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« 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

JD!

@Lasko: Nokia is now transformed from Elephant to Mouse!

May be if Elop gets fired, it might start running...

TheOneThatGotAway

It is a bit interesting to note that when Nokia competes head to head with Sammy, HTC, LG, .... And only differentiator is design/mechanics/brand - namely on WP7 - Nokia crushes competition. To some extend similar observation can be made for Asha and competitor equivalent.
This is a fact as we speak - this is not nostalgia.
I just wonder if this ports to Android..... I bet my old colleagues could get this flying in 6 months.... Just a thought.

TheOneThatGotAway

@Lasko, i agree partly with you. However the 'rebound' in Asia with Asha, where Nokia have had shortest time decline and somehow retains some brand value and operator relationship, could serve as a base for building up. An interim Android effort to return to profits while planning next step is a half strategy at least.
Talent loss and sisu destruction within the remaining hollow shell are severe challenges for a new CEO. Still such a strategy and rebuild can not be done in the hands of the present one.
What to do to circumvent the obligations towards M$ is beyond me.

Timo

If Elop was fired today and Nokia strategy reversed or moved towards Android, how in the hell do you think this would benefit Nokia in the long run? Tell me.

I agree that Elop's comments have left a bad mouth to many people, it has affected the sales and share price as well. Nevertheless, Windows Phone platform will most likely get a boost by the end of the year. It is not a best seller, but people do not buy mobile phones twice a month anyway. If Nokia keeps the Q2 sales in Q3, they are clearly on a path to a better tomorrow.

How would Nokia stand out with an Android phone? There is definitely no way of doing that any more. Period. That train is long gone my friends.

If you, Tomi, have doomed Nokia executives idiots because of the so called Osbourning, are you suggestingnnow that they should Osbourne WP8 range too? How stupid is that? Let me tell you. Extremely.

If you were a true Nokia fan, you would not make accusations that have very little beef behind them. Nokia is struggling, but it is far from going bankrupt, like you predicted just a while ago. We will see growing sales starting no later than Q4. Together with cost cutting that will lead to a positive result during H1 next year.

They might not be the king of the hill during your lifetime any more, but it doesn't matter as long as they have a decent piece of the whole cake. The hatred of operators will soon change into love again, as soon as they notice that having a third player in the game benefits them as well.

John Waclawsky

To Spawn, As you suggest we are not that far apart in our views. You see a more complex "excuse filled" world responsible for the poor decisions made over and over by Nokia executives.

On the other hand, I find a simple easy to understand fact at the base of Nokia's problem. NO ONE wants a windows phone! Pure and simple! ...in spite of all the MS AstroTurfing. Please look at the lessons from Zune, Kin etc - I sure wish Tomi would read this link and comment

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/D0BC712B-7DBA-46CA-AA44-19376E64FBA6.html

If there was wp demand then Nokia wouldn't be in the situation it finds itself today. Again, Occam"s Razor! This fact was easy to see and should have been seen by the Nokia board. You can't sell something nobody wants. No excuses!

Lasko

@JD!

No, it's not. It is still an elephant, just with chopped legs, trunk and tusk.

It is always relatively easy to grow as a company. Just hire more people, build new factories and products and your brand will grow automatically. But is usually horrible to shrink down, especially in Europa. Firing people? Pay. Close (most probably subsidized) factories? Pay. And all this automatically damages your brand, which automatically makes you pay as well.

And that's for example the difference between Jolla and Nokia, one beeing a mouse, the other beeing a handicapped elephant.

ondigit

@John - Please spread your anti-Linux FUD somewhere else. Everyone knows by now that the only people who actually say things like that are Microsoft cronies. WiMAX also had nothing to do with Nokia's death. That's absolute bs. They were long gone from the US market at that point yet their worldwide sales were booming as always.

@Timo - Nice try, but I've seen you on plenty of other sites blindly supporting MS's questionable business tactics and their half baked operating system. It's so clear Microsoft's silly Windows Phone experiment is doomed, it's not even funny. And unless Elop is fired and someone sane is put in charge, Nokia will continue on its death spiral with WP8.

How will they stand out with an Android phone? The same way they've always stood out before with quality products full of features. WP and Android are both part of the smartphone market. What kind of nonsense argument are you making where being king of Windows Phone will somehow make you stand out more?

