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August 19, 2016



"Nokia could see the present situation..."

"But now they are going to try Android..."

Nokia planning this, Nokia doing that.

Nokia _IS NOT_ re-entering the mobile phone market.

The firm is carefully avoiding committing its resources to the venture by HMD and Foxconn. Its R&D, design, manufacturing, and marketing resources and know-how in that sector are mostly gone anyway. It just licenses its brand for what it is still worth in that market.

Referring to that venture as "Nokia" is a misnomer. I would not be surprised that the marketing/legal division from the real Nokia steps in to stamp it out once the first re-badged products are nearing launch -- with official indications in its FAQ on how to name the company responsible for the products, making clear, legally valid distinctions between Nokia oyj and the Nokia brand used by HMD.

Overall, I see the endeavour as the attempt by Foxconn to extricate itself from the role of a low-margin contract manufacturer towards a higher-margin own-product vendor -- like BenQ tried (and failed) in the past with mobile phones, and ASUS and Acer did (successfully) with personal computers.

Nokia is not coming back. Some commentators (like jj) and probably Tomi are dreaming, while others (like Wayne Brady) are led astray.


"Its R&D, design, manufacturing, and marketing resources and know-how in that sector are mostly gone anyway. It just licenses its brand for what it is still worth in that market."

Why do you say that? HMD is founded and run by ex-Nokia (by way of Windows mobile) people. It is located at Helsinki and should easily be able to recruit from the old Nokia guard.

Just look at the HMD website




"[HMD] is located at Helsinki and should easily be able to recruit from the old Nokia guard."

The "easily" is the problem: the old guard that really counts is gone and will probably not come back. To wit:

R&D: the best people have been snapped up by Samsung and Huawei, which both opened R&D centres in the Helsinki region exactly for that purpose, or by other local companies like F-Secure.

Design: ever since the Lumia line, design was increasingly transferred to Microsoft. But even before that, in the glory days of Nokia, design occurred largely in the UK and the USA, and only partly in Helsinki. Look up the name Frank Nuovo -- who in the handset world is at least as important as Jonathan Ive.

Manufacturing: the last European plant from Nokia (whether in Finland, Hungary or Germany) closed years ago. Everything has been taking place in Vietnam and India. Whoever was involved in manufacturing is now working in some other industry, or has been unemployed. Whichever way, he or she has certainly useful, but no longer up-to-date skills in mobile manufacturing.

Marketing: similar story. Everything important has been progressively transferred to Microsoft USA, so whoever was in mobile marketing at Keilaniemi has probably changed tracks.

As for product technology: people have scattered around. The case of Juha Alakarhu, one of the major inventors of the innovative camera technology at Nokia is telling: he has gone back to the real Nokia -- to work on AR, something else than mobile phones.

So yes, in principle there are former Nokia Finns who could bring crucial competencies to HMD. But those veterans who kept in the loop of mobile phones will probably not jeopardize their current position in other successful firms for a risky venture by their former bosses.

Besides, Nokia was a global corporation, and a lot of its core know-how in mobile phones was actually located in places like the UK and Denmark. Moving them to Finland looks unlikely.

Yes, HMD will attract a part of the Finnish old guard. But I do not expect it to form the "dream team" necessary for a rebirth of the organization that dominate mobile for 15 years.


"that _dominated_ mobile for 15 years."

Bad typing...

And of course, in manufacturing things happened not just in India and Vietnam, but in China too -- which is where Foxconn comes into play.


"Yes, HMD will attract a part of the Finnish old guard."

The current founder, CEO etc. ARE old guard. Andbthey took those still working at MS.

Eduardo M

Off topic: what went wrong at Xiaomi

Abdul Muis


Xiaomi lost it's valuation, not money.



The article lists interesting reasons for the lacklustre performance of Xiaomi:

1) Xiaomi established itself with premium phones at budget price -- but Chinese competition beat it in the same segment with innovations (cameras, charging, etc).

2) Xiaomi has a diversified ecosystem (IoT, Internet services, etc) -- but its profit derive to 85% from mobile phones.

3) Xiaomi made a push to become an international player -- but lacks the patent portfolio to wrestle with global players.

4) Xiaomi astutely catered for new market segments -- but Chinese customers have no loyalty.

The application of those analytical criteria -- genuine innovation, customer loyalty, strong patent portfolio and balanced ecosystem -- to other players (Samsung, Apple, Huawei, LG, etc -- or event challengers like HMD) would be interesting.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

I have finally done the smartphone Q2 numbers for you (you guys mostly knew these already..)

So big news, we're in our industry's first recession. For two quarters straight, the smartphone cumulative 12 month moving total unit sales has DECLINED. Yeah. This year if we're really really lucky, we match 2015 unit sales. We won't see growth past 1.44 B unit smartphone sales. We'll likely see a slight decline closer to 1.41 B total smartphones sold this year. Thats partly thanks to the strong rumors that Apple will switch from 2 year to 3 year model update cycle so also 2016 end of year sales will likely be sluggish, not strong.

Ok, the blog is up for you, lets have the debates and discussions there..

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Don't forget that the last two Microsoft deals happened on Nokia's terms. They retained all the patents, technology, and the people they wanted to retain. We have seen a "pipe cleaner" product in the form of the N1 tablet.

So yes, the phone that Nokia customers will hold in their hands will be as much a "real" Nokia as the company wants it to be, designed by Nokia engineers and likely produced in factories which were founded by Nokia (now owned by the joint-venture with Foxconn).

Have you heard Honor talking about updates? They now promise 2 years of new Android versions and critical security updates for an unspecified period after that. I think that this is because the manufacturers are scared of Nokia's re-entry into the smartphone market, so they are looking for ways to differentiate.


Sorry, now you can buy phones like Ulefone U007 with 5" 720p IPS screen, quadcore MediaTek, 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, dual-Sim + SD slot and Android 6 for $50, which is what is sufficient to 90% of all users. I use these phones as e.g. a navigation device on my trekking bike, DJI Phantom 4 controller display, one-off remote control for my home; it's about the same price as a remote control with buttons. Imagine in 1 year the same price tag will be on 1080p/2GB RAM models. We'll see mighty Samsung go down in flames as nobody would like to spend more than $100 on a phone. NOKIA is simply done, Android given its almost complete HW commoditization as well as Google announcing training of 2M Indian Android developers means nobody would bother to either develop new HW or SW for it as there won't be any money to be made anymore. I personally would rather see Jolla successful, even bought their limited edition 720p phone. I understand Finnish economy is in the sh*tter due to MS' rape of NOKIA (I was N's employee when Elop bombed the whole company), but you should really stop your sentiment to cloud your mind and just stick a fork into NOKIA/HMD/Foxconn. The ship has sailed.

Tyler Lee

Nokia is still my favourite brand actually. I think they just don't launch okay products. They launch amazing products. They cover all the wide range of area of consumers with each and different types of needs. They really durable too and tough, that just goes without saying when it comes to Nokia. Although Nokia is known to be real tough, we can't just ignore the possibilities of getting some nasty accidental damages. I think we need an insurance for that since warranty wouldn't cover any of accidental damages. So sign up with us now!

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