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


Blog powered by Typepad

« One More Time - Lets do Nokia Q1 Smartphone Results, what can we estimate of the actual numbers from the deliberate fuzzy math | Main | Lets Do 2014 Numbers for the Mobile Industry: Now we are at 100% Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate Per Capita Globally »

April 30, 2014



So, why didn't Elop kill Nokia X?


A very nice synopsis. I would add the lost love from developers who have been screwed by microsoft is legend. This industry remembers and people who have screwed by microsoft in the past are still around today (working at different places). They tell microsoft one thing to their face and then work in the background to undermine them (with the operators). Basically, ...what goes around, comes around and I have to admit that its fun to watch Microsoft throw away their money.

Tomi Lover

I read - users dont like the Lumia because of the operators Skype boycot. I love my Lumia and the next will be a Lumia to. As you are the most influential expert in mobile I think the reason for the low volumes are your blogs.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all..

NokiaLove - He would have if he was still in charge. He killed all similar projects when he was CEO (Maemo, MeeGo, Meltemi) but the Nokia X was rush-job after Elop was fired (removed from post of CEO waiting transfer back to Microsoft)

baron99 - thanks. And good point. Microsoft has managed to build a vast army of people bearing a grudge. Mine is simply having seen favorite tech brands crushed by Microsoft from Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect to Novell Netware to Netscape to Sendo and Nokia... but I haven't had my own business ruined by Microsoft or anything that kind, truly personal. Just that the Evil Empire destroyed so many of my fave companies (and usu with very nasty tactics too). I can't imagine how intense the hostility and desire for revenge would be if I was in a business that Microsoft had crushed.... Yeah it comes around, the ying-and-yang of life. And it will be a cheery day on the CDB blog when I get to write 'so long, Microsoft' - but that day is still decades away I am afraid...

Tomi - thanks, very funny. PS I'm sure you understood it but I wasn't that clear. Yes many first users of early Lumia were severely disappointed with the handset. That disappointment was not achieved by the carrier sales boycott. Those customers managed to get a Lumia INSPITE of the boycott... But there definitely is a part of Windows Phone users who love the system and others who like the Lumia package enough, that Windows is not a major factor. Equally there are LOTS of people refusing to buy anything from Microsoft and others who will find Windows Phone disappointing for a wide range of reasons... Obviously its a richness to the industry to have choice and when Windows Phone is killed by Microsoft around the end of the decade, it will be a loss in some way to the industry (but I personally won't shed a tear haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


So, nothing new here. Pity.

My 2 Cents:

There's only one major reason why Windows Phone failed:

People do not like what they saw.
Going back to 2010 there has been one consistent theme with everything Microsoft did: An outright dislike of the Metro interface.

It got a lukewarm reaction with WP7.
It got trashed when it was made the default UI on Windows 8.
It was DOA with the Surface tablets.
It couldn't be revived with Windows 8.1
and so on.

So why should it have made an exception on WP8?
If you ask me, as long as this design flaw isn't fixed, Microsoft won't stand a chance.

Everything else is secondary.

Tomi Lover

Tomi thanks for you expert answer. As you are one of the Microsoft haters I have a feeling that your blogs are a bit distorted. As you likely are using a Tizen phone at the end of the decade or maybe a Bada you will not be heart of next Elop effects. Though I will call it Ahonen effects.


More non-sense from the Baron95 astroturfer assigned to Tomi's blog.


>"On other news, Unbutu Mobile is officially dead - canonical has stopped all development."

>"So it follows Bada, Tizen, Maemo, Meego, Moblin, Sailfish, into the dead"
First commercial Tizen phone release imminent.
New $1.25million app challenge for Tizen wearables just announced.
Tizen is 'dead'?

Received in my inbox this very day:
"Tizen developers, get ready...
We just announced the schedule for the 3rd Tizen Developer Conference!

As always, the Tizen Developer Conference is unquestionably about app and platform developer enablement. This year we have some great sessions planned for both app and platform developers, across a variety of form factors - handsets, IVI, wearable computing, TVs, and embedded devices."


BTW, curious, which one of you astroturfers are pretending to be Baron95 today?


"Windows phone is in double digit market share in Europe and is the NUMBER 2 OS in several important countries."

