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« The 'Cliff Theory' ie How Handset Makers Die, why in Mobile Phones do Companies Collapse so Rapidly (Siemens, Motorola, Palm, Nokia, Blackberry and Windows Mobile) | Main | Largest Mobile Social Networks Today by Size of User Base »

April 02, 2012

Comments

Louis

@Lee: RIM isn't going to be successful with QNX either. Let's just step back and think for maybe a minute. RIM's problem was a software stack with poor App and multi-touch support and a much of competitors with unlimited messaging with push products. The response was to buy QNX, which is not a complete set of multi-touch app frameworks. So we have to believe that a company which had flopped before at the very task would now rapidly roll out something competitive to iOS.

How is this supposed to happen? Android or WP are the only plausible routes, and WP fits better, since it might let RIM roll some of the big corporate and government accounts over for another cycle.

TDC

I think nokia is keeping it's customer base satisifed, i.e. the people who use S40. The one'sin the mid smartphone segment will always sway, 'go to the one with value for money'.

dr zorg

@Lee

MSFT isn't interested in hardware. The only reason to buy RIM would be for their IP. And they don't need that badly either because Nokia is slowly transferring theirs to MSFT.

Oliver

RIM isn't doing too badly relative to the competition.
The competition is quite intense now. Many manufactures battling over the same turf, without having a competitive advantage.

Apples success, is just an anomaly, of course it is built on sound marketing principles, but their success was unexpected. They have since capitalised on this success to further lock in their customers, by providing them with services that further erode their ability to make choices, and they stick with the single source supplier for the convenience.

Back to RIM.
In your cliff theory, talk about companies that suddenly die off so fast, by losing market share. RIM have yet not reached that precipice, but they are very close. The problem with such companies, is the collective will of both management and shareholders. The unfortunate reality is that most companies are spell bound by their share prices that they fail to think in the long term, rather, they take short cuts, in getting their share prices back up, stop gap methods that only put out the immediate fires, but not rooting out the cause of the outbursts.
Such organizations are not well able to handle the pressures of such volatility, and are unable to reassure their clientele of their ability to manage their way out of such problems. Further more, they often by dint of sheer ineptitude they magnify their discomfort by propagating their fear and helplessness to their market.
One of RIM's major folly, was rushing out a tablet that was ill prepared to meet the opposition, and one that shared no relationship with their existing platform. You may say oh, one speaks out of hindsight, but the moment I first heard the name of their tablet device, I knew they were a joke. You want to sell a "Playbook", to business?. Resources that could have helped them reinvent their business model and product platform, went into marketing an ill timed and lackluster product, they themselves were not even confident in.
Shopping for a new CEO to fix a problem, is a worrying sign and a grave mis-communication and connotes, confusion, a rudderless ship. An outsider, coming to fix an internal problem is often like a square peg in a round hole, he takes the obvious route, job cuts,...wrong signal to the market, product termination, which also go with job cuts. This only gives a boost to stock prices for a few minutes or days..o0(Nokia)0o.

RIM has baldly communicated its predicament, and has failed to reassure its market that it can be trusted to make the right decision. RIM would have been a lot worse off, but for the present state of Nokia, that has pushed some of those who prefer Nokia to another brand that makes a similar range of products.
These days, investors who worship the stock market are too impatient and often create another kind of ripple effect, where they become like a mob and act in irrational ways, looking for quick fixes, broadcasting their anxieties and forcing management to go round in circles looking for a quick fix.
There are also TROJAN INVESTORS.

One reason BB users hold on to their very old model, is because of the unique BB pins. It is device dependent. And I believe it is a hassle to change devices and communicate new pins to buddies and all. Just a thought though. It made sense in the beginning, but now, it is a great hindrance to upgrading. Maybe if they made their pins transferable or locked to only one device at any given time via the service provider, people could upgrade to newer models without fear of losing contact which happens when you move to a new house address sometimes.

