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back to article Nokia: The first year of the Elopcalypse

As the sun sets on Nokia World 2011, you have to pinch yourself to believe the transformation from a year ago. The last Nokia World in 2010 was addressed by an outgoing lame duck CEO, and his Number Two roared that "Nokia is Back!" before adding that he, too, was packing his suitcase and leaving. Symbian was still an unhappy …

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All perfectly true. Hard to convince the fanboys of it though.

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Unhappy

And you do need to convince...

Just look at WP market share:-(

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Anonymous Coward

Nokia is caught in a death spiral of it's own making. WP is not yet sufficiently attractive to be an alternative to the two incumbents. The default position is 'get an iPhone' and if you don't want to give Apple any money, get an Android instead. Where does #3 fit into that?

Nokia's own platforms were given the wrong focus at precisely the times it was most important. Shame, but when you're not looking where you're going it's pretty hard to steer in the right direction.

*IF* WP comes up with some USP or other soon, it might have a chance. God knows Android and iOS are not that great. Maybe Nokia designed cases will be it, but I don't think so.

Having been an S60 user for a fair amount of time now, I bought a SGS2 a while back when I was looking for a new phone. I couldn't bring myself to join the cult of Jobs, so I had little choice. WP phones were nowhere to be seen.

So this SGS2 then. It's rubbish. Oh, on the surface it's much nicer than a Symbian phone but the fabled browser isn't really any better than the Symbian ones - it's just shit in a different way. I've certainly seen less layout and history bugs in the Symbian browser than the Android one. It has a dual core processor where one of the cores is idle almost all the time - maybe 10% of the actual time is spent with more than one thread active. It has a massively powerful GPU which *nothing* uses, except maybe games. It has 1GB of ram which it seems to be incapable of using - it still shuts down apps willy nilly in the background when it feels like it. Finally, what is the point of a phone which you have to charge EVERY BLOODY DAY even when it's just sitting there doing almost nothing all day long?

Symbian is pretty aged at the moment, and as you say it wasn't given the right focus at the right time so it's now dead.

Has our industry now hit the point where all the products become shit because there isn't enough money in it and you only have dev budget to make a nice case and do a little integration? What a bloody shame.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re:

Time not budget was the constraint here, I think.

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Paris Hilton

Are you sure you got SGS2?

Mine from Sprint is doing pretty well.

It lasts on a charge for 3 days and before you jump the guns I would like to clarify that this is a light use of the phone.

Note - my Evo 4G usually lasted a day.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed in the case of these particular phones - as a recent departee from Nokia I can assure you that the reason these were put together so quick is that there is relatively little about these WP devices which could be called 'Nokia'. They are using 99% pre-integrated software, with 95% pre-integrated hardware. The only real Nokia in it is the screen and case. Frankly I'd be surprised if it took longer than a week to get prototypes running.

The mapping software is nice, but it has been architected to be portable(ish) for quite some time now with a dual/triple platform having been in the pipeline for the last few years. Similarly, the music software seems to be showing the same stuff which was being done internally on Meego & Symbian a long time ago - and the Music software was always written in portable code, with a huge amount of web-based code. Actually, Symbian was struggling internally for years now to get any attention for cool things - Linux is much more popular with the developers. Everyone wants to work with the fastest coolest hardware.

My comments about device quality were mainly focussed on my recent eye-opening experience of buying the supposed top-of-the-line (this week) Android device and discovering just how shonky it is. If you go digging around the kernel & system software, there are a few WTFs in there too. Android devices seem to be glued together with metaphorical string and spit - it's only the *really fast* hardware which is making it remotely acceptable.

It certainly seems that in the rush to get Android devices out of the door on ever-newer platforms, the fit & finish is being left behind.

WP might be better matched to it's host hardware, given that it's only running with a couple of SoCs and it has a real mobile OS underneath it. I hope for Nokia's sake that it all turns out well, but I'm not really expecting it to.

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Wow, this article just fails to address reality. First of all, it claims that Nokia developers enjoy WP. I'd love to see some confirmation for this piece of crap! Nokia developers just flocked to iOS/Android. The author has me dumbfounded - so Angry Birds isn't enough, but the Kindle app is? What a poor comparison, and again - false for 90% of users. It also doesn't address the fact that Nokia has to pay royalties to MS for every phone it outs, reducing significantly its operating profit. Add to that, a super successful Nokia N9, with absolutely unique UI and it seems like Nokia is doing everything to become just the next small phone maker, dwarfed by Samsung and even HTC in the future.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed. And there's this gem as well:

"Most importantly, it has a real chance of taking third place."

The former number one is really aiming so high with this. Maybe Nokia will settle for a "participant" rosette and a pat on the back. Sheesh!

