Home > Wireless > Why Nokia Didn’t Choose Android to Replace Symbian? Why Nokia Didn’t Choose Android to Replace Symbian? David Adams 2013-07-14 Wireless 74 Comments A perennial question that revolves around Nokia is: why didn’t it choose to go with Android to replace Symbian when it decided to kill that as its smartphone operating system in late 2010? About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 74 Comments 2013-07-14 6:17 pm jasutton 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. 2013-07-14 6:49 pm chithanh 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.  http://www.neowin.net/news/2017-forecast-windows-phone-at-127-1bn-a…  http://www.pyramidresearch.com/points/item/110509.htm 2013-07-14 7:18 pm moondevil 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. This is a joke, right? How could he never heard of the Osborne effect? Did he really believed that with the death announcement of Symbian, after making Symbian developers believe that Symbian C++ was dead and the way forward was Qt/C++, developers would bet the farm again on their products?! Symbian C++ was a pain to develop for, and many software houses did invest a lot to transition their development to Qt/C++. Then they needed to do the same again, and on top of that to .NET, which is not properly loved in C++ circles. Really!? What were they smoking?! 2013-07-14 7:51 pm Nelson Did he really believed that with the death announcement of Symbian, after making Symbian developers believe that Symbian C++ was dead and the way forward was Qt/C++, developers would bet the farm again on their products?! I don’t think he cared. Qt/C++ still is a while away from being a viable ecosystem in and of itself. Symbian, Metelmi, MeeGo. They all basically said the same thing: Time, time, time. Windows Phone devices from Nokia hit the market eight months after the announcement. That wasn’t going to happen with any alternative. This whole “Osborn Effect” thing is overblown, Symbian sales were collapsing a full quarter prior to the Windows Phone announcement. Allow me to provide you with a quote: but even in its worst period, never did Motorola lose a quarter of its market share in any six month period. I donâ€™t mean this is the end for Nokia, but the signs are very dangerous, if two quarters have already gone like this, the cause is no freak accounting error or component shortage, it is a major systematic problem that has to be corrected immediately before Nokia finds itself ranked 3rd or 5th or â€“ like Motorola which went from 2nd to 9th in all mobile phones (smartphones and dumbphones combined) in only 4 years. Right now the Nokia market share is not in decline, it is in a dive.â€œ Who am I quoting? Tomi Ahonen, the hero of many Nokia haters here. This was in January 2011, before Stephen Elop announced the Windows Phone deal. As far as developers are concerned, Nokia didn’t need developers. Not a single Symbian developer needed to cross over. Microsoft had the .NET army. Nokia needed to provide the operator relations, manufacturing foot print, and phone hardware support (along with mapping IP and other stuff). 2013-07-14 10:24 pm moondevil As my former employer, I think I know what I am speaking about. 2013-07-14 10:28 pm Nelson If thats the best you’ve got, I’m comfortable with that. 2013-07-15 4:50 am moondevil 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. 2013-07-15 7:06 am Thom Holwerda This whole “Osborn Effect” thing is overblown, Symbian sales were collapsing a full quarter prior to the Windows Phone announcement. This is a lie, Nelson, and you know it. Up until Elop announced the switch, Symbian sales were rising. http://www.osnews.com/story/26959/Nokia_s_quarterly_results_paint_a… You know this, because I mentioned it twice and you commented on both stories. Why purposely lie? 2013-07-15 8:41 am winter skies This is a lie, Nelson, and you know it. Up until Elop announced the switch, Symbian sales were rising. […] You know this, because I mentioned it twice and you commented on both stories. Why purposely lie? Because anything different wouldn’t be functional to his narration. “Nokia needed Microsoft, Nokia couldn’t have done anything alone, Elop made the right moves for Nokia, his strategy was a success”. Any fact like “Nokia was selling more than ever before the memo” or “Nokia was a large, successful global company which was dismembered and shrinked to a smallish OEM losing any hope of being independent in order to seem profitable again” doesn’t fit in this theory and thus must not be taken into account. Sorry for the harshness, but it is clear this partnership makes absolute sense when seen