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« Humanity are the data wells that make the black gold of the 21st Century | Main | Elop 25 Million Dollar Golden Handshake for Destroying the Company - How Could This Happen at Nokia (analysis and speculation) - Tomi plays detective again »

September 23, 2013

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Tomi T Ahonen

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Baron95 - Hey, if you want to post about iPhone 5C/5S stuff, not in this thread, you know the rules. Thats got nothing to do with this thread. Go post it in one of the plentyful Apple postings.

Joop - good point thanks. Please note that this is not an investment blog, I explicitly forbid discussion of share prices etc, except in the rare case that I make the share issue a topic in the blog. I appreciate it, that in a given industry, someone makes more profit than others. There are very many distorting things to such analysis which makes it meaningless in smartphones. Samsung, for example, the world's largest smartphone maker - does not disclose its smartphone unit sales numbers quarterly, and reports its profits quarterly yes, only by handset unit - so combined smartphone and dumbphone. Each maker reports profits differently. Now, some analysts are very good at such data, like Horace Dediu at the Asymco blog, and if you are really interested in that - not most common way to measure market share but yes, a relevant way - the profit share - then please go to Horace's blog and you'll find that discussion there.

This blog deals with the unit measure of market share - because my readers tend to be industry players like developers, for whom 'profit share' is irrelevant but ínstalled base unit share is vital info. That is why I report it here on this blog regularly and for free. So yes, you have a valid point but I don't have the time to try to do a fair job measuring and reporting that. Just reporting on overall industry unit sales market share is hard work haha..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

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Patrick - thanks for the link to Kallasvuo's interview. Interesting and haha, he would say that wouldn't he - it was under Kallasvuo that the decision to end Symbian was made. Except that then it was supposed to be MeeGo to replace Symbian, not Windows haha.

The Recusant - totally agree! Elop was introduced by Ollila that this was the miracle man who can fix Nokia's eternal 'execution' problems, because Elop was a software dude and could see where the problems were. Then Elop never did that, sold the software coders to Accenture and proceeded to demolish the handset unit instead.

Baron95 - the 'all platforms died' argument - no. Samsung's bada is a post iPhone platform. It achieved the fastest launch of a new OS ever, until Nokia committed suicide, and abandoned MeeGo, when Samsung, smart dudes as they are - picked up MeeGo, rebranded it Tizen and of course did the right thing - announced that bada development will be incorporated into Tizen. Up to the announcement of Tizen, bada was the best success of a totally new OS ever - better than iPhone better than Android. Baron95 - you know this. bada didn't die because it failed in the market, it was no longer necessary when Nokia exited MeeGo and allowed Samsung to jump in, creating the Tizen opportunity.

Your forecast that Tizen will also fail, is a very interesting one, considering bada had nothing but Samsung devices, and was only limitedly released to mostly emerging world markets, but Tizen has among its many board members, NTT DoCoMo giving access to half of Japan and SK Telecom, half of South Korea. I am willing to bet you in public, that Tizen will outperform bada and become the best launch of a new OS of all time.. but time will tell.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

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Moron_95_IQ - We have a long thread here about Nokia. The Apple Reality Distortion Field is a good point but not really relevant to this discussion. I'll let the comment remain, because you are a new visitor but please don't post in unrelated topics. I wrote about Apple recently - about iPhone 5C and 5S for example - or if you think this relates to Elop and Nokia, then explain why.

Baron_95_IQ - please keep the discussion polite here, no personal attacks.

Spawn - good points, and about Symbian/Nokia threat to Microsoft hegemony - MeeGo was also very suited for tablets and.. netbooks! Yes, we know now by hindsight that netbooks were a dud in the market, but in 2010, netbooks were the next big thing in PCs and the first MeeGo device was not the N9, it was Fujitsu's MeeGo based netbook released first in Singapore. The view AT THE TIME was that netbooks would naturally replace most laptops and notebooks, and thus the very future of the PC industry was about to fall into Nokia's hand.. MeeGo was a huge threat to Microsoft not because of the possible Nokia smarpthones but because many laptop makers were already onboard with MeeGo - like Fujitsu

Tomi Ahonen :-)

zlutor

@Baron95: "There is a necessary DNA component in the US West Coast to play this game" - what an argument. OMG!!! :-(
Poor us, rest of the World...

zlutor

@Baron95: "Nokia is not Apple or Samsung. Never was, except for the GSM/ETSI cartel induced bubble years." - are you aware of the fact that a mobile phone is referred as 'nokia' in quite big part of the world?

