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back to article Nokia: 'hybrid' mobiles will save us

Nokia is working on "hybrid" mobile devices and harbours the hope that future tablets, fresh form-factors and cross-breed tech will turn around the Finnish phone giant's handset business. This combination of new products and services will "make a difference", claimed chairman Jorma Ollila, who revealed Nokia's plans in a …

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Jorma :-

Please stop blowing smoke. You know what everyone else in the world knows, and you know it better than anybody else. Here it is :-

1. Nokia is on the brink of ruin.

2. There is ONE thing, and only ONE, that you can do to prevent Nokia from ceasing to exist. You know exactly what it is. You and your board have the power to do it. Do it quickly.

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Re: Dear Jorma :- I am curious.

I have seen any number of critical posting concerning Nokia and it's future. Many of them arguing a reflected and thought out case to the effect that it has gone too far for Nokia to save themselves. Fair enough, if that is ones opinion and indeed, objectively speaking it may turn out that they are right. However, from the tone of a significant number of another type of critical posting one gets the distinct impression that the poster is posting want he wants to happen because of the association with The Great Demon of Redmond rather than his honest opinion regarding Nokia's likely fate. Which category do you fall under?

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Re: Dear Jorma :- I am curious.

I fall under the category of want Nokia to go back to what they were in the late 90's and early of 2000-2010. I want to see them push *original* ideas for phones, stuff like the Communicator range, the original N-series phones, the apocalypse surviving 6210. I want to see PHONES from them, not black slabs with Windows OS shoehorned into a generic form factor.

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Flame

Re: Dear Jorma :- I am curious.

It's what will happen purely based on Microsoft's past form and events as they are unfolding.

Nokia has everything to lose and Microsoft everything to gain.

Plus, Nokia did see the smartphone revolution coming!

They just pissed about going from pillar to post whilst everyone else executed well thought out management plans.

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Stop

Re: Dear Jorma :- I am curious.

The ONLY thing that will save them, and one that's universally accepted in both the tech and business sectors, is that Nokia adopt Android..

Wasn't it only last week, we heard the following from the retail sector:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/17/uk-nokia-telcos-idUKBRE83G08Z20120417

"No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone," one executive an a European carrier told Reuters."

"If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell," he said.

They are in do or die territory right now. It means swallowing pride, or going bust... I'm guessing the Microsoft contracts, and the big Microsoft "bung" (under a different name) they just received prevents them from doing so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Jorma :- I am curious.

Read Tomi Ahonen. And don't be so pompous.

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Thumb Down

Let me see now. AC and "Read Tomi Ahonen. And don't be so pompous."

I think that you just did what I did when I was five years old. Ring on my neighbour's doorbell and run away.

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@ Mark Jan

Nokia has everything to lose and Microsoft everything to gain.

What are you talking about?

Nokia have everything to gain, by selling lots of phones, and not going bust. Microsoft have everything to gain by selling lots of software, and getting to put Bing and XBox live on mobile devices. It's pretty bloody simple. Companies make stuff, in the hopes of selling stuff, preferably at profit. Both have lots to lose, if they fail. Of course Nokia have more at stake than MS.

There's no point, as all the bollocks conspiracy nuts keep on talking about, in Microsoft bankrupting Nokia! Sure they could then buy it cheap. And what the fuck would they do with it then? They'd have a loss-making, basket-case, bankrupt company that was failing to sell phones, and a PR disaster. Well Whoop di bloody Do! Clearly MS want Nokia to sell their software, so they can make loads of Moolah. They even seem to be willing to annoy all the Windows 8 customers, in order to get everyone used to their Metro UI. Which seems mad to me, but clearly isn't a sign they're hanging Nokia out to dry.

Please can we dial the MS hatred down from insane, to just normal, and then carry on the discussion?

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Re: @ Mark Jan

What are you talking about?

Nokia have everything to gain, by selling lots of phones, and not going bust.

Of course they do - that's the business they're currently in (as well as pursuing IP claims).

BUT, my position is that this MS strategy will ultimately lead Nokia to failure.

It isn't MS hatred, just logical, straight talking common sense based on years of seeing what MS does to companies with which it enters into such "partnerships", as well as the most important verdict of all from the phone buying public. That verdict has fail written all over it.

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Re: @ Mark Jan

Thanks for your reply. I fully understand one of the points you're making here. MS have their own best interests at heart (a black heart admittedly...) and not Nokia's. And it may well be that Nokia have picked the wrong technology, and should have gone with Android. Or possibly, both. Be the market leader in Windows phones (and best pals with MS), and knock out some me-too Android ones, so you're at least getting some sales from those, and not disappearing out of the market.

