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back to article Finns, roamers, Nokia: So long, and thanks for all the phones

Finns are in mourning this week after Nokia has sold its mobile phones unit to Microsoft: a decision that weirdly seems both inevitable and shocking at the same time. But they should be proud, for Nokia had an incredible 15-year run at the top of an entirely new industry, making stalwarts like Motorola and neighbours Ericsson …

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Happy

6310i

Did anyone ever need anything more?

Drop-proof, kick-proof, coffee-proof, beer-proof.

Made calls, sent texts and, er, had WAP.

All with 7 days-worth of battery charge.

Try telling that to the yoof of today...

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Re: 6310i

I still use one. Why not?

I also have an N900. Great and terrible, at the same time. A reminder what could have been...

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Thumb Up

Re: 6310i

I have two. They pick up a signal just about anywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

"Did anyone ever need anything more?"

Yes, looking at home things have gone it seems that did.

Hopefully the fall of Nokia will be a stark warning to other companies, if you don't have good leadership and spend too much time messing around with bureaucracy then you're going to fail and get swallowed up by someone else for peanuts.

I do think under Kallasvuo Nokia produced some of it's most spectacular turds, the writing was on the wall for years thanks to him.

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Re: 6310i

I have two Motorola StarTac 130's, they pick up a signal just about anywhere, and have a style.

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Re: 6310i

In my company they are so sought after if you have one and leave it on your desk it will get stolen. Your sim will be left but the company 6310i will be gone.

Amazing phones. 7 days - you must talk too much or have a defective battery!

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Nothing lasts forever

Everyone can argue from 20-20 hindsight, but if Apple hadn't entered the market in 2007 (and in doing so showed Samsung how to make smartphones normal people want to use) Nokia would have been doing very well. I shudder to think of the barely functional monstrosities they would have been making, but they would have been doing well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing lasts forever

Hindsight is an amazing thing, so many armchair CEOs out there who make comments like "well, of course anyone could see that..." when in actual fact they have no knowledge of the upper workings of even the simplest corporation.

In hindsight everyone can see that the iPhone and the Android OS are successful, but most people who are fans of the phones refuse to entertain the fact that these were far from certain products and majorly lacking in their first iterations. Particularly the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards at the time, the list of features it didn't have that were standard on Nokia phones is as long as your arm.

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Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

"the list of features it didn't have that were standard on Nokia phones is as long as your arm". In fact, the first iPhone was so much greater than all European phones together, that even without MMS support it was _far_ greater than anything else.

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LDS
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Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

It didn't have cut&paste too. It was designed like an iPod with a phone inside, not as a *smart*phone.

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Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

You must be still affected by Jobs' RDF.

The first iPhone was a joke; it lacked so many standard smartphone features it wouldn't even be considered a smartphone by smartphone users!

No apps and Jobs saying that there would never be an SDK.

No copy/paste

No MMS

It was little more than an iPod that made calls and had PDA features.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

Like I said, some people can't accept that the iphone wasn't fantastic from day one.

Off the top of my head, it was missing:

Stereo bluetooth support

MMS

Cut and Paste

Anything other than basic GSM support

GPS

Front facing camera

Any form of voice control

Gyroscopes/Accelerometers

Compass

App support

I'm pretty sure the list goes on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The first iPhone was a joke

and yet it sold well, and this coming from a company at the time made colourful computers for idiots and mp3 players.

What does that tell you about the general mindset of the public at the time???

Maybe people were so sick of the crap being produced that as soon as someone offered an alternative, even if it was flawed they jumped all over it????

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Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

The idea that products succeed or fail based on tick lists of features is absurd even if you ignore the motivation behind the list selection criteria.

Here's what most people used a phone for in 2007: calls, texts. Here's what they could do with an iPhone: calls, texts, the web. With a usable interface thanks to multi touch. And without sending you bankrupt because Apple strong armed the carriers into unlimited data.

What is laughable is the preceding interfaces for the web, full of modality and fixed-level zooms and web pages reduced to the system font, and the idea that people would pay 50p/mb for the privilege.

Apple opened the door, Google charged through it.

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Re: Nothing lasts forever @AC12.15

"Hindsight is an amazing thing, so many armchair CEOs out there who make comments like "well, of course anyone could see that..." when in actual fact they have no knowledge of the upper workings of even the simplest corporation."

True, but when people who *do* claim to know the workings of corporations can run a company that anyone here would have regarded as unassailable much less than ten years ago onto the rocks, and without any outside assistance, one is forced to wonder whether the wrong people become upper management.

The article starts with the words "... Nokia has sold its mobile phones unit to Microsoft: a decision that weirdly seems both inevitable and shocking at the same time." It *is* shocking - this shouldn't be happening in a sane world - but, ever since Elop took over (which brings us back to questions over the actual abilities of upper management to find their own arses with a map and torch), this situation *was* inevitable, and not in a good way. The smartphone world needs more competition amongst platforms, not less. I hope the good folks at Jolla Oy can take over what should be Nokia's place in the world ...