John Waclawsky

ondigit - Please keep pointing out the nonsense from the Microsoft astroturfers. I was wondering when they were gonna show up. The root problem is NO wants a WP, period! This boorish behavior is a Zune - Kin - name your Microsoft consumer product tactic repeated over and over and over:

Reference:
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/D0BC712B-7DBA-46CA-AA44-19376E64FBA6.html

John Phamlore

Today's verdict against Samsung just shows how crushing Qualcomm's victory was over Nokia in forcing the patent lawsuit settlement in 2008. Without having to go to trial, Qualcomm extracted continuing cash payments and transfer of patents, not just cross-licensing. Such a victory is simply unprecedented and shows how badly Nokia lost, a defeat that spelled the end of the company.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/technology/24qualcomm.html

To show how badly Nokia lost, observe that a US jury awarded Apple about $1.05 USD of damages. That sounds like an enormous amount, but consider according to the above link that an industry analyst's estimate at 2 per cent on 100 million phones would be up to $400 million USD in royalty fees for one year alone! And that is not taking into account the value of the patents that were transferred to Qualcomm, Qualcomm's ability to produce a worldwide baseband chip with ever expanding LTE capabilities, and Qualcomm's saving estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in legal expenses by ending the lawsuit.

In retrospect with the death of Nokia, Qualcomm's legal victory was this century's greatest legal victory in a civil trial.

John Phamlore

@Baron95
I could be well wrong about the impact of the jury verdict.

I am thinking that one benchmark for licensing is Microsoft that I believe can force various Android device makers to settle for $5 USD per device or higher. Here Microsoft has a set of patents on the FAT filesystem that are much more difficult to break in any reasonable jurisdiction. There are definite implementation methods Microsoft has patented, but more importantly, competitors have to have full interoperability with the FAT filesystem--there isn't a reasonable substitute other than I suppose not exposing to the user local storage at all.

To me winning is when a company can force a settlement without having to proceed to a full trial and appeals at all. Now if the judge starts issuing injunctions in a few weeks that are not somehow stayed that severely crimp Samsung's operations in the US, then I will believe Apple will start to have leverage to force Android device makers to surrender and not even go to court.

To bring this back to the subject of Nokia, I invite people to read links and decide for themselves such as:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57408903-94/how-at-t-nokia-pulled-windows-phone-into-the-4g-lte-world/

Observe that both Qualcomm and especially Microsoft had to expend considerable effort just to get AT&T's LTE working for the Lumia. So can someone show me the evidence Nokia prior to Elop had in-house either the hardware or OS expertise and IP to get LTE working on AT&T, let alone eventually on Verizon with backwards compatibility for areas where LTE isn't available?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nokia-collaborate-verizon-211435972.html

ondigit

@John Phamlore - Absolutely ridiculous. By the way, how large is that paycheck Microsoft sends you every month? It had better be good income.

Kaksoiskansalainen

For me, Stephen Elop is an example for a typical recent CEO of a Finnish technology company: he is a financial guy who is completely incompetent in the field where the company that he is supposed to lead is actually operating. Such an incompetence in the company's core competences usually leads then to wrong decisions, because the CEO is simply not understanding the right people around him and ignores their ideas and visions that are important for the future of the company. In the case of Nokia the last CEO who had an engineering background was Jorma Ollila. He was successful as we all know. Then came the dark time of the first financial guy - Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. And I think that already he made the mistake that broke finally Nokia's neck. And this is a 'cute' one that - as far as I can see from my reading of this block - so many including Tomi(?) have not yet completely understood: he did not realize the power of the idea behind Qt and thus he did not push there enough to get it done in time. iOS and Android are new infrastructures without old customers. Nokia had a lot of old customers that they did not want to loose. So the transition to a new environment had to be smooth. The solution was Qt - a programmers interface that could run in the old Symbian world AND on the new Meego/Melteemi system. This would have been the GLUE that it would have made it possible to have the same applications on old AND new Nokia phones, so the customers would follow easier. Without such a glue, the transition to a new infrastructure is doomed to failure in the shadow of so strong competition! The financial guy Kallasvuo did obviously not understand the power behind this technology intellectually! Otherwise he would have get it done faster.
So, if you would want now someone with an technical background to lead Nokia, you would have not only to kick Steven Elop out of the way, you would also have to fire nearly the whole board of directors, because I do not think that they would choose someone who understands the core competences of the company over one of their financial idiots.
And finally, let's be honest, the idea to remove Steven Elop sounds nice, but the chairman of the board of directors, Risto Siilasmaa, a guy whose balls are in the claws of Steven Ballmer (his own company F-Secure produces Windows anti-virus software!), will never do anything against the interests of Microsoft ... It doesn't look good for Nokia!

@ Tomi: as a foreigner living in Finland I speak and read quite fluently Finnish, but your text without Ä and Ö is very difficult to read for me. So, I would buy an Ä and an Ö ;-)

MarcoAustria

"Given the importance of the U.S. market, Nokia brought to bear its full resources, lending research and development and engineering talent to the joint effort, said Chris Weber, president of Nokia's North America business. "
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57408903-94/how-at-t-nokia-pulled-windows-phone-into-the-4g-lte-world/

So Nokia gave away resources and R&D to develop for Microsoft. Benefits over and over again for MS, shifting resources away for all other Nokia operations (Melmenti, MeeGo, ...).