from Microsoft’s point of view, while it makes close to zero sense from Nokia’s. 2013-07-15 10:54 am Nelson This is a lie, Nelson, and you know it. Up until Elop announced the switch, Symbian sales were rising. […] You know this, because I mentioned it twice and you commented on both stories. Why purposely lie? Because anything different wouldn’t be functional to his narration. “Nokia needed Microsoft, Nokia couldn’t have done anything alone, Elop made the right moves for Nokia, his strategy was a success”. Any fact like “Nokia was selling more than ever before the memo” or “Nokia was a large, successful global company which was dismembered and shrinked to a smallish OEM losing any hope of being independent in order to seem profitable again” doesn’t fit in this theory and thus must not be taken into account. Sorry for the harshness, but it is clear this partnership makes absolute sense when seen from Microsoft’s point of view, while it makes close to zero sense from Nokia’s. I eagerly await your response to my post below, wise one. 2013-07-15 11:39 am Nelson Here, wise one. “Nokiaâ€™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.â€œ Tomi Ahonen, January 31, 2011 Facts are stubborn things. 2013-07-15 10:53 am Nelson 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. 2013-07-15 11:08 am No it isnt 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. 2013-07-15 11:19 am Nelson 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. 2013-07-15 11:42 am Thom Holwerda 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. You’re spinning again. This is what you said: “This whole ‘Osborn Effect’ thing is overblown, Symbian sales were collapsing a full quarter prior to the Windows Phone announcement.” …but now, you’re suddenly talking about market share collapsing. Those are two different things. Symbian sales were still rising quite steadily and quite well, up until Elop Osbourned his own company. So yes, you were lying. You may argue that market share is more important – and you might very well be right – but that would be quite inconsistent of you, because when you point out that Nokia’s Windows Phone sales are rising (every so slightly), and I consequently point out that Nokia’s/WP’s market share is NOT rising, you argue that market share doesn’t matter as much as mildly rising sales. This takes critical thinking. We call that spinning. Edited 2013-07-15 11:43 UTC 2013-07-15 11:47 am Nelson 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. http://www.kantarworldpanel.com/global/News/Samsung-nears-50-share-… 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 2013-07-15 11:53 am Thom Holwerda You didn’t address my point. Symbian sales were not collapsing, despite your claims. In fact, sales were rising quite well until Elop Osbourned them – this is not up for debate; the numbers are quite crystal clear. You seem to think that we believe that Symbian had a future and that Elop’s call to kill it was a bad one – we do not. Symbian had run its course, and nobody is arguing otherwise. What we’re saying is that his timing was terrible – and that, as many suspected and has now come true, he banked on the wrong platform. Again – the figures are clear. And now, with the total lack of updates and improvements to Windows Phone, this is only going to get worse, and it will take more than megapixels to turn Nokia around. 2013-07-15 11:57 am Nelson I expect you to have a story on Nokias Q2 13 results, where they will post double digit volume growth on the day of its release. I also will expect you to link to the article I provided which shows Windows Phone making inroads in key markets, right? At this point, even you won’t be able to deny the obvious. July 18th should be interesting. If Nokia does anything less, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong and their strategy was incorrect. But you won’t be able to tell me that volume, share, and ecosystem growth means it was a bad choice. Re: Sales vs Markershare. If you want me to admit that sales did actually rise 30%, I did, in my original reply. I did however provide insight as to why. I took your point, but the truth is much more nuanced than you let on. I’m glad you admit Symbian was unsustainable, which makes your cheerleading of a rise in sales, and criticism of Elop a little strange. Edited 2013-07-15 11:59 UTC 2013-07-15 10:12 pm Laurence I’m glad you admit Symbian was unsustainable, which makes your cheerleading of a rise in sales, and criticism of Elop a little strange. Not really as not everybody sees the world in black and white. In fact, despite what the internet might lead you to believe, most smart phone