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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

Comments

Jamie

The kind of documents that have been signed "on behalf of" Nokia is just amazing.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-stands-to-make-over-100m-if-nokia-shareholders-reject-sale-7000021024/

IMHO, OPK was an angel compared to things that have taken pace recently. Nokia has been let with very little option unless they go into long protracted legal disputes but who has the nerves of steel to taken on the guys from Redmond ? I do not see any David to take on Goliath in current Nokia leadership. I doubt investors would like to risk their money. Maybe Finnish govt ?

So Vatar

@Baron:

Yes, Nokia had a good chance to make QT - Maemo/Symbian a success if they had executed well in 2007-2010. They did not --> CEO was changed.
Yes, Nokia had a good chance to make money with Android (maybe even alongside WP) if they had executed well in 2011-2012. --> They did not, CEO got changed and pocketed $25Mio.

Making the right decisions and executing well, that's why real good leaders command a premium. They are rare though, Steve Jobs was one. Elop? Not so much.
No one said it was easy for Nokia. But I do say it was very possible to keep Nokia successful in the handset business if they only had the right people on the controls.

They did not, chose the wrong ones, and the rest is history.

A little history on the side:
Nokia's N800 Internet tablet was shown in January 2007 running a predecessor of Maemo (Linux). It was an impressive tablet with touchscreen, nice for internet browsing and a good media player. It had no cell-radio though. The successor, the N900 was a beast for nerds and admins, there was almost nothing this thing could not do. It ran Maemo (Linux), was too clunky for mass appeal. The N9 was the successor to the N900, ran essentially Maemo with a few MeeGo sprinkles (Linux) and an impressive swipe UI. An overall great device, but was at least 9 months late and not even offered here in the US (thanks to Elop). However, when the N9 rolled out Elop already stated that this is the end of the line. So with his burning platform memo he killed Symbian, Maemo-Meego and Qt in one act.

Most of Nokia users then switched to an Android devices, and that was the end of that.

Micromeme

Hi All,
up above I posted that the contract must have been a late change (2013) rather than an early one. I have to admit I just saw the forbes article and I am indeed shocked to see that it was early. I've served on BOD's and this is incredible failure of board duty. almost inconceivable.
Micromeme

grouch

Baron95 doesn't just spout "pro-Apple propaganda". Baron95 uses that tactic to provide plausible deniability to Elop and Microsoft. It's a very popular tactic amongst criminal defense attorneys in the U.S. -- propose an alternate theory of reality and then repeat it until the jury (or audience) accepts it in spite of facts to the contrary.

It really appears to be a wasted effort, given the apparent apathy surrounding the astounding demise of Nokia.

grouch

luvr said:
"[Elop's] primary Microsoft task was to eliminate an unbeatable competitor to Windows Phone, by turning said competitor into a Windows Phone house."

The timing and sequence of events suggests that his primary task may have been to kill the N9 before it could close off what tiny crack was left open in the mobile market for MS Windows Phone.

While Nokia was stuck on Symbian, it was no threat to WP8's (and therefore, MS's) future. But there was an open system that, as Tomi pointed out, won acclaim and award above Apple and was about to be launched by the most successful handset maker in the world. You need only look at the proxy war MS has waged against Google to see what lengths they will go to in order to derail those in the space they wish to occupy.

Spawn

@grouch

You are doing the common mistake to think of Symbian as an island. Case is that it all was about transition. Its not the platform that matters its the customers (end-users and carriers), the investment (ecosystem, support, community). The plan never ever was to kill Symbian, replace it with Maemo/Meego/Meltimi. The plan and SUCCESSFUL execution was to split all the advantages, all they had from the underlying platform and be able to move that to other platforms.

Its sily to think Maemo would have been there only possible way to go. Qt runs well on QNX, Android, even Windows RT. Nokia knew early, way before Elop, that its exactly NOT about a war of platforms. Nokia's profits, its future not was on platforms. It was on its by then by far largest ecosystem, on devices and services on top. By no means was Symbian, Maemo, Meltimi, etc ONLY a good pick. Nokia experimented by then (2010 and before) with Android for example. Rip out Play, add Ovi and distribute the sam ecosystemyou have on Symbian, Maemo, Meltimi or even Windows. Yes, Nokia played the our-own-platform game for long with Symbian but lon before Elop joined that was done. Nokia knew they need to open up, extend there portfolio. They knew Android may in the mix, Maemo will be but also that Symbian will be since the later was and would have been prpfitable for years to come.

Unfortunately Elop did the opposite. In his maemo he talked about a war of ecosystems but what he really went on is a war of platforms. Nokia gave up any cross-platform ecosystem strategy and went with a WP only ecosystem. They gave up any work to get Android apps running (in 2010 Nokia had Android apps running on Maemo). Years later BB10, SailfishOS pick that up too. They all not went on some stupid anti-Android platform war you have nothing to gain of but are actually trying to profit from the situation that Android and its app-stack is rather free and (compare with eg win32) easy to integrate into your own stack.

