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February 03, 2018



For me, comments work from MS Edge and Opera and they seem to work Vivaldi (haven't clicked "Post", but the button is active as for Edge and Opera), but not from Chrome nor Firefox ("Post" button remains inactive). Windows 10.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi obarthelemy

Thanks! I also tried myself and was able to post a comment. It seems to be fixed. Thanks for mentioning that it works for you. I'll go remove the part about problems in comments.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Just picked this up via Twitter and my follower Sami Makelainen @smakelainen. do we remember Elop? As in Stephen Elop? Whatever happened to the worst CEO of all time?

He went to hide in Australia, joined Telstra as their new strategy boss. (What a stupid move by Telstra's new boss who was not a tech insider, so he didn't know Elop's past). So what happened. Well, Telstra invested in a tech company called Ooyala - and put Elop in charge.

We know how this story ends, before reading any further.

That company Ooyala has just been written off. A $500 million writeoff (in Australian dollars, I believe). Here is the link to the story

If they have any brains at Telstra, they fire Elop immediately

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Well, maybe he'll go to Apple and introduces iPhone Mini next...


John A

It seems like HMD Global made the most sales during Q4 2017. Will be interesting to see how they can follow up that in 2018?
A lot of rumours about a Nokia 3310 4G version. And maybe some other interesting feature phones.

At the android side they probably will have some exiting devices to. I hope they will be able to ship them in time.
But I suppose they have more carrier deals and electronic retailer stores now than before.

Atleast they keep the promise with fast updates. That is a big selling point for many users.

Henrik Nergard

A interesting story about LG, according to the site Gizchina they giving up the whole China market for their phones.
I wonder if the european and the US markets is enough for them? LG struggling there to.

There are mixed signals from LG about its new flagship device will it be showed on MWC 2018 or be delayed? Or will LG be the first manufacturer to give up in this new smartphone war between android brands?


@Henrik Nergard

LG, just like HTC, is essentially finished. I explained why here:

Whatever flagship LG presents at MWC, it will be so tainted with the recent string of bootloop faults affecting previous flagships that retailers will refrain from selling it and customers will refuse to buy it.

The retrenchment from China, if confirmed, is probably only the beginning.


Nokia hasn't released any Linux Kernel source code for its 2017 devices and hence has violated the GPL.

Also, the new Nokia hasn't released a bootloader unlock method for a single phone yet, despite promising it back in September.

The old Nokia was much better in this regard. I wonder why the current management doesn't follow the footsteps of the old Nokia here.

Brands like OnePlus thrive because they cater to enthusiasts, surely it wouldn't hurt Nokia to gain a few more customers and to have a good reputation in the developer community. Being worse than Samsung seems to be a stupid goal for such a "newcomer"...

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Ewan Spence at Forbes writes about Nokia HMD and kindly reference this blog too. He has similar views to what Nokia has done and where it needs to go next. Only big difference b/w his view and mine - he knows how to write succinctly to make his points haha...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Henrik & E

Great catch Henrik! And I agree with both of you (great analysis E) that this is a strong public ackknowledgment that LG is not able to sustain the effort to remain competitive. Similar to what we've heard from so many 'former giant' rivals as the competition gets tougher. We should not forget that LG was a Top 3 smartphone maker for a couple of quarters just five years ago. But they soon plunged into perennial loss-making and now this sign. Yes, abandoning China is a huge deal and sign of worse times for LG.

LG could well sell its handset business. But the exit from the Top 10 looms large. And one of the last remaining global brands is on the ropes. Incidentally, a brand who will feel a surging Nokia as particularly painful because they can't afford to lose any fractions of a point of market share right now.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


How many smartphones Microsoft sold in best year? Nokia might surpass that already this year..


Elop should be declared as a mass descruction weapon for any business :-)

Abdul Muis

Counterpoint has revised its numbers says HMD sold 4.4 million smartphones in Q4.


Tomi - I am ex-Nokia and was around in the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 years. While I agree that the "burning platform" memo was a disaster - as big a folly as the osborne effect, I think it is not correct to say that Elop destroyed a company that was successful and growing. Please see the English version of "Operation Elop" - that was released - . It lays out the problems that existed at Nokia well before Elop joined.

I remember the 2009, 2010 years. In the US - symbian was seen as an outmoded OS, a complete dinosaur to iOS and Android. In fact, AT&T did a customer survey/study for the "Sushi" device - and not a single user chose Sushi, though the device hardware itself was praised. In the study, eveyone complained about the symbian OS. In the US offices, we were agonized that the HQ did not realize how far off our platform was from Android/iOS. We were also surprised that HQ did not realize that this is not just a US issue, that it would soon spread to Europe and Asia - and it did - by 2010, Android was everywhere and growing. BTW, we also had a Meego based device in the works - and the US carriers quickly lost interest in Meego- seeing the lack of an ecosystem, hwo immature the OS was etc.