consumers don’t pick a side, then religiously renounce any and all criticisms against it. 2013-07-16 1:01 pm hhas [Thom to Nelson] You’re spinning again. This is true; but then, so are you. By Jan 2011 Symbian sales weren’t worth shit in themselves; maybe a bit of revenue (assuming margins could be maintained) to keep stockholders on board for a few more quarters, but that’s all. All Nokia’s existing Symbian base was actually good for was 1. buying its senior management a little more time in which to get its sorry act together and ship a viable replacement, and 2. once released, bootstrapping that replacement with with an instant 20-30% market share(!) … Had Elop done the sensible thing and circulated his ‘burning platform’ memo amongst major department heads only as absolute-top-secret-on-pain-of-death instead of across the entire company as he did, it still would have had enough of the desired effect (i.e. motivating indolent and apathetic senior management to make radical changes while they still had time) without incurring a 99.999% risk of instant press leak. Elop’s was a single incredibly dumb newbie error, saying in public what should’ve been private. I’ve no doubt he was sincere (he was certainly right), but it showed a stunning lack of people-awareness skills for someone given that level of responsibility. I suspect Stephen Elop fancied himself as the next Steve Jobs, forgetting that it took Jobs a decade of his own leadership screwups plus another decade in the wilderness properly learning his craft to become the sort of CEO whose entire staff would rather throw themselves under trucks than leak a critical memo. Before that memo leaked, Nokia had about a year of leeway in which to get their new WinPhone platform shipping plus maybe a hundred million existing customers they could quickly and smoothly migrate across in order to create an instant mass audience for WinPhone and allow it to challenge Android directly. Those were the two utterly priceless assets they had, and they lost both the moment that memo went public. Symbian sales and revenue – which is what most armchair commentators seem to think most important – were almost irrelevant next to time and customer base. Heck, if they’d had to, Nokia could’ve ridden out that year on cuts, savings and loans, even giving away Symbian to keep those bums on seats just another year more. Their Symbian-to-WinPhone transition could’ve been a strategic masterstroke that would’ve had Elop hailed as the Third Coming of the Saint Jobs; instead it was a total faceplant that’s done huge damage both the company’s standing and his own. Nokia should’ve pleasantly spent the last 18 months [re]building significant market share atop an easy starting point of a hundred million instant Symbian-WinPhone switchers. Instead, they’ve now having to rebuild their entire market share entirely from scratch, using an OS platform that is now – rightly or wrongly – forever tainted in the public perception largely thanks to their amateur mishandling of it. I won’t rule Nokia out just yet – occasionally others have fought their way back from similarly dire odds (e.g. Apple, Mozilla) – but their chances of recovery still aren’t great and compared to what they could have had if they’d only played their original hand better… eesh. 2013-07-15 12:11 pm hhas 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. 2013-07-15 12:30 pm Thom Holwerda Uh, I didn’t overlook anything – I actually said the exact same thing you did. 2013-07-16 11:58 am hhas Nelson is obviously wrong on a simple statement; you, however, are being highly misleading by subtler omission. You point to 2010’s increase in Symbian sales, thereby implying Nokia were actually doing alright prior to the burning memo. What you conveniently omit to mention is that Nokia’s market share was simultaneously plummeting: http://www.techegypt.com/upload/World-Wide-Smartphone-Market-Share…. Provide the full context, and it’s easy to see why Ahonen was rightly crapping it in January 2011: Nokia was in major trouble a full year before Elop so publicly pointed it out. Had Nelson said “Nokia’s market share was plummeting” instead of “Nokia’s sales were plummeting”, his post would’ve been absolutely dead on the mark, but while he screwed up on the wording at least he correctly gauged just how much trouble Nokia was in prior to the burning memo. Whereas, your response may be technically accurate, but (whether by accident or intent) is a textbook demonstration of the classic “lies, damned lies, and statistics” axiom in action. It’s just a shame Mr Elop didn’t follow your example back at the time. :p 2013-07-15 1:26 pm Nelson 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. 