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May 03, 2012

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Tomi T Ahonen

Just a comment to all who are in the thread, you might like this

I just had a bizarre instance on Twitter. A Nokia HQ marketing dude, James Etheridge (twittering as @JEatNokia ) posted a couple of Tweets suggesting I was inaccurate about what Elop said. I asked him to come to the blog, to read the quotations and he came back to Twitter, took some of MY text, without the quotation marks and italics which you see, and accused me of claiming those as Elop's words. I then challenged him for some Twitter duelling but he ran away (chicken-chicken haha).. Anyway, it seems the Nokia HQ has kind of woken up haha.. Maybe it was the lawsuit reference that finally shook Mr Elop from his complacency.

First time ever, that anyone official from Nokia has reacted to any Elop related Tweet or blog or press interview or public presentation, and I've spoken about him for over 19 months, and been critical of him for at least 15 months, and been calling for him to be fired for 11 months. Today was first time Nokia marketing decided to react haha.. Might have been a mistake :-)

So while I see who visits the blog obviously, I can't say. Now at least there was an official Nokia reaction, so we know at least this article has been read at Nokia HQ haha...

Thought you guys might like to know that.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

zlutor

@Patrik: I fully agree with you...

The shareholder who asked that question should not let Elop escape with this answer. This is total BS... :-(
Elop artificially cleaned the road for Lumias in WE and the result is - disappointing, at least.

For ~300 euros N9 could have been sold like hot cakes there.

Elop should learn from von Clausewitz or general Moeltke: "No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy"...

CN

@Patrick and Tomi

Patrick is showing a good example how words are twisted and wrong information starts to travel around the world. So, Tomi, something you may have now experienced now with Nokia HQ, with the Twitter messages?

Pekka writes: " He said something that Lumia's sales have exceeded N9..."

And Patrick turns this into: "...according to the CEO, [Lumia] had sold far better than the N9..."

And Patrick continues: "...the same CEO says the Lumia massively outsold the N9..."

Patrick, wake up! ;-)

I think we all should be responsible what we communicate.

Patrick

@CN

As I clearly was not there I did address this to @Asko and it's quite clear that my quote and text are based on what Asko wrote.

But let me do a little clean-up on my side:

"Elop [according to a unverified post on a blog] refused to give numbers for N9 sales when asked compared to Lumia." - There. Everyone feel better now?

You can ignore everything that I wrote in my previous post because if that comment alone is correct (and if it is not then please correct me and for the heck of it, provide the sales numbers) the same question(s) still remain.

And I write that as a Nokia supporter who bought my first Nokia handset at the age of 16 and today, at the age of 34, types this with a N8 next to my laptop.

zlutor

@Tomi: wow, what a 'chat' is going on the Twitter!
2 on 1... :-)

CN

@Patrick

Sincere apologies if I made you furious by asking accuracy with statements. It's just that the negative sentiment around Nokia and whatever related to Nokia is in my opinion enough without making things look worse as what they are.

When you were 16, I had worked for Nokia already few years. :-) Don't drive conclusions if I still do...

Friends? ;-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Update on the Twitterfight haha..

James and I had a virtual handshake and agreed to disagree. Was good fun (for a while another Nokia HQ person joined in even). But I recognize they are under heavy pressure under very hard times and are just hardworking corporate stiffs with a very rough job right now. I think I give Nokia enough of a headache just blogging here (and Tweeting) without picking fights with their mark comms people too. So my cheers to all the Nokia HQ people, I am with you, I just disagree with this strategy (and your boss, but you knew that). I don't disagree with the rest of you and I hope Nokia can be saved and be stronger and better once again...

To James Etheridge, the beers are on me when we meet up somewhere in the world some day. Cheers!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

vladkr

Hi,

At last we get some information about this meeting. Unfortunately I bought my stocks in Europe, so, I'll wait and see.

I think Skype's days are counted now, as it will be less and less useful; some carrier in Europe - at least in France and Russia - make offers (unlimited international calls, low prices on roaming) that make Skype almost useless.

In another hand, some other places have such a bad 3G network that Skype is almost unusable, even with voice only (that's the case in Canada). Other carrier can just filter or charge internet calls. In any cases, using Skype will make less and less sense.