Whatever their problems, they need to think in the long term, not look for a 3 month solution, but ask themselves what they want to be doing in 2 years time.
Do they want to be marketing devices, or do they have a service that will open new markets for them.

cycnus

@Oliver

I'm not a bb user, but i know when someone change their BB devices, they just need to tell the BB server what was the old pin, then the BB server will change the pin number IN YOUR FRIEND DEVICES to the new pin number. So, the BB pin is not locking the user with the old BB.

RIM problem were,
they miss-predict the future.
When they got the market with mostly BBM & Email, they thought the only things that matter for personal communication devices is free chat & push email.

They thought because BB is already identic with secure BBM and email, any competitor try to match it will have a hard time.

RIM never thought that consumer preference change to touch screen and app-era when apple arrive have a very big impact on their product.

So, the reason is simple, RIM miss-predict the future, and now, they don't have anything to fight back.

and what did RIM do, they bought QNX. RIM were very weak in software, if you ever touch a BB, the first things you'll notice would be the OS seems like half-baked. It's un-user-friendly and ugly compared to the competitor. So, it seems to me that RIM have failed to make this QNX to became BB10 on time to counter Apple and Android.

The worse part is yet to come, RIM promise to showcase the BB10 to developer in May, and maybe to bring to public in Q4 2012. That's assuming all goes right, look at how RIM manage to get e-mail and calender to playbook. Not to mention that Playbook can't do BBM.

I have a very high doubt that RIM can bounce back in time to defend their market. It seems to me that what RIM could do best is to dump their OS, and use Android, and ride on Android success.

As for WP7 and RIM, it seems like 0 x 0 = 0. But, that were my guess, I know MS would be itching to have RIM on their side. I don't know how many $$$ can MS spend to have RIM in WP7 bandwagon.

dr zorg

@kevin

Thanks for the link. Yes, I agree, Apple pursues a very smart policy which is paying off time and time again. The rest of the mobile market seems quite hectic by comparison.

@TDC

While true, S40 isn't where the profits are. And even in that segment there are numerous Chinese companies that are slowly but surely encroaching and pushing Nokia out of that sector. Unless Nokia can push Meltemi to release and to the S40 segment soon enough, they will have no business in that market either.

dr zorg

@kevin

After thinking on the article you linked there, I've come to the conclusion that before 2007 Nokia was also an Apple-like entity in the smartphone sector, with handsets costing a premium and lasting quite long for most people. Models such as N93 and N95 and various communicator and E-series devices come to mind. But something happened (perhaps the iPhone happened) and Nokia suddenly started to create dozens of underspecced phones (and we are talking 2007-2010 here where the specs of the various models hardly changed at all, the only thing different was the outer shell, and prices started to gradually come down. Also S60 changed a few iterations there with software often being incompatible between versions).

It was, in retrospect, a huge mistake for Nokia to join the price-cut race with the other companies and to try to sell more and cheaper - this worked fine in feature phones, but not in smartphones. Eventually, we have what we have today. A very sad story about not being able to see the horizon.

karlim

What doomed both RIM and Nokia was hubris from a long and huge historical success against huge odds, and inability to see that the game has changed, a disruption is happening and what once got them to the top is now dragging them down.

Both managements saw where the industry was going (touch UI +Apps +Cloud) and started taking their companies that way. They also both had eerily similar and what seemed credible transition paths to the new mobile computing paradigm: Adapt the legacy platforms (Symbian, BB OS) to touch for a transition time, develop the next generation platforms (Maemo/Meego, QNX) for the future.

Unfortunately they hugely underestimated the time and effort it will take to get their legacy OSes to work at least acceptably with touch - hence the abominations like Nokia N97 and original BB Storm, that cost them a lot of loyal fans. And too little too late devices like N8 and BB Torch.