I suspect if they'd gone that route, they wouldn't be getting $1 billion marketing support our of MS - and given their current position, $1bn is quite a lot. If they go the Android route, and can only make $10 profit per phone, then they'd have to sell 100 million Android handsets to be worth it!

What I still don't get, is when you said this:

Nokia has everything to lose and Microsoft everything to gain.

That doesn't look like straight talking common sense to me, but MS hate.

In this case MS and Nokia's interests are aligned. If Win Mob 7/8 fails, then MS are stuck with just XBox and the Corporate desktop/server market. And they will be sad, because that puts them in a mature market with low growth (nice profits though) - but not sexy. So they want it to succeed. They aren't trying to kill Nokia and buy it cheap, as some people keep trotting out. That's just silly. Obviously Nokia risk going bust - but moving to Android isn't that much less risk, as the competition is much fiercer, hence lower profits.

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Nokia doesn't know what company it is. They can't emulate Apple or HTC - that ship as sailed.

But If I wanted a handset that was basic but tough with an easy to use UI then I naturally turn my attention to Nokia just from rep alone. I'm sure there is a market for that. For older friends and family who wanted a new handset to replace their circa 1998 hand-me-downs.

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"But If I wanted a handset that was basic but tough with an easy to use UI then I naturally turn my attention to Nokia just from rep alone."

There is almost no profit in such devices. Apple makes big bucks from their premium phones. Cheap phones make no money, hence why Nokia (still) sell phones by the bucketload, but make no profit.

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JDX
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Windows 8 Tablets

Have we seen any indication that Nokia is going to be MS' lead manufacturer for these? I don't remember reading anything and since Nokia don't have pedigree with tablets, wondered if MS are sticking to companies like Samsung?

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Re: Windows 8 Tablets

> Nokia don't have pedigree with tablets,

Nokia N770 (2007), N800, N810, N900, N950

Small but perfectly formed.

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Who's in charge?

Of production... Marketing ... Logistics...

You know, the 3 things that a manufacturer has to do well...?

Alongside design (can be outsourced), finance etc..

FWIW after reading yesterday's article about the Pureview I looked at the local Nokia web site. Sure enough, there it is.

Today went to the local Nokia store to see if it is in stock : Sales assistant said No.

When will they get it? Urrrm ... This year.

How much will it cost? Nervous laughter.

Poor sod.

There were more sales staff than customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who's in charge?

I didn't even know Nokia had their own stores. Where are they?

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Re: Who's in charge?

This one's Hong Kong.

Not my intention to mislead but I didn't say that it is Nokia's "own" store. The shop does not do anything else, it is located in a prime shopping mall in a prime business development, and the sign over the front door is a 5- letter word beginning with "N". If there is any single outlet which ought to have the full range of products which are officially marketed here then that's the place.

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Re: Who's in charge?

Regents Street in London had a Nokia store last time I was there, but a quick Google tells me that was du to close down in early 2010.

I must have gone in about that time. It was a mess of hundreds of similar models, none of which had all the features you wanted. Other than the N900, which I still have (didn't buy from them though! ebay... )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who's in charge?

Nokia closed most of their online stores and many (all?) of their bricks & mortar retail stores once Elop came on board. No surprise to also discover that Nokia changed much of their channel distributors to Microsoft-friendly companies, most of whom have fuck all experience shifting phones. Not saying the two events are related, but wouldn't surprise me if Redmond told Espoo to get out of retail and distribution so Microsoft could handle it all for them. Twats, because it looks like the Finns believed them.

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Anonymous Coward

Hybrid?

I hope he means petrol or diesel with battery backup; then I won't have to charge the damned thing every day!

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Pureview potential

In February Nokia commented at WMC they were working on a WP Pureview phone for release later this year (presumably WP8 as they will want native code for apps). Niche perhaps but would be an interesting competitor in the premium iPhone space, I for one will be tempted if they deliver with a reasonable display. Could be scuppered if Apple or Samsung come out with innovative camera of course. Looking forward to discovering if iPhone 5 finally has a sensible sized screen and any boost to camera capabilities, we should know within a few weeks.

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@qwarty Re: "Pureview potential" Blimy, be careful old chap...........

.....balanced and thoughtful postings about Nokia's possible future aren't allowed round here.

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Anonymous Coward

Such a shame

It's a real shame there are too many people on here who are Fandroids and Fanbois who keep sticking the knife in at every opportunity when it comes to Nokia spreading FUD like 'they are going bust' or that 'Microsoft are going to buy them at a knock down price for their patents'

Nokia have what 8 billion in the bank? There's no way they will go under and their latest range of phones prove that they continue to innovate and deliver quality phones that offer people something different.

