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« Nokia Profit Warning (again) - Here is what you need to know why it is actually far worse | Main | Was That 007 at Shanghai GP this past weekend? »

April 12, 2012


Tomi T Ahonen

Wow, over 200 comments!

I've been mostly out of touch after posting this blog entry (China internet access first related to the Shanghai Formula 1 trip, then heavy travel and travel delays related to my New Zealand trip) but am back now. I will resume replies to the thread and will try to get to as many of you as possible. As is my custom, I respond in sequence. I will also go through the comments and remove those that are clearly spam and those that are clearly against my comments guidelines here - to be clear, if my response to you would require me to write 'if you had read the full blog story' - that type of responses will not be posted by me, I will rather simply remove your comment altogether. There are clearly some comments in this thread that fail that simple test. And obviously I do not put up with hostility towards people who post comments here. You can call me an idiot, you cannot call others here idiots. We keep the discussion civil on this blog.

With that, Its Monday morning in Hong Kong, I am getting back to replies to the comments. Where was I?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Oh, sorry, I forgot, yes. The blog is STILL missing the links ! And the part 2 regional analysis. I'll go do that first, I know some of you were wanting that. Hold on..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok, now the last missing part was added to this blog, the regional analysis part. See it 'below the fold' it is clearly marked in the blog article where the Regional Analysis part is added (its another 5K words)


Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok continuing with replies, these from April 12

Hi Rumor, Stephen, Daniel, Michael and don

Rumor - haha, that won't happen. I said already Nokia really needs to restore its credibility to lift they boycott, ex Nokia people can't achieve that, it needs a new CEO from one of the carriers. But I'd of course be available to assist the new CEO who would be on a very steep learning curve to adjust to his/her new job.

Stephen - I am growing ever more despondent by the day haha

Daniel - thanks

Michael - I appreciate that. I know you wrote the reply before I had added the regional part. Could you Michael go read the regional parts about China and Africa, and re-consider Symbian? I am NOT suggesting Symbian is competitive now in US and Western European markets anymore.

don - same point as to Michael. Pls read the China and RoW part in the expanded part to the blog. Those markets have NOT moved on past Symbian (yet).

Please keep the discussion going, I will return with more comments shortly

Tomi Ahonen :-)


@Tomi: What about NSN's CET ot be nominated CEO of NOKIA? Would it make sense?



First, I agree with you that Elop must be fired.

But,... (I read the second part)
I was thinking do you really think that nokia have a chance to fight against android now?
I went to China 2 weeks ago, and see that there were lots of company doing a derivative android work. for example, IP-TV streaming box based on android, Android on a USB stick, Android on Car audio, etc. This is not 1 or 2 company, hundreds of company......
....... Android is the COOL things in China now.

I don't think nokia can't fight android in china as of now. it's already too late.
on 2 reason:
1. when this company can get $$$ from android, they will use android phone such as HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG. They won't use symbian.
2. android 4.0 is really great, and i must say that Nokia Belle is 1 year behind.
3. because android is promoted every where, every day, by lots of company, it will have a good brand image effect.

4. <-- this reason is not only for china
ELOP already BURN the BRIDGE behind.
He already fired symbian & Meego Developer
The one that went to Accenture already left on early retirement package.
So, how do you propose to fix the last problem?
with no software engineer nokia can't really compete with android.



As much as I like my nokia n9 (16GB black), I think nokia should consider using android with N9 skin. No widget, 3 pillar, but android.

Not because Meego can't compete, but because Elop already fired all the good folk at nokia. The one left in nokia is the one that like WP7 (the bad one).