They also underestimated the time and effort it will take to create the first version of next generation platforms. It took 20 months - ~ 8 months longer then expected for Nokia to get from prototype level Maemo 5/N900 to N9. BB10/QNX has now also been pushed at least 6 months further than expected.

Along the road - both managements engaged in resource draining ill thought distractions. 3 year detour to become Google of mobile with Ovi for Nokia. A Playbook folly for RIM

And all the problems were masked by increasing unit volume sales in emerging markets. Enabled by Moore's law/declining component prices allowing for both RIM and Nokia to hit ever lower old legacy device price points, and keep the market share that way. All the while failing to deliver competitive devices at a trend setting high end of the market for years. And abandoning the trend setting business to Apple, Samsung and HTC, almost without a fight.

Both companies had a momentarily one quarter bump up when a touch updated versions of their legacy platforms started shipping. Nokia with Symbian 3 in Q4 2010, BB7 in Q4 2011. But that was achieved with a lot of help from channel stuffing, piggybacking on long lasting relations with carriers and distributors. And when the real numbers of actual sales to end users came in the next quarter, and orders from distributors/carriers fell off the cliff, the managements couldn't hide from the truth anymore.

Unfortunately, by the time the boards of both companies realized what's happening - for Nokia in early 2010 when board started looking for new CEO, for RIM in early 2011 - when they decided to fire Lazaridis and Basille - it was already too late.

And now we have what we have. Nokia was forced to abandon the dream of total independence, being an important player with just its own platforms. RIM - on the verge of collapse and exploring an options to sell itself off to anyone.

Fortunately for Nokia - their board saw it coming and did take action months before they fell off the cliff. Also Nokia did have the whole S40/dumbphone business to keep them going for a while and took the drastic steps needed to survive. Was it enough for them to make a U-Turn , or at least stop before going over the cliff and into abyss? I don’t know. There are some signs that they may have - but that’s all they are - some signs.

If their Meltemi is anything at least a bit close to Meego and able to run on ~$150 phones and/or if their Windows Phone bet pays off at least moderately - they will survive. A lot of ifs - I know - but they at least have a chance. And, if they execute well, they may even thrive again someday.

For Blackberry - reacting a year later - I struggle to see any way they can survive as an independent company. Maybe QNX/BB10 will be so good that people will start buying it in droves and restore RIM to former glory. I find it extremely hard to believe right now.

Earendil Star

I am seeing more and more of the same, usual, delusional comments. Or is it astroturfing?

Firstly, if we do a parallel for Nokia on Mace's points, Nokia was doing what Mace was suggesting: keeping its customer & developer base loyal with the transition to Meego, while upgrading Symbian for the lower market segment.
Then THT Elop came, and he destroyed everything (please note: I am referring to THT Elop as he is the figurehead of this absurd migration to WP. If decisions were made by others, and he just came to execute the strategy, i do not care. In any case, he represents that strategy). Customer base. Developer loyalty. Everything was zapped.

Mace clearly makes the point that change is always painful, resulting in an initial loss of share. But then, if the offering is right and execution good, success might come back. This was not the case for Nokia.
Nokia just gave in, and gifted itself to MS. For free. With nothing in return. While this choice led to its free fall in market share and profits. All benefits went to MS: patents, carrier connections, mobile OS know-how, maps, store, etc.
Why? Someone please explain.

As everybody knows very well, WP was the burning platform.
So, saying that WP is succesful just because it is gaining share thanks to Nokia, is absurd.
Until Nokia bleeds market share, the WP course is a total failure. Full stop.

Whatever the case, Nokia's free fall started under THT Elop.
Nokia's demise is totally attributable to THT Elop and his crazy strategy.
If there was channel stuffing in Q4 2010, that was done by THT Elop.
The Elop effect is absolutely real.
He is the only CEO I can think of to badmouth his own products without having an alternative handy.
And he continues to announce products months ahead of their release, just to give the impression the gap between his WP products and the competition is smaller than it really is.

