My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media

Subscribe


Blog powered by Typepad

« Avoin kirje Nokian osakkeenomistajille (This blog article in Finnish, English version is Open Letter to Nokia Shareholders here also published today) | Main | Largest Computer Makers When Smartphones Included - Apple dominates, nearly twice as big as nearest rival (which is, of course, Samsung not HP) »

August 22, 2012

Comments

Michael (Ex-Nokia employee)

I think a CEO from a carrier sounds sensible, but I would say a big carrier like Vodafone who used to be a Symbian partner, someone who knows the industry and someone that the other carriers will recognise.

As for strategy:

- Get rid of Elop, and Jo Harlow.

- Scrap the Windows phone program at the earliest sensible point, everywhere except possibly the USA (and perhaps there too, Tomi how do the figures look? Not great from what I recall of previous postings)

- Give Jolla free licence to Harmattan 6 including UI. (I presume seeing as Jolla came about from the Bridge program that Nokia already has a controlling steak so if it was successful in the future it could be brought back in to Nokia..?)

- Reinstate Nokia's future - (smart)feature phones - Meltiemi program. (If the staff have been made redundant, then get Dexia or Accenture to do it in the short term).

- Bring out some more copycat dual sim S40 products to capitalise on that work in India/Africa etc, whilst waiting for Meltiemi to be ready.

- Prepare transition for users S40->Meltemi.

In the short term, Nokia needs something to sell so.....

- Create a couple of really top end Android devices with good features (i.e. don't make it cheap (..N97, Bolt, etc)). Put in the pureview sensor in one of them (though not the flagship one as that's got to be Samsung GS3 levels of thickness). Also some mid range. (There is hopefully a skunkworks somewhere in Nokia that has android up and running somewhere?).

- Make it purely android jellybean, no skining. And give it an unlockable bootloader - the tech blogs (and consumers!) will lap it up.
- Make sure most of all that it's desirable and "Nokia".

- In the longer term, I don't know if meltemi is scalable to top end, but if it is then put the android vm on it and then the problem of the 'eco-system' is gone, for the time being..

- Team up with Adobe/Google/Mozilla to push HTML5 as the next app platform.

- Bring out a qwerty android

- Now, advertising - Did people see the Nokia N8 advert (was on British tv anyway) whereby a blind man was trying to convince us that the N8 takes great photos...!!!!!??! Fire the person/company that made that decision.

- Create some really simple, happy, advertising. Nokia has a lot of history and research in this area, I'm sure it can be resurrected.

- Create/Partner to create some next gen battery tech.


The only thing with this plan as I see it is that #1, Elop might not get fired. #2, it might take too long to get android up and running. #3, the agreement with MS may not allow some of this to happen.


Am sure there's other business considerations that I've not considered.

aikoN

Fork Nokia into 2 different Companies:

- Lumia as Microsoft OEM (Elop can keep his job)
- Asha as "the last real" Nokia.

- Sell NSN to Huawei

Titaniumc

Great article, concise and balanced.
Obviously Elop must be fired, the only strange think is that it wasn't already a year ago.
I think that a personality from the carriers community is much needed as a way to signal the intention to become again carrier frinedly rather than carrier ostile as Nokia actually is. But it don't necessarily must be the CEO, just someone able to influence the CEO decisions. Let's define him the Nokia strategist more than the CEO.

Concerning the strategy of Nokia it can only go forward. WP8 as an OS can survive but not as the strategy in the sense used by Elop, i.e. push WP8 at Nokia expenses but use WP8 in the measure it help Nokia (if in anyway it helps Nokia).

Then Nokia must be open to other options (like Samsung do): android and possible new OSes (new MeeGo licensed from JollaOS not anymore developed internally)

Nokia as to look at the next wave of innovation and from where it will come. I.e. new OSes coming from partnerships with Chinese Operators.

In short Nokia must be carrier friendly and OS agnostic

JD!

Why wait, send me the appointment letter... I can be perfect fit for Nokia, as I have no knowledge of leading a company, no knowledge of carrier functioning, No knowlege of Selling handsets.
I bet, I can still do better than Elop for saving Nokia!

vladkr

I really hope this open letter will change something, and you did well to write it, especially if people start to react.

I used to be a Nokia share-holder but I finally got rid of it as it gave me absolutely no power on decisions taken at the company.

We have even no news from the lawsuit filed in May against Nokia by US shareholders.

Nokia looks like a zombie, which goes straight, without thinking, whatever happens, which can't be explained anything.

