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

« Smartphone Bloodbath Q3 full results Top 10 brands, OS platforms and installed base (corrected - and updated) | Main | Handset Market and Installed Base in 2014: The Total Handset Picture by Communities Dominate Blog »

December 05, 2014



You forgot to mention one significant aspect of N1. During Elop's regime Nokia launched the phones first in US, now Nokia is targeting China first.


Seems the main question to ask here is what does the Nokia brand mean? what does it stand for?

I can't be something generic? like good build quality? I think even SONY, HTC, LG, SAMSUNG all have that?

How is NOKIA differentiated? It seems NOKIA's brand image seems to be a has been? a feature phone or phones which had keypad?

How can NOKIA compete now? from the above N1 it seems just on price? I know device looks nice but so does a Galaxy or a MiPAD.

Is the Nokia Z launcher good enough for differentiation? Not sure. I mean how much did Touchwiz help/hinder SAMSUNG.

Can Nokia eventually leverage HERE maps somehow?

Can't think of anything more that. The article seems to continue all the old Elop stuff, I think everyone here is over that and needs to move on...


I said before and will repeat again: Elop was not important. I am so surprised that not one analyst or journalist was investigative enough to look who was in Nokia board at the time and which investors they were representing.

The end result is that all viable (I use viable to describe completeness of software stack, not market potential) Mobile OSes, with the exception of BlackBerry are now in the hands of US corporations.



I think the intention is clear: This is not supposed to be a bestselling device, hell, it's probably not even designed to make significant profit.

The main reason this exists is to keep the Nokia brand alive. Now that Microsoft has dropped it for their phones, Nokia can slowly start building up again. Where this leads to is anyone's guess.

But one thing is certain: Pessimists have never been good business people so not doing anything at all is the worst Nokia could do right now.

Wayne Borean

When I saw the first coverage of the device, I laughed. Nokia is moving to compete with Microsoft. I wonder if Microsoft saw this coming.

I have no idea if Nokia will succeed with this device (or what Nokia would comsider success). But just think - all of the other tablet and phone manufacturers are also being targeted by Nokia. Effectively it is a declaration of war.

The great General Elop must be annoyed.

This is great for the consumer. There's nothing like competition to drive innovation.





It's just some Chinese crap with a Nokia stamp on it because the Nokia brand is for rent for whomever has the money to rent it.


Patents have played a major role in determining whether mobile suppliers can get on with business or end up mired in costly disputes. Is it clear what happened to Nokia's patent portfolio when the consumer division was sold to Microsoft? It is possible that "the new Nokia" could face enormous pressure from Microsoft if the latter now own the patents that once were Nokia IP.



Stop posting your FUD. This thing is more Nokia than any Lumia.


The patents weren't sold to Microsoft. They only got a license for them. In other words: Microsoft cannot put Nokia under pressure for them.


Ofcourse, because a device built by Foxconn with the Nokia stamp on it for which Foxconn pays royalties to Nokia is much more a Nokia device than a Lumia device built by Nokia in its own factories.
Because fuck you Einstein, right?
Who needs logic when you have fanboyism?!

abdul muis


How Microsoft Lumia phone is more nokia than this nokia?

Do you know that Elop hired a new engineer/designer in Silicon Valey to produce the new lumia because the old Finnish engineer/designer could not make a product that american enough? The Microsoft/Nokia Lumia team is just a team bearing the nokia name but without the nokia spirit.

This N1 have nokia spirit in it.


@NotARealNokia, is an iPhone not an Apple product because FoxConn manufactures it?

I think Tomi is making too much of this. Nokia probably cannot market a Windows phone or table under the "Nokia" name since Microsoft has the rights to it for Windows devices.


I was so waiting for this reply. :))

Apple handles EVERYTHING except the actual process of manufacturing (ie putting the pieces of the phone together), as opposed to Nokia which licensed the brand and the hardware design, but has nothing more than this to do with the tablet.
Pay attention to their wording in the press release!

"Nokia today announced the N1, the first Nokia-branded AndroidTM tablet."
Not a "Nokia tablet" (like the Lumia 2520), but a "Nokia-branded" tablet.

"The N1 will be brought to market in Q1 2015 through a brand-licensing agreement with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner responsible for manufacturing, distribution and sales."
The key aspect here is the "brand-licensing agreement". Foxconn pays to use the Nokia brand and the hardware design (I suppose this only means the looks).
It's almost like how local phone "manufacturers" like BLU and Allview work (they buy phones from Gionee and stamp their logo on it), but instead of using their own brand, Foxconn pays Nokia to be able to use Nokia's powerful brand.

The N1 is not Nokia's child.
It's just a bunch of ideas they rent to others who are willing to handle the hassle of producing and selling the device. Also, let's not forget customer support and service for hardware. Don't know about the software side, though, since the Z launcher is Nokia's.
I suppose Nokia helps somewhat with the promotion, given that the device appears on Nokia's site.

So no, the N1 is not a real Nokia.

Timo M.

The rumours were consistent and repetitive: Nokia would return to consumer devices. The reasoning by management was that Nokia needs feedback from device market as well, not just networks and services. Nokia still develops handset tech and patents as before.

This is a welcome device indeed. Very little risk but possible rewards by keeping the mighty Nokia name alive in the consumer game, a totally undramatic move, but I bet the readers of this blog can still spank themselves enough to get mad and then skyrocket to some higher orbit of rage again. :-)



Just maybe the exact-very technical and deliberate- wording of the press release has to do more with the 1000 page legal agreement between MS and Nokia than anything else... just maybe Microsoft has 3,000 lawyers and Nokia knows exactly how wide the crack is that they can squeeze through.

But in reality the core reason for the N1 is NOT to produce another cheap android tablet, but to shift the target to an Apple centric argument - It's about the User Experience. The N1 is ALL about ZLauncher. Mark my words Nokia is looking to succeed where other Android ODM's have failed... Make an android skin that works.

If you make an android skin that works then users stop caring about the underlying OS and you control the UX. Now if I have ZLauncher on my Find7, and I like it why not get a tablet that uses ZLauncher... next Nokia can get my phone ZLauncher to communicate and replicate with my tablet Zlauncher. At that point I no longer care about the underlying OS, I don't use Android...I use ZLauncher.

Just remember the folks left at Nokia aren't as stupid as the press think...


@ejvictor, the only problem with that idea is that Google doesn't like it when OEMs add their own customizations to Android. With Android 5.0, there really aren't any usability reasons to add a custom interface. It is very refined, and has (finally) achieved about the same level of fluidity as iOS, while offering the functionality of the Android and Windows Phone home screens. Samsung has until now been able to get away with it, but Google is pushing the Nexus line a lot more aggressively than they used to.


A flaw in Tomi's analysis is that he assumes that Microsoft cares whether Android dominates the consumer tablet market. This isn't Gates' Microsoft anymore, or even Ballmer's. Satya Nadella is all about the cloud. It's telling that they released Office for iPad in March, and will be releasing Office for Android by next March. This is all before they have released a touch-optimized "Metro" version of Office for Windows 8.1. He seems to accept that Windows RT was a waste of time, and is focusing his company's tablet efforts on the Surface line, which is advertised against the MacBook Air (a full-fledged notebook) rather than the iPad or any Android tablet. Surface is a large device (10.6") - small for a notebook, but larger than most other tablets. MS specifically killed the concept of a "Surface Mini." Surface can wait for a touch-optimized version of Office, since Office is used right now in "laptop" (i.e. desktop) mode when a user connects a keyboard to the Surface.

I think that their actions indicate that they fundamentally disagree with Tomi's premise that the consumer tablet market is "different" from mobile devices. They aren't saying that other tablets are "toys" since they can't run Office. They single-handedly eliminated that argument. What they are saying is that we are not yet in the "post-PC" era, if we even will get there, and that tablets can co-exist with notebooks and phones. If anything, they are saying that the small tablet market is a supplemental market. It may have already peaked, but at a level high enough to sustain a decent, albeit non-growth business.



Wanna bet that the knuckleheads at Samsung & Co. still insist on shipping with their degenerated custom UIs? That's what Nokia will compete against, not what Google produces as it's already hard enough to find an untainted Android phone unless you shop cheap (which is a pity. - Here's an interesting question: What role do those shitty custom UIs play in price pressure as many people just hate them?)

The only way Google can prevent that is to outright prohibit replacement of the stock UI,


@RottenApple, you also get the "pure" experience on Motorola phones, and the Nexus 9 is aimed squarely at the iPad, not the cheap tablets, complete with a 64-bit processor and a price to go with it. Google did get Samsung to license Knox, which is significant since Android had (has?) a reputation for not being secure (whether it is justified is another question). But why Samsung and others insist on the skins puzzles me. It slows down the OS and makes the user experience worse. "Our Android skin isn't as bad as Samsung's" doesn't strike me as a particularly compelling argument to buy a Nokia tablet, though. N1 strikes me more of a "we know we need to keep our brand relevant and this is the easiest way to do it without violating our non-compete agreement with Microsoft" kind of move.

Anyway, I think Tomi gives the "old" Nokia too much credit, as far as "innovation" goes. Dell came out with the 5" Streak a full year before the first Galaxy Note, so if we apply Tomi's logic on Nokia, it was Dell, not Samsung who invented the "phablet." Samsung made it commercially viable, just as it was Apple who made the tablet commercially viable, yet Tomi claims Nokia "explored the market" before. Sure they did, but like Dell with the Streak, either they didn't know the significance of what they had come up with, and/or they didn't know how to execute the strategy.

Also he's wrong when he says that smartphone makers were foolish to enter the tablet market. It was a new market, and it was the smartphone makers, not the PC makers, who made tablets relevant in the first place. Sure, Apple had experience with OS X, but iOS is the basis of the iPad, not OS X, and that's why the iPad achieved commercial success. OS X wasn't touch-optimized. iOS was.

To this day Apple and Samsung are smartphone makers that dominate the tablet market. He quibbles that we've reached "peak iPad" but that ignores the fact that Microsoft had been pushing "tablet PCs" running full blown Windows for a decade without any success. It took Apple shoehorning a smartphone OS into a tablet to make it viable. Maybe now, that Intel has x86 chips that are power-efficient, Microsoft can try to "attack" the high end tablet market from above, but as I said in my earlier post, they seem to view the Surface more as a notebook than a consumer tablet, and the consumer tablet as a supplemental market, rather than a primary market. I don't care what kind of processor or OS an 8" tablet is running. You aren't going to write a thesis or edit a complex spreadsheet on it. But it's great on a plane or train for light editing or reading. That's why Microsoft developed Office for iPad and Android.

Phil W

My guess is this is making a statement of intent and keeping the recovering the brand name back from Microsoft. I think they did it this way so that if it succeeds all well and good, but if it fails it won't take the company down. Foxconn can almost certainly switch resources to and away from this depending on demand, so they are not overly exposed to risk on this either.

As to whather this is a real Nokia, I guess most of you would know Nokia used Foxconn extensively in the past for manufacture. OK, so now much more input is coming from Foxcon, but I'm guessing that Nokia is more interested in focussing its efforts where it thinks it can make a difference ie the ZLauncher. No idea whether this will work - seems a bit of a long shot to me, but who knows?

Phil W

Should have read : My guess is this is about making a statement of intent and recovering the brand name back from Microsoft.

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