Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Oct 2013 13:30 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Jorma Ollila, ex-chairman of Nokia, admits Windows Phone was the wrong choice.

While Nokia brought in Elop and focused on Windows Phone, Ollila admits Microsoft's software hasn't helped the company. "We were not successful in using Microsoft's operating system to create competitive products, or an alternative to the two dominant companies in the field", he says, while noting it's "impossible to say what would have happened to the company if different decisions had been made in early 2011 or at some other time."

As if failing sales, a terrible financial situation, and a sale to Microsoft weren't enough evidence to conclude Windows Phone was the wrong choice for Nokia, we now have it straight from Nokia itself.

Order by: Score:
Obvious
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 17th Oct 2013 13:32 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Your obvious statement is obvious.

Too little, too late.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Obvious
by Radio on Thu 17th Oct 2013 13:51 UTC in reply to "Obvious"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

And inappropriate.

Nokia had an execution problem, they did not know how to do software (on time and on specs); and Microsoft, despite being a software company, failed too.

Of the two, Microsoft should take most of the blame. Software is supposed to be their core competency. Nokia's hardware, through the Lumia line, has stayed top notch from start to finish.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Obvious
by kwanbis on Thu 17th Oct 2013 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Obvious"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

Nokia had an execution problem, they did not know how to do software (on time and on specs)

I don't know, Meego seemed to be very much ready...

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Obvious
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 17th Oct 2013 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Obvious"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"Nokia had an execution problem, they did not know how to do software (on time and on specs)

I don't know, Meego seemed to be very much ready...
"

Yes, "ready" in the sense that if you order a pizza for a party that & it doesn't arrive until 2 hours after everyone has gone home or made other food arrangements, then that pizza could still technically be considered "ready." But on time? Not so much.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Obvious
by kwanbis on Thu 17th Oct 2013 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Obvious"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

It was much more ready than WP. Nokia N9 had it before any of the Lumias IIRC.

Reply Score: 12

RE[5]: Obvious
by jared_wilkes on Thu 17th Oct 2013 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Obvious"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Available should not be mistaken for capable.

Reply Score: 2

Not true.
by sgtrock on Thu 17th Oct 2013 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Obvious"
sgtrock Member since:
2011-05-13

Available should not be mistaken for capable.


Plenty of sources cited in Wikipedia make it abundantly clear that the N9 running MeeGo was more than capable. Elop may very well have put Nokia back on top if he had just gotten behind the N9 and sold it aggressively. Heck, if he had JUST STAYED OUT OF THE WAY, it would have sold like hotcakes and saved their phone business.

Too bad he was far more interested in his $25 million payday for selling Nokia to Microsoft than he was in being Nokia's CEO.

Reception

The Nokia N9 was announced at Nokia's Connections event in Singapore, June 2011. The reception for the device has been very positive, citing the MeeGo v1.2 Harmattan UI, pseudo-buttonless design, polycarbonate unibody construction and its NFC capabilities. Still, many reviewers did not recommend to buy the N9 only because of Nokia's earlier decision to drop MeeGo for Windows Phone for future smartphones — often questioning this decision at the same time. Engadget's editor Vlad Savov said in June 2011 that "it's a terrific phone that's got me legitimately excited to use it, but its future is clouded by a parent that's investing its time and money into building up a whole other OS."[38] In a later review, Engadget writes: "Love at first sight — this is possibly the most beautiful phone ever made," and "MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan is such a breath of fresh air it will leave you gasping — that is, until you remember that you're dealing with a dead man walking."[2] In a review for Ars Technica, Ryan Paul writes: "The N9 is an impressively engineered device that is matched with a sophisticated touch-oriented interface and a powerful software stack with open source underpinnings."[39] The Verge (website) writes: "The Nokia N9 is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating phones of the last few years."[40]

The German Der Spiegel titles "this could have been Nokia's winner",[41] and the German magazine Stern describes it as one of the best devices ever made by Nokia.[42]
Sales

The Nokia N9 has not been directly released in most of the largest smartphone markets such as the U.S., Canada, UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and others. Nokia did not disclose the number of sales for the N9.[43] According to some unofficial estimates, it might have sold better than the two initially released Lumia devices in the last quarter of 2011, rising further doubts about Nokia's strategy to drop MeeGo in favour of Windows Phone.[44][45][46][47][48]