Louis

@Baron: WP appears to have no traction even when AT&T is "giving it away". If a few more bucks go to Apple, Android still has much better proven commercial value.

DEKRA

Well, even in this summarized cut down version of an open letter it struck once again. Nokia's downfall has only been caused by Elop and all his antics, according to Tomi that is.

Why is there never, and I mean practically never, any mention of the competition just besting Nokia at their own game which caused the downfall. Yes, February '11 definitly contributed to Nokia's worsening position, however, look at the barrage of devices etc. from the competition that came out before and after feb 11 which were very capable of eroding Nokia's position.

Apple came out with the iPhone 4 in mid 2010, Samsung made a bang with their original Galaxy S and S2 later on in 2011. HTC made some worthwhile devices and Nokia had little that could fight those devices. One thing being the trend of ever increasing screens which were selling. Nokia came with an answer late in the game with the E7 but it lacked all the ingredients that made the other slabs so appealing.

So yeah, Elop did cause a part of Nokia's downfall. But a very large chunk of it comes down to the lacking device portfolio of Nokia. There were no compelling devices or 'HALO' devices as some call it, apart from the N8 perhaps. But that served only a niche of people that liked imaging. I'm hard pressed to say people bought it for its good looks.

John

I dont know, maybe MR Elop take the right decision to choose Windows Phone after all. I think Apple will go after the others with Google/Android now HTC, Sony and Motorola.
Since Samsung lost the case:

http://www.zdnet.com/the-real-winner-in-samsung-vs-apple-microsoft-7000003165/

Now its not the time to get Elop fired. Windows Phone 8 cooming soon:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/15/nokia-microsoft-windows-phone/

John Phamlore

If what this blog post cited below is true, this is the reason why Nokia crashed at the time it did:

http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2009/02/nokia-st-ericsson-qualcomm-broadcombye-bye-texas-instrument-and-hello-to-the-new-nokia/

Pre-2009, the blog post claims:
"For years Nokia has been relying on Texas Instruments to produce its custom 2G/2.5G/3G chipsets. Nokia was designing the core chipset and letting Texas Instruments finish the integration and physically produce the chips: Nokia has been mastering the whole hardware IP of its phones ..."

I have been arguing that July 2008, the settlement with Qualcomm, was the pivotal event. Observe that within 6 months, the blog post claims Nokia has completely switched its strategy to:

"... from one supplier, the OEM is transitioning to three. Nokia has licensed its 3G hardware IP to ST (and presumably to Broadcom, rumors mentioned Infineon also), and will also use some “generic” chipsets."

While Nokia went from owning the entire IP stack needed for its phones to eventually having to purchase SoCs from Qualcomm, obsoleting almost all of Nokia's supply chain, Qualcomm now has what is claimed to be the only multimode 3G/4G LTE baseband chip in production:

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4374081/Insufficient-baseband-chip-supply-hurting-LTE-smartphone-sales

"... Qualcomm, currently the only provider of integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE baseband chips."

Observe that this article claims the competition isn't even close to providing an alternative to Qualcomm's product:

"The most likely new suppliers of multimode LTE baseband chips to alleviate the shortage are Broadcom, Nvidia/Icera, Renesas Mobile and ST-Ericsson. However ... 2013 will be the earliest that any of them will be shipping in volume. And until then Qualcomm will continue to have an almost exclusive run of the multimode LTE market."

There's no mention of Nokia having any alternative to Qualcomm even if they had to have one.

Kenny

I think it's time to face reality. Nokia has burnt all its bridges with Symbian, MeeGo and Meltemi. All the human resources connected with those platforms have been dismantled and intellectual assets like Qt sold. There is no time to develop an Android phone. Nokia can only depend on WP8 now. It will live or die with WP8.

Nothing can save Nokia now except a WP8 success. Not even if Elop is fired. He has made sure Nokia never goes back to Symbian, MeeGo or Meltemi no matter what happens.

Andreas

Hm, its a different topic, but I would really love to read a blog post of Tomi about the outcame of the Samsung-Apple patent trial...

John Waclawsky

@John = Microsoft Astroturfer.

The root problem this Microsoft shill doesn't want to admit is NO wants a WP, period! This boorish behavior is a Zune - Kin - name your Microsoft consumer product tactic repeated over and over and over:

Reference:
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/D0BC712B-7DBA-46CA-AA44-19376E64FBA6.html

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