. Tomi was right. Numbers are in: Nokia crashed. Nokia is on it's death bed now.

And even as they are bleeding out, it wouldn't even make sense for them to reevaluate strategy now. Why? Because Nokia put everything on, Not the concurrent Windows Phone 7, not the soon-after released Windows Phone 7.5, no, their new strategy was drawn up around Windows 8. They barely managed to stress a few phones out in time to even be on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform, but clearly it's Windows 8 that is where we're supposed to get products. And honestly we can't really tell if it's a good platform or not. We can't really tell until it's clear that Windows 8.1 or 8.5 has flopped on cell phones, the way Windows 7.5 now has.

Until then, we don't know if Nokia's new platform will be any good. So, why would they reevaluate their strategy? Except, by that time, it's too late to change strategy. That is, if they can cut enough costs to survive till the first major update of Windows 8.

Unlike some, I won't be crystal clear on Windows Phone/8 being a bad OS. It just sells horribly bad ATM, it may still have a bright future in the next round. But I'll be crystal clear on this: Elop didn't have an alternative ready when he murdered the Qt Strategy and Symbian. Everybody saw this. Stocks dropped. Sales dropped. These are simple facts.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

First, please note, I wrote a follow up to this blog, called the Certain Road to Death (it has some Monty Python references and some T-Dawg rap references to cheer you up about the sad Nokia saga..)

Continuing with replies

Hi Laughing, karlim, Asko and Kimmo

Laughing - me too, love the Titanic rudder analysis on Communities Dominate haha

karlim - ok, first on market share decline. That is inevitable when you invent a new industry. Nokia started with 100%. That it was still twice the size of its nearest rival when Elop took over, tells us all we need to know about market share. ANY other globally competed industry the market leader would kill to have that powerful a position. Ask Toyota if they'd like to be twice the size of GM while being profitable at it. Or Boeing. Or Coca Cola. Yes, the market share declined, so what, it is inevitable if you start at 100% and other rivals enter your industry.

Now, to your alternate theory of why the sales fell, that is on the surface of it, plausible, for Q1. It does not explain why the sales continued to crash ever since. If the problem in Q1 was channel stuffing in Q4, then Nokia should recover to 'normal' level of growth by Q2 or Q3 at the latest. Why did the sales fall even more dramatically in Q2? Because of a sales boycott which continues to today.

On the Kantar numbers you raise a good point for Britain, clearly there was a decline happening already in the UK, the numbers are obvious. But again, the fall was even bigger in Q2 so whatever damage was happening, Elop made it worse.

I appreciate it that you say it was Android that killed Symbian, and there is considerable statistical (inverse) correlation with the two. I claim it is cause and effect, the initial loss to Symbian was picked up by Android, exactly as I predicted on this blog in February last year, when I made my 'who wins and who loses' out of the Nokia customer give-away bonanza blog, remember that? Nokia's loss was almost in every way Samsung's gain (even in dumbphones)

Asko - thanks for mentioning YLE and the MOT program. Yes, I agree Finnish media is finally waking up to the issue, I've seen coverage in Taloussanomat, Kauppalehti, Helsingin Sanomat, Iltalehti, MTV3, YLE etc.

Kimmo - I appreciate the sincere posting and you cannot know what else I've written in the literally several million words on this blog over the past 7 years. I did write the most comprehensive cross-industry forecast of what Apple's iPhone would achieve - published before iPhone started to sell - and it covered all those points you made, and more. It was the most accurate forecast of Apple's influence not just in mobile, but in tech & media. That blog created the term 'Jesusphone' which is often now used to describe the iPhone. I agree with you Kimmo, only you didn't know that. But this blog is not about what all good Apple did, this is the truth about Nokia not being dead when Elop arrived.

Which brings me to the second part. I recognize the stats you quote, you are confusing now Symbian stats and Nokia stats. Symbian at the time was supported by several major global handset makers like SonyEricsson, Samsung and LG who then withdrew (while leaving still Sharp, Panasonic etc with Nokia) so that is the primary reason why Symbian market share fell in that period. Nokia's share did not fall by much and in some quarters grew. Nokia Board obviously has those Nokia numbers and would see which is Symbian, which is actual Nokia smartphone sales.

Great discussion on the blog, keep comments coming!

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@vlad: Users are smart, which is why they switch to the iPhone and Android in droves, despite your assurances they would be happy with something else. The people who hired Elop at least realized that being competitive with those two was the requirement, not some new vapor Linux announcement and hard to use, highly "segmented” product.