They will continue to develop and release phones that the public will take to. They've not lost their knack of good design and great robust hardware. It's just a shame too many people on here are quick to put the boot in

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Re: Such a shame

8 Billion doesn't go very far when you are losing 1.3 billion every quarter and in the meantime they are putting out phones with good reviews that few people seem to be buying.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/19/nokia_earnings_ouch/

Elop went and asked the telcos what they wanted but missed the industry sea change that put them in their current position in the first place: The telcos are no longer in charge. A decade ago telcos sold us $600 feature phones with USB file transfer disabled and then Apple comes along and shoves the Iphone down their throats with features the telcos hate like Wifi and app stores that the telcos aren't in control of. And now on the low end we have the chinese comming out with features the telcos absolutely despise such as dual sim phones. The telcos aren't in a place to dicatate phone sales anymore.

What he should have done was ask the customers what they wanted but he still won't do that so unless something big happens they are, quite frankly, screwed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Such a shame

They don't have 8 billion in the bank - it's now about $4 billion, and dropping by about $0.5-$1 billion with each quarter. "Do the math". After Q2, which is likely to be as bad as Q1, their cash will be closer to $3bn. And so on.

Already Nokia, when broken up, is worth more than as a whole (given the current share price and market cap). Subtract the cash - $4bn - and you have a company worth about $9bn. How much would Google or Apple pay for Nokia's patents? Pretty close to that, I'd imagine - particularly Apple, as it would be chump change and also mean an end to their hefty ongoing annual IP royalty payments - meaning the rest of Nokia - Navteq, feature phone business, manufacturing assets, distribution, etc. - is worth next to nothing.

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Oh God Nooooooo!

“Tablets are an important [market segment], so that is being looked into

Being looked into? Being looked into?!?! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Can we please start making our minds up chez Nokia? And perhaps start releasing stuff, rather than looking into it. Maybe sack a few of the people who serve no useful purpose, but to say 'no' to projects, and actually use some of your engineering perhaps?

It's not that they can't release nice phones. I bought a Lumia 710 yesterday. From first impressions, it's pretty nice, and very good for a £130 phone. Not as customisable as Android, but I personally prefer the UI. I don't mind complication in a computer, but I prefer my phone to be simple, with big easy-to-read text. I don't think you can get an Android phone for that price with anywhere near the quality of screen and processor. But that's probably a bad thing, as it means Nokia aren't making any money out of it.

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Windows

Er, Jorma Ollilla left.

http://yle.fi/uutiset/nokia_says_goodbye_to_jorma_ollila/6079883

Pity, he was a decent bloke to talk to.

But then, the greats are leaving or have left. Ollilla, Baldauf...(DON'T mention Beresford-Wylie, please. I've only one keyboard left!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Er, Jorma Ollilla left.

He sure did. Yesterday he was replaced by Risto Siilasmaa - whose Wikipedia entry nobody has bothered to update yet.

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Hybrids?

Hybrid sounds awfully like 'we can't make up our minds' and 'let's just take those ideas that didn't sell and combine them', or 'let's find some fancy words to reassure the investors'.

Maybe some nifty specialized designed might be better suited to make a comeback. Give me something smart with good battery life. Or give me a slide-in battery pack, spare battery hanging on the Computer USB for a quick exchange. Give me the integrated phone-tablet experience, I want to slide the phone into the not-too-expensive dumb screen+battery to have some hours of mobile youtube/movies without an additional phone contract. Give Europeans the Apple experience by creating a phone+contract that offers Europe-wide phone and internet coverage that just works without a thought about roaming charges. In fact, just copy all the working ideas from the competition and bring them to the neglected continents.

Too bad that I myself would never buy a Windows phone. Two decades of compulsive upgrades and the everlasting question of whether I can access my own data on the new device turned me off for good.

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Maybe by "hybrid"

... he means a hybrid business plan of selling some phones and suing the pants off all of your competitors?

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The only decent Nokia 'Hybrid' i've seen recently is the N9 running ICS, but unfortunately I doubt it will ever be a factory option.

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Anything but a black slab

Please. I know I love my N900 (now more-or-less) deceased, but I really really don't want to have to buy another anonymous slab. Yes please, interesting devices. Something that stands out and isn't another tedious, unimaginative mini-fondle-pad.

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Still looking at case

A device in its current form is nothing more than a shell built on purpose of running software and operating system that will run software.

It is an appliance. Why is it so hard to get it? That is the key of everything down to why iPad beats Android tablet sales. This is nothing new, or secret. Apple does the same exact thing since Lisa. They are selling software, hardware is just something physical needed to run software.

By choosing win phone operating system, they guaranteed their doom.

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