WP was NOT the only option. Actually, it should have been NO option in the first place.
Android would have been a much better choice, and would have granted Nokia far wider freedom and possibility to differentiate, while preserving the juicy bits of its ecosystem (maps, store, carrier relations, etc.).
For Nokia, the MS alliance will result in slow death. No more market leadership worldwide, but being reduced to a humble captive OEM.
With very low margins, also because everything will be made by others (see outsourcing to Compal).

No, WP is not an option for RIM either.
Certainly, WP would benefit if RIM backed it. Again, another victim to help the burning platform WP.
But WP is a bad OS, very rigid, could not be easily adapted to manage hard keyboard phones, or other peculiarities of the BB platform. So, no, this is unlikely to happen. Unless MS just bites at the pieces it is interested in (e.g. patents), while leaving the rest to others.
And, like for Nokia, BB would get no advantage for proposing one of the least successful platforms in the market.
A platform that even its supporters compare to Android or iOS... in 2009/2010!

In any case, we'll discover very soon how Nokia is faring. After its second quarter (Q1 2012) with the fantastic WP platform.

I know, I know. You'll say: ok, WP is a no go, but you'll see what happens with WP8!

And I will reply: I do not know what will happen with W8 and WP8. Whatever the case, Nokia will not benefit much from it.
It wil just be left the crumbles. All the juicy bits will be for the platform... and MS.

Good night and good luck.

karlim

@Earendil Star

Its nice to see you still replying (even if, indirectly) to me on some of it, after your last debunking of me went so badly - even Tomi does not dare to reply, and you seem to prefer simply to forget those Kantar numbers that indicate the folly of Elop effect theory . Or to reply to my previous post re: disgruntled shareholders - why are you still here?

Getting to your comment:

"Nokia was doing what Mace was suggesting: keeping its customer & developer base loyal"

Really? Have you heard about N97 debacle? Or fans like Symbian Guru and others publicly quitting? Or intomobile's Stefan - former ringNokia owner - publicly disparaging NOkia and switching to Android Nexus One? Or posts/comments from tons of other fans quitting? Which was only a tip of the Iceberg of Nokia fans not buying Nokia high end phones in 2010 anymore, switching to Android or iPhone? And opting for Nokia only after price dumping Tomi chronicled. And even that not helping anymore with Nokia loosing 6% of market share in Q3 2010. And another 5% with Symbian 3 in full swing. Prompting Tomi to write a post "Nokia: undesirable at any price" saying, among other things, something like "Nokia lost 11% of its market share (from 40 to 29%, I think) in 6 months - and I'm not sure where it'll stop". Way before Feb 11th

Losing 25 to 30% of your own market share when you kept it steady or even grew it before only with price dumping on your cheap stuff like Nokia 5230? Your biggest fans quitting on you? It was keeping your "customer base loyal”? In what universe?

Elop destroyed developer loyalty? What loyalty? Ignoring Tomi's fantasy of 400K Symbian developers - who counts every J2ME developer ever registered to get his Java app to work with Nokia dumbphone? Or folks who registered there for some reason, 3 times, simply just because I forgot a password and Nokia’s reclaiming procedure was harder then to do it again? Symbian was around for almost 10 yrs - and by feb 11th had smth like 30 to 50K apps. Now that's an uber duper developer loayalty churning out apps. Windows Phone will soon double that in less then 2 yrs.

There was an interview published somewhere from Nokia World 2010 with the developer of Gravity - the best and main Twitter client for Symbian. Who spent years developing other software on Symbian. Who says something like - “I’ve been with Nokia for years. And Gravity brings a great income now. I’m very grateful. But, Nokia, please, give me a single reason to port that to Qt. Instead of porting it to Android or iOS” He was still on the fence by Feb 11th - didn’t even start with Qt. That’s what you call developer loyalty?

"Nokia just gave in, and gifted itself to MS. For free. ... Why? Someone please explain."