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FAIL

No the kindle app is not enough but the guys from MS have done a great job getting the developers of the top apps from android and ios to make WP apps. It's rumored they've even bank rolled porting some apps to WP. WP has the fastest growing app store so even if it's not Nokia developers someone is writing apps for the platform and that is all that counts at the end of the day.

Your 2nd point about royalties doesn't make much sense either because we all know that Nokia isn't paying much due to the contributions it is making by bringing Navteq maps to MS. The exact deal isn't know but it is speculated that Nokia isn't paying anything. Even if it were it's better to be pay $5 per phone and selling millions than paying nothing per phone and gradually selling none

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Not quite...

They do have to pay royalties on each phone they sell, but the also have significantly reduced the number of software developers working at Nokia. Nokia had 8000 developers working on Symbian and Meego, that's as many as Apple has writing all of it's software.

That number has dropped significantly, so that saving is going to offset the royalty cost. Also, MS gave Nokia $1 billion to take WP7, so basically it gave them 66 million copies of WP7 for free (each license goes for about $15). That's not a bad deal.

As for the tools, the development environment for WP7 is Visual Studio or Blend as a WP7 app is basically a Silverlight app. MS dev tools are pretty good and there is a large community of developers who use them. This is probably why there are 30K of apps in the WP7 marketplace within a year of it starting. The other advantage is that submitting apps to MS is easy and their procedures for acceptence/rejection of an app is clear.

Certainly, WP7 doesn't match the iPhone or Android marketplaces, but you'll find most big apps are there. There are gaps: Spotify is a good example of this, but if you're looking for an app to do something you can usually find one.

Did Nokia take a risk? Yes. Was it worth it? Nobody knows yet. What they have done is turn out two phones in less than 9 months, half their usual time-to-market. We can also expect a major marketing offensive over the next 3 months from Nokia and MS.

It's usually at this point people point out that WP7 has a 1% market share. That's true, but so did Android in 2008. In 2009 Android had a 4% market share and in 2010 it was up to 22%. I think the test will be where MS and Nokia are this time next year...

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Mushroom

Turn out two phones question...

Aren't both of these "new" phones modifications of N9?

If they are as they look alike then it means to me that Microsoft and Nokia spent a year on porting WP7 to the Nokia hardware.

Does not look a fast turnaround to me.

Please, do not tell me that they started development at the end of the day on February 11. :-)

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Lumia 800 is not a N9 running WP7

About the only thing they share is the case.

The guts - radios, SOC and so on are different.

For some insane reason WP7 can only run on exactly the hardware platform that Microsoft made it for - exactly the same CPU, screen size and so on.

It's like they wrote it in assembler or something.

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Stop

The Right One

"bet the future on historical enemy Microsoft, now seems a right one."

I think you are right about the need to move to away from the in house OS, if only because Smart Phones are about the apps and for a wide range of apps you need external developers and no one is going to develop for the 4th most popular platform.

Having said that, I'm still not sure WP was the right one to choose, and I don't see how you have come to that conclusion, Nokia have managed to get 2 models from a single series out, it's far too early to get any reliable sales figures so we can't tell how many people are willing to actually pay to get one.

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Operators would have wanted an alternative to Apple and Google just the same without the Elopcalypse. WP offers very little of an alternative, given that it's the same closed platform as iOS. Had MeeGo been pushed, it could be that alternative and WP marginalized.

So MeeGo doesn't have a Kindle app -- given that the platform was killed off 8 months ago and the first product is just out, that should surprise no-one. Without Feb. 11 things could've been very different.

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FAIL

I don't see the problem with Symbian

I have a Symbian touch screen smart phone (Nokia X6) and I honestly can't see why so many people seem to think it is no good. It seems to me to involve far less hassle for normal day to day functions than my Girlfriends Android phone (note, I am a Linux desktop user by choice, so i'm hardly biased against Linux based stuff in general). eg: Perhaps you could explain what is supposed to be wrong with the email client, it works perfectly for me.

Because of this decision by Nokia, my next phone will probably be an Android, and therefore not a Nokia. Nokia lost my loyal custom with this decision (my last 5 phones were all Nokia/Symbian) and I suspect quite a few others will make the same decision.

Also, please remember the human cost. The developers who remain at Nokia may like the new tools, but a lot of people have been made redundant in Finland because of this decision, so I suspect the opinion of those developers that remain is coloured by a strong desire to tow the line and keep their jobs.

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Anonymous Coward

Email

There are quite a few bugs on email for me on my Nokia C5.

Emails that you mark to delete but don't delete.

Hit * on the T9 keypad to switch word and hit 0 for space, nope no space, just moves the cursor to the start of the next line, really annoying when you're trying to write an email.

Crashing on exiting email forcing an off/on cycle.

The email titles don't show on Nokia's new theme which skins the phone to use Anna icons (which they pushed out as a free gift...)