BTW what is Samsung is your opinion nowadays that makes them special? They copied Nokia wherever they can, they executed the strategy Nokia was executing before, they do exactly what made Nokia BIG: wide portfolio, global presence, operator relationship, global service network, everything...

Please, name any significant innovation Samsung has given to us in mobile area? Single one that we all should be aware of? One that makes it so special that you put them in the same row as Apple.

Yes, they execute well, they listen to customer demand and they produce everything being popular a little bit cheaper than others. Perfect producers - but not meaningful innovators to any extent...

Man, you are crazy...

RottenApple

@Baron:

No, Bada was left to die.
How could it ever live if they didn't market it? For example, it was close to impossible to get Bada phones in Germany. Bada was Samsung's safety net. After they became successful with Android they didn't need it anymore.

Having worked for a French company I know that Bada was much better marketed in France for some time and indeed enjoying some modest success there. But Samsung never really pushed for it so it never had a chance. But of course you will ignore this fact because ignoring it fits your propaganda better.

Tizen is mostly the same. Right now Samsung has nothing to gain from releasing Tizen phones. But having it in case of an emergency means that they won't be dependent on Google, should Android develop some problems. It also increased their negotiating power. Anyone dependent on a specific OS is also dependent on that OS's manufacturer - just take a look at Nokia. Samsung would never make that mistake.

Also, double posting Apple FUD is frowned upon.


RottenApple

@leebase:

You are again judging the past with the knowledge of the present and worse, judging it from the view of today's market which got to its current state as a direct result of the decisions you want to judge. That will never work.

We may never know what would have happened if Nokia hadn't botched the MeeGo transition by incompetence in execution. But as has been said before, if you got problems in execution you fix them - and fixing them doesn't mean to throw away years of work.

They had the N9 ready months before the first Lumia. Had they not announced self-destruction a few months earlier things would have looked A LOT differently. A company with a strong market position like Nokia at their peak launching a new platform is a lot different than Blackberry launching a new platform after losing 80% of their market share, it's a lot different than Samsung half-assedly launching their own OS in parallel to Android and it's certainly even more different than a one-country niche player like Palm trying to launch a new platform. Nokia's potential was 10 times bigger than any of those other launches.

And developers were already standing in line waiting to develop for Nokia's new system. No, this wouldn't have been a failure, had they seen through it. This was a release people had been waiting for - Nokia still had strong support in the market.

All we know is that their change of strategy resulted in catastrophic failure. Sadly, it was a catastrophic failure in plain sight of everybody with some brain in their head. So by any means a more conservative strategy could easily have yielded better results. Of course we'll never know since Elop attached a nuke to everything that came before him.

zlutor

@Baron95: "Wake me up when another OS/Ecosystem done outside of the US West Coast breaks into the top 3."

Good night! :-)

I do not short any stocks because I think shorting is plague of the market - but I'm sentimental/old school in this manner, I know... ;-)

On the other hand taking the #3 position is not so challenging. I think either Sailfish or Firefox OS has some meaningful chance...

It seems you did not get my point. Sometimes I can agree with you about WHAT you say but usually HOW you say annoys me a lot. Especially this this US superiority bullshit. Not to mention other fact that Google has dev. offices around the Globe and I highly doubt Android is fully developed in US. C'mon, this DNA stuff was plain stupidity - you have to admit that...

Nobody questions that Apple and Google are the dominant players nowadays but do you think it is because of OS superiority? No.