What really counts is the installed base, not short-term sales. That is what determines the interest of developers in a platform, the availability of accessories (including such longer-term items as replacement batteries), the accessibility of after-sales services, etc.

From this perspective, what is the installed base of Windows Phone? Is it at all larger than the current, declining installed base of Symbian handsets?


It's dubious to say "Nokia invented the smartphone". You could argue that the Nokia 9000 brought it to the mainstream, but the IBM Simon came out years before that.


I had Lumia 620 for a year. I chose it because it was Nokia, despite of Microsoft. I wasn't going to buy any other brand than Nokia as long as there was a Nokia phone offered with decent specs and price. I hadn't had the first generation Lumia, my first smartphone was a second-hand N97. So because I don't trust other phone manufacturers than Nokia or ex-Nokia to know how to design a really truly robust phone which is capable of being dropped just about daily and survive it, I was a customer Nokia could convert from Symbian to WP8. My N97 was missing buttons and wasn't charging properly anymore, so I was literally praying for the Lumia 620 to become for sale in Europe on time before my N97 would completely die.

At first I was an eager spokesperson for Lumia, as I was doggedly biting my teeth into the slim hope that if Lumia became a success, it might turn Nokia's financial situation to better. Just enough that they could ditch Microsoft and venture out on their own again. I'm crazy like that, I refuse to give up hope on things which I really care about until there is absolutely no hope whatsoever left. And I truly cared about Nokia. I'm a Finn and I was proud of how the mobile phone revolution started in Finland and spread with Nokia to the rest of the world. It was the company which also created many new Finnish-speaking millionaires in Finland. Traditionally most money had been in the hands of Swedish-speaking families and us Finnish-speaking Finns were (and still are) treated as 2nd class citizens in our own country in comparison to the Swedish-speaking minority. Nokia meant a break from that. It went to the top of the world with the leadership of Finnish-speaking Finns and proved that we were also capable of achieving success without the "Swedish-speaking better people" telling us "woodsmen" what to do. It really boosted our national spirit and economy and I can still remember the time when we looked at people with other mobile phones than Nokia as unpatriotic traitors, especially if the phone in question was a Swedish Ericsson (Sweden is the country we love to hate). Success of Nokia was the success of us all in a way and we wanted to be a part of it and support it. Yeah, of course it wasn't always dancing on roses, but we still loved Nokia, just like you love your parents or siblings even when they act like jerks because they're family. But I stopped being a Lumia advocate the day the Microsoft deal was announced. I was betrayed, Nokia phones produced and sold after that were no longer Finnish and a source of pride to me. They were sad reminders of the lost glory and broken dreams, things to be discarded when there is a new option to choose for.

I bought my first mobile, Nokia 2010, in 1995 and all my phones since then have been Nokia. But now I have for the first time a phone without the Nokia logo and without the Nokia tune in the ringtone options. My Lumia 620 attempted suicide 2 days after the Nokia-Microsoft deal was announced (I accidentally threw it hard against a corner of a wall when I took my jacket and forgot I had placed my phone on top of the jacket, being ADHD that's fairly "normal" behavior for me) but it could be rescued by a new screen at that time. I had problems with the buttons, but it was working pretty well anyway until I installed the new Black update. After that it started rebooting itself all the time. My original plan was to save money until I had enough saved in order to buy a Jolla. But after 2 weeks of the rebooting problems I had had enough and bought the Jolla, even though it was actually way above my price range and I didn't have the money saved up yet. My most expensive mobile ever, except for my first one. After Microsoft announced the buying of Nokia, there was no longer the good cop Nokia there to protect me from the bad cop Microsoft. I trusted Nokia to try their absolute best to make the phones as user-friendly as possible within the stranglehold of Microsoft and they did try that. Lumia storage check was an example of how they introduced workarounds for problems caused by Microsoft. All that I liked in Lumia was Nokia, except for the home screen. I liked how I could customize the icons in terms of size and location. And I have to admit that at the moment my emails do work better in my old Lumia than they work on my Jolla. But as Jolla and Sailfish are still in early stages and developing constantly, I can live with that for now. I still use my Lumia once a week, as I have this great little shopping list app on it called Boodschappie on my Lumia. I haven't yet found an Android app which would meet my needs as well as that lovely little free app on WP8 does. I hope I can talk the creator into making the same app also for Android or Sailfish so I can get it on my new Jolla too. But he's an independent developer, just one guy, so I don't know whether he'll have the time for 2 platforms. But for the rest, I am having a blast with my Jolla. I love the gesture-based system of Sailfish, it allows me to modify a lot of things and after installing Google Play Store on it, I can get any app I want installed on it.