Other than that, there is still quite a bit going for Symbian, the good battery life, and the smaller devices Nokia makes fit my hands better. Call me an old fuddy duddy but I like making phone calls and have to make phone calls and these big 3.7" + devices are just big enough to make my hands ache after a while on the phone.

That said if Nokia produce a "touch and type" WP7 device with good battery life, I'd be interested in that. WP7 is actually pretty good, much easier to set up than my C5 was (emails again wasn't as slick as it could have been and various syncing issues but all worked out in the end.)

That said, Nokia's maps and free sat nav absolutely rock, and the call quality is brilliant.

I have nothing against Android or the iPhone, I just use the devices that meet my needs. Currently the C5 is doing good service as a replacement for a HTC Mozart that was smashed when it fell out of my bag.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just in Finland

People have been made redundant all over. The deal with MS might just save Nokia, but will it still be recognisable? I know that's just business, but it's still a shame that so many people have lost jobs and Finland has effectively lost an icon.

On the plus side, Linux is a fantastic, techie playground and you'll have to prise my San Francisco from my cold, dead hands (until I can save up for a Nexus Prime ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

If you used Window Phone for a week you'd understand. (i'm a former N8 owner and recent WP convert)

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Anonymous Coward

"If you used Window Phone for a week you'd understand"

Maybe so, but as I like the OP am a *NIX desktop user I wouldn't have anything to synch/update it with so it is entirely a non starter.

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Megaphone

A calmly argued assessment of what went wrong.

One can argue about the details but what is indisputable is that Nokia had done it to themselves well before Elop was on the horizon as the new CEO. He took a decision which many disagree with but the decision is taken. Basically he has got 2012 to demonstrate that he took *a* correct decision (even if many feel it was not *the* correct decision). If by the end of next year it is not obvious that Nokia is boxing on the front foot then there will IMO be little hope for the future. I hope for Nokia's sake that it does work out and for all our sakes as customers regardless of which os we personally prefer. A market with three major players will, by definition, be more competitive than a market with only two where a misstep by one of them can leave a "winner" owning the market place to the detriment of us *all* as customers. That is after all pretty much what happened in the nineties leaving, ironically enough, you-know-who owning the pc-market.

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Meh

"Symbian still doesn't have a Kindle app. And neither does Meego"

There's lots of other 'apps' that haven't surfaced on symbian, not even on 'anna'

it's a bit of a pain in the arse, cos otherwise I'm more than happy with my N8 (free satnav, which actually works!)

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shows something else is going on

Amazon actually owns the code and developers of mobireader which also has a perfect security record. So owning the code of similar app and not shipping kindle must have non technical reasons.

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Gimp

Elop did as much if not more harm than good with his 'cut me own throat' stragety though. If he had sold the N9 in the same markets at the N8 then Nokia would have turned a profit last quarter instead of posting a loss. If he'd released the N950 then a lot of people who have the N900 would have a natural upgrade path. Instead now they have to look else were. He was right to try to go after new markets, but he shouldn't have destoried the old ones in the process.

Nokia's biggest problem now is that it lives and dies by WP. It's a company hoping to come third. Not particularly inspiring.

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Why WP7 and not Android?

If the good news is that Nokia's new phones are appealing, well designed WP7 phones that might get people to lust for WP7 phones like they lust for iPhones, then why couldn't they do the same thing with Android?

What were the advantages of going with Microsoft?

Why didn't they choose to do like Amazon, and go with their own flavour of Android?

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IP issues

Nokia didn't want to find itself with unquantifiable IP risks and that's what Android presented. Not only from Apple, Microsoft & Oracle, but also because if they forked Android and added new IP of their own, they would find it very hard to sue Google if it copied them - due to the nature of the Apache license.

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Joke

java is slow

Android is Java - everybody knows that Java is slow...

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Thumb Down

Whenever people make deals with MS their stock always goes up short term. Then it comes crashing down again when reality hits. Stay tuned.

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Bronze badge
Stop

WP is good now, Andrew?

At first it was the criticism about Nokia abandoning Symbian. After that, it turned to "buy WebOS Nokia!", and now the hate toward Android/Google and how great was the decision to bet on WP. Get over it Andrew, MeeGo has more attention than WP, like it or not. They even had to use the N9 design to put something out with WP. Lets see what you and Elop had to say in January...

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FAIL

And lo, the spawn of Gates did come unto the Children of EPOC...

...and the Customers were sorely shafted and bereft.

What drugs are you on Andrew?

Symbian doesnt have a facebook client.. Who the f*#+ cares? I deleted my Assbook account months ago. I never even had a Twatter account, nor do I want one.

I dont WANT my personal data, music, pictures & interests on MS servers where they can be scraped up and sold to the highest bidder. Not to mention there goes all my data when some MS-cretin accidently formats the server & then finds the backups are blank...