Tomi T Ahonen

More replies (from apr 12)

Hi jbbandos, n900, TomiFan, Sander and Carlos

jbbandos - thanks and yeah, I'd definitely use the Lumia platforms for future handsets but there are so many deficiencies also in the hardware (no removable batteries on most, no microSD support etc etc etc) that I think it requires a total redesign. What Nokia cannot afford now, with losing customers, is to upset those that it manages to still catch.

n900 - very true and the longer it goes, the more permanent damage is done. But regardless, this current path to Lumia and Windows Phone is certain death. Android would take too long. The only way to get ANY recovery of some smartphone sales, some profitable sales, and hold onto some Emerging World markets, is by doing my plan. How 'sustainable' is Symbian development with so much of the talent gone, and MeeGo revitalization with skeleton staff etc, nobody knows. But even that is better than certain death via Lumia

Tomifan - great point about reseller boycott also to MeeGo and Symbian. It WOULD apply to them TOO. The boycott is strongest against the intersection of both Anti-Nokia boycott and anti-Microsoft boycott (ie against Lumia) but yes, the Anti-Nokia boycott started against Symbian last February and has not lifted. I know I did explain it in the blog but it was not very clear. Nokia has to convince the carriers to stop boycotting Nokia. There is nothing Nokia can do unilaterally. Nokia has to convince the carriers to change their behavior. I have chronicled how this problem arose, and got ever worse. I have foreseen that Elop's announced 'solutions' will not work and the carriers will make matters worse - as they have done. I think I have a good grasp of how to fix this, but I cannot promise it would work. I am certain from all the evidence that the carriers hate Elop and will mess with him and destroy Nokia in the process until they get their way. The carriers know they have the upper hand, and that they do not need Nokia nor Microsoft. Nokia has to use honey, not vinegar (And Elop and Ballmer know nothing except vinegar).

So yes, the carriers would boycott Meego and Symbian just as they do Lumia. But if the carriers can be convinced to lift the boycott, then any handsets could start to sell, not just Nokia smartphones, but also the badly hit dumbphones too. And to do that, Nokia has to convince carriers it no longer is pursuing the carrier destruction strategy (Skype ie Windows) and that Nokia returns to carrier-friendly OS and environments (Symbian, MeeGo, Ovi and Qt). And to convince them of that, Elop has to be fired and the Microsoft path ended. But even that is no guarantee, it would then need Nokia's Chairman or new CEO to personally call the CEO's of at least 50 major carriers/carrier groups.

Sander - yes there are. Public domain info, the SDK has been shipped to over 400K developers meaning there are MORE than 400K developers. They are not all active today, they need not be. It is by far the biggest developer community in any smartphone platform.

Carlos - yeah, the prospects to get Elop fired soon, will diminish if Ollila is no longer the Chairman. He has far more clout than new incoming Chairman Siilasmaa.

Thanks! Keep comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Have reread the regional part, and one thing piqued my curiosity as this is a recurring theme in this blog: what exactly makes N9/950 a "superphone"? The OS is interesting, sure, although by now probably already too niche to make a significant dent. However, when we look at hardware spec N9 just plain fails to deliver -- it's a stock TI OMAP 36xx design, comparable internally (although with nicer screen, camera and overall build quality) with Moto Defy/Bravo, which released almost a year earlier and by the N9 release was free on contract around the world. Android handsets contemporary with N9 (like Sammy's Galaxy S II) would run circles around N9, and if any plan of rescuing Nokia is based on N9 now, then let's compare it with Galaxy Nexus or HTC One. Or maybe better let's not.


An excellent analysis...hope somebody from the nokia team reads this again and again and again
I have been an adrent fan of nokia phones. my first was the 3130 with a b/w display and have used the n-gage, the e series and lastly the n900.
only very recently did i move away from nokia to samsung
The only reason is the lack of commitment from nokia to support n900
I have seen nokia give regular updates...but the way they dropped maemo is a complete shock
any ways good luck to nokia.. hope they realise that they have a very large game changing potential in symbian and meego
Symbian for the mass market and meego as the smart phone

Tomi T Ahonen

More replies

Hi So, Felipe, P910i, Karri, Archie and JM

So - (thanks!) Good points, especially indsutry apps moving away (I see that as direct cause of Elop Effect, and the collapse of E-Series as viable business/corporate platform). But even then, go to Africa, India, China, etc - the only viable smartphone platform there is Symbian.

On MeeGo/Meltemi and Qt, totally agree, will take years to restore apps developer trust. But today that is still possible. In a year, there is no way out. Why not use this HUGE resource, it is not incompatible with Windows Phone today, because Nokia itself including Elop has said frequently that WP is not suitable for all Nokia phones, not top-end phones like 808 PureView nor low end smartphones. So Nokia needs other platforms into mid-term anyway. Why not build that loyal developer community then? And obviously full CEO support to Qt.

Finally as to 'don't know how much time Nokia has left' haha, I just decided earlier today that Nokia has no time left, hence the blog 'Road to Certain Death'

Felipe - I understand your point about Nokia brand damage, but why would Symbian not be competitive in the 100 dollar smartphone segment? Nokia already has smartphones in that price point, far cheaper in fact than cheapest Android phones currently. Why not?

P310i - haha, thanks. I am writing here from 'the future' and Nokia's market cap just fell under 10B today. Ouch ouch ouch. The total dismantling of Nokia becomes more likely by the day, but like I wrote, Nokia could still be saved. If Ollila made that speech (and they fired Elop) - it would immediately create a bump in Nokia share confidence and price. And if Ollila convinced the biggest carriers to stop the boycott, Nokia could report growth in both smartphones and dumbphones this Q2.. But will Nokia be around by the time Q2 results are reported in July haha..

Karri - thanks. I wish I could hear more suggestions too. My idea is by no means the best idea, but I am convinced this would be a better path, than the Road to Certain Death that Nokia is on right now with Elop in charge.

Archie - I truly understand what you say. The products at Nokia prior to S^3 were very uncompetitive and there are thousands of execs at SME companies who feel exactly like you. That is why I was not suggesting Nokia can come back relying on Symbian for the Industrialized World markets. It is now ruined. But in Africa, India, China, etc - Symbian IS the ONLY mass market scale smartphone platform. There an iPhone is not viable haha.. And for 'us' in the West, I suggest obviously MeeGo as soon as possible, on N9 and N950 this month, and very quickly several more handsets like the N900 and N9-00 into full production on MeeGo.

JM - good points and we actually agree on most also there. Remember, my primary intention for Symbian is Emerging World markets now, low-cost smartphones, not for you and me. The 808 may be a Frankenstein's phone, but for any camera buffs (like me) it is a phone we are drooling about.. It won't matter what it looks like to camera freaks. Look at how 'ugly' is a standard SLR not to mention something like a Hasselblad haha. On the boycott, I agree Apple has far stronger position than Nokia vs carriers. It means that the boycott hurts Nokia even more than it does/or would.. Apple.

Keep the discussion going, will return with more

Tomi Ahonen :-)



Reading from lots of site, the Lumia camera, although the same as in N9 produce a quality less than in N9. And it is said the limitation is on WP.

Sami Susami

Hi Tomi,
the situation witn N950 is not so good as you think. The problem is that it has only 512M and no "close" button in UI (thanks to designers hypnotized by iPhone -they intentionally removed this button). So, typical user does not close an application, but sends it to the background. So, after 3-4 apps the phone is out of memory.

Of course, it can be fixed in theory. But in practice the team was working on N9/N950 is now fired and the support is stopped. So. it is too late to launch N950. (I beleive this is the part of Elop's strategy)


I can only hope that Elop goes to work for Oracle next.


@Rob: Funny!


*** NEWS FLASH ***

Friday 11th May 2012

Nokia will now start marketing the N9 in the United States.

Do a search for Nokia N9 on Google News and confirm please.

The Ad War Is Free!


Tomorrow, Thursday 14th, there will be a Nokia information event for the whole personnel of Salo, Finland factory. Propably means more job cuts or even closing the whole factory. Rumours claim, there will be job losses also in Oulu and Tampere.


Fresh news. Finlands largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat writes that the job cuts will not only concern Finnish operations, but are much larger.


Can Tomi explain to this novice what is it about Microsoft owning SKYPE that is a threat to the carriers? He mentions that many times but he does not explain that. Please explain your premise, I am just getting up to speed on this conversation. thanks.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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