Its all about fighting the right wars and Nokia's war never was about WP vs everything else. That was Microsoft's lockin war but not Nokia's. Up to today Nokia has NOTHING to gain from that war but everything to lose and they lost everything.

@all

So, Nokia is about to kill its last and most promissing WP-alternate now, Android? And AGAIN at a timemwhere the product is ready? So, we have now Symbian, Meego, Meltimi, Android on the kill-list. That's impressive. Nokia BOD and Elop went in that 2.5 years to every alternate option they had, made it ready to ship and then aborted when it was ready. Imagine jst one of that option woukd have made it to the market and outsold WP. A real danger for the Microsoft-strategy.

I am cruious to know if there is finally a way to get numbers for the N9. Nokia BOD and Elop can't hide that forever or can they?

indian

@Baron95 when you say 77% do you mean the people brought the mobile paying full price or like USA paying a subsidize price?

I believe iPhone would not be able to complete without subsidies.
I am indian, iPhone is barely able to sell here. $199 would be considered a low end mobile here and paid 2x to get N4!

Kenny

Hi Baron95, what is your point about the iphone 5S outselling the cheaper iphone 5C? If your point is that consumers disdain a cheap iphone you are wrong. The iphone 5C is last year's model in a plastic casing and even a skinflint can see that the iphone 5S is worth paying $100 more for. So in terms of value for money the 5S is a better buy. But typically you just look at things at face value in its shallowest form and nothing more.

ashok pai

Finnish people are Wusses if they do not treat elop as a trojan horse. his act is no less than high treason. how can one man walk away with the crown jewels of a nation ? by taking nokia down, one man single-handedly razed nokia to ground and took down with him probably 5% of the nations' GDP. so Finns, how do you put up with this shit ?

Joop

Dear Mr. Ahonen,

from time to time I read your posts. Interesting. Today, when I started reading I suddenly realised that you always talk about marketshare and about units. I remember however, from a couple of years back, possibly 2010, that Nokia sold 40 times more handsets than Apple but the latter was making 10 times more profit. I recall that I thought that sooner or later Nokia would die. I'm not sure if it was before or after mr. Elop joined the club. Would you please mention in another post when you talk about Nokia being the largest manufacturer (even in "smart phones") how much profit they made?

Regards,

Joop

RottenApple

@leebase:

You are correct: all PRE(!!!)-iPhone platforms crashed. But why did they crash? Certainly not because they were pre-iPhone but because they were obsolete.

MeeGo was NOT obsolete, on the other hand.

As for Microsoft, they already lost too much control. Nobody needs a Windows Phone to have good PC integration. There's just no automatism here. And one doesn't need to be a clairvoyant that the XP-factor will make Windows 7 just as long, meaning that a large portion of users doesn't know Metro and therefore will never experience any 'unification'.

In fact my Android phone integrates a lot better with my PC workflow than the shitty Lumia I need for developing software. On Android I can do what I want, how I want, on Lumia I have to ask 'how high' if Micro$hit tells me to jump. No, thank you!

Android still is the system that's closest to what people are used to from the desktop.

The Recusant

@foo: The weasels already made money in advance due to insider knowledge of the upcoming deal.

http://news.yahoo.com/timing-bullish-nokia-options-trades-raises-questions-191558354--sector.html


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/unusual-action-nokia-deal-162549423.html


I wouldn't be surprised if Elop joined in using dummys & other financial legerdemain.

Huber

@Leebase: >>Given that all pre-iphone platforms crashed, and given that no non-Android platforms have succeeded since then...I do not think the crash of Nokia can be laid at Elop's feet.

Has Android succeeded because Google has not only money, but also smart managers who make good decisions and hire good people?

Or is Android winning against BB, LiMo and WP because of some metaphysical reason? Perhaps there is some magical element burried deep down in Google's HQ...

If you think that the former is correct, then Elop is to blame (together with Nokia's board of course). In 2010, Nokia had lots of money and lots of developers, so Elop could have implemented some sane strategy instead of destroying Nokia.

Hell, all big corporations which went bancrupt when the market changed had imbeciles as managers. I e.g. remember when I was about 12 years old, I saw a secretary using a high-tech Triumph Adler typewriter (which had a little diplay and a floppy disk drive).

Back then I couldn't understand why somebody would use such a typewriter instead of an IBM PC, which I thought was much better.

But the top management of Triumph Adler obviously thought that such typewriters were competitive against the first PCs. Needless to say the company went bancrupt shortly thereafter.

It's exactly the same: It's not that IBM, Commodore and Apple were invincible back then, it's just that the management of T&A was incredibly stupid. In fact more stupid than a 12 years old boy. Like Elop.