I dont want a fscking fondleslab - I want a physical keyboard so I dont have to rewrite everything 3 times because of fondleslab keyboard barfs.

I dont give a bonobos left bollock about retina displays and processors specs that read like something that would be more at home in an Incom XJ-7.

I want a phone that keeps signal, that has a decent battery life, that has world beating functionality. I want USB OTG, I want stability and security, I want good quality software that wont take the whole phone down just by being *on* the damn thing, let alone running.

I dont mind that there are people who swear by android or iOS. Why should I? But I do mind that my choice in phones is being taken away because of a whole continent of people who are confused by the common or lesser spotted five speed manual gearbox cant understand it & therefore assume its an al-queda plot.

Symbian is still the top smartphone OS by numbers online IN THE WORLD. Its the only OS I know of where a 6 year old phone *still* beats the common or garden new smartphone on high end features (why'd you think a new N93 is still £175 on ebay?). Its also one of the few phone OS's where people keep phones until they literally fall apart, and then go buy a new body when its too tatty. They do that because there is *still* no replacement function for function for what Symbian can do.

What makes me laugh is that this 'all new' Windows phone is based on Windows CE thats over 12 years old. Not to mention that its crippled, feature barren and its highlight 'tiles' was coded up for Windows Mobile 6.5 by a guy working on his own in about 3 months, which tells you how much work MS did on it.

Im not saying Symbian is perfect right now, some mistakes have been made, upgraded processors should have been used sooner (if only to mollify the 'top trumps brigade'). I want a grown up, secure, stable, feature rich phone that can hold a signal & has a battery life measurable in days, not minutes. Right now, I have that in my E7. Anna is good, Belle is known already to be worlds better.

So Mr Elop, will you come and tell a loyal & happy Nokia Symbian customer why she should buy another Nokia phone? And why you wasted years of development on Symbian & Meego/Maemo to throw it all over for a smartphone OS that, bar Nokia, is deader and of less use than a Dodo (you can at least eat a Dodo) and has all the popular appeal of a paedophile police officer?

I hope you are pleased Mr Elop, you have managed to create a commercial disaster rivalling the Fiat Strada, Nissan Almera, Renault Avantime & Austin Allegro combined. You make the management of BL look talented. To quote the great Flashman

But I still state unhesitatingly, that for pure, vacillating stupidity, for superb incompetence to command, for ignorance combined with bad judgement - in short for the true talent for catastrophe, Elop stands alone. Others abide our question, one such being the 'Immortal Apotheker', but Elop outshines them all as the greatest idiot CEO of our own or any other day...".

It takes a special talent to destroy ones *entire* customer base in one single decision, which I suspect is what you have managed to do. I tip my bonnet to you...

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Such a long rant...

...and only one down vote so far - and not from me.

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That IS a long rant ;-)

But one I used to be able to relate to. Not anymore.

I've had every Communicator. Ever. And loved them. The first one that I didn't quite fall in love with was the N900, even though it was a pretty decent piece of kit.

The second point that's always been huge for me is security and privacy. It's why I refuse to touch anything from Google. Not even with a barge pole.

My only beef with Nokia over all these years (I got the first Communicator in '97) was how impossible it was to code for it. I wanted something as good as the .NET Compact Framework on Windows Mobile.

WP7 gave me that. And the result is that I wrote a database that securely syncs and stores data between desktop, WP7 and Amazon S3. The encryption is really hard core, and authentication supports a panic password. The fact that WP7 connects to Facebook and Twitter is neither here nor there (I'm not forced to use it) - my credit card info, project risk lists, web passwords - all the stuff I need to access from my phone is there. Encrypted.

I'd better own up too - I prototyped Nokia Drive and Maps for WP7 in April this year - it's where I really got into WP7. The apps that Nokia turned out for the Lumias is worth the price of the phones. They're awesome (unlike my prototype ;-)

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Stop

USB OTG

Ice Cream Sandwich supports USB OTG, and if Symbian is still the top smartphone OS online, well, it clearly won't next year so that is a useless statement.

Today we saw the Smartphone OS market share numbers on Engadget:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/28/samsung-claims-top-spot-in-global-smartphone-shipments-for-q3-20/

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usb otg & android

You're right, but its crashy, insecure, gets cruddy signal and eats batteries like nobodies business. Then you have the part where you drop em and bend over to google every time you use the gps. And yes, I have had two android 'sets and they were both irredeemably crap, so I am talking from a position of some experience.

Then theres the little matter of E7 talking to hard drives, mice, hubs, memory sticks, multiple memory cards, via sticks, even other phones memory. As far as I know the SGS series get orgasmic about being able to talk to memory sticks, and thats all.