Because it thought its the best way forward? Right or wrong - WP or Android - it’s the thing for other discussion. But in February 2011 Symbian was a dud. Meego V1 more than half a year from shipping. With Swipe UI less then half done when the decision was made. Next version of Meego - ready to run on cutting edge dual core hardware of 2011 - at least a year away. And it certainly wasn't for free. Platform payments on the level of $250mil a Q, revenue share from Maps/LBS and other stuff, paying Nokia for engineers time for all the features that go into general WP distribution, ability to change WP code as they see best for Nokia - that's just the things we know that are in that contract.

"Whatever the case, Nokia's free fall started under THT Elop."

No, the obvious market share losses started in Q3 2010 - 3 mnths before Elop became CEO. With price dumping to keep market share from crashing at the expense of margins - at least in Q1 2010. It only translated into unit volume decline under Elop in Q1 2011. Under quarterly market share losses very close to what what started happening 6 months before. And very in-line to sequential smartphone market growth.

"If there was channel stuffing in Q4 2010, that was done by THT Elop"

No way. Elop became CEO of Nokia at the end of September and spent at least a month traveling and talking to Nokia staff just to get to know things. There is such thing as huge corporate inertia for a company the size of Nokia. And if you can think of a single reason for Elop to do Symbian channel stuffing to make him look as TH/idiot when he announces his plans to sell out to MSFT - do please share it with us.

"The Elop effect is absolutely real."

Funny for you to claim that, after Tomi himself (unintentionally, I'm sure - but he didn't find any credible way to correct himself yet) - posted the numbers that indicate Elop effect was just his pure fantasy. Symbian sales started crashing in one of the best Nokia markets - UK - way before feb 11th

Anyway - this comment is getting way too long to get past Tomi's CMS limits to get it published. I'll stop here for now

KPOM

Don't look now, but the Nokia Lumia 900 is actually garnering some pretty positive reviews from the US media. CNet and PCMag gave it 4 out of 5 stars. That hasn't happened for a long time for anything from Espoo. As much as Tomi might be right about the rest of the world, perhaps Windows Phone wasn't a bad strategy for Nokia to recover in North America. After all, they had nowhere to go but up from where they were under OPK.

cycnus

Although I think RIM do a mistake by purchasing then developing QNX, I think Nokia didn't do a mistake on Symbian and Meego.

RIM have a background of not really good in software, they just doing good in 2 apps which is BBM and email. Look at BB OS 6 is really looks un-polish. Look at how they release the playbook without they strong apps (BBM & email).

While nokia keep innovating all the time, camera, ring tone, exchangeable cover, etc. Nokia also manage to make Symbian better on using resource compare to android. What went wrong with nokia were, they were stuck at ARM 11. This is like stuck on Pentium, while your competitor (android, iOS) using Pentium II (Arm Cortex A8), then using Pentium III (Arm Cortex A9). Great OS, wrong hardware. So, nokia/symbian still can be fixed.

If you compare the BB user and Nokia/Symbian user, BB user hate their devices, they only loves the BBM, look at several random review, i.e "I want to change to other phone, but all my friend were on BBM, I will be out of the loop if I change to android". Whereas in Nokia Symbian the user feel that for that amount of money they were getting the most bang for the buck.

So, nokia and RIM were in different condition. RIM were down because of bad product, nokia were down because of Elop took a very radical moves (a wrong one). For those of you still defending elop, I was wondering do you really think that announcing it at 2-11 benefit nokia? or it just benefit for microsoft?

ChrisD

.. And comscore US market share numbers are in. Windows OSes (no distinction between WM and WP) lost 25% of their market (1.3 percentage points down, from 5.2% to 3.9% of smartphones). Just to clarify, this seems to be market share of ownership, not of new sales, and this is US only.