Patrick

@Tomi

Whats your opinion on this (Swedish): http://svenska.yle.fi/artikel/2013/09/07/kallasvuo-exceptionell-brytningstid-nokia

The Recusant

No, not quite, but he wasn't brought in to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. He was brought in supposedly to fix the problems with "execution", and not to hard-sell WP as The One True Religion and make pariahs & heretics out of those espousing a multi-pronged strategy transitioning from Symbian.

E.Casais

@Baron95

"The complete statement is that ALL Pre-iPhone and Post-iPhone platforms, not developed in the US West Coast computer/internet boys crashed. ALL."

As well as WebOS and Windows Mobile, both developed in the USA West Coast computer/internet realm.

Your "law" does not hold. Something else is at play.

And those arguments about some innate superiority of a particular region are absurd.

hduty

leebase continues to unload his BS.

He says that Elop destroying Nokia is silly, but notice how he completely avoids to explain how Elop's actions fit inside the premise that Elop acted 100% in Nokia's interests, just as he completely avoids to explain how come all of Elop's actions can be so easily explained from the point of view that he acted in MS's interests.

He has been trolling here for too long, I think Tommy should put an end to it already and just block him.

Moron_95_IQ

LOL. Baron95's IP address is the same as leebase. crApple iFanb0i.

AndThisWillBeToo

@Baron95
I second leebase: do you have Twitter/G+ handle?

Moron_95_IQ

Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Inc. in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs' charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Mac project. Later the term has also been used to refer to perceptions of his keynote (or Stevenote) by observers and devoted users of Apple computers and products.
In essence, RDF is the idea that Steve Jobs is able to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bluster, exaggeration, marketing and persistence. RDF is said to distort an audience's sense of proportion or scale. Small advances are applauded as breakthroughs. Interesting developments become turning points, or huge leaps forward. Impossible-seeming schedules, requirements or specifications are acceded to. Snap judgments about technical merits of approaches are sometimes reversed without acknowledgment. Those who use the term RDF contend that it is not an example of outright deception but more a case of warping the powers of judgment. The term "audience" may refer to an individual whose attitudes Steve is intending to affect.
Often the term is used as a derogatory remark to criticize Apple's products and its more enthusiastic fans.
The term has extended in industry to other managers and leaders, who try to convince their employees to become passionately committed to projects, sometimes without regard to the overall product or to competitive forces in the marketplace. It also has been used with regard to hype for products that are not necessarily connected with any one person.


Fake Steve Jobs on the iPhone 4 and reception: Probably the biggest thing I've taught the team at Apple is that people never know what they're supposed to think about anything. This is true in Hollywood, in the book business, in the art world, in politics. And especially in technology. So we put out a new phone and everyone is sitting there wondering what they should think about it. What I realized many years ago - and honestly, it still amazes me - is that most people are so unsure of themselves that they will think whatever we tell them to think. So we tell people that this new phone is not just an incremental upgrade, but rather is the biggest breakthrough since the original iPhone in 2007. We say it's incredible, amazing, awesome, mind-blowing, overwhelming, magical, revolutionary. We use these words over and over. It's all patently ridiculous, of course. But people believe it.
We demo FaceTime, and we say that nobody in the world has ever seen anything like this before. Jonny and I act stunned and gob-smacked, as if we ourselves still can't believe that we've just invented video chat.
Again, this is utterly untrue, a total and absolute lie. But people accept it. They hoot and cheer for us.
The other strategy we use is "clouding". Right now, for example, we've sent out the following messages about iPhone 4 and the antenna issues:

1. All mobile phones have this problem.
2. Our mobile phone does not have this problem.

You see how this works? These two statements cannot both be true. Yet we've said both of them. And now you don't know what to believe. Ask any psychologist what happens to people when they get confused. Their heart rate goes up. Their skin temperature rises. Adrenaline starts to flow.They feel desperate, and scared, as if they've fallen out of a boat and now they're getting tossed by waves and they're maybe going to drown. Now all you have to do is reach out with some kind of certainty, and no matter how obviously untrue it might be, people will latch onto it. Every religion in the world knows this, from the Catholics to the Scientologists. It's the oldest trick in the book. You create some uncertainty, you put people at risk - you tell them they're going to hell, or whatever - and then you hold out the answer.No matter how ridiculous your answer may be people will accept it. Not only that, they'll actually thank you for feeding them this horseshit. Because any certainty, no matter how crazy, is better than uncertainty.

