Username or EmailPassword
It was as clear then as it is now: Elop was an MS plant who was placed there for the sole purpose of ensuring that Nokia chose Windows Phone.
While Elop's decisions might not have been the best for Nokia, I think that he genuinely believed that Nokia could make the transition to Windows Phone a success.
My theoriy is that he believed the analysts who made ridiculous forecasts regarding Windows Phone sales. For example this one from IDC who projected in 2011 that WP would pass iOS and reach 20.9% share in 2015 - a prediction that has later been revised to 11.4% in 2016. And that was by far not the most absurd prediction.
As my former employer, I think I know what I am speaking about.
If thats the best you've got, I'm comfortable with that.
There is not much I can properly argument in a public forum, without revealing what might be considered internal information.
Suffice to say I was actually visiting Espoo the week after the burning platform memo, so I got to discuss a lot there with some colleagues.
Here, wise one.
"Nokia’s market share is in death-spiral, crashed from 39% to 28% in just six months and warnings from management suggest Q1 will continue the bad news, so it may end somewhere near 24% by end of March and who knows where the bottom is.“
Tomi Ahonen, January 31, 2011
Facts are stubborn things.
Oh my, liar? That is a terrible charge.
Lets look further into this, shall we?
First I'm assuming you've read the relevant financial reports, hopefully your working knowledge is deeper than a reposted chart.
Now, if you'll look at Q410 financial results, you'll see Symbian sales rose 30%, but market share actually fell 14% because they were greatly outpaced by the market. All prior to this mythological Osborn effect.
Now I'll ask you to look back further into Q3 and Q2 2010 where they lost around 25% of their share in six months. A year before this mythological Osborn effect.
By January 2011 (a month prior to the WP announcement), Nokia for example had lost a third of their UK market share.
Starting in Q2 2010 Nokia went from
39% to 33% to 28% to 24% up through the Windows Phone announcement.
So actually, no, I'm not lying thank you very much. This is why I ask people to read the financial reports. What a new and radical idea, asking you to do your own research.
Given these rather steady declines, how can the Windows Phone announcement be attributed to something that never accelerated? The decline was linear, as I've demonstrated.
All of this is verifiable from Nokia financial reports from Q2 2010 and on.
You can't possibly positively speak about a 30% sales rise without qualifying it with market share, or you'd also have to mention the 400% Windows Phone growth, or 100% YoY performance Nokia is going to have in Q2, but for some strange reason I don't see a post on those incoming.
This takes critical thinking.
Ah, critical thinking. That's when you spin 100% YOY growth from barely nothing as great performance. You're an incredibly dishonest human being. I don't understand what motivates you.
I'm not. It served to illustrate the point that a rise in unit sales without being qualified by market share is misleading. You did read my post right?
I expect you to reply to the rest of it.
Windows Phone market share has been steadily rising, Symbians was not. Nokia also trimmed a lot of fat, they were twice as large as their nearest rivals in 2010-2011.
Its also important to note, and you can look at my comment history, that I was arguing against a backdrop of doomsday Windows Phone comments. I never once implied all was well, only that trends were looking up and where there was smoke there was fire.
Windows Phone market share never dropped off like Symbians did, but of course, you do like to have a field day with false equivalencies.
Osborn effect is some magical fairy tale that Nokia haters tell themselves, Mr. Elop supposedly killed something that was dying a full year prior. Even before he became CEO. This is absurd. Edited 2013-07-15 11:52 UTC
Dude, you said "Symbian sales were collapsing a full quarter prior to the Windows Phone announcement", which was incorrect: they were rising in that quarter. What you should have said was "Symbian market share was collapsing, which was the point Tomi Ahonen was making, and something I suspect Thom is conveniently overlooking.
Sales != market share; a distinction that seems to be lost on both of you, and other ideologically motivated commenters too. If your sales rise by X% but your (similarly sized) competitors' sales rise by 5X% in the same period, then your sales are increasing but your share of the total market is decreasing. Your revenue may still be healthy today (assuming you're maintaining a healthy margin on those sales), but a few years from now those now much larger and more powerful competitors start swallowing your sales as well.
I wish folks on these threads would go takes some business classes and come back once they understand the world beyond bits and bytes. The quality of comments would be immeasurably improved by it.
Uh, I didn't overlook anything - I actually said the exact same thing you did.
Symbian sales can be collapsing relative to where they should be, especially if they lag behind the market so significantly. Given the size of Nokia at the time, it exacerbated the problem.
I think its a nit pick at worst, but sure, you're right.