Awards

In November 2011, the Nokia N9 won 3 out of 4 applicable titles (including design, camera and cellphone of the year) at a gala held by Swedish magazine and webzine Mobil.se.[49]

In January 2012, the Nokia N9 Swipe UI was nominated for an IxDA Interaction Award.[50]

In February 2012, the N9 reached number 1 in ranking "by rate" with a rate of 8.432 (out of 10) and votes of 74,940, and also number 5 by daily interest hits in GSMArena's ranking.[51]

In April 2012, the N9 was awarded a Design and Art Direction "Yellow Pencil", in the interactive product design category, beating among others the iPad 2 and the Nokia Lumia 800.[52]

Reply Score: 12

v RE: Not true.
by jared_wilkes on Thu 17th Oct 2013 19:30 UTC in reply to "Not true."
RE: Not true.
by Ford Prefect on Sun 20th Oct 2013 00:36 UTC in reply to "Not true."
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

The competition must haved laughed up their sleeves.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Obvious
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 17th Oct 2013 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Obvious"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Available should not be mistaken for capable.


What in the... we're actually in agreement about something? Who are you and what have you done with the REAL jared_wilkes?!?!?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Obvious
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 17th Oct 2013 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Obvious"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

It was much more ready than WP.


And you base that statement on... what, exactly?

Nokia N9 had it before any of the Lumias IIRC.


What does that have to do with anything? WP was shipping on a number of handsets made by other vendors, well before the first Lumias were released. The fact that it took so long for the first WP-powered Nokia handsets to appear is just further evidence of how disorganized and mismanaged the company was. If they couldn't get the Lumias out in a reasonable amount of time, despite having the OS handed to them on a silver platter, then what hope did Nokia have of competing against Android and iOS on their own?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Obvious
by shmerl on Thu 17th Oct 2013 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Obvious"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Meego was ready, but Nokia wasn't. And never became ready, so it sunk.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Obvious
by Wafflez on Thu 17th Oct 2013 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Obvious"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Best mobile OS yet, I don't care what iOS/Android users say, na na na.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Obvious
by shmerl on Thu 17th Oct 2013 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Obvious"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I'm waiting for Sailfish to be a breakthrough. So far hopes are high for it.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Obvious
by ebasconp on Thu 17th Oct 2013 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Obvious"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Me too,

but importing to South America one Jolla phone when it will be ready will cost me one eye and one kidney, I think ;)

Edited 2013-10-17 18:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Obvious
by zima on Wed 23rd Oct 2013 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Obvious"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, this will be more silly than the Amiga myths...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Obvious
by zima on Wed 23rd Oct 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Obvious"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Meego seemed to be very much ready...

The Meego brigade would like you to think so, but read the conclusions of http://www.mobile-review.com/review/nokia-n9-2-en.shtml

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Obvious
by missingxtension on Thu 17th Oct 2013 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Obvious"
missingxtension Member since:
2011-01-14

I don't believe the hardware is top notch.
I can't believe that when I see the 1020 specs its a 920 with 41 megapixelz. But it would have been nice to have a quad core that would wake up with 8.1.
I mean come on, we all know the 900 would run 8 just fine. Instead its stuck with 7.8.
we all know the future of the 1020, its already outdated! After all megapixelz aren't a requirement for future updates. Usually it is processing power.

Reply Score: 1

Would Android have faired better? Or Meego?
by tony on Fri 18th Oct 2013 01:32 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

Would Nokia have done any better with Android? It will always be a case of hindsight is 20/20, but I don't believe it would have. After all, established Android brands (HTC, LG, Motorola) are having a terrible time in the market, despite good phones.

Samsung and Apple have pretty much locked up the market. Samsung has the market share, and Apple I believe still has most of the profits (with Samsung talking almost all of what Apple doesn't).

Could Nokia have cracked the Android code that could have it compete with Samsung? Perhaps, but I think it somewhat unlikely.