So, I don't want to seem pessimistic, but it was told, and repeated many times since Feb '11, that the MS strategy, as it was promoted and executed will fail. It was more than told, it was obvious.

In 18 months, nobody pressed the emergency stop button while the danger was visible, why would anyone do it now the train is already derailing?

My only hope now is that Nokia/MS won't throw a wrench in Jolla's gear, like GM did with SAAB (with the sad ending we know about).

@Aikon: That's not just me who is sure about this fact; Nokia is rated as junk by all credit agencies, which mean its value is pure speculative. If you look at stock value over the last month, you'll see its variations are not related to any reliable information.

vladkr

Sorry for the double post, but to add few words to my last comment :

Elop was a predictable risk, see this article from 2008 :

http://www.siliconbeat.com/2008/01/11/microsoft-beware-stephen-elop-is-a-flight-risk/

aikoN

@JD
Sorry, pal, you don't have Steve Balmer on your speed dial...

vladkr

@JD:

If monkeys can be sent to the space, why don't we send Elop to the space, and make monkeys run Nokia ?

Even a ficus or any other plant would run Nokia better than Elop, I hope I don't upset you with my words, sure you won't do worse than Elop.

What's sad, it's not just a disaster for Nokia, it is for Salo, for Cluj and other places where premises were closed, it's quite bad for Finland as well.

One man, lot of harm.

aikoN

@vladkr
what I mean is that it doesn't mean how much one share is priced today. What is important is that shareholder with the most number of shares are in charge. I am talking about the power to rule Nokia, not about the stock price.
May be I'm wrong... I don't know.
May be Microsoft or someone else used some money to become a major shareholder and to rule Nokia as they want. It's just a game, strange game where Elop works for Microsoft, but gets his salary from Nokia.

vladkr

@aikoN:

Sorry, I misunderstood you, but I see your point now (and actually agree with it).

Tomi T Ahonen

To all in the thread..

Thanks for great conversation! Please keep it going. I just wanted to mention that I added a categorized listing of links to my major blogs about Nokia situation this year, to the end of this blog. Some of you who are regular readers, may have wanted at some point to find some specific blog I wrote about Nokia, but as there are so many errors that I have exposed here on this blog, plus my rants against Elop, you may have become frustrated (especially with those blogs often being so long). So now you have them in one place. You may want to bookmark this blog haha..

But yes, please keep the discussion going. As I am on summer vacation, I won't even try to get to every comment now, but I will return with some comments

Tomi Ahonen :-)

John Phamlore

I still haven't heard an answer from those who think Nokia has such great IP: Where's the evidence that Nokia can produce its own LTE baseband chip, and it would also help if such a chip were backwards compatible such as apparently Qualcomm's is for the US market at least.

From what I have been reading Intel bought Infineon and Infineon was supposedly working with Nokia on LTE; however, Infineon was more working on compatibility with China's own version of LTE:

http://gigaom.com/broadband/is-td-lte-replacing-wimax-as-intels-pet-technology/

But this article exposes what killed Nokia and what was the company whose alliance with Nokia left Nokia for dead: It was Intel not Microsoft.

http://www.wired.com/business/2012/08/ff_intel/

Observe that Intel actually didn't have a real phone strategy until mid-2010, when they were forced to hire a former Apple employee Mike Bell to embark on a crash course to produce an Intel phone. Observe that Mike Bell in the article hired former employees from Apple, Palm, Qualcomm and Android developers, but no one is mentioned with the slightest connection to Nokia, despite Nokia having been an alliance with Intel for about a decade prior to Bell's hire in mid-2010.

Nokia's alliance with Intel will go down as one of the most senseless business alliances of all time. Intel brought absolutely nothing of value to the table but instead induced Nokia to support WiMAX, the true cause of Nokia's being boycotted by the major American telecoms. This flirtation with WiMAX, which ended shortly after Nokia settled with Qualcomm and essentially surrendered, caused Nokia to be totally unprepared for the coming LTE world. Nokia thus had to buy its chips from its former arch-rival Qualcomm and terminate all of its previous technology.

The real question is what could have possibly led Nokia to have decided to ally with Intel. The best answer I have argued is that Nokia allied with Intel due to Nokia decision early 2000s to switch to Linux as its operating system of the future.

It's Linux that killed Nokia.

Name

It was a risk-averse, oversized layer of management and a constant urge to do things over that killed Nokia. The growing dependence on Microsoft technologies and services (Powerpoint, Exchange, Sharepoint) can't have helped, either.