Nokia could ride out a collapse, but could they bootstrap an ecosystem with the cash remaining? Market it on their own? Establish a brand awareness with a new line of phones?
If they could, obviously we wouldn't be having this conversation. They couldn't. MeeGo was late. The project was going nowhere. Everything else was floundering as well.
Nokia was a company in 2010 with many cancerous divisions attached to it. Underperforming divisions that quarter after quarter had slipped schedules due to mismanagement.
The cash problem would have been less pronounced if a smooth transition away from Symbian had been executed.
With MeeGo and assistance from Intel, transitioning the ecosystem was possible, as Qt allowed to write apps that targeted Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo. And even if it didn't work out immediately, Android would have been able to keep Nokia factories busy until the Qt ecosystem became sustainable.
Breaking all eggs that didn't fit in Microsoft's basket is the reason why Nokia finds itself in the current difficult situation.
Yes, selling their HQ to become profitable is a sustainable strategy. Going from 30% marketshare to 5% is too. Their devices and services devision has been producing losses up to last quarter, that were only offset by NSN and one-time effects.
The Nokia board did not really exert control over what Elop did. And no, they did not consider Android, because they feared that Nokia would lose control over its destiny.
It can be read in a highly interesting interview with industry expert Jean-Louis Gassée from last year.
The board of a company did not exert control over Elop did? Says who? You? Certainly not that article.
That article says nothing about the company's decision to go with Windows Phone. Only some theoretical and dubious Osborn effect.
The article says that they did not consider Android.
The question is why they decided to go alone with Maemo 5 and the Nokia N900 rather than with Android.
And that's fairly easy to answer I suppose. They wanted it all / be big in services / growth. Not something they was good at and not something they managed. But they wanted to.
Risk taking for possible award I suppose. But they failed. Edited 2013-07-15 20:21 UTC
For the obvious reasons; they would be an also-ran in Android, a market where one competitor owns and controls the ecosystem, another is an 800 lb gorilla, and there are a dozens of smaller competitors, but only the gorilla makes any money.
Windows Phone was a chance to take a leadership role in a new market, and hopefully then being in a position to actually make money. They have entirely succeeded with the first part, and while the second part is pretty shaky they are unlikely to be eyeing for example HTC with much envy on that front.
Nokia has to pick their battles, they don't have the financial capacity to simultaneously launch on two ecosystems and support both with sufficient marketing. Especially given the fact that Microsoft matches marketing dollars and subsidized the cost of Windows Phone licenses for a while.
Windows Phone is also a better holistic fit for the design ethos of the Lumia line up in ways that Android cannot begin to rival.
Yes, basically. And the fact that they were cash strapped and couldn't get the same out of Google. Thats my reading of the situation.
So elop says they were afraid of samsung dominance and you are saying Nokia were strapped for cash. Where are you sources?
if Nokia were short on cash why are they still trying to sell low end mobiles. Should not they full into high value Lumia mobiles.
The previous poster is grossly misrepresenting the Nokia-Microsoft WP contract.
Microsoft is not known for being a charitable institution in the least. So no, they are not "giving" Nokia any money. They are simply playing accounting tricks, so that it looks like Nokia is having an initial positive cash flow during the first couple of years of WP adoption.
But the contract is structured in such a way that in the end, Nokia's net payments to Microsoft end up being at least half a billion Euros more than whatever cash goes from Microsoft to Nokia. And that is even if WP phones fail to sell, if Nokia's business picks up they have to pump more cash over the baseline licensing deal.
This strategy seems suspiciously similar to all the deals MS cooked up in the 90s with the PC manufacturers. The market was dramatically different back then of course.
Samsung also made windows phones. They were in both markets.
Furthermore, Samsung also made symbian phones for a while. Nokia was able to compete decently with them then.
Your personal problem with it aside, Nokia is in a different situation than Samsung. False equivalency.
These things are not viewed in a vacuum. Symbian was going down, they were losing unsustainable amounts of money, and at this point they didn't have the financial ability to take a risk with Android with no recourse
Nokia is Microsofts white horse, with it comes the implicit guarantee of existence. Nokia got special treatment in OS customization, direction, and financial support to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a quarter.
Faced with a rapidly deteriorating cash situation, I don't think they had a choice. They evaluated Android and decided against it, prior to brining in Elop.
I don't understand why they might have thought that Android was riskier than Windows Phone.
For what its worth, I wasn't suggesting that Nokia do both an Android and a Windows phone, but that regardless of the choice they would still face Samsung as a competitor ( whom they had previously faced during the height of symbian).