What about Meego? I've never played with it, so I can't really say other than the reviews I've read (most seemed to say it showed promise/needed polish to a greater or lesser extent). There weren't really any apps for it at that point, and they would have had a challenge to get developers to put time and money into it. Microsoft has been (quite literally in many cases) begging developers to port to WP, and it's slow going. BlackBerry's app store was a shit-show of fake apps and few bignames.

It's all armchair CEOing at this point. The damage was certainly done, but I wonder if any moves the company could have made when they brought on Elop would have saved the company. I think the damage had been done earlier, mismanagement, hubris, and denial.

But again, all speculation. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Reply Score: 4

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

Well this is a tech forum so yes you will see speculating here just like you will see recipes in a cooking forum. The internet was created for nerd arguments and porn, go read a book if you don't like it.

Anyways I don't see any evidence that people are buying Nokia for Windows Phone. In fact Nokia is doing best where it is an established brand.

Hence I don't see why they would have done worse with Android. Furthermore the Nokia Lumia hardware is top notch, the cheap Nokia Lumias blow away some of the more expensive LG phones. So yes I think they could have competed just fine with existing Android OEMs.

In fact I think we will see further proof when the dummy in charge of Microsoft orders that the Nokia brand be removed from the Lumias. Sales will drop as a result of being dependent upon the brand name.

Reply Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

They are not THAT stupid to dump Nokia brand. They've paid for it afterall.

Reply Score: 2

mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

The publicly announced terms of the sale of Nokia handset division to MS explicitly recognized that MS has right to use Nokia name for Lumia, Asha, and other feature phones for a period of 10 years only, after that they cannot use the Nokia name, and the Nokia name cannot be applied to other new products in the meantime.

http://www.aegindia.org/2013/09/microsofts-nokia-acquisition-micros...

Edited 2013-10-18 23:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Microsoft does not have the right to use the Nokia brand for the Lumia lineup or for the Asha lineup. Only for mobile device dumbphones, and that's for 10 years assuming MSFT doesn't divest from dumb phones.

Reply Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

You can't compare really compare HTC, Sony with Nokia ad 2010.
- It was still 2 times bigger than Samsung
- It had plenty of IP to fend off MS trolling
- It was the darling of carriers
- It was totally independent of US market changing fortunes
- It was in bed with China Mobile
- It had superior camera technology
- It had desirability and brand loyalty comparably only to Apple in most parts of the world
- It's sw department was over-bloated and inefficient but still could deliver good UI and design (as proven by N9)
If Nokia switched to Android in 2010 and didn't massively drop the ball in engineering it would be on Samsung place now.

Edited 2013-10-18 14:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Of course Android option was rejected bc. it would mean a massive writeoff on Navtec and admitting a mistake.
Nokia, why o why didn't you sell it to Apple?

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

HERE (ex Navteq) will be one of pillars of Nokia now, what they'll focus on bigtime in the future...

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't think Nokia had the cash to simultaneously roll out a new ecosystem, throw away Navteq(good catch, btw), and devote resources to marketing. Especially not with Symbian falling off of a cliff in 2010 and 2011.

Android must've been painful for them. They had an ecosystem which they had to turn the blind eye too as much of their value add IP was a direct competitor to Google. The only workable Android path was a Kindle Fire esque spin off, which required way more investment than getting engineering and financial assistance from Microsoft.

Samsung was already on a meteoric upwards trajectory at the time and was heavily diversified while Nokia was more or less still a one trick pony. NSN was still posting losses and had huge operational overhead at the time. Through that lens I think it was very comparable to HTC.

Not to mention that a lot of their losses over the years have been due to massive restructuring. D&S has had underlying profitability for a while now.

Reply Score: 2

Where we go with Meego again.
by siraf72 on Fri 18th Oct 2013 13:20 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

My uncle has the N9 with Meego on it. It's good, a bit dated now, but good. Was it as slick as the original iPhone? not in a million years. Does it have features the original iphone didn't? yup loads (the vast majority of which the average user doesn't care about it).

So while OSnews denizens would and should rate Meego, in the real world it wasn't ready.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Where we go with Meego again.
by No it isnt on Fri 18th Oct 2013 20:58 UTC in reply to "Where we go with Meego again."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Meego had pretty much every feature the iPhone has added since launch -- from day 1.