Once upon a time iOS was the innovator - even disruptor - but they are copying others nowadays. New Symbian? ;-)

Android - oh no, NO! To some extent it is a POS as OS - not to mention others but how many cores are needed to run it smoothly? :-)

Android became popular because it was a cheapo iOS clone with nice touch UI and collapse of Symbian opened the gates. Of course, full support from a big player was needed, too. If Samsung came up with a Sailfish phone Android would be in instant danger. Technically they could replace whole Android line with it - if the declared Android compatibility level of Sailfish holds. Of course, there are business reason here and there but technologically Android is anything but superior to any other smartphone OS...

See how Google played the game before Android got so big share: all services were available for all(!) OSs, no stupid restrictions, dirty tricks like nowadays (e.g. with WP&YouTube). Dont' be evil, ehhh? BS! They tries to 'close the garden' as much as they can...

To my opinion, Meego and Sailfish are superior as OS to all of them - but what makes or breaks the deal is access to popular services and apps. Average Joe, in fact, does not care what the OS is if services and popular apps are there...

So, I'm really interested in how Sailfish can perform - actually there is no technical issue that prevents it replacing Android - especially in some markets where NSA is not so welcome. Of course, Google could be evil with service access but we will see...

There are alternative ecosystems out there even though Google and Apple dominates in the developed countries. But, you know, there is life outside of US. Yes, it is different kind but still...

zlutor

@leebase: "By running Android apps, no one will be developing native apps. Without native apps, there is no reason for folks to choose them as Sailfish/Tizen will never run Android apps as well as Android does."

What about PRIZM, NSA and other scandals revealed daily nowadays? I do not know how relevant it is for majority of users but personally I would prefer a phone running an OS based on open components and not controlled by US (or any other) secret agencies. Especially if I can run all popular apps on it and can have access to all popular services...

Do you think Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, etc. government do not care about this aspects?
E.g. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/130917/brazilian-president-dilma-rousseff-postpones-us-visit

Let's imagine the situation that China Mobile, Huawei/ZTE (and all other Chinese vendors/operators) get the intention from 'somewhere' they are not so interested in Android any more but prefer Sailfish, instead. First in China only than globally?

Is it so unrealistic? Especially if we remember the case what was once preferred smartphone OS of China Mobile...

Dream? Maybe - but a sweet one... :-)

RottenApple

@leebase:

"Right...the others botched their execution too. If you invent a scenario where these companies all of a sudden become great at software development and can execute quickly...then you'd STILL have the ecosystem problem. It's not just about having a great OS, but a integrated set of services and apps and music and movies and tv."

Right, but we are discussing 2010, not 2013. And back then Android didn't have a strong ecosystem yet. The OS was still not good enough.

"But yeah...when we also invent a world when they executed great on those things too...of course they could compete against Apple/Google."

Had Nokia executed well they would never have opened the floodgate where Android poured in. Samsung was a complete niche player before Symbian started to falter and only overtook Nokia in early 2011, which by no coincidence is the point in time when Nokia self-destructed.

"But as none of that is true...we have what we have. And frankly, it doesn't matter which of our fantasies about "what could of been" is best. We have what we have."

Sadly, that is true, we are saddled with two OSs that both have their share of problems: iOS the control-freakish attitude of Apple and Android the Jaca-centric design and crappy development tools.

"The Nokia of old is dead. If Nokia revises from the dead, it will be as a division of Msft. Msft has the resources. Msft has both "tales of woe" and "tales of eventual success" in it's history that either one could predict it's likelihood of succeeding."

But Microsoft is not Nokia. Nokia sold because it had good brand recognition. Microsoft is one of the most reviled companies in the world, though, so once this fact filters through, they will lose a large part of Nokia's appeal - what was left after going WP. In other words, they'll have to pump even more money into their 'ecosystem'. Microsoft's biggest problem is that although Windows rules the desktop they can't monopolize it. The competitors can and will release software which integrates their services so that Microsoft's advantage can't be played out.

"Nobody else has the resources to launch a new platform. Not Nokia (should they reject the sale). Not Sony. Not HTC. Not any of the Chinese (without many years of baking inside China first). Not HP. Not Asus or any of the Asian computer companies."
"Samsung has the resources but not the talent (yet). And as master of Android, Samsung doesn't have the incentive."