Tablets : Apple and Amazon's force in tablets is the huge amount of media available for it, so a potential customer knows that (s)he can watch his/her favourite TV-shows, movies, magazines, etc. Of course there is Zune, but it's much poorer.

Another problem I see is that it's quite risky to launch the tablet at the same time as the OS. People did trust iPad because it was just an upgrade of an iPhone/iPod, with a much bigger screen.

So a lot of applications were already available, and the OS was well known and trusted. What about WP8? First it will have to be bug-free (what didn't happen with the Lumia 900), and a huge work will have to be done for its reputation.

Many companies all over the world don't want Windows 8 because of the reputation, I can even say that most companies/ministries I know stick to Windows XP and will move to Seven only when they will be forced by MS to do so.

The only thing that can save Nokia's tablets is Office... but what if Samsung, Asus, HTC release their own WP8 tablet?

The only positive point of this meeting is that Nokia's head tend to lie less... but do they have choice?

Nokia is technological Soviet-Union; it used to be powerful, it has propaganda, but it inevitably will fail since nothing changes at the top of it.

Patrick

@CN No hard feelings from my side, life is too short but never too short for new friendships ;)

Tomi T Ahonen

To all in this thread,

While I've been playing on Twitter, haha, thank you EVERY BODY for the contributions and additions, especially all who wrote about the actual things said at the Shareholders' Meeting. Those of us who are Finns, can read the Yle and HS stuff and whatever short blurbs were on Kauppalehti etc, but the non-Finnish speakers can't get those. These lengthy postings with what was said - even haha, with a bit of disagreement on exact wording - has been very useful especially for our international readers. Really. I thank you guys!

And I love the discussion and debate, keep it going! I'll return later with some comments

Tomi Ahonen :-)

CN

@Tomi

Was nice to follow your discussion in the sand box... ;-)

One mistake you did quoting Elop: When he was asked by Raimo Selin that who does he work for (Raimo was probably proposing that Microsoft would have been the expected answer), you claimed that Stephen responded to work for the Nokia Chairman.

IF Stephen had answered that way, he would've been perceived as an asshole, right?

But, he's answer was something different, wasn't it?

So, when you so proudly were highlighting the greatest value of the Finns (honesty), now you owe us one. Apology. ;-)

st7761

Nokia... They don't HW platform after ARM11. Lumia...powered by Qualcomm. But Qualcomm is frendly with Samsung over 15 years.
ST -which is frendly with Nokia- collaborates with Samsung in MEMS sensor and AP(STE U8500). Nokia's HW chain will be destroy.

Tomi T Ahonen

About my mistake..

Hi CN

Hey, good catch. I remember that, because it was one of the first items that came from the meeting, and I read it on Kauppalehti pages and translated while on the run, for Twitter. Clearly I misread it. I went now back to KL to double-check and you are right, he said Mr Selin not Mr Siilasmaa. My bad. I definitely had that one wrong. And I am sorry :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

volt

Tomi, you keep repeating that Nokia can still be saved... Will you be able to tell when the day comes, when that is mostly your heart talking?

Personally, I think Nokia has already crossed over where their only option is to find a way to whip the dead WP horse back on the feet.

There's no way that Nokia can make the chains believe that Symbian will have a 2nd coming. There's no Maemo team working on an inhouse solution, and the MeeGo team/community/idea is dismantled. Meltemi is only supposed to be the next S40, and it is still far from the market. Windows 8 will be out before that is ready.

And above all, everybody in Nokia is still embarrassed about the pee-in-pants and would not be caught dead in the room with an Android device. :p

I don't see that Nokia has any way out. The N9 is but a single phone, they can't live from that even if they did start to hype it a year++ too late. They MUST stay alive till Windows 8/Windows Phone 8, and Symbian is, well, burned down already. Thanks, Elop.

I don't EXPECT Windows Phone 8 to save Nokia, I'm not sure they'll survive as a separate unit until then, but I do think they have, like a Civilization II Caravel, traveling towards yet undiscovered continents, passed the point of no return.

Nokia gambled, and they lost.