My requirements so we are clear:

MY data where I put it and there alone

MY right to use MY purchase in private without google or whoever scarfing my data; I might not be able to stop them doing it over the net, but they can go blow a skunk before they do it when im driving.

MY right to a decent battery life

MY right to a stable, powerful system, without rogue apps or walled gardens

MY right to my choice of what type of handset format I want, just because Daily Fail readers have fallen to the 'fondleslab' revolution doesnt mean I have to; oh wait...

In fact the only thing Symbian falls down on for me is easy flashing & custom ROMs.

And to be blunt I would still be using my QTEK 8500 if it had WiFi.

The point everyone seems to be missing is the more you buy faux apple fondleslabs, the sooner the time will come when thats all thats on offer... And guess who'll be the Great Whingers then... Yup, you, come on down.

I still use a palm watch pda, Abacus 5005, because theres nothing else like it. Know why? Because palm works on sensible small battery draw processors like Symbian does. Watch phones with WiFi and Opera mini, MTK OS, good battery life and a whole touchscreen/T9 combi phone with bluetooth A2DP - so thanks but you can keep your £600 Winphone/android/iOS.

It appears the choice for smartphone OS is basically a choice between a stazi like state, total anarchy, or a coalition of the gormless. (iOS, Android, WinPhone). On the other hand theres still RIM.

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yup, it is. Because I am pissed off.

And as for your guff about not being able to code for Symbian and then having a road to damascus experience (strictly speaking, losing your exhaust in a pothole & then running over a landmine) because your lamentable coding ability was up to churning out derivative 'me too' crap for Windows 7.5- on your own admission no less!

Symbian customers bought Symbian phones for their abilities, and their stable OS and apps.

In order to make such programming for them has to be tighter and work within given standards. If that takes effort to learn then thats something you should be proud of, and it would make you a better programmer.

Its like making samurai swords - any tosser with a pile of tempered steel blanks and an angle grinder can make something usuable against your everyday murderous (except it really wasnt, honest!) copper...

It takes 7 YEARS to attain the level of apprentice if you want to do the job properly.

People like you depress me - it used to be that people had pride in what they did, even if they were building the Austin Maxi. Panel beaters that, at the age of 80 and crippled with arthritis, could knock out a dent on a ferrari, perfectly, with a bit of four'b'two and a lump hammer. Nowadays it seems like mediocrity is the new pride, like the new meaning of progress in phones is 'battery hungry crap'.

I've built motorcycles with my own two hands - true I cant weld, and I havent fabbed a panel in my life, but those two bikes were built to the best of my talents and my aesthetic sense & im proud of how they came out. One of the foremost builders of autocycles complimented me on how good they looked - this from someone who builds projects from scratch. Along with the two books I have in print, theyre something im proud of.

And the best you could come up with was 'sure its a crappy platform, and doesnt do the half of what the old ones did, but hey, I can program for it, so its fantastic. Go me!'.

It strikes me that the entirety of the programming/OS side of the old Nokia werent sacked - I'd bet good money they told Nokia where 'it' could be shoved and resigned or walked out. Hence the hurried 'pass the buck to that epitome of epic fail, Accenture'.

Its said that when Alexander the Great got to the Sea he cried because there was nothing left for him to conquer. Ten minutes in your company & he'd either have killed you on the spot, or been in a padded cell on Lithium for the rest of his life.

Mediocrity is not something to be proud of.

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Facepalm

Did you really just equate making a samurai sword with coding for symbian? Oh my god - the laughter - it hurts.

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Holmes

Gravity/Symbian

Just for the record, although this will not apply to you, since you're not using Fakebook & Twitter: <b>There is a Symbian s60v3, ^3 client for Twitter that now packs a super dooper equally awesome Facebook client. That app is Gravity, and, if you are into those networks, Gravity is highly recommend.</b>

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@Jemma

Lol :-) Jemma I'm quite (very, actually) capable of writing code for Symbian. I haven't built motorcycles but I've been writing code for 20 years (where would that put me on the feudal Japan smithy scale?!?) and am as comfortable in VB as I am in C. Pretty sure I can still come up with a binary search implementation in Macro Assembler. I've worked for both Nokia and Microsoft.

Consequently my (sweeping) statement is a personal preference. WP7 simply has better technologies and tools than Symbian. And Android, for that matter. Sure, MVVM (look it up) has huge overhead, especially when compared to Symbian, but it lets me focus on features, rather than coding up an entire framework everytime I want to display a customer record - which is what I'd need to do for Symbian.

There's that old trade-off. You require usability, low cost and security - but can only chose two.

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Elops plan is to grab his paws on Nokia's hidden Gem that is NavTeq. Up until now the Symbian platform is/was the ONLY platform with very good Turn-by-turn navigation fully integrated into contacts and callender).