2013-07-16 12:09 pm hhas 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. Now you’re just equivocating. You didn’t check all your own arguments were accurate before presenting them, and your sloppiness gave ideological opponents an ideal excuse to dismiss your entire post – including the valid parts – on that one technical error alone. I think its a nit pick at worst, but sure, you’re right. As you may have noticed, you are a bit of a WinPhone fanboy and the audience round here isn’t exactly sympathetic to either one. Confess your ‘mea culpa’, restate the argument correctly, and remember in future to check your homework fully before you hand it in. :p 2013-07-15 6:56 pm BushLin Windows Phone devices from Nokia hit the market eight months after the announcement. That wasn’t going to happen with any alternative. This whole “Osborn Effect” thing is overblown… So are you saying they didn’t have the N9 launching around that time, running the fruits of their years of MeeGo endeavours and winning plaudits despite Nokia pulling marketing and competitive pricing? Are you also suggesting that killing off sales of current inventory and even future products for an unpopular platform that wouldn’t be available for aeons in the mobile industry doesn’t form part of a superb effort to surpass the great Osborne Corp? 2013-07-16 12:09 am jeffb So are you saying they didn’t have the N9 launching around that time, running the fruits of their years of MeeGo endeavours and winning plaudits despite Nokia pulling marketing and competitive pricing? The N9 at the time Elop pulled the plug wasn’t finished and was part of a 4 phones they had in the pipeline till 2014. The one that was released because it was terminal had less structural issues than an actual N9 would have. It was a great phone and shows the potential of MeeGo. Nokia just didn’t make it in time. Are you also suggesting that killing off sales of current inventory and even future products for an unpopular platform that wouldn’t be available for aeons in the mobile industry doesn’t form part of a superb effort to surpass the great Osborne Corp? If the Osborne effect was the reason for Nokia’s collapse: a) Why did other companies like RIM experience a similar collapse at the time? Does the Osborne effect cross company boundaries even when the companies have different customer basis and different strategies? b) Why was Nokia experiencing the collapse starting about 8 months before the burning platform memo? Does the Osborne work backwards in time? Symbian collapsed because Apple and Samsung brought out substantially better products and hit their price points. 2013-07-14 7:52 pm chithanh How could he never heard of the Osborne effect? I already said that the decisions were not the best for Nokia. Nokia had the cash reserves to sit through Symbian sales collapse. Also killing Symbian quickly could have made consumers more ready to adopt Windows phones (in reality almost all went to Android). Really!? What were they smoking?! Smoking? Not sure. But they were drinking the Microsoft kool-aid. 2013-07-14 7:56 pm Nelson 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. 2013-07-14 8:08 pm chithanh 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. 2013-07-14 8:12 pm Nelson Breaking all eggs that didn’t fit in Microsoft’s basket is the reason why Nokia finds itself in the current difficult situation. What position? 3 straight quarters of underlying profitability? Double digit volume growth sequentially? Morgan Stanley is predicting +43% QoQ growth for Lumia shipments in Q2, or 8 million units and a 4% margin for Devices which would mean they are definitely profitable again. Let me see what makes more sense: Receiving billions from Microsoft, staying afloat long enough to make a difference, ramping up Lumia volumes, increasing their financial position gradually, and having a strong brand in Lumia OR Hoping Intel gets their shit together (Hello, Tizen? Where are you?). They’d still be waiting if they weren’t dead. They didn’t have the money, time, or supply chain footprint to go up against Samsung. They’d be obliterated. Microsoft has a vested interest in Nokia’s success, and that’s worth more to them than a brain dead OS with Intel or becoming an also-ran under Samsung like HTC is. Edited 2013-07-14 20:22 UTC 2013-07-14 8:28 pm chithanh 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. 