Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Jun 2013 18:29 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless So, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft was very close to take over Nokia, but that the talks eventually broke down, probably beyond repair - at least for now. The reasons the talks broke down illustrate something that I have repeatedly tried to make clear for a long time now: Nokia isn't doing well.
Thread beginning with comment 565326
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[5]: Go ahead and short
by jeffb on Sat 22nd Jun 2013 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Go ahead and short"
jeffb
Member since:
2005-07-19

Elop's one single screwup (and it was a spectacular one) was burning Symbian before their WP handsets were anywhere close to shipping. That created a classic Osborne Effect where the existing Symbian customer base jumped ship to competing iOS and Android platforms - which were already available - instead of migrating smoothly to Nokia's new WP platform, which wasn't.


I don't think that was even much of a screw up. Symbian phones weren't making much margin and sales had been falling for 3 quarters. Elop by shocking his people get them to move off MeeGo fast. He bought himself a transition that say compared to RIM's BBOS to QNX transition took 11 months less. Nokia is not the CIA. He couldn't have killed off MeeGo as quickly as he did in secret.

Those 11 months were key to how Nokia passed RIM in sales and is having far greater manufacturing capacity than RIM has for this generation of phones. Given Nokia's high restructuring and write down costs I don't know that he did the wrong thing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Go ahead and short
by cdude on Sat 22nd Jun 2013 14:10 in reply to "RE[5]: Go ahead and short"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Symbian phones weren't making much margin and sales had been falling for 3 quarters


No, it did grow.
http://www.asymco.com/2013/01/10/getting-to-know-the-meaning-of-sis...

Remember that the new Symbian^3 generation made its appearance with the N8 in Q4/2010. Anna, Belle, 808 PureView came all after Elop's burning started.

Elop ... bought himself a transition that say compared to RIM's BBOS to QNX transition took 11 months less


Its just that that "transition" completely failed except the plan was from the beginning transition Nokia customers to Apple and Samsung. Was it?

Nokia is not the CIA. He couldn't have killed off MeeGo as quickly as he did in secret.


The only reason why N9 came to market where contractual bindings with Intel. Elop still did his best in declaring the N9 dead before arrival, no matter how it would perform, in not delivering to any major markets, no marketing, no support.

Those 11 months were key to how Nokia passed RIM in sales


Nokia did not passed RIM. Q1/2013:
http://phandroid.com/2013/05/14/gartner-q1-2013/

Edited 2013-06-22 14:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Go ahead and short
by jeffb on Sat 22nd Jun 2013 19:40 in reply to "RE[6]: Go ahead and short"
jeffb Member since:
2005-07-19

"Symbian phones weren't making much margin and sales had been falling for 3 quarters


No, it did grow.
http://www.asymco.com/2013/01/10/getting-to-know-the-meaning-of-sis...
"

How does that graph show what you want? It has 1Q2011 way below 4Q2010. And that's raw numbers. The smartphone market was growing rapidly so if you look at marketshare the falloff is earlier: http://dominiescommunicate.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/android_bypa...

"Elop ... bought himself a transition that say compared to RIM's BBOS to QNX transition took 11 months less

Its just that that "transition" completely failed except the plan was from the beginning transition Nokia customers to Apple and Samsung. Was it?
"

The plan was to transition Nokia over from a maker of Symbian phones to a maker of Asha at the low end and Windows Phones at the high end. That didn't fail. it happened. Nokia's customers are still mostly dumb phone customers and they still are dumb phone customers mostly. Certainly they have had tremendous erosion of Symbian customers but their products were comparatively terrible. That problem predates Elop.


"Nokia is not the CIA. He couldn't have killed off MeeGo as quickly as he did in secret.


The only reason why N9 came to market where contractual bindings with Intel. Elop still did his best in declaring the N9 dead before arrival, no matter how it would perform, in not delivering to any major markets, no marketing, no support.
"

Yes, it was a dead product. A cool niche phone by the time it was released.

"Those 11 months were key to how Nokia passed RIM in sales


Nokia did not passed RIM. Q1/2013:
http://phandroid.com/2013/05/14/gartner-q1-2013/
"

IDC and Kanter have closer to 7m. That number seems low but I'd agree that Gartner is a reasonable source and that based Gartner's numbers Nokia did worse.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Go ahead and short
by hhas on Sun 23rd Jun 2013 10:40 in reply to "RE[5]: Go ahead and short"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Elop was absolutely right to pull the plugs on obsolete Symbian and stillborn MeeGo when he did. The problem was he did it without any thought to public image control, airing all of Nokia's stinky laundry in full view of stockholders, customers and news media, which is something no CEO should ever do. Say what you like in private (and roll the heads of whoever disagrees), but in public view everything always smells of roses.

Discontinuing MeeGo, fine: that was new management correcting their predecessors' poor direction/stamping its own mark on the company. Replacing one not-yet-released product with another not-yet-released product doesn't affect existing customers or sales one whit. Companies do that sort of thing all the time and control the PR side no problem.

But Symbian was Nokia's established keystone product representing a large established customer base and a large predictable source of revenue. Yes those customers and income were declining, but not so rapidly it wouldn't tide them by until their new WP platform was ready. That's the point at which Nokia should've been publicly burned Symbian in order to force those users to jump to WP. Even if they lost some percentage to iOS/Android during the transition, it would still have created a huge instant audience for their new WP products, not only securing Nokia's own commercial future, but also going a long way to bootstrapping the WP ecosystem as a whole. That in turn would've made WP a much more attractive proposition to other handset vendors, app developers and potential customers - which in turn would create more new customers for Nokia's WP products; and so on into self-sustaining growth. Publicly burning Symbian too early didn't just cost them all their existing Symbian users, it cost them almost all of those future WP users too.

Like I say, a huge newbie mistake, and one Elop could've avoided if he'd paid more attention in CEO history class.

Reply Parent Score: 3