See http://www.marketwatch.com/story/comscore-reports-february-2012-us-mobile-subscriber-market-share-2012-04-03?reflink=MW_news_stmp

The Lumia 900, btw, has mixed reviews - overall on the positive side, but definitely not a competitive phone with iPhone or high-end Android (HTC One X/S, Galaxy S2). Check theverge for a very critical review.

Louis

@KPOM: This is not a good review from The Verge:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/3/2921472/lumia-900-review

"These aren't minor gripes I have — they speak to the foundations of this OS. My annoyances aren't just about the color choices in the calendar, they're about whether or not scrolling in apps functions as it should, or if I'll get important updates in the background. Can I use IRC without breaking my connection every time I leave the app? How many steps does it take to get to the information I need? Do webpages display properly? Will the apps I need or want to use make it to this platform, and will they be any good when they get there?"

This is not a good review from Mossberg:

http://allthingsd.com/20120403/its-big-its-blue-its-windows-but-can-it-beat-rival-phones/

"Bottom line: If you’re looking for a $100, high-end smartphone, or are a Windows Phone fan who has been waiting for better hardware, the Lumia 900 is worth considering. But the phone had just too many drawbacks in my tests to best its chief competitors."

One thing I find interesting is that MS and Nokia didn't go for the "free on contract" price point. Charging as much as an iPhone 4 seems like a too-symmetric response.

To get this comment back on topic, RIM will have even WORSE problems with QNX, which is why I agree with @Lee that RIM will end up on WP as well. As I pointed out above, what more technically-minded commenters don't seem to get is that the kernel isn't the platform. So if you have platform (really, = ecosystem) problems, switching the kernel doesn't help all that much.

This is, in particular, true if you are trying to respond symmetrically to one or more competitors. Android got around not having a mature platform at first by being free, at least to start working with. BB10 and WP don't have this advantage, and, surprisingly to me, MS and Nokia didn't come in with a free on contract price point for the Lumia 900, which also would have been somewhat skew to what Apple and Samsung are doing. (And probably not cost much money in the grand scheme of things.)

a game

thanks sharing.

Paul Jardine

RIM only succeeded in the first place because they provided an enterprise service better than anyone else. It wasn't that hard to do, but nobody had done it.
To survive, they need to be on the next enterprise service, but they should have had that nailed down some time ago. They tried to go for a different market and succeeded for a while because messaging was easy and free to friends who also had BB. Now having either Android or iOS is more important than some specific service. Who remembers OS/2 now?

Kaizer Allen

BAD NEWS
Nokia, no longer the top company in Finland:
1. http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/04/nokia-not-top-finland/
2. http://www.intomobile.com/2012/04/04/nokia-no-longer-largest-company-helsinki-stock-exchange/
3. http://thenextweb.com/eu/2012/04/04/poor-nokia-isnt-even-the-most-valuable-company-in-finland-anymore/
4. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Fortum+overtakes+Nokia+on+Helsinki+Stock+Exchange/1329103739312

Sander van der Wal

@everybody

Nokia had already destroyed developer loyalty even before the iPhone was released, in 2007. They did this using a combination of making development harder and harder, killing the S80 platform where the majority of app sales were made, and letting users share cracked software on Nokia's own file sharing site.

There was also the move by independent App Store owners, in particular Handango, to keep 70% of a sale for themselves and give the developer 30%, which was not Nokia's fault, but which gave an extra blow to their already seriously ill ecosystem.

Nokia's lousy reputation with developers was probably one of the main reason Qt did not get the kind of traction they (and I, I must say) expected it to get with US developers, who massively choose to develop for iPhone when the iPhone App SDK became available.

Nokia's only advantage is their massive user base. You can still sell lots of apps now through Ovi. But that's money, not trust. Though I must say, I really liked their burning memo action, and not try to lure deveopers to a platform that they were going to kill in a years time anyway. That action would have cost me serious money.

