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« Second picture in the Nokia Destruction Saga - Greatest individual Management Mistake Ever Made - Nokia vs Competition in one picture | Main | Quick notes from the smartphones battlefield and announcements from CES »

January 07, 2013


Sander van der Wal

Look at the second graph in this Guardian article based on IDC data: In Western Europe, nokia's market share had a peak in Q4 2009. The bigggest fall was the next quarter, with two flat quarters after that. The second big downfall did start a quarter *befor*e the memo, and the quarter after that. Market share even recovered a bit at the end.

if I did not know there was a Memo, i would not say there had been a Memo, based on these figures. And certainly not at the end of Q1 2011. Just a company seeing its market share been taken away by a different company with more desirable products.



First, the crucial point you mention, Q1/2010 is obscured by a textbox and second, there's obvious fluctuations in the data. And third, that graph shows volume, not market share. And since volume is not constant the graph will show higher numbers in quarters with higher overall shipping volumes. In other words: It tells us nothing of value whatsoever concerning this discussion. And last but not least, since the graph also contains feature phones, it's even harder to get some information regarding market performance out of it.

All I can see is that Nokia's overall volume shrank significantly beginning in 2011.


Ok, sorry, I didn't see the second picture which took too long to load.

Still, what does it really tell us. It's just Europe. Just one market. And it mixes smartphones and featurephones together. So again, what does it really tell us?

The article you link to even draws a clear conclusion that the problems are linked to Elop's announcement.



Utter nonsense.
Since Nokia was still making profit at the end of 2010 it can hardly be called 'collapsing'. You just pick the few data points that support your 'theory'. Again, nobody is denying that Nokia had problems before Elop and that these problems had an effect on sales and market share.

The flawed assumption you are making is that the countermeasures that had been already taken would have no effect. But as it is, they weren't even given a chance! Everything that might have helped Nokia overcome these problems was rendered void when Elop announced the switch to Windows Phone.

As for MeeGo, yes development did not go well. We know. And yet, Nokia still managed to get a MeeGo phone out before releasing any Lumia! Without and genuine support from the company's leadership. So, regardless of all the delays it was close to being finished when it was killed off.

So even given that 'Nokia had to do something', that 'something' should have been anything but killing off the entire product line prematurely. The losses only started appearing after Elop declared Symbian 'crap'. And they started instantly after that declaration.

What Elop essentially did was press the Panic button when a little patience would have been the better alternative. But apparently it was too tempting a chance to get Microsoft into the boat...



The time frame you were talking about...
Every nokia enthusiast know that Symbian S60v5 will be replaced with Symbian^3 VERY SOON. Some of them were withholding to purchase another nokia and wait for N8/E7/C7. This is the same pattern as apple. Whenever apple will release iphone, the sales dip.

What really annoy me is why it's so hard for you to ACCEPT that ELOP is A CRIMINAL?
****IF**** Symbian^3 were not a success, (1) Elop should NOT kill Symbian as is the main cash cow at that time while waiting for WP7. Killing Symbian prematurely is killing nokia brand/identity. (2) Giving away Nokia essential patent to microsoft for FREE.

From where I stand, I really see Elop as the CRIMINAL MASTERMIND. The Memo alone is an evident that don't need another explanation.


"What really annoy me is why it's so hard for you to ACCEPT that ELOP is A CRIMINAL?"

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

Upton Sinclair

Jens Bäckman


do you have access to the sales figures for the Nokia N9, and the Lumia models? It would be interesting to know what the sales numbers were for the doomed-at-release phone versus the Windows-forever phones.


"People here do not understand how dangerous it is if market share going down."

You confuse market share with sales. Maybe on purpose (see my Sinclair quote above).

In a growing open market, market share will go down when competition gets up. And the smartphone market exploded in 2010/2011. You are good as long as your sales grow in the same order of magnitude as the market. Just like the computer business, the Smartphone market is not a winner takes all market for device producers. It might be for the OS', but Nokia made their money with hardware, not software.


i'd love to see some analysis how failed os can be recognized ... two successfull os'es had to die for wp7 what was their combined marketshare?

how does it compare to os/2



I don't know how often it has to be repeated before it enters your head:

Yes, Nokia had problems.
No, they weren't fatal. After all Nokia still was very profitable in Q4/2010.
Yes, the problems were being worked on.
Yes, it's obvious that their ASP went down with no genuine high end device in their portfolio.
Yes, they already had a plan to fix that particular problem (N9, MeeGo)
No, they did not have to abandon everything to ensure future profitability.