Now by porting this over to Bing... euh I mean Microsoft, The Yankees have it back! MS (a US corp.) now have a (formerly US) renowned turn-by-turn navigation. And soon by killing Nokia sillent (but fast) and alienating its current customer-base (owners of Symbian devices), Nokia will be sold to Microsoft to please the shareholders. So these shareholders get their last big fat bonus and their money back that they presumably invested in Nokia (probably in M$ shares).

It's all about NavTeq. I've told this and I keep telling this! The truthe WILL be revealed.

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WTF?

Such optimism

I wonder what has made Andrew so optimist in regards to nowin and its fisher price interface. Even the typical fud "android lag", "android isn't free", is on the piece, it could have come directly out of Elops or its chair throwing buddy copywriters.

So the big defect with Meego, an os/interface that is getting a lot of praise even after been killed 8 months ago, is that it misses a Kndle application?

What about all that the fisher price phones miss, starting from the lack of connectivity (no SD, no standard USB connection) to the immature OS with the limited interface, passing by the empty app store?

If Nokia could launch such an amazing phone as the N9 after having fired almost all its developers, one can only think what would have happened if the crime of February 11th hadn't taken place. And if after all these months all they can come out are the whore^h^h^h^hLumia phones, with last year specs, one has to wonder much longer will it take for Nokia to come with up-to-date phones, and what the competition will be doing by then.

I still see nobody that would be caught dead with a NoWin phone. Maybe the Nokia brand will sell some, but I really doubt it.

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Anonymous Coward

Developers

I think when Andrew was talking about "developers liking the tools" he's talking in general, not just Nokia in-house. Happy developers is better for Windows Phone, which is good for Nokia.

I know it's fashionable to predict the death of Nokia and WP7 and to wish the downfall of Elop, but I think Andrew's article is about right. Time will tell, of course.

I'm tempted by the Lumia 800. The industrial design looks fabulous and reviews of Mango have been generally positive. But then the Lumia is still probably a Gen1 product, so perhaps I need to wait until 2012 to see what quad-core, multi-gig RAM, retina-displayed monster Nokia are probably working on right now.

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"Happy"?

Developers are "happy" selling to a 1% platform? Seems a little odd - unless they learned .Net for the desktop and don't want to learn Java or Objective C just to access the 50% / 20% sectors, or have bought into the hype that WinP7 has manifest destiny to eventually climb to #3 in the smartphone market.

In any event, aiming for #3 is pretty lame for the former king, and introducing their new line with relatively slow, single-core processors and fairly low-res screens by today's standards (yes, I have an N900, but I freely admit it's 2 years old!) seems rather... I don't know, underwhelming?

We'll see how much magic the Nokia name has retained, I guess. Wish'em the best, but not really interested in the new line. A nice Samsung Android phone for Christmas, perhaps...

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FAIL

"I think when Andrew was talking about "developers liking the tools" he's talking in general, not just Nokia in-house" - Precisely. I couldn't give a rat's ass whether Nokia's in-house SW developers are happy given the crap they've released to be put on mobiles over the past few years. Any short-circuit of that write-and-forget bunch can't be bad. "Nokia can't do software" is all their doing. The one good thing I can see coming from this alliance is that the people who produce applications that will not run on their own hardware are being kept away from the party.

The article gives a reasonable assessment. I'd like to see an actual hand-on review of one of the new Nokia phones. The hardware might be seductive, the day-glo colours a siren call... but does the damn thing work? That's what I want to know. I'm the unfortunate owner of an N8, which has to be the dumbest, stupidest smartphone around. It takes a few days of setting up Ovi accounts, downloading and installing apps and so on to get a feel for how a phone works, or in the case of the N8, to plumb the depths of Nokia's incompetence. Some of that is down to how utterly shit Symbian is, even after all the investment in it, but more of it is a result of not having done any testing. I could give a blow by blow account of all the problems the N8 has, but it would just take up too much space. The phone is shit and nothing is going to fix it.

In an alliance like Nokia and Microsofts' normally people look for "synergies", and companies who are a good fit for each other compensate each others weaknesses with their strengths. The big problem going forward is that neither Nokia nor Windows have a good reputation for testing their products. So there's no reason not to expect that the customers will once again be alpha-testers for products that are immature and defective.

The other problem that I expect hasn;t been fixed is Nokia's customer service. Major bug reports to date have been ignored, is there any reason to believe that this will change?

Maybe Nokia can make it in the feature phone business, but I think they've screwed themselves so badly in the smartphone market that they have no chance there. After my N8 I've decided my next phone will not be a Nokia. The things that are important for smartphones... like applications that work, regular updates, bugfixes, ease of installation of apps (from PCs and Macs), and especially not emptying the batteries in less than 8 hours... have been completely ignored by Nokia. Particularly over the past year, Nokia smartphone users have had the Ovi slammed in their faces. Having wasted $500 on an N8 those sods aren't going to get a second chance any time soon from me.