Catching up, now that is another thing entirely. So the WP strategy may or may not work, but I simply don't buy that the Symbian/Meego one would have. Meego itself was a reboot of a reboot.


As a former Maemo user, and current owner of three Android units of different segments, I rebuke the unfounded claim that the Maemo or MeeGo products are hard to use. Maemo 5 was, and I am sure Maemo 6 also is, superior to Android in many ways, and is as easy or easier to use.

Maemo was a very good mobile operating system, even if it lacked in many areas that would have been improving quickly if Nokia didn't keep it in a niche market. Android is okay too, but I'd much prefer Maemo to live on than not.

Symbian I don't care about, but up until Elopgate it was still making a lot of money for Nokia, and would for months or years if the transition to Windows Phone, MeeGo or any other next OS had been done in any controlled manner.

Up until 2011Q1 it was still a growing OS! Despite US tech blogs announcing it's dead back in, well, 2007 or so. That's a lot of growing months for a dead OS.


BTW, I must clearly be a bot, because I am totally unable to read these captcha images lately.


Tommi says " The future of the handset industry is smartphones."

He is wrong!

The future is Mobile Computing.

This is where Apple got it right, and where Nokia got it wrong.


Odd though, when I think "Mobile computing", it is but one model that comes to mind. The Nokia N900.

Hopefully there'll be some interesting things from Intel next year, though.


@Baron95: "and ditched NSN at whatever cost- even giving it away for free" - you clearly have no clue what you are talking about...

On the other hand workforce reduction is not avoidable, for sure - but, you know, differentiation takes time. Firing x% of your staff usually not the most wise solution...


An other fan of Mr. Elop... :-)

Doctor D

Nokia signed its death warrant when it passed over the opportunity to be one of the premium Android Manufacturers. Killing Symbian was right, placing the farm on Windows Phone was not.

If only they had gone Android...


I used to only buy Nokia smartphones, ever since early 2000s. But now after I have seen other platforms I am happy Nokia is going out of business. If it was up to Nokia, we'd still be using non-touch screen smartphones with huge buttons and crappy small screens just because they could save a nickel on a crappier screen.

I remember when the N95 first came out they priced it at over €1000.- or the 9500 was I think over 1200€!!! The absolutely worthless N97 was priced at over €900 when it first came out!!!! Such greedy behavior needs punishment-now Nokia got what they deserved. They used to abuse their monopoly in the smartphone market and now they will lose every penny they made-I for one am happy when this company closes their doors.

I am happy with my $649 (€491) iPhone 4S, it's an awesome phone, the best in the world and it's freakn cheap!!! (compared to what you had to pay for the crappy Nokias of old)

We need some new fresh blood in this market. Thanks to Apple and Samsung that's what we got.


@afrim true dat!

I sense immediately when Nokia engineers are writing to this blog. Their arrogance reeks. They use demeaning, patronizing language when writing, Finnish metaphors and phrases that don't mean shit to a foreigner. What kind of stupid, culture agnostic person does that?? A finnish engineer, I presume.

They pressed that idea forward when they marketed those Symbian phones. They "flicked the switch" and shipped another 100 000's of crappy, buggy Symbian phones to a foreign country.

Nokia developer site was full of that style. Arrogant, patronizing dialogue between developers and so called "Nokia Champions", Champions truly, LOL!

Well, now you can shove your developer site wherever you want!

They deserve their punishment. Yes, they really do.

Another happy person when Nokia shuts its doors and files for bankcruptcy.


People want apps in their phones but with windows phone they see only kindergarten building blocks. It shouts "YOU CANNOT INSTALL APPS TO THIS PHONE, YOU ARE FOREVER DOOMED TO HAVING ONLY PREINSTALLED APPS"

Its like Nike or Adidas would start to produce running shoes with only velcro strips *PUKE*.

Exclusive mobile phone accessories

That was exactly Nokia's problem! Those technologies and services were success in the past. Do you really think that just because a technology was dominant in the past that it can also be dominant in the future? Do you really believe that? Especially in electronic consumer market.


Meego was the natural successor to Windows and iOS.

Powerful, efficient, safer, ubiquitous and open source. It could run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and even cars.

With QT, it was write once run everywhere. Literally.

Developers would have fallen over each other to support it. All users would have benefited.

It would have been the end of the iron fist rule of Microsoft and Apple overnight.

This is the reason for the covert take over of Nokia by Microsoft. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Nokia means nothing to Microsoft now as the destruction is complete. It is just a matter of disassembling Nokia piecemeal and assimilating the useful parts.

A most elegant demonstration of the power and effectiveness of extend, embrace and extinguish.

Bravo Balmer!

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