And yeah, I'm now not only an ex-Symbian customer converted to WP8 by Nokia, I'm also one of those customers who say after having used Lumia: "Never again!" Not so much because of the OS being bad, it could be much worse in fact. Apart from the annoyances like one control for all volumes (ringtone and other sounds) and the issue of not being able to install all the things you want on an SD card (which they claim were fixed in WP8.1), Windows Phone 8 wasn't such a bad system to use. It was pretty easy and worked fine for the most part. At least on a Nokia hardware, I don't know about the other producers. But I will never ever buy a phone which is made by a company owned by Microsoft. I will never ever forgive them for ruining Nokia phones and demolishing our source of national pride. I'd rather take an Apple over Microsoft on phones even though I truly hate Apple with a vengeance. I don't like how Apple is making everything their idea of "user-friendliness" and blocking the user from customizing their products, nor their over-prizing and I certainly don't want to be associated in any way with the air-brained trend-hoppers who have an orgasm when they hear the word Apple. I'm just one person, but looking on the Internet, there seems to be many more people who feel like me. I'd really give a snowball better survival chances in Hell than for Microsoft-controlled Lumias becoming a success. After all, the Hell has frozen over once (when Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest), so who knows, maybe a new cold weather front appears to save the snowball. But without Nokia, nothing can save Microsoft on phones.



"Is it at all larger than the current, declining installed base of Symbian handsets?"

According to the last numbers I have seen, no.
Also, what does it help that WP sees some success in some isolated markets if the overall sales numbers are in steep decline? Also, let's not forget that the numbers are not for WP, but for NOKIA! I said it before and I'll say it again: The only reason why people actually bought these phones was the Nokia brand. So, now it's no more Nokia, and I'll leave it up to others to make any prediction from here.

The platform is making heavy losses and despite some wishful thinking any sane executive will eventually pull the plug if no silver lining is on the horizon.
If numbers don't improve, Microsoft may easily look for other ways to make some impact on Mobile.

Tomi Lover

@E.Casais: There are more wp than Symbian in use in Europe North and south America. In Asia and Africa Symbian is still bigger.

Symbian is Today as common as Bada in Europe. So RottenApple have wrong figures I think.


"People will be used to the Win 8 interface, and corporations will finally be into their migration to the new OS. That's a billion PC users who will have a seamless smartphone, table, PC interface and set of apps."

Which confirms my point about installed base vs. market share:

IF Microsoft manages to unify its OS across devices fully, and

IF it manages to provide a compelling, full-fledged software offering for all its clients (integrating various terminals, local software and cloud services), and

IF its server and desktop business will not have been significantly bruised by some other developments (e.g. stronger migration to linux, ascent of non-Intel hardware platforms),

then it will rise again, probably in the corporate sector first and foremost.

But the cornerstone of the strategy is the installed base in the PC&server market. Now either Microsoft manages to catalyze the sales of mobile devices via its installed base of PC before the latter declines too much, or it must achieve a relevant installed base of mobile phones on their own merits. The former is quite possible in the corporate sector, the latter has been looking dubious ever since WP7 was launched.

It is indeed a long play, but Microsoft is tenacious, has the resources, and is shrewd.



"3 years from now smartphones will be as capable as today's low end computers."

Correct. Even today's smartphones are as powerful a 3-4 year old low end computer - and still they all come equipped with awfully crippled operating systems that prevent the users from harnessing all that power. WP is not alone here, Android and iOS are just as guilty. Seriously, smartphones are almost there to completely replace laptops and desktops but for that their OSs need to change radically from what they are today.