Correct. I never said I expect any other OS to become successful in the near future. That time went when Nokia dropped the ball. Launching MeeGo full scale in 2011 would have been the last chance to successfully start a new platform. Now it's too late.
The only one with remote success would be Firefox but it's just too limited and too different to receive good developer support. And since it clearly targets the cheap low end there's no money to be made but it'd require complete reprogramming of everything. No, this will be tomorrow's feature phone platform but that's it.

"Sailfish and Meego/Tizen both claim they can run Android apps. That's the death knell to both platform. See OS/2 and it's "windows compatibility" to learn the lesson. By running Android apps, no one will be developing native apps. Without native apps, there is no reason for folks to choose them as Sailfish/Tizen will never run Android apps as well as Android does."

Well, we all know this board's obsession with these two OSs. But there's a major difference between a smartphone and a PC. The smartphone UI plays a much larger role and as long as the important apps run well enough it may just be enough to get beyond critical mass. Of course the prime requirement here is a manufacturer that heavily pushes these systems and those simply do not exist.

"No...Apple is making both the money of windows and the money of Intel in the new mobile world. And unlike in PC's, the Apple niche is the one where most of the "developer money" is made. "

Sigh...
Here we go again. No, Apple will not endlessly rule the profit list. In several European markets Android already leads and in other markets a lot depends on how the perception of Apple develops. It may go up, but there's no guarantee that it won't go down. Apple, like Nokia in the past lives on reputation. A few bad missteps and the reputation may be gone. Apple is already not doing themselves a favor with their endless patent lawsuits against Samsung, they already cover more newspaper pages here in Europe than their new developments if you look outside the tech press.
Nokia once was the undisputed king of the hill. All it needed to bring them down was 3 years of bad (but still highly profitable) execution (that'd be 2008-2010 when they failed to react to market developments) but once they decided not to fix the problems they had they went downhill faster than anyone could look. Apple does not have a builtin safety net for such mistakes.

"Samsung's unit share dominance is safe but it's profits are not. Samsung will have the fate of the PC manufacturers. Even by remaining the most profitable "non-Apple" manufacturer, it's margins will erode to razor thin. "

Depends on what they make their profits with. You assume that everything they sell is medium range and low end commodity products. Wanna bet that most of their money is made with their premium range, just like Apple? And sorry, so far no other competitor has entered a price war in this segment and I doubt anyone has the power to do it. I don't count the Chinese here, they are not well liked in Europe, being sponsored by their government. They might be able to sell in the low end but not premium. That leaves Sony and LG. Everybody else, including HTC is just noise.

@zlutor:

No, Sailfish will remain what it is right now: a non-entity. It got no backing by any major manufacturer, outside the tech world nobody cares, and that possibly extends to the non-Finnish tech world. I haven'd heard a peep about it in the last 12 months anywhere where it matters.

zlutor

@RottenApple: "No, Sailfish will remain what it is right now: a non-entity." - well it could be true, I do not know. I just only hope it won't! ;-)

Anyway, they opened second round of preordering of their first device recently because of first batch has been fully booked. Of course, it does not mean real selling but still...

Phone is told to be available by the end of this year, they have some innovative concepts, we will see. On the other hand they are a small company they do not need such big volume for survival. According to press releases, they are welcome in China and India, too - these are BIG markets, especially for such a small company...

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Doing research on the history and "performance" of managerial fails in the last couple of years - clearly: Nokia and MS (and Elop) was one of the most biggest issues in this field of research.
One can doubt that Nokias board members do not know about the term "moral hazard"?

If they've allowed/agreed-on a special paragraph in his contract, if he sells the company (plus personal bonus), doesn't this smell like that the board members got a stake in this deal, too?

Why would any board member agree on such paragraph if it would be clear to them that they will loose their jobs very likely after the deal?

IHateElop

Yahoo will be rebranded as Altaba and Marissa Meyer gets hefty $55 million for wrecking Yahoo and selling it.
Why would she not? Elop did the same for half the price!

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    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

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