Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Sep 2013 23:33 UTC

Speaking at Microsoft's financial analysts meeting today, CEO Steve Ballmer was refreshingly realistic about the company's struggles in smartphones and tablets. "Mobile devices. We have almost no share."

Right. Now that Ballmer himself admits it, can we please settle the discussion? Windows Phone has been a failure up until now.

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RE[8]: Doesn't matter
by Nelson on Sun 22nd Sep 2013 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Doesn't matter"
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If we take your 10% market share claims

Holy fuck. They are not my claims. I didn't source these numbers from myself. They're from IDC and Kantar World Panel. They're the same numbers people source Android figures from.

you deliberately are always only telling half the story to try boost your arguments. We both know the actual Windows Phone market share for high-end phones is lower than this.

So is the Android market share, but people have no problem using that to boost their "Android has 80% market share claims". Its heavily skewed to the low end.

All I'm doing is making it an apples to apples comparison.

If you actually weighted all those numbers by population, including the US, then you'd see that it doesn't even meet the magical 10% share.

Of course it doesn't, and that's plainly evident if you look at the global statistics. I'm not hiding that from anyone, it's plastered all over this website. Thom has gone into that before.

What a region by region break down does is it shows momentum. Some regions are lagging indicators.

An example being iPhone's early dominance. That dominance wasn't as pronounced in Europe as it was in the US at the same time. People used the same argument to discount Android (even Microsoft did) but it ended up be a faulty premise.

The rest of the world went the same way the US went, albeit a little later.

My argument is that the same thing is happening here. Nokia has never been powerful in the US -- not even when they were #1 in phones. You're not going to see fantastic numbers there over night. I'd say including the market effectively skews the comparison for the sake of charting Nokia's progress.

What I am personally not convinced is that it will be enough. The reason is that there's some magical percentage (which we can only speculate what exactly is) where the ecosystem of a platform loses support from corporations.

Here's the chart that I personally use to judge adoption metrics:

The Apple OS X one proved sustainable in the 00's, although it was clearly at the edge as they did have trouble getting many large companies to support their platform. I'm sure we both can agree BB's new platform never stood a chance because of this effect.

What you need is volume, profitability, or both for developers to come. There's evidence it's already happening -- this year has seen a flood of first party apps. I'll list some now.

- Official Pandora app
- Official NASCAR app
- Official Tumblr app
- Official Vine app (coming soon)
- Updated Facebook and Twitter apps
- Official Hipstagram app
- Official Wells Fargo app
- Official Yelp app
- Official Bing suite of apps
- Official Fresh Paint app
- Official MLB at Bat app
- Official ESPN Fantasy Football app
- Official ABC app
- Official Walgreens app
- Official Voxer app
- Official XFinity Remote app
- Official 9gag app (coming soon)
- Official Mint app
- Official Temple Run Brave app
- Official Adobe Reader app
- Official E! Online app
- Official untapd app
- Official Jet Airways app

We just have to disagree on this. All conspiracy theories aside, I don't think it was ever Microsoft's plan that they had to buy the Nokia mobile division. The way I view things, Microsoft had no choice but to buy Nokia at the end.

I share this opinion. Nokia (through some maneuvering that Mr. Elop doesn't get a lot of credit for) set themselves up to have the implicit financial backing of Microsoft should things go south.

Microsoft would have preferred to have HTC, Nokia, and Samsung all enjoying the same level of success in the platform -- it's insane that some people think all Microsoft wanted from the start was to acquire Nokia. If they wanted that they would've done that last year when the stock was tanking, not when it was up to $4.00

It was either that, or get out of the mobile business. The PR disaster if Nokia had been allowed to die (or start releasing Android phones) would have caused most corporations to consider the WP ecosystem dead.

I think Nokia had some fight left in it, but there was a lot of uncertainty. I'm of the opinion they could've made it, perhaps down the road with a renegotiation of terms with Microsoft. They had cash on hand, restructuring fading away, and a lot of credit lines they could tap into as well.

What probably factored into it was the fact that Devices & Services was a potential distraction from their NSN ambitions. NSN was showing clear upside, where as Devices & Services was a longer game.

The negotiations for purchasing the division from my understanding started out as a renegotiation of the current terms.

BTW, a lot of hay has been made about Nokia going Android. I'd argue that given that their agreement with Microsoft lapsed in 2016 (iirc) and phones are generally in the pipeline 18 months (maybe more for an OS transplant) that it would've been incredibly shortsighted of them not to be working on an Android device. It also doesn't hurt to have leverage at the negotiation table with Microsoft.

By buying Nokia I think they got themselves one more shot at turning things around. Steve Ballmer doesn't sound like he thinks their strategy was bearing out.

Not as they intended, no. I'd agree with that as well -- but you have to look at it from SteveB's point of view. He wanted not just Nokia, but all OEMs to be enjoying success. Nokia happened to be the only one trying, and that's not enough for Microsoft relative to the investment they were making.

For a second let's say Nokia kept the same volume they have now in some alternate reality. But HTC was also selling 7 million Windows Phones, and Samsung was also selling 7 million Windows Phones. That's a tripling of the volume and a huge booster to the ecosystem.

Microsoft would've been singing a different tune regarding the partnership had that happened -- and in hindsight it might've been foolish to assume that Samsung would want to distract themselves from Android to that extent. HTC also didn't have the resources to make a major play for both ecosystems, so they went the safe route.

I wonder, what's another billion or two to Microsoft. They should've struck a deal with HTC as well and moved them firmly into the Windows Phone camp. They have mindshare in the US -- and more of a chance than Nokia at pushing volumes there.

You will see me admit their strategy is working as their market share continues to rise. I have no set market share percentage since I have no evidence exactly at what percentage a mobile OS ecosystem is sustainable. Finding out exactly that is what I find interesting about this entire thing.

I think that's fair -- I'm interested in how Nokia's Q3/Q4 results will impact the purchase by Microsoft. If Nokia is strong in both earnings, will they have less of an argument to sell to MSFT?

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