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January 02, 2015



Thanks for a great post Tomi! You always provide lots of useful and accurate information. ...and a Happy New Year to you too!


Samsung is in big trouble. They are going to soon be squeezed out of China by competition and are soon to be irrelevant in much of the world as Apple takes the high end and as they don't have the software chops to truly differentiate themselves in any other market. Hardware is a commodity even with specs. This is what Steve Jobs understood long time ago even as people think Apple is a hardware company when it is software and services that they lead with.

"...But they are now safely the world’s largest handset maker (nearly twice the size of number 2 and bigger than the next two manufacturers combined) and safely the world’s largest smartphone maker (more than 1.5 times the size of number 2 and bigger than the next two manufacturers combined). This means Samsung will be in the best position of any mass-market handset makers/smartphone makers and should remain the most profitable (or if all make losses, generally the least unprofitable) of those major handset makers who genuinely cater to the global mass market (so not like Apple only luxury end or Blackberry only business oriented etc)..."

The K Zoom phone is irrelevant. Samsung's problem isn't marketing efforts where they have spent the most of anybody the last several years. Hardware is a commodity that others can copy. Their problem is that they are mediocre at software and services and that Android is the new Windows (outside of China) with a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. They are going to be a profitable hardware maker since they own fundamental tech but they are going to be a shadow of their former selves. Expect Motorola/Lenovo. Xiaomi and the other Chinese vendors to really hurt Samsung in 2015 in terms of smartphones. They have very little, or no, differentiation on smartphones.

There is nothing safe about their position. Samsung is going to be decimated in 2015 and onwards in the smartphone space.


"Then the ‘rump Nokia’ of all other stuff, the discarded X Series, the Asha featurephones, the very cheap dumbphones, most R&D staff, most sales and marketing staff, most factories - lump that all together as the ‘garbage side’ of Nokia that Microsoft would want to shut down anyway - and bundle that with the Nokia brand name that Microsoft doesn’t want to use anyway, allowing Nokia to return to using the brand both on smartphones and dumbphones immediately."

My god. You really have no idea what has been going on inside Nokia during last year, have you? This is embarrassing.


Tomi, you have been very good at highlithing the errors made by the NOKIA board and the moronic CEO S. Elop during the last three years and telling the story to the world.

But one thing you should consider is that Microsoft is a serious company with a lot of talented engineers, also this is a company with a very strong financial power.

So I have myself decided recently to made my own opinion on the Lumia smartphones and test one as my main phone for a couple of monthes.

I got a used Lumia 635 at a good price (they are easy to find :-) ).

Do you know what ? There are a few annoying things in Windows Phone 8.1 but overall it works pretty well :
- User experience is good while the device is very fast and responsive
- The virtual keyboard is stunning (and makes me think that your view that 'we need a device with a keyboard' is now outdated)
- Connection sharing with Wifi works perfectly, same for bluetooth
- Connection to a PC in USB works perfectly and is ultra fast (compared to the terrible slowness I see on my Android devices)
- Picture quality is great (even with the 635)
- Battery life is better than on my Android devices
- Boot time is short
- The device is nice and feels robust

Well overall do you know what ? This is a good device and NOKIA DNA is there without doubts (build quality, design, battery life, picture quality, ...).

So .. why not doing a test and reporting your impressions ? If you want I can share my findings in more details ..

I wish you an happy new year.. I will keep visiting your blog and follow the smartphone market.



@Emmanuel M:

"Do you know what ? There are a few annoying things in Windows Phone 8.1 but overall it works pretty well :"

Do you know what? That doesn't matter shit, if the platform is so badly supported by third parties. Nowadays the problems with Windows Phone are no longer related to the actual product at hand but to the non-existent ecosystem.

Why buy a decent phone with which you are left alone if you can get another one for the same price where all those neat little gadgets are readily available?

Anyone who thinks that WP can get up on its legs under these circumstances is fooling themselves.

@Baron 95, Vikram:

You like to compare Samsung with Nokia - but there's one huge difference:
Nokia's main problem was that the platform they were on was at the end of its life. It may have supported Nokia for maybe one more year, and they'd have needed a replacement - it's irrelevant if that had been MeeGo or Android. The decline they were facing was clearly caused by a bleak outlook at their future - because nobody could see them doing the necessary jump into the future and only the die-hard supporters remained.