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"The industrial design looks fabulous and reviews of Mango have been generally positive."

Are you kidding? This design is porpusly ' designed' for the N9. They've cut a hole on the side for M$ obligatory cammera button. Gone is lovely swipe UI, Gone is fluent swipe multitasking, Gone is the stable unix/linux foundation (instead we get this old age WinCE crap).

All we get now is a horrid thing which looks an N9 but works like ANY mediocre Samsung, LG or HTC windows phone 7 phone. The only item that stands out is Nokia Maps. But how long will it take before some smart-ass ripper/cracker/coder removes that from a N9-ROM and use it on his/hers HTC Throphy 7!!!

By then the only other thing that'll grab some attention is the Carl Zeiss branding at the back. Which is just bling. In fact I strongly doubt that Carl Zeiss has anything to do with these camera's at all. They're probably made by some cheap crapp-ass chinese factory like anything else these days.

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Nokia and WP.

I would have thought Nokia with its reputation for hardware would have sold more phones being yet another Android phone than WP. Seems to me that Elop made this decision because all he knows is Microsoft. Does not seem the right decision to me. I guess he should last a bit longer than a certain Greek at HP, but I think the end result will be the same. On a PC alternatives to Windows are limited. On a phone there are more options and I hate Windows enough to want to avoid it on a phone even if the only thing in common is the name and company.

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Devil

New motto

Licking the hand that misleads IT.

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" The native Symbian mail client still doesn't work well. "

It works beautifull. With usefull widgets on screen that show the 2 last subjects received.

It connects to my POP and hotmail accounts without a glitch. So wtf do you mean by that statement.

"The social media widget is terrible."

Social media is crap anyway. Most of these things are merely fronts for a bloody website. What's so special about that. Besides the Social apps merely shows status updates nothing else. What's the big deal. It does what's supposed to do and does it wel so what do expect?

"Office support is cludgy."

Office support is made by a THIRD PARTY developper!!!! Why blaming Nokia when they didn't even make de mobile office app. Complain to the right ppl!!!

Secondly I don't get it. AT times ppl blame that there isn't enough room for app-development and at other time they expect the OS-maker to create all the 3rd party apps as well. WTH do you want... a smartphone (where 3rd parties can create apps to fill-in the missing gaps in functionality) or a featurephone ( where the handset-creator build ALL the tools and apps)!

" Windows Phone handles all of this really gracefully."

Unfortunatly most of the things you mention have nothing to do with what a phone is supposed to do. Also when that N9 was shown it was ALSO production ready... now THAT is what I call 'gracefull'

"Most punters have never seen it, and will be impressed how it flies out of the box – like the proverbial shit off a shovel – with none of the juddery "Android lag"."

You insinuate that a Symbian phone is dog-slow. While all recent S^3-models run very smooth. In fact with each Symbian update they even run better all without a GHz-multi-core cpus or monstrous amounts of RAM.

You also seem to forget that foremost these things are PHONES! They should at LEAST last a FULL day at MINIMUM.

What about the fantastic navigation tool that's build inside? That's linked to BOTH the contacts-manager AND the callender.

Or the proper 2-way callrecording even with a bluetooth headset? Which is amazingly enhanced by a lot of 3rd party apps to provide AUTOMATIC call-recording.

Or the nice homescreen that shows ALL the necessary information on ONE screen (signal quality, missed items, callender items, used profile, hour, date etc...)?

Or what about the fantastic onboard FM-TRANSMITTER that works brilliant when your carstereo hasn't got USB/ipod/MP3-integration?

Or both the onboard 8/16-storage AND microSD-slot without ANY compromise?

Or that fantastic file manager that makes DIRECTORIES and that app-installer that DOES allow you install anywere you want (SD or internal storage)? In fact many apps nicely ask where you want them to be installed.

It goes even further. Just cold-start an iPhone 4 and cold-start a lowly Nokia C7. But I get it.

You're not cool enough if don't talk down Symbian these days. You're not cool if dare comment negative on Microsoft or Apple. You're not cool enough if you just want a smartphone that does the job without the visual gimmicks (and hasn't got a Logo from a US company on it).

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What a load of crap. Did you ever use a Symbian ^3 phone?

An email client is about more than "usefull widgets on screen", how about some actual funcionality like actually getting the damn email? The "fetch frequency" setting (e.g. "soonest", "every 15 minutes", etc) does absolutely nothing, the email client download emails only when you open it. A third-grader could program a better one.

How about an app that isn't third-party, like Chat, eh? Written by the same ass-hats who wrote the mail app, it freezes on opening on my N8. Every time. That's Nokia programming quality for you.