2013-07-14 8:29 pm Nelson Did they sell their HQ three quarters in a row? You’re confusing me. Do you have proof to show that their HQ sale is the only reason they became profitable? I’m sure you do. I’d like to see it. 2013-07-14 8:46 pm chithanh Did they sell their HQ three quarters in a row? You’re confusing me. I can’t tell if you are confused, but it wouldn’t suprise me either. Do you have proof to show that their HQ sale is the only reason they became profitable? I’m sure you do. I’d like to see it. I did not say that the HQ sale is the only reason. I said it is a combination of the HQ sale and one time effects (including Vertu sale, selling patents to patent trolls etc.). 2013-07-14 9:11 pm Nelson Vertu netted them 56 million dollars. The HQ 79 million. Do you read their financial reports? This is tiring. They still posted non-IFRS profits three quarters in a row. This is why I mentioned underlying profitability. We get rid of one time charges like this, positive and negative. Edited 2013-07-14 21:15 UTC 2013-07-14 7:20 pm Fergy 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. Then he is genuinely stupid and the shareholders even more stupid. Nokia could have gone for: symbian, maemo, android and windows phone. They would not have a 2+ year time period without compelling products. They wouldn’t have had to fire all those software people. They would still have the possibility to distinguish themselves by hardware, software and their own appstore. This article does not explain why they did not use android. I hope samsung goes full force for the windows phone market and capture 90% of its marketshare. That would be a great laugh. 2013-07-14 7:44 pm Nelson 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. In your imaginary world of how corporations work, the CEO of Nokia apparently had unilateral control over such a decision. In reality, this is not true. The entire deal was approved by the board after considering other alternatives (yes, even Android) 2013-07-14 8:00 pm chithanh 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 GassÃ©e from last year. http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2188976/nokia-elop-board-jean-l… 2013-07-14 8:03 pm Nelson 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. 2013-07-14 8:11 pm chithanh The article says that they did not consider Android. Only some theoretical and dubious Osborn effect. Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses. 2013-07-14 8:13 pm Nelson http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/Nokia+news/news.asp?c=27418 2013-07-15 8:21 pm aliquis 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 2013-07-14 7:17 pm vaette 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. 2013-07-14 7:21 pm Fergy 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. And in what way would an android nokia prevent that plan from working? Nokia is btw an also-ran phone maker AND using an also-ran OS. Edited 2013-07-14 19:22 UTC 2013-07-14 7:42 pm Nelson 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. 2013-07-14 7:46 pm Fergy 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. They had a symbian team, QT team, Maemo team. After those were shut down they were fired. They could have used android for 2 years until windows phone was done. Why can HTC have android and windows phones and nokia can’t? 2013-07-14 7:54 pm Nelson 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. They had a symbian team, QT team, Maemo team. After those were shut down they were fired. They could have used android for 2 years until windows phone was done. Why can HTC have android and windows phones and nokia can’t? Holy fuck. Because HTC didn’t receive financial support from Microsoft, which was valued above Android to Nokia. They were on the verge of dying. Do you not understand this? Nokia receive $250 MILLION DOLLARS A QUARTER. Was Google about to open its purse strings? Of fucking course not, because they tried Android first. Why do you think the Google exec was so pissed off when they went with Windows Phone? Because negotiations collapsed. 2013-07-14 8:00 pm Fergy Holy f–k. Because HTC didn’t receive financial support from Microsoft, which was valued above Android to Nokia. They were on the verge of dying. Do you not understand this? Nokia receive $250 MILLION DOLLARS A QUARTER. Was Google about to open its purse strings? Of f–king course not, because they tried Android first. So because HTC _didn’t_ get a fat bonus from MS they could make android and windows phones? (btw Nokia was doing fine until elop stopped all non windows phone stuff. they didn’t need that money) Why do you think the Google exec was so pissed off when they went with Windows Phone? Because negotiations collapsed. I would be a little bit upset too when a phonemaker wants to be treated better than all the other phonemakers. Dick