It's that last 'no' that's crucial. Why even debate the rest? There have been enough articles around the web that explain what was going on. Yet, despite all the hiccups the company still made profits. So what do you do in such a situation: Yes, right: You carefully evaluate the problems, plan a strategy to fix them but you also carefully analyze how you finance your company during such a transition period. And the most important thing here is 'Do not kill off your money makers!'

So why do you still try to argue that doing precisely that fatal mistake was a good decision? It was utterly idiotic, even if the WP strategy had worked out. Most of the damage was already done before the first Lumia even shipped - and when they did ship, the company was already in so much trouble that there was no rescue in sight anymore.

That the entire idea that WP might be a success was more wishful thinking than anything else is beside the point. Every armchair analyst would have told so and they were all proven correct in the end.

Sander van der Wal


Tomi's hypothesis is that the channel stopped buying Symbian devices because of the Memo.

Now, if you look at that European market share chart, do you see any kind of evidence that Nokia's market share behaved differently after the memo, than before?

Well, I do not see that evidence. Nokia's market share was going down, and kept going down.

Consider. If the channel stopped selling Nokias, the market share would have collapsed, gone to zero in Q3 2010 and later.

But it did not. More and more people were buying Samsungs, and less and less people were buying Nokias. That is all that was happening. The channel kept selling Nokias to the people wanting them. But less and less people wanted Nokias.

Now, this is but one market. It does not tell you anything about different markets. But it does tell you *exactly* what happened in the Western European market.



You keep referring to that picture again and again and still don't understand what it says.

So I repeat again:

2009->2010: 39% to 34%. Ratio of change: approx. 15% of existing market share. This is not collapse, especially since sales numbers were still growing.

2010->2011: 34% to 16%. Ratio of change: approx. 55% with a massive shrinking of sales numbers. THIS is collapse!

@Sander van der Wal:

Sorry, can't see that. I see a dip early in 2010. This can have various reasons, like customers waiting for an announced new release, a competitor releasing a major product at this time or something else. But after that market share went up again until - well - until Elop announced the Symbian abandonment. And from that point on it went straight downhill until the first Lumias arrived that did hold off the fall for a quarter.

And again it needs to be repeated because some people still seem to get it. Nokia itself saw the end of Symbian in the high end market, that's why they worked on MeeGo. And Symbian really wasn't as bad as some people make it look. Symbian^3/QT would have been a terrific app development platform, far better than Android around that time, had Nokia given it a chance.

If you want to argue that with pre Q4/2010 offerings Nokia wouldn't have stood a chance in the market, I'd agree in a second. Pre Symbian^3 Nokia phones were crap that only sold because there were no alternatives.


"Nokia was doomed because they lost market share."

Replace Nokia with Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Dell, or Exxon, and you see how empty this soundbite is. All these have seen ups and downs in their market share, some for almost a century.



We are not talking about the market share at the end of 2010, which may be distorted by several factors but about the market share over the ENTIRE YEAR!

But let's go with end of the year numbers just to make the point:

The market share at the end of 2011 was not 16% but 12%. So even with your skewed interpretation by only looking at Q4 we still have the same picture:

2009->2010: decline from 39% to 29% (ratio of loss 25%, admittedly a bit bigger than over the entire year but it's still way below 50%. We still got growing unit sales, though. I dug the 39% out from older blogs on this site, btw.)
2010->2011: hard collapse from 29% to 12% (ratio of loss 58%)
and just for the laugh, assuming that Tomi's Q4/2012 estimate is true:
2011->2012: hard collapse from 12% to 3% (ratio of loss 75(!)%, despite supposedly having transitioned to a more 'competetive' OS.

So please excuse me, I really can't see a collapse before 2011 in here, either. A trend, yes, maybe, that Nokia wasn't having the most popular OS anymore, but by no means do these numbers tell that Symbian sales would have taken a nosedive into the deepest abyss of business hell.
I can, however see, that the transition from Symbian to Windows was a colossal failure of epic proportions.


"The market share at the end of 2011 was not 16% but 12%."

The hallmark of "Lying with statistics" is to pick suitable individual data points for one number and a suitably large average for the other.

Tomi T Ahonen

Guys, don't even TRY to bring back stuff I said was off limits, those comments are always deleted and there is no point in responding to the trolls who keep trying to repeat them.