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
If windows phone takes off HTC and Samsung can also join the game. Samsung ATIV yes samsung the company Nokia worried about dominating Android also makes Windows phones.
So if you don't want to go head to head with Samsung on the same OS you have to do what Apple and Blackberry does. Make a completely unique OS.
Nokia should have made a few Android Phones. Profited while they could like HTC has.
Nokia brand was strong. A Nokia Android phone would still sell well today due to how well know the brand is.
So Nokia kicked themselves in teeth by being stupid.
I don't think android would have been the way for Nokia, i think they forsaw quite rightly that Samsung or another asian large company would run away and become the majority android player, Could have easily been LG and to a lesser degree HTC, however as we've seen it's Samsung.
The problem was that Nokia would have been a newbie in the android arena with the others being entrenched already in android.
Personally i think it was a wise decision, Android will never be fluid/smooth due to the java overhead. I owned a Note2 and it appeared nice and fluid but it would stutter, it would slow down here and there, the experience was very uneven. Sometimes text messages would take a good 10 seconds to open. Personally this is how my experience of android has been for the past 7 months. Great ideas, excellent control over the device, i.e. i could change anything i wanted, however the core experience, the core applications were buggy, the experience inconsistent and mostly slow.
To me it seemed that android sacrifices performance, less bugs to get the latest and greatest out there, we need to add feature xyz out there at the sacifice of speed/stability.
An example of a bug so obvious and so stupid that i can't believe it was ever allowed through let alone has been reported and yet to be fixed to this day. When you plug in headphones to listen to music with the phone not on silent, all message/sms/email/ringing sounds will still go through the phones speaker. The most obvious action is that the sounds go through the headphones.'
As for their choice, i don't know enough about symbian to know if it had a future, im not sure if Nokia alone could have built an app ecosystem large enough to entice big service providers like FB, Twitter, Instagram, which may not be my/your cup of tea, but is expected from the general population (someone can correct me if they had these apps).
Meego looked great but the release date seemed to be constantly pushed back and again would nokia perhaps with some others been enough to push the ecosystem?
Generally smartphone today need a few services (ecosystem) to survive. They need an app store, music store (video is a plus), Sync/photo sharing store and good integration either through apps or through the OS to mainstream services like Facebook, twitter etc.. Again i don't know enough about the alternatives, but i do know that Microsoft could offer this to nokia with the Windows + Xbox platform.
so apparently, Nokia could see perfectly the future of Android and other vendors. But they failed to see their own catastrophic market share collapse.
Maybe they should quit the cell phone business, and become a consulting firm for Asian cell phone makers instead. That seems to be their forte apparently
i don't know about perfectly seeing into the future, but in 2010 it was obvious that either samsung or LG (and to a lesser degree HTC) was going to grab the android market due to the companies vast resources.
Because at the time Nokia was going full steam ahead with Meego. It was almost at a working stage. Then came Elop and bam!
Meego lives on in the Mer project, on which Sailfish is based.
How many units has sailfish sold? Because Nokia has shipped like 12-13 Windows Phones and sold like 20 million units since.
About 3 to 1 in the N9's favour. Meego's would have been immensely more popular and successful. Nokia's CEO is an idiot, end of discussion.
I think the problems within Nokia didn't really start with Elop.
They tried for so long to put Linux on a phone, tried so many things and even released the first tablets that got nice market adoption (long before Apple).
They decided they badly wanted their own phone platform after the iPhone came out, and went ahead and purchased Symbian and Trolltech to compete.
But then, everything became about Apps and turning your phone into something closer to a full operating system. Symbian didn't really cut it, and Nokia started working more in Maemo, which had abandoned most development before.
I can understand that they ignored Android for a long time, they had their own technologies and Android was truly crappy until ICS, and when it became good and widespread, they had far too much invested in Meego.
In the end, going with Windows Phone seems like it was more about pride than anything else. To consumers, Nokia is a brand that makes top quality phones, visually beautiful and with the best manufacturing processes.
They would have no doubt made the best Android phones had they switched, but this move to Windows Phone sounds more like an attempt to die with pride.
It isn't a hard question.
Google turned Elop down on any sort of special deal. So had Nokia gone with Android it would have been competing on equal footing with Asian manufacturers. With a higher cost of financing and higher parts costs it likely wouldn't have been successful. With the heavy restructuring costs Nokia was going to face even if it was moderately successful, given the margins, it likely still would have gone bankrupt.
Microsoft offered Nokia flagship status. They offered them exclusive advantages. And they offered them a lot of cash.
This wasn't a hard choice.
I would have rather seen Google buy Nokia than Motorola.. Better phones, better patents.