move. Edited 2013-07-14 20:02 UTC 2013-07-14 8:05 pm Nelson So because HTC _didn’t_ get a fat bonus from MS they could make android and windows phones? (btw Nokia was doing fine until elop stopped all non windows phone stuff. they didn’t need that money) Yes. Nokia has an exclusivity agreement with Microsoft. Do you even know what you’re talking about? Since you’re doing armchair CEOing, I don’t think its unreasonable for me to expect you to be well versed on such matters. Nokia did need the money, and I’m obviously not going to dig through Nokia’s financials to prove a point you can go look up yourself. Educate yourself or remain ignorant, its your choice, but the fact of the matter is that Nokia was in dire straits. I would be a little bit upset too when a phonemaker wants to be treated better than all the other phonemakers. Dick move. And they got such treatment from Microsoft and not Google, hence why they went with Android. You’re talking in fucking circles. 2013-07-15 1:37 am Soulbender Do you not understand this? Nokia receive $250 MILLION DOLLARS A QUARTER So basically it went like this: Microsoft: Sure, we’ll save your sorry ass from extinction but in return you’ll have to ditch all this Maemo crap and don’t even think about Android. You’re a Windows Phone maker, period. Deal? Nokia: Sure thing! Very little to do with business analysis of Android scenarios or Lumia design or whatever. 2013-07-15 1:49 am Nelson 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. 2013-07-15 5:43 am pos3 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. 2013-07-15 6:46 am Nelson Both can be true. 2013-07-15 5:25 pm tylerdurden 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. 2013-07-16 12:25 pm bnolsen 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. 2013-07-15 3:14 pm Tractor Do you not understand this? Nokia receive $250 MILLION DOLLARS A QUARTER. This is highly inaccurate. Nokia received a “voucher” of up to $250 million dollars to be spent only on MS Windows Mobile license, and MS Windows Mobile advertisement. So basically, they received Windows Mobile License for free during their first two years. When compared to Google’s Android cost, which is open source, is that really such a great deal ? I doubt it. 2013-07-15 4:44 pm Nelson Source? 2013-07-14 10:48 pm Bill Shooter of Bul 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. 2013-07-14 11:01 pm Nelson Your personal problem with it aside, Nokia is in a different situation than Samsung. False equivalency. 2013-07-15 2:04 pm Bill Shooter of Bul Nokia is in a different situation than Samsung Not sure what you mean by that. It doesn’t make sense from the context at hand. I wasn’t saying that Nokia was Samsung or anything of the kind. Just that from looking at competitors in the android market and the competitors in the windows market at the time they made the decision, I don’t see much of a difference. 2013-07-15 4:47 pm Nelson 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. 2013-07-15 5:14 pm Bill Shooter of Bul I don’t understand why they might have thought that Android was riskier than Windows Phone. 2013-07-15 2:45 am unclefester Samsung also made windows phones. They were in both markets. Samsung is a massively diversified global behemoth. It is involved in dozens of industries from hotels to pharmaceuticals. It can afford to risk billions of dollars on a strategy. Furthermore, Samsung also made symbian phones for a while. Nokia was able to compete decently with them then. Symbian was outdated in 2007. It was totally obsolete by 2010. 2013-07-15 5:16 pm Bill Shooter of Bul 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). 2013-07-15 2:05 am oiaohm 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. 2013-07-15 8:50 am REM2000 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. 2013-07-15 7:41 pm tylerdurden 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 2013-07-16 1:52 pm REM2000 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. 2013-07-15 1:32 pm Serafean 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. 2013-07-15 4:49 pm Nelson How many units has sailfish sold? Because Nokia has shipped like 12-13 Windows Phones and sold like 20 million units since. 2013-07-17 6:59 am calden http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/01/how-many-lumia… 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. 2013-07-15 1:55 pm reduz 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. 2013-07-16 12:04 am jeffb 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. 2013-07-16 9:46 pm jonoden I would have rather seen Google buy Nokia than Motorola.. Better phones, better patents.