Oh and by the way, try using the touchscreen keypad... it's hopelessly imprecise, every second word is guaranteed to be mis-spelt. OK some bright young thing thought that it would be useful to have the letter you pressed pop-up on the screen... good marks for trying, none for execution, having the letter flashed on the screen for all of 10 milliseconds isn't much help now, is it?

Symbian IS dog-slow, there's a lag of over a second for any action, and the wait after locking the screen for everything to go dark is painful. And it doesn't even give you good battery life to compensate, my N8 will empty its batteries in under 8 hours. That's if I don't use it much. If I do it's more like 5-6 hours.

You're talking a whole load of frippery, FM radio, Bluetooth and what-not... if they couldn't get the fundamentals right, simple things like the signal strength indicator, or not blocking the data connections, multiple crashes per day... forget about the rest of it.

There's a simple lesson here: Nokia can't do software. Also: Nokia can't do testing.

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@ Meeee

To use the famous words of Red Foreman (that's 70 show): you're dumbass!

The Nokia email app works perfect. But you have to realise that JUST LIKE ON YOUR BLOODY PC it has to be active. Just like e.g. Microsoft Outlook on your windows PC. Outlook is default set at checking email every 30 minutes... that is, if you keep outlook running in the background. If youshut down outlook then it doesn't fetch any mail at all. The same is true for your Nokia phone. If you keep the mail-app active then it WILL FETCH EMAIL AS REQUESTED. The widget are merely links to the mail-app. If the mail app is NOT active it will on click (re-)activate the mail app and check mail. If the mail app IS active it will indeed show the latest received messages. But many users usually shut-down the mail app to preserver memory or whatever idea they have. Do NOT shut down the MAIL app jst is you don't on your pc.

Chat? What is that? It's NOT on my 2 C7's. The only app with that name that I've seen is Chat an IM client that's available through Beta Labs. So it's a BETA APP!!! Don't complain about BETA software, Moron! It's for you to try out, to point out errors and faults and give feedback about how it works. Beta Labs is a service that Nokia suplies for costumers to maken them know what they're doing and let customers into it. That place is NOT so customers can badmouth Nokia!It's NOT a place to grab a full-blown app and expect it to be faultless. They're Beta apps. NOT ready for consumption. As for Chat I have the idea that that APP is written for the N97 and NOT the N8.

As for the touch screen. I admit that i don't use wordprediction. Never have and never will. And I have got many smartphones in the past (upto Windows Mobile 6.5). But I have 2 C7's (one black and one brown) and I found the onscreen keyboard a joy to use. The screen is a bit small hence the keyboard is also a bit small (especially in porttrait more). But that landscape keyboard is fantastic AND Nokia's keyboards have cursor control. Which is a godsend.

As for the letter popping up. Iphone does that too, Android does that too. It seems that every other smartphone use a similar way to let users see the pressed key. As for lag. My C7 shows the letter instantly. No delay! I have no idea what you're talking about as my 2 Nokia's have great keyboards with NO LAG AT ALL!

The wait for the screen to turn of is adjustable. See settings --> phone. It works perfect. I've set it time-out light 10 secs. and indeed the screen dims in 10 seconds and the screen is turned off in 1 minute (as choosen in settings).

Either you're a troll or your phone is broken. Or you have so much 'wrong' software on the phone that it inded behaves stranges. But I have 2 C7 which are being used extensivly and I found these to be the best smartphones for the asking price.

The FM-transmitter is a real boon to me because my car-stereo has no MP3/ipod-adaptor. Bluetooth is necessity because in my country using a phone while driving is prohibited. My phone hasn't crashed on me yet. Certainly not multiple crashes a day. Again I do believe that your particular phone is broken. But you're badmouthing a entire company because one phone is broken? Try to get it replaced.

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@KeithSloan

yes, but the problem is Elop is another 'brainless businessman' ... they can only see the amount of money that business has made, as a mark of its success, and so a 'safe stock option'..

I would bet Elop would not know a windows PC it he fell over one - his team of PAs do all that...

and seems to forget that MS made it's money on desktop software, not on any kind of portable computer stuff...

and yes, nokia has really good hardware, BUT its no use without good software and support!!

I waited ages while my old nokia did without flash (that android somehow got years before), struggled to play videos that android had no problem with, even connecting to my pc was problematic, unless you don't mind your PC being almost taken over by the over-complex software nokia supplied to do it, and then find your old PC does not have the power or memory for it!!!!

Is it any wonder most have gone to android where there are much less problems, and a huge amount of software to download??? .... unlike the 'void of info' nokia store...

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Hear, Hear !

I don't know who you are Jemma but I agree wholeheartedly with your comments - not so much about the phones (I have no need for a smartphone), but life in general.

Your not Verity Stobb by any chance are you, something about the style....

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