I would resist the urge to say that this is just a US issue - it would have spread across the world (and it did). That said - I simply cannot understand why WindowsPhone was chosen instead of Android - where we could have done much more to create a clear brand identity - just see what the Chinese OEMs are doing with Android. But the what ifs are endless.

The point is - Nokia had become too big, too successful and filled with hubris to see market changes. Blaming Elop is a not a truthful way to understand where Nokia failed.



There is a fairly recent article that summarizes the organizational and marketing issues that led to the demise of Nokia:

Having myself lived and seen the evolution of Nokia well prior to the period during which you KK were involved, I think that article nails it.

Except for one aspect: it has a complete blind spot regarding Elop and the death blows he struck against the firm, which was embattled, but still had considerable resources and skills.

But you are right: rot had already set in and was spreading. In my opinion, corporate infighting amongst Nokia fiefdoms doomed the best chance that Nokia had to take the lead in smart devices -- Maemo and the N*** series. That product line was always hamstrung, did not get enough attention to bring it to maturity, and never pursued aggressively and imaginatively enough.

That is history. Let us now turn our attention to the new, thriving firms -- especially those from Asia (since that is where the major players have been emerging for a decade).


@Tomi: "Counterpoint has revised its numbers and now says HMD sold 4.4 million smartphones in Q4 of last year"

Henrik Nergard

According to IDC it seems HMD Global also have shipped around 59 million feature phones to. So with the android units combined they might be in the top ten phone brands now?
I suppose they will talk some about it during the MWC 2018 event.

But not so got start for some other new brands. Andy Rubins Essential sold only 90.000 units in six months.
Wileyfox a UK based phone company got problem to might go out of business soon.


"‘Like a phoenix from the ashes’ – Nokia’s brand value jumped a whopping 70% last year"

let's see how it goes in 2018...

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Two new numbers. Counterpoint has revised its count from 4.15M Nokia HMD smarphones in Q4 of 2017, to 4.4M. That takes out full year to 8.7M vs 8.5M in the story. Also note, Counterpoint lists Nokia HMD global rank already at 11th.

Separately Trendforce has given an annual count of Nokia HMD smartphones at 11.5M units for full eyar 2017, which is well above what I had found from any other sources so far. But yes, slowly some numbers are appearing.

BTW Trendforces give guidance that they think Nokia HMD can get to 20.0M units sold this year 2018. Nice optimism there..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


I am assuming you were not here when we discussed the pending disaster that Elop cooked up. I hear you. I know that IN THE USA the Nokia smartphones were seen as struggling even before Elop. Let us IGNORE the USA, and remember that the USA only accounts for 4% of the planet's population, and even in year 2011 it was obvious to anyone who studied this industry that smartphones were NOT limited to ONLY THE RICH world (and where perhaps the USA was a good example to study) and that the FUTURE belonged to Asia, Africa and the Emerging world where 85% of the planet lives. If you think that Nokia was 'in trouble' and pursuing somehow a 'wrong strategy' then please explain to me this:

World's largest smartphone market is China. In year 2010 (when Elop took over at Nokia) Nokia was the STRONGEST smartphone brand in China, and was the MARKET SHARE LEADER. This was done with that 'obsolete' operating system you clearly hate, Symbian, which HAD Chinese language support, which HAD a HUGE Chinese developer community, supported CARRIER BILLING in China and was China's largest app store (Ovi Store).

India is the world's second largest smartphone market. Nokia was not just the largest smartphone brand of India, they had over 70% market share and utterly crushed that market. Nokia was not just the most popular smartphone brand and most popular phone brand in India. Nokia was the most powerful brand of India. Period. THE most powerful brand ahead of Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce and Rolex and of course any IBM or Apple or whatever. Nokia THE most powerful brand of India. Nokia supported the most common India languages starting with Hindi. Nokia had a HUGE developer community in India doing apps for that market. There was carrier billing for Nokia yes on that OS you hate, Symbian. Nokia's Ovi Store was the most popular app store of India and get this - Nokia had even launched a MOBILE PAYMENTS platform years before Apple even did its Apple Pay. Nokia was ranked SECOND in India's mobile wallet systems by 2010.

I could go on. Nigeria, largest smartphone market of Africa, is like India only even more positive to Nokia.

Now. If your CURRENT OS platform IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST (as Symbian was in 2010, by a clear margin) AND your OS had done it without a touch-screen interface, but the touch-screen interface had JUST been released (for Christmas 2010) and THAT OS WAS BREAKING NOKIA RECORDS for success, greatest sales ever by Nokia. And Nokia was TOWERING over its rivals in market share - larger than number 2 and number 3 - COMBINED !!!! Nokia in 2010 was as big as number 2, Blackberry AND number 3, Apple - combined. This is not 'losing'. This is a SMART STRATEGY that has been executed BRILLIANTLY. Did you see that for the end of the year, Nokia BROKE ITS OWN RECORD for smartphone unit sales, for smartphone revenues AND for smartphone profits. This while being twice as big as the nearest rivals. Samsung was a tiny speck in that race, barely noticed ranked at number 5.