Reply Score: 3

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

True enough,

Reply Score: 2

Nelson?
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 20th Oct 2013 04:09 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Come on, you know he'll be here soon enough to attempt to hide Nokia's woes...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nelson?
by Nelson on Sun 20th Oct 2013 12:20 UTC in reply to "Nelson?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Actually waiting patiently for Q3 financials to come out on the 30th, and frankly NOK isn't as interesting to me now that the uncertainty about the Lumia line is gone. Not much analysis left to do on a mobile communications company. Its still a nice buy and I'm up over 7% from just a few days ago though.

Its obvious at this point that both Nokia and the devices division will live on. Its obvious every single prediction I've ever made here has been right.

There's nothing more to prove. I've made my money, had fun while doing it, and got to prove people on this website wrong while I was at it.

The fact is that if people believed in NOK enough to put their money where their mouth was when they argued against me, they'd be seeing triple digit returns on investment.

Intel and Yahoo are probably more attractive to me now with Baytrail and the Alibaba IPO that's coming respectively. Intel has an insurmountable lead on ARM that's going to crush it in mobile once it catches on. YHOO has an ex Google Search exec who I have no doubt will be able to monetize the damn thing.

I also shorted BBRY, playing a long game and absorbing losses until its eventual collapse. That company won't be bought by anybody worth a damn.

But yeah, I'm not really into wading into the trenches with the usual suspects when no new information has come out to impact either position. Nokia's specifically guided for increased sales in Q3, so we'll just have to see.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Nelson?
by hamster on Mon 21st Oct 2013 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Nelson?"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

I do believe we are lucky to have someone like you Nelson. Someone who can predict how Nokia will do and even so much that you can make a buck of it.

If i am not mistaken the Nokia share really took of when they sold the mobile division. Why would that be if the lumia are such a huge success?

Now i am no specialist in predictions and shares like you but i would think that selling the goose that laid the golden eggs would kill the share insted of giving it life...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Nelson?
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nelson?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It has to do with risk and making NOK ab attractive bet. It wasn't the selling off of D&S as much as it was receiving 7 billion dollars in capital, 2 billion available right away to pay down debt.

To a less significant extent, selling off D&S took away the drag on earnings, couple this with a phasing out of restructuring in 2013 and you have a company that's all upside, no downside. They own 100% of a profitable venture, they have a 10 year mapping licensee, they offloaded the severance and retirement liabilities of 32,000 employees, had a golden parachute 70% financed for Elop, and kept their arsenal of patents they can assert without repercussion.

D&S had potential, it was a long game. The WSJ today has run a piece where they're expecting north of 8 million devices shipped which confirms Nokia's guidance and my predictions. That's steady progress and Nokia could've very well seen it through, it just felt that Microsoft cash and reinventing itself was more of a sure bet.

In the hands of a rich company like MSFT though the Lumia line gets to live on and is still spearheaded by Elop (who has a good shot at CEO). Its a win win.

This is similar to how spinoffs unlock shareholder value. A company is more than the sum of its parts.

Anyone who didn't see that Microsoft had implicitly purchased Nokia back in 2011 is daft, they always had solid financial backing in the event they needed an extra push. Microsoft once offered Yahoo 60 Billion dollars, they'd pay anything for the company that now sells 90% of all Windows Phone devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Nelson?
by hamster on Mon 21st Oct 2013 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nelson?"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

It's been said a million times that ms has been planing on buying the mobile devision from nokia since nokia startet betting on wp.

As far as i remember you guess was 10 milllion but now it's down to 8 million?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Nelson?
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nelson?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It wasn't so much an outright purchase but an implicit backing which materialized as a purchase. It could've easily been a renegotiation of terms or a cash infusion. From what's leaked of the discussions, both of those options were on the table.

I don't think it was a sure thing they'd be purchased from day 1, and have little doubt MSFT would've preferred to have a few healthy OEMs rather than swallow up a promising but struggling OEM. I guess with Surface and the reorg these things should be viewed in a different light.

I called for north of 10 million units by the end of the year, not by Q3. I don't think a 30% growth pattern for Q3 was doable without a holiday season, especially considering their Q3 last year was 2 million and change I believe.

I'm thinking just short of 9 million makes sense, and just shy of 20% QoQ. Quote me on that.

Edited 2013-10-21 11:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2