Samsung on the other hand still uses the most popular and most widely distributed operating system in use today. So despite their problems right now they do not face what made Nokia panic and ultimately self-destruct.
Samsung's biggest asset at the moment still is that the Chinese manufacturers are highly unpopular in Europe and North America. Once that changes, the rules of the game may change, but first China would need to change - and that I don't see.


I see a few errors in this analysis.

First, Apple's big cash pile gives it some protection from the "Razr effect." If Apple is caught flat-footed by a new entrant, they potentially have the ability to acquire their way back into contention. They haven't made any big acquisitions, but the small acquisitions they have made over the years have been pretty good ones, going all the way back to Next, and all the way up through Authentic (the jury is still out on Beats, but given how quickly the music market is shifting to streaming, it's probably at least a decent move, if not a game changer).

It wasn't the iPhone per se that "killed" Nokia. However, it was Nokia's RESPONSE to the iPhone that killed their mobile phone business. After the iPhone, the mobile phone market was never going to be the same. Apple was never going to dominate unit sales (when have they ever dominated a market, except for music players, which was a fleeting market). Everyone else who survived went with Android. Nokia insisted that it could "fix" Symbian, and then when that didn't work, they tried Maemo and Meego, and then when that went nowhere they gambled on Windows Phone.

Also, I think Samsung is in more trouble than you realize. There is a LOT of pressure on them to hit it out of the park with the Galaxy S6. Me-too features like a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 aren't going to trigger massive upgrades in themselves, but if they get it right and do something bold and unexpected, then perhaps it would be safe to say that they are getting their mojo back and can leverage their economies of scale. On the other hand, if they stumble again like they did this year, there is a huge risk that they become "just another Android OEM." While they have the leverage of vertical integration, so far that hasn't translated into significant cost savings compared to others (the bill of materials on the S5 is higher than on the iPhone 6, for instance).

I think you are mostly right about Xiaomi's prospects outside China, though I'd add that the threat of lawsuits is very real, as well, particularly from Apple if they attempt to sell their current designs in any of their important markets outside China (where IP laws are relatively weak). One question, though, is at what point does the Chinese market become like the US' in which it is possible to achieve long term success simply by catering predominantly to that market? As you point out, Apple is huge in the US and Japan, decent in the UK, respectable in the rest of the EU, but relatively small elsewhere? China is really two markets (developed and emerging) with a single legal framework.


I also think Apple is being quite realistic in their expectations for the Apple Watch. They won't report sales separately, and will instead include it in the same segment where they include sales of the Apple TV (which they still make even though they never have sold very many) and the iPod. I think it is more than a "hobby" for Apple, but not something that they see yet as a huge market. Instead, I think they see wearables as potentially a significant area in the future, and want to establish a market presence, as well as fashion industry relationships. Remember, 18 months before launching the iPhone, they licensed iTunes for the Motorola ROKR. The phone was deliberately crippled and was a flop, but Steve Jobs said that Apple learned a lot from that experience (such that it did not want to partner with other manufacturers, and how to negotiate with carriers). They may have similar plans for the Apple Watch. It won't be a ROKR-style flop (at least I'm sure that's not what Apple hopes), but it may be a "prototype" for future products within wearables. Wearable technology is not quite ready for prime time, but lucky for Apple the current trend in regular watches is toward the large side anyway. They can experiment with it now, and as the technology improves they can improve the design, just in time for the next fashion trend.


Thanks Tomi for excellent review! Your WP analyse was once again a joy to read.

John F.

Tomi, there is so much more than market share, good you open up and talk profits, critical component, it even makes this blog a lot more interesting and obviously it will give a lot more clarity to future trends and market growth, thanks for opening up ! It was about time, never late !

Apple profits expected at a bit over 80% of the industry, with Samsung hitting around 18%, that is a clear indicator and the main reason why investors are HYSTERICAL about Samsung, it over 4 quarters profit decline, not 1 or 2 , that is an almost impossible to revert trend, margin pressure won’t stop and the low end, where they sell their biggest share, Samsung is getting closer to become a break even company in handsets, look, those hysterical people know about their business a bit more than you do and they have cases to compare, Samsung is running a winning race to the bottom.

Samsung admitted that around 40% of the galaxy high end is sitting in inventory, factor that when those become “returns to sender”, and that’s what they admitted, who knows how bad really is for them to admit that monster number of unsold inventory.

The camera … this are your weak spots and Samsung, "marketing, sustain technologies and more than good enough", most people take a picture on the spot and will look at it once, twice .. cameras today are so good that no improvements are critical to improve sales, if camera specs would be that important to a large majority Nikkon would be selling billions of cameras with an integrated phone. Samsung believes and so do you that specs are the most important aspect to sell a device .. if it would be so, low end phones and cheap one would not sell at all and Apple would be gone by now.

The apps , ahh the apps, again you are making a classic mistake, you truly believe that a million apps are a sustainable ecosystem? How many do you have in your phone? how many do you need? in the future expect 90% zombies and a less than 10% as a viable amount to keep successful developers making money or do you believe that 80% of developers in android will sell like pop corn and make money?
fact, app store ( apple ) grew 36% in what matters …. $$$$.

Fashion/a[apparel/luxury/wearables, again, the apple watch is a door openerr to explore a new market of which you have a bit less than zero idea, please don’t do what all famous analyst did with the ipod and iphone, dismiss it right away and 3 years later they were the laughing stock of the internet.
Are you an expert in the fashion market ? where they are targeting, if not, the same applies to cancer cure, if you are not qualified how can you be so certain? or is gamble talk to see if you hit the winning number and then claim you knew it and were totally right?

I mentioned in another post that Apple is the “cheapest” of all aspirational Luxury products so if they are clever and never follow market share advise they will remain where they are with just 8-10% of the global market, it seems to be their objective. Very Very clever to build themselves as a Porsche or BMW that cost 500$ and not 75000$.


"Watch the iWatch become so-yesterday’s-news faster than any other Apple product. People will tire of it and version 2 will be the last iWatch made."

Your words have been marked and you will surely hear about this later.

John Alatalo

A interesting post as always. But I think Elop are more or less out for the smartphone business in Microsoft even if he is still around at the company.
I have read rumours that maybe we even see some kind of Android apps in Windows Phone. I think Nadella are more pragmatic than the previous CEO.
So I suppose if they get a solution for the "app gap" so to speak it can change a lot in the long run.

I think we will find out more at the end of january when Microsoft have a sort of event to release more information.

"Microsoft planning a major Windows 10 event in January 2015"

In any case I dont thing MS are ready to give up the smartphone business yet even if they are in trouble.


@Tomi: your scenario about 'returning home the remains' is emotional and I like it to be true. But would it be viable? Could Nokia make it profitably? I'm not really sure...

It had some advantages selling D&S unit that would be vanished with buy-back. I think Nokia will go other path with return (if happens): building things up from bottom, gradually and keeping numbers always green. I do not know having own factories again would be good move either...

But we will see - any good Nokia news is more than welcome any time! :D


"Overall Android hardware profits took a sharp decline in 2014"

So the old rule still applies: there is no money in hardware.
And since some amateur-turfers seem to be not aware; Apple does not sell hardware but the whole package including software, hardware and services. Hope that solves all questions :-)



Nice you buy a Lumia and are satisified. Thing is 98% of custombers NOT buy them and majority of the 2% who does is NOT satisfied. So, you are special, unique we could say. Thats great for you bu nit for Microsoft :-)


Hey, long time not seen. So, you are not all-in-Lumina any longer but all-Apple now? Change you can believe in :-) May the "momentum" be with your new heart and soul like it was(?) with your old and ... yeah, outsells in china!!!!1! :-)


You are saying Baron is NOW pro Apple? Seriously? Try here:

"The world is set Tomi.
Circa 2015 it will be Apple/iOS, Google/Android, Microsoft/Windows 8 powering their respective ecosystems of handsets, tablets, laptops.
There will not be anyone else. The only question is the split between them. I'll guess 20/70/10 on handsets, 50/30/20 on tablets and 10/5/85 on laptops."

Baron95, October 2nd, 2011.
#1 OS by market share in his forecast? Android.
#2 OS? iOS
#3? WP
That's correct order except android took about 7% from both iOS and WP. The usual suspects are arguing with him face red.

Also on same page from Baron:

"WP 7 is not the best Mobile OS. The best is iOS. Second best is Android."

Pro WP? Far more pro Apple.


@John F:

Let's see how Apple's sales in the next few quarters will develop, and of course how the iPhone 7 will fare.

Samsung's Galaxy S5 was only an incremental update over the SGS4, that's why most customers kept their old phone (compare this with the SGS3 and SGS4, which were considerably 'better' than their predecessors).
Apple is not immune to this, let's see what they do...

Smart watches are a joke, I wouldn't know why I should buy such a thing. The only thing I know is that I'll laugh at people who think their $300-watches are a status symbol, because they are not.

Regarding your car analogy, this is dead wrong.

A BMW or Porsche is technically superiour to your average Toyota, but iPhones are _NOT_ technically superiour to the Android-phones. They just carry a bigger price.

And the really funny thing is that your 'premium' Apple toys aren't even suited to work well together with 'premium' cars. Just try to connect your iPhone to an Audi MMI system. You soon will realize that you cannot use it for online traffic information, Google search etc, because it misses rSAP.

So with your 'premium' iPhone, you have to mess around with 2 SIM cards to get these features, while with a cheaper Samsung phone you can just connect your phone to your car and call it done, being able to use all features.

Fortunately Apple's iOS is so locked down that you cannot add rSAP, while non-Samsung Android phones can add rSAP via an App from the Play Store (you just need to be rooted).

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Gang! Nice amount of comments essentially over the weekend...

I'll do a few replies to specific points.

Vikram. Two very BIG issues that essentially make your argument meaningless. First on China. You are mistaking a 'decline' in Samsung's market share in China for 'failure'. Samsung is - by a HUGE margin - the largest non-domestic phone brand of China and highly appreciated with high loyalty. It isn't about to wither away and die. You are mistaking a 'new shiny object' story like Xiaomi for a FALL in Samsung's share. If Samsung remains the largest non-domestic phone brand in China (as well as in the USA and in India) then their global dominant position is TOTALLY safe because none of the Chinese makers have a chance to rival Samsung (currently) outside of China. Lenovo likely will become that rival in a couple of years not now.

The other thing was the SIZE of Samsung's marketing. Yes, it is massive. But it is NOT SMART. The Galaxy K Zoom is only one such example, there are dozens of marketing blunders, so Samsung is WASTING its effort. The point you make, that Sammy has the biggest marketing spend by a wide margin - coupled with its current problems - PROVES my point that they aren't getting good value from their marketing/sales efforts. Think about this two responses Vikram and come back, lets talk more.

AndThis - of course not. I live in Hong Kong almost as far as one can get from Espoo and I last worked inside Nokia HQ fourteen years ago. What planet are YOU on. Why would or should I know 'what is going on inside Nokia'. WHEN did I claim EVER to know what is going on there? I am an independent consultant and I look at the world from the outside. Now, if I WERE to happen to know something 'secret' from the inside of ANY company, I would not be disclosing that on this blog or anywhere else in any case. So yeah? So what was the purpose of that comment? You want to brag about how you then DO know whats going on secretly on the inside? If so, why aren't you telling us? I felt that was borderline rude comment but just because I'm such a nice guy and in a Christmas spirit, I'll let it stand haha

Baron95 - fair point, in 'normal' conditions, when one player sees falling prices and profit margins and growing inventory then yes, its a bad sign. That would require that the OTHER players in the industry were at that point NOT experiencing those same problems. But as we look at Samsung's main rivals several are again suddenly making losses (not diminished profits) in handset unit like Sony, others are on razor-thin profits (like Lenovo) due to a PRICE WAR thats been going on, If Samsung went red in its handset unit, that would be cause for alarm, If they report WELL ABOVE INDUSTRY AVERAGE profits, they are fine. This is HYSTERIA by Wall Street who are DISAPPOINTED that Samsung's performance wasn't as good as they wanted. Its not a GENUINE business problem. Its a PERCEPTION problem. Samsung (just like Nokia in 2009-2010) is OUTPERFORMING every other rival except Apple, and as we hopefully all agree now on this blog, Apple is not a mass market handset maker.

PS on your last point, that you agree Sammy is safe through this year and next, but may be threatened in 2017 - I TOTALLY agree with that view. If you remember the title of this blog article, this is the ANNUAL PREVIEW for year 2015. I am not promising Sammy will reign supreme forever, and I warn that Lenovo took a big leap forward to become a genuine challenger to them - which could be reality in .. about 2 years from now (when Lenovo itself expects also its Motorola unit to return to profits)

Ok, I'll post this and do more

PS Happy New Year!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

EmmanuelM - ok first, congratulations on finding a nice phone. I have no doubt there are millions like you who bought a Lumia and liked it and are using it happily and will buy another. But the facts are, that most of loyal Nokia customers who had the option to take a Nokia Lumia to replace either a previous Symbian based Nokia smartphone or a mid-priced Nokia featurephone, by Nokia own numbers we can calculate that literally more than 4 out of 5 refused to take the Lumia offer. That was a consistent pattern through all Lumia models both on Windows Phone versions 7 and 8. What is even more damaging, is the consumer response. You like your Lumia. However, in consumer surveys of both Windows Phone based smartphones overall (globally) and of Lumia specifically (globally) the consumer disapproval was more than half. Yes, only a tiny slice of 'already Nokia-positive' customers were willing to take a Lumia but of those who did, more than half didn't like it and said they'd never replace it with another Lumia or Windows Phone based smartphone. That is death of a platform. These stories were well reported leading to Nokia's management understanding they cannot live with the Lumia unit, it can never recover, and then they sold the loss-making unit to Microsoft.

I don't mean in any way to quarrel with your love of your particular phone for your particular needs. As I said, there are literally millions of satisfied Lumia customers. But even if we assign half of the total currently installed base of Lumia (which is about 41 million consumers) and say 21 million are happy and 'only' 20 million unhappy - that is DISASTEROUSLY bad for a brand that held at its peak 1.3 BILLION (1,300 million) global active customers. Around year 2012 at its peak, that was the total global base of Nokia brand users (smartphones and dumbphones). If you are only able to satified 2% of that group, then yes you are going bankrupt at a world-record pace (as Nokia was headed).

Now, about me and Microsoft. I've said openly many times on this blog that the one tech company I most hate, really hate, is Microsoft. I said that YEARS before they got into bed with Nokia. I hated Microsoft even before I MYSELF got into mobile haha. I have seen Microsoft destroy using unfair competitive methods (that they have repeatedly been found guilty of, and fined billions of dollars for) such as Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, Freestyle, Netscape, Novell Netware etc. I worked in IT before telecoms and I was a happy user myself, and professionally sold each of those products that died or essentially was wiped out by you know who, the Evil Empire known as Microsoft. If it was a fair fight, I wouldn't quarrel. They did it with so dirty tricks they were found guilty and fined massive amounts for those practices that Microsoft never stopped using. Then here in telecoms they again caused the falls of my favorite companies such as Sendo, Nortel, Nokia. So I totally TOTALLY hate Microsoft. I do use their software on my Samsung laptop but I can't wait for the day I can depart the Windows prison and return to my beloved Mac world (I was also an authorized Macintosh sales rep and Mac user trainer early in my IT career).

So this goes FAR before Nokia and Lumia. I said a decade ago and say again today, I will use ANY other OS on my smartphones as at least one is available, and if anyone gave me a Windows based smartphone as a gift, I would not open the box, I would give it away to charity. I will not use Windows smartphones if some other option exists. And thus, no, I will not try to go see how good or bad it is. I hate the COMPANY so I couldn't care less if it had time-travel and teleportation haha. But I'm open about this. So yes, someone else may take you up on the idea. I never will. So I cannot give any fair 'user review' of the Windows Phone based smartphones, as I will never have used one, not even for one day.

That being said, making the best phone with the best OS and best apps and best tech is no guarantee to win in this industry. This industry depends - totally different from the PC and videogaming industries for example - on a gatekeeper entity. The CARRIERS (ie mobile operators) are the entities that decide who doesn't get to play in their home markets. And they spoke loud and clear in 2011-2014 that they will never let Windows Phone succeed. Stephen Elop himself admitted this openly to the Nokia Shareholder meeting when he was asked about was there a carrier boycott ruining Windows Phone sales, not just for Nokia but all brands. So yes. Even if you were 100% right and the Lumia is the ultimate superphone, it could not succeed. A tablet or PC or gaming console could, but a mobile phone cannot. If the carriers throttle you, you are out of the game. See Microsoft Kin, Google Nexus and early Apple iPhone for more evidence if you think Nokia CEO's word is not enough.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

RottenApple - good point about the Chinese and their popularity in the West. I think Xiaomi CEO is trying very hard to be perceived as the 'anti-Chinese' option but then he does still face the total global footprint building which even for Apple took 5 years and Xiaomi for all its hype, is not another Apple haha.

But Lenovo I think did the clever way to be Chinese while fooling customers to look the other way. Anyone who buys Motorola thinks its an American brand and the good old trusted Moto. Those will all very soon be badge-engineered Lenovos but that way Lenovo gets past the Chinese image and yet they can offer Motorola brand the scale it couldn't sustain recently (since the iPhone ruined the short-lived Razr empire). What do you think? Doesn't the Lenovo strategy be the only one with a chance to break from the Chinese 'curse' haha..

KPOM - ok, first yes, Apple has an unprecedented cash pile for not just phone industry or tech industry but yes, in human history haha. They can afford to have a flop and easily survive even if they suddenly face some Razr Moment from a rival (and I don't foresee that coming). Yet your analysis is not solid on this point. NOKIA had the cash pile - tons and tons of it - to sustain YEARS of losses in its handset unit while it was transitioning to a new OS system, but Elop made deliberate decisions to wipe Nokia out (so that he could get his bonus clause terms fulfilled). Go look at Nokia's quarterly reports, it was still flush with cash well into 2014 even. Having cash is no guarantee your management makes the right choices and not having cash was not why Nokia failed.

You wrote "It wasn't the iPhone per se that "killed" Nokia. However, it was Nokia's RESPONSE to the iPhone that killed their mobile phone business". Ok, if we jump ahead to February 2011 then yes, Nokia UNDER ELOP did suddenly stupid responses TO APPLE. But Nokia before February 2011, from May 2007 to January 2010 did what in response to Apple changing the industry forever? Nokia adapted rapidly and at huge costs, an obsolescent OS called Symbian that never was supposed to be touch-operated, to run on touch-screen smartphones. By October 2010 that system was called Symbian S^3 and for the first time Symbian was 'modern enough' that nobody complained the UI was hopeless. The flagship phone N8 and its sisters like the E7 won awards globally and set a Nokia record for launch sales and propelled Nokia to record quarterly profits. Nokia had an app store before Apple's. But Apple of course did it far better in 2008. How did Nokia react? They kept revisting and improving Ovi store so, that by January 2011 Ovi Store had become the second largest app store on the planet and was closing in on Apple (Apple was not pulling away).

Nokia was not fast. Nokia did things slowly, often with painful delays but Nokia kept improving. What else did Nokia do? As they saw Symbian was not fit to fight in a modern touch-screen oriented market, Nokia developed a totally new OS (called first Maemo, then MeeGo). This is the ONLY operating system by year 2011 that was reviewed to be 'as good as' or in many reviews 'better than' Apple's iOS. The only fault they said was that MeeGo didn't have many apps early on, but otherwise it was the best OS there was on the planet, this side of iOS (and by some reviewer opinions, actually better).

Nokia did this all while the world went into economic crisis and ALL the mass market rivals were reporting losses in their handset units. Did Nokia report a loss, not one quarter of a loss in its handset division. So Nokia was able to do this all while remaining profitable, even under the global economic crash.

Was this the RIGHT response by Nokia management or wrong? They even provided a migration path for existing Nokia developers (the world's largest app developer community at the time) form Symbian to MeeGo. Was this the right response if you're the biggest and Apple is only a whining noise in America but smaller even than Blackberry at the time globally? And Nokia of course devoted its main attention at its main rivals, especially Samsung.

Yes, Nokia made mistakes but its 'response' to the change by Apple's iPhone - that was the right strategy as I've written many times. Elop then came in and threw it all away. Elop killed Nokia AGAINST all the best moves that Nokia had already invested in and was succeeding in - profitably.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I wasn't trying to be rude. My point was that tour Hollywood happy ending story starts from Microsoft selling the feature phone unit, Nokia X unit and Asha unit back to Nokia. So:

"You want to brag about how you then DO know whats going on secretly on the inside? If so, why aren't you telling us?"

There is no secretly inside knowledge needed. Microsoft shut down their offices where development of Asha feature phones and Nokia X took place. Well known fact. They laid off everyone in feature/dumb phones except the maintenance personnel needed to ramp down the business. People responsible of carrier relations, marketing etc. are merged to Lumia BU.

After everything that took place in 2014 there is nothing left that Nokia could buy. The people and tech you refer to have either been sold, laid off or tied into Lumia.
Hence the comment.

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