And you already mentioned MeeGo, Nokia was NOT MARRIED to Symbian. Nokia had a smart strategy how to MIGRATE customers from Symbian to MeeGo, (moving end-user customers via the Ovi store, that supported both, and moving the developers by a tool kit called Qt, that allowed developers easily to make apps for both OS platforms plus several others at the same time that were not even Nokia's own OS platforms, like Blackberry for example, the world's third most used smartphone OS in 2010, behind Symbian and Android).

Now. That is REALITY. I don't care what your silly article may say. There were of course political issues in any large organization. But these are the facts

Nokia was larger than anyone else in smartphones. When others struggled, Nokia handset unit had produced a profit through the WHOLE ECONOMIC CRISIS (the only losses Nokia had reported were at the Telecoms infrastructure 'Nokia Networks' unit). Nokia was GROWING smartphone unit sales - while being the largest - and Nokia was making the world's second-largest profits (behind only Apple's iPhone) and Nokia's PROFITS were growing. Nokia's app store, Ovi, was second largest behind Apple's but far larger than any others (Android, Blackberry, Windows) and Nokia's Ovi was CATCHING UP to Apple. But far far FAR more important, Apple was not supporting languages, local payments, carrier billing in the local markets. You had to HAVE A CREDIT CARD to use the iPhone App Store. But Nokia's Ovi store, you did not even have to have a bank account! Far less a credit card.

And from this, Nokia had ALREADY BUILT a migration path (before Elop) in a VERY costly way, it was completed! MeeGo the OS was ready, Ovi store was ready, Qt the app development platform was ready. And Elop killed them all.

If you KK think that being biggest - while GROWING - and while being PROFITABLE - with your PROFITS GROWING is a sign of bad management, then you're not a capitalist. Then perhaps you adore systems where companies make losses and die.

To that effect, look at the market you know best. There WERE many American brands that fought in smartphones at that time when Elop came to Nokia. Motorola made and sold smartphones. Dell made and sold smartphones. Palm made and sold smartphones. Google (Nexus) started to make and sell smartphones. Microsoft (bought Danger the maker of Sidekick) tried to make and sell smartphones. HP made and sold smartphones. Over the border in Canada RIM ie Blackberry made and sold smartphones. And of course Apple with the iPhone.

What happened. Of that wonderful rich field of powerful giant tech corporations, only Apple remains in smartphones. Motorola went bust and was sold to the Chinese. Dell quit the phones business even as the personal computer industry was shifting from PCs to mobile phones (bizarre choice, look at how Lenovo from China is doing the exact opposite, and look at how even Sony which did both, sold its Vaio laptop business but kept its phone business). Palm went bust and was sold, twice. Google's Nexus failed. Microsoft failed in smartphones, twice (first Danger, then Nokia/Lumia). HP bought Palm but then quit that business. And Blackberry was just sold.

If you think somehow American MOBILE PHONE industry knowhow and domestic market is a sign of the future, you are sadly mistaken, KK. The success came from understanding the EMERGING MARKET starting with China, and followed by India. Look at the Top 10 smartphone brands. In year 2009 there was not ONE Chinese brand inside the Top 10 of the largest smartphone brands (they did already sell 'dumbphones' ie ZTE and Huawei were Top 10 mobile phone brands, but not smartphone brands). Today 7 of the 10 largest smartphone brands globally are CHINESE brands, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, ZTE, Xiaomi, Coolpad etc..

Nokia had built the world's largest phone factory INTO BEIJING next to the HQ of the world's largest telco/carrier ie China Mobile, to ensure Nokia's success in China. No, KK. I hear you. If you lived in the USA, and you were frustrated how stupidly the Finnish Nokia HQ management was 'ignoring the needs' of your home market - the irrelevant USA market with so many domestic rival brands and a plethora of domestic OS platforms too - that was the SMART THING TO DO.

Nokia before Elop was doing the right thing. It was SECURING THE FUTURE. It was the biggest and strongest smartphone brand in China, in India, in Nigeria, in Russia, in Brazil, in Egypt, in Indonesia, in Pakistan, in Vietnam, etc etc etc. Nokia OWNED the future. And that was SUCCEEDING.

From year 2009 to 2010, Nokia's handset business grew, made profits and was the world's largest. Nokia's SMARTPHONE business was DOMINATING (larger than its nearest 2 rivals COMBINED). Nokia's smartphone businesss was PROFITABLE, its profits GREW to record quarter profit by Q4. Nokia's market share was number 1 in Asia, number 1 in Africa, number 1 in Latin America, and number 1 in Europe. Only in North America was Nokia NOT the market leader in smartphones. And for good reason, there were SEVEN domestic brands competing for that market. Even there, Nokia was NOT RANKED NUMBER 8 !!! Nokia was even able to hold about 6th rank in the market among US domestic brands. That is not 'failing' that is doing ok in the worst market and luckily for Nokia strategy, the utterly irrelevant market.

With that, KK. I wrote you a long reply. I expect you to respond to this.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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    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

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