Twofish

RIM is dead in the enterprise. Once companies figured out that they could save a lot of money by forcing their employees to provide the cell phones and then using commodity software to connect to intranet, then RIM was doomed. One other nail is that companies are being forced to develop apps for external users using either iPhone or Android. Once a company writes a cute app for external users using Android, they wonder why deal with internal users differently.

One other issue is the bandwagon effect. RIM was able to stay in the enterprise by appealing to FUD. If you let non-RIM devices connect to your network, then the world will end. However, once every starts using Android and iOS, this stops becoming a compelling argument. The thing is that even *if* an Android or iOS phone causes your network to melt, the fact that everyone else is using the same tech means that you aren't going to get fired for using the same tech as everyone else.

Earendil Star

Karlim, sorry to disappoint you, but I do not feel neither troubled nor debunked.

Rather, do not try to take the attention away from what really counts (which I know is your real objective).

Nokia before THT Elop was profitable and growing in total smartphone sales (<> market share).
Nokia during THT Elop is generating losses and continuously decreasing in smartphone sales.
Simple. Factual. Undeniable.

Is it me only saying this? No, it's also the market's opinion. After THT Elop's announcement, share value (which was already at its lowest), cratered.
If the market valued the company + a strategy with Symbian + Meego at 10, with WP the company was valued at 5.
And who cares of what OPK had done before. Everybody agrees he had to be fired because he had mismanaged the company.
The issue here if his replacement (THT Elop) was any better or worse. Reality is, he is HUGELY worse.

Nokia had nothing to gain from MS & WP, and this is proven by its current situation.
And nothing will change in the future. Nokia is destined to become a mere WP OEM.
Possibly even not that either. Nokia is actually only contributing with its brand and customer base. HW is from Compal.
Therefore, what a laugh when WP fanbois say "Nokia was bad at SW but good a HW, this is why with WP it will be better".
What about the WP ecosystem? Firstly, it does not exist. And even if it did, it belongs to MS.
Go back and re-read the scant details of the agreement with MS. Everything that was linked to the ecosystem (maps, store, etc.) would go to MS.

On the contrary, MS & WP had EVERYTHING to gain from partnering with Nokia. WP was the REAL BURNING PLATFORM.
It was declining in share already, after few months of being launched. Ouch!!! (Debunk this, if you can:-)
Yet, Nokia was not able to get ANYTHING from the deal. and, sorry, money given from MS only to promote WP cannot be counted. That's marketing expenses by MS on WP.

The problem is not the choice of WP itself, even if it was absurd (choosing the smallest OS of the lot, years behind the competition, already losing share after less than one year on the market).
The real problem is that Nokia had to pay MS for this instead of the other way round.
Nokia gave MS its know how in mobile, exclusive use of brand, carrier connections, maps (Navteq), patents, you name it.
In exchange for what? A share in an ecosystem that does not exist, and in any case belongs (and brings profits) to someone else?
This has nothing to do with the choice of adopting WP or not. This is just plainly insane (or criminal).
Especially if you consider that Nokia potentially had a huge leverage on MS.
MS was desperate to find someone to give credibility to WP. And if there will be any growth in WP market share in Q1 2012,
it will only be thanks to Nokia.

On the other hand, Nokia had plenty of alternatives. One would have been Symbian + Meego.
Another, Symbian + Meego + Android.
Why Android? Because it is free. Because it is n.1 worldwide. Because it allows you to build an own ecosystem (see Amazon with the Fire, unlike WP, where the ecosystem belongs to MS). Because it is years ahead of WP.
In doing this, Nokia would have had a Plan B. An alternative. In case the Meego / Symbian plan did not work.

THT Elop chose a different path. All the cards on WP. Against any sensible risk management logic.
Saying Nokia's current products were crap (unique!), while the only alternative was... years away!
Why then? There can be only one explanation. Because his agenda is different. This is the issue here.

And you know it. But I'm sure you'll find some other way of distracting readers from this simple fact.

Good night and good luck.

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati