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May 27, 2016

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Earendil Star

A beloved brand for years, which defined an entire product category. A new CEO with no mobile experience arrives from MS, a Trojan Horse in disguise. Our Finnish hero is forced to adopt a sub-standard mobile OS and to accept ineffective MS US management: the only target is now to promote the Windows Phone OS. The company starts a long horrifying dive to zero amid a steady cycling through of ever more MS managers and the departure of its original visionaries. Finally just a smoking heap as the world moves on with the new industry leaders: the fastest vultures who were able to feast on the carrion.

But wait - is that a tiny flame we see? Is the original brand returning? No, other people, other factories. Will the world still want what they will be able to create? Will Nokia emerge again into the loving arms of the vast public who remembers them fondly, as the leading mobile hardware and software masters?

A fantasy. The brand might still be strong. But the endeavour practically impossible. This is what happens after being stifled by MS' embrace.

History cannot be rewritten. The ink is dry.

Vladkr

Guys... In February 2011 there were less than 30 000 apps in Ovi Store (when wallpapers, ringtones and themes are excluded).
Of those the majority were Flash and Java apps (including "Facebook for every phone" cross-platform Java app). No Twitter app, no EBay, no LinkedIn, no...
Of the approximately 10 000 Symbian apps only less than thousand were written in Qt.
Meanwhile Android had OVER 200 000 apps in Android Market.
Let's repeat: When Elop killed Symbian,
ANDROID. HAD. OVER. SIX. TIMES. MORE. APPS. THAN. SYMBIAN.

Ovi Store was not second largest App Store nor was it going to be one. End of story.

Source for App Store app counts:

http://www.technotell.com/apple/android-market-bypass-apple-app-store-in-free-apps.html

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Lullz: You did not answer my question. So I make it simple for you.

Given a person with *very* limited knowledge of cellphones, being recommended a phone from a brand he or she knows and trusts by a sales rep, would that user take that offer or would he or she decline it?

Given a person with *very* limited knowledge of cellphones, being recommended a phone from a brand he or she does not know by a sales rep, would that user take that offer or would he or she decline it?

Answer the question. Yes or no suffice. Any failure to answer this question I will repeat the question until you answer it. Clear?

chithanh

@Vladkr
We have direct confirmation from commenters on this blog who worked in the industry, that their companies were underway developing Qt MeeGo/Symbian apps.
And they paid for development all on their own, unlike Windows Phone where Microsoft had to pay for everything.

Earendil Star

Because.

Because Elop, as soon as he got there (2H 2010), was no longer interested in anything that wasn't Windows Phone. He was a rumor man. Just as he "leaked" the burning platform memo, he made everyone understand that there was no longer any future in Nokia that wasn't linked to Windows Phone.

There's plenty of time if you are pushing for something, not when you are holding it back. As Elop the Trojan did. With the N8. With the N9. Just experiments leading the way to the real target, WP.

Now we know this total focus on WP would lead to disaster. But at the time I am sure they really believed they could bring a significant number of former Nokia owners over to WP. They only underestimated what a (P)OS WP really was.

So, the real difference was that Apple was pushing for the iPhone and Google was pushing for Android, wihle Elop, instead of pushing for Nokia was sabotaging the company from the inside to open the way to WP.

Terrible choice. Typical MS.

Earendil Star

Easy peasy answer.

No need to openly badmouth (although that may have happened behind the scenes when Elop spoke to major partners).

If you want your product to succeed, you need to actively back it. Push developers. Entice them. Possibly finance them.

Elop, as soon as he became Nokia's CEO (regardless of his total ignorance of mobile), was not pushing anything Nokia. He was actually slowing things down. Because he did not care. His only real target was to promote WP and save it from extinction.

So, the tens of thousands of apps were appearing in iOS and Android because behind them there was a huge push, from real CEOs aiming at strengthening their companies.
In Nokia, there was no push at all, actually the opposite. The new CEO, a Trojan Horse, had another agenda.

Which became clear to all from February 2011 onwards. But that is stale history by now.
Let's move forward, but without trying to rewrite history.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Lullz: You did not answer my question.

What is (and was) the most important thing when developing an app? Reach. Reach, reach, reach.

How do you get reach? By having people actually using your platform. How do you get people to use your platform? You sell it to them.

Now, again.

Given a person with *very* limited knowledge of cellphones, being recommended a phone from a brand he or she knows and trusts by a sales rep, would that user take that offer or would he or she decline it?

Given a person with *very* limited knowledge of cellphones, being recommended a phone from a brand he or she does not know by a sales rep, would that user take that offer or would he or she decline it?

Answer the question. Yes or no suffice. Any failure to answer this question and I will repeat the question until you answer it.

ChrisB

Lullz,

you seem to be a bit thick (or hoplessly naive).

There weren't many Qt apps in 2010 because there wasn't much demand. The leading OS was Symbian, and it was enough for developers to update their existing native Symbian apps.

Porting these apps to Qt before the arrival of MeeGo- and Meltemi-based phones would've been a waste of time. Also, many developers back then were still writing J2ME (Java) apps for S40 and other platforms.

I bought a used Nokia 515 featurephone last year, just for the nostalgia (plus the quality and the N9 feeling), and it was filled to the brim with more apps than most people will ever need, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Opera Mini, audio and video player and an image editor, not to mention countless games. These were all J2ME apps.

This would've changed quickly after the arrival of Meltemi-based phones.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Lullz:

Ok, then give me your honest opinion. In the two scenarios above, please state the likelyhood of the customer buying either phone in percentages. If you do not know then give me your best estimate.

John Phamlore

The "Father of Visual Basic" Alan Cooper in his book About Face was warning decades ago, before Windows 95 was even released, that attempting to write one codebase for a UI across different platforms was sheer madness that would result in satisfaction for the users of neither platform. That advice has been ignored over and over again including at Microsoft and look at the results today.

Let us remember that instead of trying to hammer existing Linux userland components into mobile usability, everything from the C library to the xorg X-server to Gnome or KDE, Google simply dumped it all in the trash and started over from scratch. Congrats to them for winning a jury trial deciding Oracle's lawsuit over Java mere days ago. Yes Google used the Linux kernel, but they sterilized it from any influence of the GPL. Most importantly for Android's popularity, Google enabled hardware manufacturers an easy way to provide binary blobs for drivers, thus not having to expose their secrets.

Android phones so often might as well be disposable at disposable prices because those binary blobs aren't going to be supported for more than 2 years, if that, and they might not even work with future versions of Android.

Tester

@Lullz:

So it was a huge risk for Apple to start the iPhone with zero apps? They still did and they still succeeded.
It also was a huge risk for Google to start Android with zero apps. They also succeeded.

Like all iFans you completely ignore that Nokia was the leading smarthphone manufacturer until that insane memo. Yes, launching a new platform without apps would have been a risk, but the sheer market forces behind the "Nokia" brand - forces that managed to keep a hopeless platform like Windows Phone afloat for 2 or so years - would have caused a surge in sales - and then support would nearly have become mandatory.

The important thing is, where do you start *from*! If you have a good name and loyal customers it should be sufficient momentum to pass the initial bulge that proves too much of an obstacle for new players that are too obscure, too unpopular - or too badly designed, which was the case with Windows Phone 7, whose main reason for failure was 100% incompatibility with everything else - it was sheer madness to design a new system that was unable to share ANY code with the rest of the market.

Is it a guarantee? Certainly not, but it's the only way to place a new platform in the market successfully. Only those who take risks will enjoy long term market success.

Winter

There are a lot of commenters that want you to believe that OVI was a dead duck and Symbian/Qt were failed platforms in mobile. Just looking at publications from that time gives you a different perspective.

How to Create Your First Application for the Nokia N900 using Qt, January 11, 2011
http://www.samontab.com/web/2011/01/how-to-create-your-first-application-for-the-nokia-n900-using-qt/

How to easily sign a Nokia S60 unsigned application, January 15, 2011
http://www.samontab.com/web/2011/01/how-to-easily-sign-a-nokia-s60-unsigned-application/

40 great apps for the Nokia E71, or how to do cool things with your symbian phone, February 28, 2011
http://www.samontab.com/web/2011/02/40-great-apps-for-the-nokia-e71-or-how-to-make-cool-things-with-your-symbian-phone/

Qt Application Development for Symbian, April 04, 2011
http://www.drdobbs.com/mobile/qt-application-development-for-symbian/229301197

Top 30 Qt Apps To Show Off Your Symbian Phone, April 9, 2011
http://www.fonearena.com/blog/34891/top-30-qt-apps-to-show-off-your-symbian-phone.html

Nokia Developers Day in Santiago, Chile, May 30, 2011
http://www.samontab.com/web/2011/05/nokia-developers-day-in-santiago-chile/

Qt 4.7.4 release bundle for Symbian,
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/13616_Qt_474_release_bundle_for_Symb.php

Winter

And here is a nice overview of Nokia's Social application for Symbian^3 phones

Nokia Social updated to 1.3, improved media sharing and contacts integration, January 25th 2011
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12519_Nokia_Social_updated_to_13_imp.php

Winter

@Lullz
"I'm simply questioning why there were so few new Qt apps while Ovi Store already started with Qt in late H1 2010."

My question is why you always ask questions and never have answers? Actually, if you get answers, you hardly ever react on them.

Maybe I have missed it, but I cannot remember a case where you volunteered any interesting information about mobile. But I do remember reams and reams of questions.

So, I ask the question, why do you ask so many questions when you never seem to acknowledge the answers?

Spawn

@Lullz

Please read the link provided by Winter and have a look at the date. The first batch of N8 devices pushed to devs though forum Nokia end of 2010 where not on par with Meego 1.2 simply because Qt 4.7, Mobility 1.2 and of course the whole stack plus first Harmattan release wasn't released yet.

The whole point about a *transition strategy* is to enable smooth transition *over time*. You seem to think/expect a big bang right the moment the first devices where RTM. Thats of course unrealistic. More so if the whole point is to enable a smooth transition step by step keeping the whole (in thwt case Symbian) ecosystem alive, working, selling.

You may even remember that at one time there was that silly decision "accelerating" these process by aborting the previous Symbian API's with a Symbian^4. The Balmer-way of destroying your own ecosystem. Of course pre-Elop that idea was fast aborted. Symbian^4 went into trash and Symbian^3 Anna/Belle/Carla/Dora/etc backwards-compatible "service-packs" was born.

A very smart move keeping investment into the Symbian ecosystem rolling. Of course that means that there was little pressure for ISV's to jump on till first Meego devices got out.

I repeat that this was a migration-strategy and not a suicide-your-ecosystem like Elop strategy. Migration happens over time and it happens not due to dictated pressure but opening new revenue streams.

CanYouBelieveIt

@Winter
Undoubtedly there were Symbian/Qt apps made prior to Feb11th. There were lots of apps made for Windows Phone too even though we all know it was not *really* developed for. Regarding your link to Social App update, change log included:

"and a retweet option has been added to the Twitter module."

So the Twitter app of choice (no official Twitter app for Symbian, remember?) did not even have retweet function before January 2011?

Winter

@Lullz
"You seem to be focusing on me once the problems are real and they go over your head."

No, I focus on you when your questions start to look like a rhetorical debating device.

@Lullz
"The question was why the apps didn't start shipping."

You know the possible reasons just as well as we do: Developer inertia, waiting for devices, etc. It takes time before you master a new development platform. It took the Apple App store well over 1 year to get to 100,000 apps and almost 2 years to get to 200,000. And that was with a client base that was very willing to pay a lot of money for apps.

But as I said, this is not rocket science and it looks like you did not ask your questions to get an answer you could have very well found all by yourself. It looks much more like a tactic to keep us busy. If you want to say the Ovi store was inefficient and Qt was not a good platform, say that. Do not try to play tricks on us with rhetorical questions on questions on questions on ....

Because, now it looks You did it 4 the Lulz.
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-did-it-for-the-lulz

iLullz

@winter

Simple.
Lullz = iSheep = iTroll

Tomi T Ahonen

Lullz

Now you'll only be allowed to comment on the RESPONSES that others have given you.

You will not post NEW QUESTIONS and you will not start ANY new discussion. You will respond to the points of others who patiently answered you.

If you do not behave, EXACTLY as I said, I will start to delete your responses. We are VERY close to fed up with your abusive behavior here.

So. You WILL respond to the ANSWERS to YOUR QUESTIONS from before. No new questions, no new topics, no new issues. YOUR TURN

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Lullz

@Tomi

I'm sorry. I didn't read your comment before posting the last one. I will now only do that.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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