But I'm just a random dude, you're a massive bank of knowledge. We just happen to know that your heart is still with Nokia. :D

SantaClaus

Nokia is DEAD DEAD DEAD. Is it so hard to see ??? Pack your bags. Sell the premises in Keilaniemi and call it a day. Cannot stand bullshitting about Nokia's ability to move on. NOKIA IS DEAD AS STONE. THEIR PHONES ARE WANTED AS MUCH AS A CORPSE WITH A PLAGUE.

But I Want to Ask... : How it can not be illegal to destroy a company? Why are Ollila and Siilasmaa still supporting Elop? Do they have balls of a size of peas? DO THEY WANT TO PRESERVE STATUS QUO, HUH ? SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER TO DISRUPT AND DESTROY, TO SEE THE WORLD BURNING THAN TOLERATE THE EVIL ! AND EVIL IT IS TO DESTROY BIGGEST TELECOM COMPANY IN THE WORLD. START ACTING YOU DAMN'D MORONS !!! IT IS YOUR OBLIGATION !!

Steve

"Lumia series has been launched in over 15 countries already including very large vital Nokia markets such as Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia etc."
15 countries is an understatement it's actually 48.
But there only sold at 130 operators, which is low for 48 countries or markets as Nokia calls it.
http://events.nokia.com/lumiamomentummap

n900lover

CN:

"So, how should I read Finland's role? Good reference if you find signs of sales boycott, irrelevant if volumes are high?"

Yes, it's quite logical. Because if you think finland is traditional market and by default you expect exceptional results, then if nokia sells good here, it's no news, but if even in finland there is boycott, it means very serious problems.

Eurofan

@Asko: Thank you, also, again for your first hand reports. They are more detailed than the paraphrased summary of the meeting YLE and HS provide, both links given in Tomi's blog. YLE's current record does not include the N9 sales question at all, where HS's version speaks of some hard to understand technical questions about operating systems and Meego and paraphrases Elop's answer thusly: [Elop: One cannot rush at the same time into all world markets with Lumia, either. It is good to go market by market and learn from process and possible difficulties. This way saves money. Markets are also quite different in structure and development.] (My translation.) That's it, that's Finland's paper of record's full summary of Elop's answer to the question of N9 actual sales and why N9 has been embargoed and Meego marginalized. Compare to Asko's report: "Elop refused to give numbers for N9 sales when asked compared to Lumia but Elop told the shareholders that you cannot compare Lumia and N9 sales numbers because N9 was released only on very small and selected markets without advertisements. He said something that Lumia's sales have exceeded N9 because Lumia's sale have started much faster than N9. I was left unclear as to what he really meant by that." Finally, compare HS's and Asko's with YLE's treatment of the same question and answer: [Many stockholder's questions were long and meandering. One chief theme in the questions was nevertheless expectedly the cooperation between Nokia and Microsoft. One stockholder wondered why Lumia wasn't publicized all over the world. According to Elop Lumia's sales area expands in stages.] (My translation.) This is at the 15:30 mark of the annual meeting. Three versions, one from YLE, one from HS, one from our man in the hall, Asko.

What I am getting at is that even Finn's aren't getting a true sense of what was asked at the meeting from their media. Unless you were in the hall or are getting first hand reports from someone who was at the meeting you would not know that there is a controversy among stockholders about N9 marginalization, N9 sales and profitability, and whether Nokia has sabotaged its own Meego operating system, which may be capable now of far more market acceptance and profitability than anything Microsoft can offer in the next few years.

Official Finland, YLE (state broadcasting) and Helsingin Sanomat included, has closed ranks around Olilla and Elop, no criticism or cutting analysis allowed.

@Tomi: I did think you should have more clearly stated in your blog that YLE's and HS's records of the meeting were not verbatim transcripts but were linked paraphrases of both the questions and the answers. From Asko's reports we know these paraphrases had major omissions as well, when answers were unflattering to Nokia management. I thought you shouldn't put quotes around Elop's statements because they are not even translations into Finnish, which you have translated back into English. They are a paraphrasing in Finnish of Elop's English language answers. Nevertheless, I agree that we can consider YLE's paraphrasing to be essentially meaningful as far as it goes and I agree with the reasonableness of your interpretation of Elop's remarks, as paraphrased by Finnish media.

I wish we had a verbatim transcript of the meeting. I've looked for it on the Web and it doesn't exist. No audio either, as far as I can tell. YLE's and HS's incomplete paraphrasing is all that we have, and they have obviously been edited by reliable editors to the extent that the reporters themselves did not self-censor. Nokia wants to be done with this year's annual meeting and all obvious questions about strategy as thoroughly as it can. I thought the most challenging and important questions, which Elop would like to bury at least in Finland, related to N9 sales and the question of whether Elop should be on the Board of Nokia at all.

This new Board member, Elizabeth Nelson, is know to Elop from Adobe, where their careers overlapped in 2005/2006. She was Chief Financial Officer of Adobe and he was CEO of Adobe-aquired Macromedia and subsequently president of worldwide field operations for Adobe Macromedia during the one year period Q2 2005-Q2 2006.

My one thought after all this and thinking of Elop's phrase, war of ecosystems. Microsoft is in a war of ecosystems. A war against Linux derived OS's, proprietary and open source -- mainly iOS/OSx, Android, and Linux. Because if Microsoft is not able to establish a comfortable niche of the portable device market they are doomed as a software supplier in the long run, as far as they can see. Why Nokia has joined this war and why it has joined this war on Microsoft's side -- these are the big questions. Whether the Nokia that emerges from this war will have any meaningful resemblance to the Nokia many once knew and loved, another question. Finally, for stockholders, would it have been more profitable for Nokia to develop further its Maemo platform given the N9's early success.

I'm glad someone above mentioned India. I had forgotten about India! Imagine N9 sales in India, one place where Nokia's Symbian OS is still respected for what it was, a very capable if clunky OS. How would India react to the more capable and less clunky N9 based on Linux? What home grown apps would grow up around the N9 in India? We'll never know because Elop embargoed it from India, too.

vladkr

Two remarks :
Nokia stock dropped again at 2.4X Euros, which means Nokia's valuation dropped under the psychological 10B Euros. Not a good message.

Another news that made me react. As Vertu is being sold, the latter won't use Windows Phone (or Symbian)... it will use Android from now. Interesting, isn't it?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Gang

Sorry, one more comment relating to the soap opera we had on Twitter. I was fully ready to drop it and leave it at that, and didn't want to bring the other person's name into the record, but the story was picked up by Finnish tech paper Tietoviikko which called it a Twitter Debate and entitled their story 'Strange Twitter Play: Nokia demands an apology from an ex-director'. They then report that yes, James Etheridge had demanded me of recanting what I wrote or to prove it to be true. The paper correctly reports that I never recanted what I wrote and that then James's boss, Doug Dawson also joined the Twitter discussion demanding an apology from me.

Obviously I never apologized, I demanded them for an apology or to show us where in this blog have I quoted Elop incorrectly. The paper said that after some debate without resolution, both sides agreed to a ceasefire, and that Ahonen said the Nokia people had a good sense of humor, and were working under difficult times.

The paper mentions that I have been critical of Nokia and Elop (also includes kindly links to this article, and to the previous one about the Elop Effect - than you Tietoviikko!). The article ends with this sentence: "The Nokia people seem to have become fed up with Ahonen's writings, that much they resorted to unconventional methods in handling the PR matter." Obviously the whole article is in Finnish, this is all my translation. The article was written by Niko Rinta on 5 April 2012.

I had not intended to mention Doug's involvement by name, nor the fact that he is James's boss, nor that at one point both of them were attacking me in the debate (effectively two to one) but now that this is all in the public domain, published by a Finnish paper, I can also report it here as true.

I end my point to the issue only repeating, that I asked right from the start, and kept demanding both from James and from Doug, to show me where in this blog, do I have a quotation attributed to Elop that is inaccurate. They both read the article thoroughly, and did not find one such quotation to point to. They did both point to some of MY writing, that is clearly not attributed to Elop and is not in italics and not in quotation marks. So I think we can therefore also conclude, that the Nokia marketing department has checked, and double-checked this article and found no faulty quotations wrongly attributed to CEO Elop haha..

With that, the weird soap opera is I believe over. I have never before been attacked by two marketing professionals simultaneously on social media, accusing me of misrepresentation. And I think I won?

But like I said, I bear them no ill will, they did this all in good sense of humor, and they are all under tremendous pressure at Nokia HQ. I know every one of my blog articles about Nokia causes the blood pressures at Nokia to rise.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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