"People will be used to the Win 8 interface,"

Blah, blah, yadda, yadda...
The interface is 3.5 years old by now, and people still hate it like on the first day, it's being ridiculed by everybody I know who is into productivity work with computers - that's not only developers but also office workers and nearly every other profession that uses a computer to do their work. By the time most computers have been upgraded to a newer Windows version the desktop will be a first class citizen again and Metro mostly regarded as that ugly monster lurking in the shadows. I can only speak for myself here because nobody I know has even bothered to install Windows 8 on their computer because it's considered useless (I need it because I have to occasionally port some apps to WP) and I can tell you one thing: Aside from having some good laugh at the hideously bad apps on the first day the only times I ever switched to the start screen was to check out the live tiles in the apps I programmed. And I'm quite certain that this will be the case with many Win8 users. So the claim that people will get used to this interface is beyond ludicrous. There's a reason why Microsoft is backpedaling now on this. They tried the 'people will get used to it' route and failed comprehensively. If Start8 is the most sold program for Win8, take a guess how many more people are using a free start menu replacement.

"and corporations will finally be into their migration to the new OS."

Yes, once Windows 9 is there, again with a start menu and no need to ever bother with the start screen.
Or they ride it out with Windows 7. I think current events are a good indicator for the future. Win 7 will certainly repeat the current XP story a few years down the line.

"That's a billion PC users who will have a seamless smartphone, table, PC interface and set of apps."

Nonsense. People who find Metro disruptive on the desktop - and that's the vast majority, wouldn't touch that hated UI on a phone either. Just as we currently see. If the synergy was there, WP's situation would not be as bad as it is.

Sorry, but it's a fact that Metro seems to generate the most negative reactions in potential users. There's something about it that seems to be repulsive to people like nothing on iOS and Android. I have yet to meet A SINGLE PERSON who likes it! And that's quite an achievement.

There's also something else here, namely a complete lack of improvement/adjustment.
Android has massively improved its UI over the years - even Apple has changed iOS to look 'more modern' (whether that's a good thing I'll leave open for debate, though) but Windows Phone 8.1 still looks as dull and monotonous as the first WP7 phone. It's simply getting old.

Tomi Lover

RottenApple - Crawl out of your cave and face reality. If you have not met one who likes Windows 8 is the time to look around in the world. If you have no knowledge do not show it so clearly.
Your argument is even more twisted than our expert Ahonen.



1. It is Ubuntu, not Unbutu.

2. They didn't stop its development (Ubuntu for Android is another, different project)

Ars recently review the last still in-dev version:

Bq and Meizu announced devices to be released later this year:

For someone accusing Tomi to be hiding truth, you are doing worse ;)


Tomi, you wrote "Those were loyal Nokia customers who were satisfied with their past Nokia smartphones, often for many years and many smartphone models in Europe for example. Now do the math. Lumia running Windows Phone has managed to scare away 12 out of every 13 attempts at converting Nokia loyal customers to Windows."

But the chart shows market share, and if the market grew 35% last year, then your interpretation of the graph is incorrect. Most of those "Lost to Competition" are new the the market and never owned a Nokia smartphone. Is this an honest mistake, or deliberately misleading?

I want to see MS fail as much as anyone (entire industries that they're in suffer due to the way they do business, whether phones, or software, or consoles), but too much spin on a story makes me skeptical.


Will Satya Nadella keep Elop? Ignore the root of the problems? I am not convienced of that part. The question is more what can he do? That is THE central question.

Satya Nadella removed Elop from xbox. Thats is a strong indicator what he is going to do. First separate WP/Elop and limit effects this has. Push convertibles, tablets and hybrids, which are outside mobile/smartphone/carrier. WP/Elop ARE failed experiments. Bill Gates, long before Satya Nadella, made it clear that the way it was done was and is failure. As Tomi I doubt WP can turned around. Its just continued and transformed away from mobile to hybrids. That is why Elop is still head. Nokia/Microsoft Oy will be moved away from WP/Elop to hybrids while Elop's job is to stay back. The General, the Titanic Captain.

Now the problem is that so far hybrids, Surface, failed horrible too. Oups. That is what Satya Nadella is going to have to focus on, to repair. WP is history already but Surface they will need to turn around else it is and will stay PC-desktop only.

Microsoft services on every device they say. What a joke. Do they think they can competenon Google's platform with Google's services? Didn't they learn from there own doings what that gives them? This is a dead end.

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 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