Ok, you don't even realize it, but you've been had. You just bought the most expensive consumer phone ion the market, what will you do next? Admit a mistake and question yourself for spending a fortune or simply do some mental gymnastics to believe it's "awesome, magical, incredible, revolutionary"? It is no secret that there has been a great deal of hype surrounding the iPhone and it is also no secret that Apple probably has the most loyal and fanatic customers in the world. The rawer and more uneducated the mind is, the bigger the impact of Steve's keynotes will be.
One of the most fascinating areas, is the approach that Apple and the iPhone fans have had to the product, and the energy they have spent defending the product despite the shortcomings and limitations of both past and present versions of the iPhone. Simply put, Apple has launched a beautiful phone with a fantastic user interface that has had a number of technological shortcomings that many iPhone users have accepted and defended, despite those shortcomings resulting in limitations in iPhone users’ daily lives.
When examining the iPhone users’ arguments defending the iPhone, it can remind you of the famous Stockholm Syndrome - a term that was invented by psychologists after a hostage drama in Stockholm. Here hostages reacted to the psychological pressure they were experiencing, by defending the people that had held them hostage for 6 days.

Below is a selection of some of the arguments that various hard-core iPhone fanatics have been using since the iPhone initially launched:

1. The first iPhone was not a 3G phone: What do you need 3G for? You can easily use the iPhone without using a 3G network and anyway, 3G is not particularly widespread, so this is not a problem.
2. The phone cannot send MMS: There is no need to send MMSs, hardly anybody sends MMSs.
3. You cannot forward a SMS: This is a function that hardly anybody uses and was therefore not included in the first iPhones.
4. The phone has a poor camera: The built-in camera is perfectly adequate and the iPhone takes fantastic photos with its camera.
5. It is not a real Smartphone, it cannot multitask: The phone has all the necessary functions and the OS is technically superior compared to other Smartphone OSs currently on the mobile market.
6. The iPhone cannot multitask, resulting in a great number of applications being unusable: The absence of multitasking is a deliberate design decision resulting in a faster UI.
7. You can not change battery on the iPhone: How many customers run around with spare batteries? None or very few.
8. Apple decides which applications you can install on the phone: This is good, because Apple thereby ensures that you do not get inferior programs on your phone.
9. The app store is a closed universe: Apple knows what is best for end users, which is good for the many iPhone users.
10. The phone does not support Flash: Flash is slow and not properly integrated with mobile phones, there are hardly any web pages that still use flash today.
11. The app store contains numerous small trivial commercial programs: The app store’s large selection gives users the freedom of choice and the many small programs help make the end users daily lives more fun.
12. It is difficult to use the touchscreen for fast SMS messaging: The touchscreen makes the phone easier to use and you quickly get used to it.
13. The iPhone is a low technology phone packaged in a sleek design: Apple has taken the combination of the design and UI to the next level, therefore the technological specifications don't really matter.
14. The quality of the phone is poor, calls are often interrupted and network coverage is poor: It is a good phone, these problems are due to the operators’ networks and not the phone.
15. You can only purchase the iPhone from operators chosen by Apple: Apple has spent a great deal of time and energy selecting the best operators for customers.
16. The iPhone is targeted at a niche segment and will not be able to develop further: Apple has succeeded in designing a phone for people that appreciate design and user friendliness.
17. The iPhone does not support memory cards: iPhones already offer the necessary memory people require and end users can choose between two models, one with a little memory and one with a great deal of memory.
18. You can not install your own browser: The browser Apple has designed is so superior that you do not need any other browser on your phone.
19. You cannot use the iPhone as a modem for your portable PC: People that have an iPhone do not need their portable when on the move.
20. There is no radio in the phone: You do not need a radio in your iPhone because the iPhone supports iTunes that offers almost unlimited music.


The best example though is the "antennagate issue" which is nothing more then an attempt to avoid licensing patents from other companies (remember Nokia? well they didn't sue for iPhone 4 now did they?). Although the issue was more than obvious, all major publications acknowledged it and it's a known fact that skin contact with any kind of antenna will seriously damage signal, almost 50% of the questioned iPhone users in UK and US completely denied the design flaw.

here are many arguments for and against the iPhone, on the other hand there is no doubt that Apple has some of the most loyal end users on the market and that iPhone users will go out of their way to defend the phone they love and worship.
In reality the iPhone is surrounded by a multitude of people, media and companies that are happy to bend the truth to defend the product they have purchased from Apple. Some companies(read: sites) are simply paid in cash to do so, others are simply happy to be invaded by the flock of iSheep that will inevitably cause massive ad revenue.

So how does this influence expand further? Why does Apple emphasize so much on popularity? The answer is simple, group behavior that translates in conformity and obedience.
Social groups have specific characteristics: (a) they consist of two or more people who (b) interact in an ordered fashion, (c) share specific values and norms, and (d) have at least some sense of unity and common goals.
One of the main influences that groups exercise over their members lies in their capacity to induce conformity – the process through which members modify their behavior to comply with the group’s norms or decisions. Research shows that group pressure does not have to be intense to produce conformity.

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