If someone wanted to compare the last Quarter of 2010 then the correct comparison point is last Quarter of 2011 to see one year change - and that is quite brutal (numbers also in the above haha). You can't compare the last quarter of 2010 for the full year of 2011 (unless you are a Nokia or Microsoft troll who wants to distort reality and attempt to claim the fall was somehow not that bad)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Now that am at my hotel and have a bit more time

Hey you, you know who you are, Troll! Stop it. You know how much trouble Typepad makes you go through to post your moronic comments? Going through the CAPTCHA hassles etc. You know how much trouble it is for me to delete your comment? One click. So yeah, feel free to break my rules here and see how much it bothers me to rid you of your comment.

BUT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED - do not play that game, if I write 'this topic is off limits' and you persist, I will BAN YOU FROM THIS BLOG. That means not only that you can't post, it means I delete EVERYTHING you ever posted here. Think about that for a moment. Do you really want to test my patience and keep posting nonsense?

Now, for those who were pondering is there a point to quarterly comparisons? No. The quarterly fluctuation of one of the giant 3 - Apple's iPhone - are so huge - over the past 4 quarters at one point Apple's market share jumped from 14% to 23% (Q3 to Q4 2011) and at another point declined massively from 24% to 17% (Q1 to Q2 2012). Because one of the big 3 fluctuates that much within any one year, it drastically influences the rivals too, when Apple has its upswing, the rivals may see strong sales but their market share dips, and then when Apple has its downswing, the 'gains' to the market share of the rivals seem too big. That is why annual comparison are only valid when we compare these three.

And to prove my point, if some troll wants to pick the most favorable quarter to quibble about, lets see if there isn't the opposite true, in the same year 2010? Lets see how that Q1 performed. Nokia in Q1 of 2009 had 39% market share .. but in Q1 of 2010, Nokia's market share grew to 42%. So comparing Nokia smartphones in 2010, to 2009, but using only one, same, quarter from the two years can also produce 'evidence' that Nokia's market share was growing strongly - 7% growth in fact. That is in the same year 2010, that some troll keeps claiming that Nokia collapse had started in that year. It is simply not true. The fall for full year 2010 for Nokia was 5 points of market share. The collapse started in 2011 when Nokia's fall was more than half the market share it had held. That is a world record decline in one year in handsets. And unfortunately for Nokia, it continued through 2012 and is likely to continue into 2013 as well

Hey you Troll - you've been warned. One more silliness and you are expelled forever from this blog. Don't try my patience

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Sander van der Wal


I know very well how good Symbian is, having programmed for it since 1998, when it was still called EPOC. At that time, there was nothing else that could do what Symbian did. But that capability came at a cost, it was hard to program for. Too hard for most people. That because a major vulnerability by the time devices did become capable enough to support easier ways to program.

And Qt would have been a good environment for it too. I have seen Nokia peddle it to developers since 2009, even though it was completely not ready to use for apps that could be sold until 2011, when they added support for it in Ovi.

But at that time iOS development had taken off in a big way. So, lots of Symbian developers were already developing for iOS for more than a year by the time Qt was ready enough. This means that you have a choice, keep developing for iOS, where you are making money right now, or start learning Qt and start making less money (because of the smaller market) after half a year.

Developers choose to make money now by developing for iOS and wait and see what will happen with Qt on Symbian and MeeGo. It is as simple as that. Economists call this opportunity costs.

Same reason WP doesn't get many developers. If it becomes popular, then developers will come.

There are of course always some people for whom it is more advanteous to develop for Qt or WP insetad of iOS (or Android). If you know Qt and must still learn iOS then your situation is different. But the majority of Symbian developers were already developing for iOS in 2010.

Regarding the Western Europe situation, the Kantar report that was discussed here a couple of days ago sheds a lot of light. Germany and the UK having single digit Symbian market share compared to 20%-like in Italy and Spain. Why did Germany drop Nokia? Why did Italy did not drop Nokia?


@Sander van der Wal:

I think you make a small mistake in your assumptions: You talk about 'developers'.

If this means individuals, yes, you are correct. If, however you talk about software development companies, things will look different.

The company I worked for 2 years ago was heavily invested into iOS, they also did a lot of Android and (gasp!) even Blackberry work.

And believe it or not, we were very much interested in supporting Symbian so finally having the Qt environment seemed like a godsend. Work was immediately started to train a few developers on Symbian/Qt so that by Q2/2011 we would be able to do some serious work on that platform. It never went that far. The project was shelved one week after Elop's fatal announcement.

You wouldn't think that other companies had similar plans back then, would you? After all Symbian was still a strong competitor with a largely untapped user base.


Anyways, dont we all agree that at the moment Symbian looks like total vomit, outdated dogs vomit.

meego is however another story.

Finnish morons and fags in Nokia hq, you lost it.

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