All topped off with a CEO who thinks he's Napoleon and a board of directors that one might charitably assume is asleep at the boardroom table.

But maybe you're right, after all: Linux did kill Nokia - Linux in the form of Android.

TimoT

It is too late for Nokia. It is one thing just to have an incompetent CEO but whole another matter when the board is equally incompetent and biggest shareholders are also blind believers. Add to that Elop's clearing of the house of any possible dissidents, replacing them with Microsoft moles and Nokia is well beyond any salvation.

Only hostile takeover could save Nokia but there are few candidates willing to do, especially when the details of the Microsoft deal are unclear. Strategywise it is like late 1943 for German troops, the Generals already knew the war was lost but still they put up a helluva fight for another year and a half.

Nokia will fight still (2 years max?) but it will be fighting losing battles everywhere with ever-increasing costs. Eventually Microsoft will accept defeat and cut losses.

new_guy

@Cyan @aikoN
This was a takeover pure and simple in the best interests of M$
See my comment:
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/07/the-sun-tzu-of-nokisoftian-microkia-mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whose-the-baddest-of-them-all-waterloo.html?cid=6a00e0097e337c8833017743314e30970d#comment-6a00e0097e337c8833017743314e30970d

tired

@spawn
Outsourcing harmattan to jolla would work in 2 ways;
1) familiarity - existing team working on harmattan. plus point for both nokia and Jolla
2) reputation - Nokia regains some of it's good reputation as a company that cares about it's customers by keeping harmattan going. Plus point for Nokia.
3) Publicity - Nokia gets (2), Jolla gets a publicity boost as the go to guy for Nokia.
4) Income - Jolla gets paid for it's work NOW instead of investments. Plus point Jolla.

Only draw back is if Jolla hamstrings harmattan by limiting harmattan functionality. that would really suck balls.

Nokia Ecosystem is still in place. Even though parts have been sold and are no longer part of Nokia. dying yes, dead no.

John Phamlore

Tomi keeps mentioning how important carrier relations are and how Nokia used to pay careful attention to them. But there is apparently no explanation of why long before Elop, Nokia had almost no relations with the two major US carriers.

The problem was with its support for WiMAX, Nokia had declared nuclear war on the major US carriers:

http://www.nokia.com/NOKIA_COM_1/Press/Press_Events/Nokia_Technology_Media_Briefing/Mobile_WiMAX_white_paper.pdf

The one thing major US carriers would fight to the bitter end, and I shudder to think what extremes their executives would take to avoid, is being re-regulated as a public utility, as merely dumb pipes for the Internet. Everything Nokia said in the above white paper was complete poison to the major US carriers, from saying only the licensed spectrum was valuable, to offering a means to disintermediate the carriers from every other part of the business they are now seeking a stranglehold on.

So the old Nokia had to be put to death as punishment, and as a warning. And so it was.

naikoN

Do you really believe that somebody will change CEO just a couple of weeks before the BIG announcement of greatest (the beta period is over,... again) mobile phone(s) ever made? WP8 is coming and Chris Weber is scaring the shit out of Sammy.
If Stephen Elop was allowed to continue his internal crusade removing all that was Nokia, why does it has to be changed now?
Small shareholders have no power. Big american shareholders uses nokia to lift their MSFT stocks. There is no way back.

Good bye Nokia, we're sailing with Jolla Mobile

Lasko

'If Elop is fired now Nokia will rise again.'

No, and that's what people just don't want to understand. If Elop is fired now Nokia has a slight chance to stop the downard spiral, but that's it. Period.

There is no way Nokia will magically transform into the market leading, multi-billion dollar company it was before. It took over two decades to get where Nokia has been, and all you can do is pressing the reset button and then hope that you'll be there where you've been in another two decades. Nokia as it was is no longer the Nokia it is right now. Brand? Ruined. Carrier relationships? Poisoned. Manufacturing capacity? Closed. Innovational strength? Gone. Engineering? Outsourced, fired or lost. Intellectual assests? Sold.

Nokia is no longer a creator of mobile software or mobile hardware with a huge amount of talented engineers beeing able to innovate, it has been successfully transformed into a run-of-the-mill OEM, with software from Microsoft and hardware from Compal, having serious financial and executive problems.

Whoever may take the ungrateful job to clean up after Elop will have to start from zero - including all the burdens Elop's scorched earth policy executed in perfection has brought.

Thanks for everything Nokia from the past, but the case is closed, the patient is drawing its dying breath.

jack1059

Sadly lasko, I think you may be right with your assessment.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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