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Re: The first iPhone was a joke

But it didn't sell well. The first iPhone was a flop until they corrected these deficiencies and fixed their arrogant pricing scheme.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing lasts forever

Did you ever try using the web on a symbian phone with a 0-9 keypad?

Did you ever try using the web with a stylus and no "pinch to zoom"?

I did, it simply was agony. Multitouch brought us the mobile web in a usable form, simple as that.

People wanted mobile internet more than they wanted a million features they were never going to use.

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LDS
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Re: The first iPhone was a joke

Apple understood there was a different customer beyond the business user. It understood people would like to bring a single device with them, not an MP3 player and a phone and maybe a PDA. Unlike previous smartphone, first iterations of iOS, Android and Windows Phone lacked (and the latter still lacks until the Enterprise Package is released), some business features that are useless to non-business users, like true multitasking for every app, advanced proxy settings or VPN support, which were already available in Windows Mobile, for example.

Apple the usual design touch, and understood also that multitouch would have simplified many kind of interactions a lot, without the need of a stylus, and designed its UI around it - and that was the real killer feature. I found first iPhone and Androids totally useless in my company environment - but it was the right move to sell smartphones to the general public - instead of MP3 players and portable game consoles. PR and the press made the rest - no product get so much attention lately.

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Re: The first iPhone was a joke

There are many things I miss from SE k750i that my iPhone 3G should have, particularly BluePhone Elite compatibility (view and create SMS on my Mac! I suppose that's what Messages is for, but my iPhone 3G is too old for iOS5) and BlueTooth HID remote control for Macs. It was crazy that I could transfer photos from my dad's SLVR (ugh - probably worst phone ever) via BlueTooth, but not from my iPhone.

Browsing the web on my SE k750i was not the worst experience and it was handy in a pinch. I used to read my email in bed with it. Battery life was good, too.

But you're right, Safari was the iPhone's killer app, along with the screen, which was very large at the time.

Jobs even expected Safari to be the app delivery mechanism. All those web developers could have continued their php, but they actually demanded to be able to use obj-C!

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I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

... but there's no way I'm moving to Windows Phone while is seriously lacks apps.

Such a shame gems like their imaging and maps units got tied up with the rest of the car crash for so long.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Please, name an app which WP lacks - and not a game, please.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

That's how competition works - not all devices are created equally, you pick and choose what you want.

Incidentally, which apps aren't available on WP that you consider essential? This is a genuine question as I'm not really an App person, outside of the basic linkedin, ebay and something to track excersie sessions. Or is it just that there aren't that overall many apps realative to the other OS ecosystems that puts you off?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Does anyone really care about apps?

The problem with windows phone is that it just doesn't do a lot of basic stuff yet that could be done on symbian ... it feels like a beta version waiting for improvements, but has been forgotten about

They just set up a site to ask for comments and ignored them all

http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions

Seems like the government petition site - a place for people to vent rather than for advice on what to do!

But then that was a problem with nokia after a while as it would ask people too much - and people always want the same thing just bigger or faster rather than something innovative

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

That's the wrong question.

WP lacks apps, it lacks YouTube, it lacks Instagram, it lacks a lot of the big name apps but it has a wealth of unofficial apps that provide the same functionality if not better (YouTube vs MetroTube).

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

>I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone... ... but there's no way I'm moving to Windows Phone

Sony has your corner. Basically they've stuck the important internals (lens, sensor, processor) from the very-highly rated RX100 M2 compact camera into a smallish unit that uses your phone's screen.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/06/sony-qx10-qx100-preview_n_3878299.html

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Wphone does lack apps, but what it lacks the most is making you smile while you use it, like I do with my N9.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

It doesn't lack a YouTube app. The MS app has been blocked by Google, but there are others working. It lacks Instagram, but there is plenty of Instagram-like apps. And high-end Nokia phones have excellent cameras and camera apps.

But what people look for? An app name or an app functionalities? If there is a different app from a different company performing the same functionalities or even better, what's the problem? Here Map and Here Drive are far better than Googles and Apple ones, and allows to download maps locally - should WP user complain there's no Google Maps? They would be fools.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Yes, some people like to say "my app store has one billion apps" - the fact are

1) Most of them do the same thing, or are rubbish or never updated.

2) You can't install a billion app on your phone

3) If a great share of those apps are apps you don't need or use, is the sheer number so important?

OSX has far less apps then Windows, and nobody says it's an inferior OS because lack of apps - and yet there are many tasks you can easily perform on a Windows machine but not on OSX for lack of software.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Sure, WP has still some missing features (some added in GDR2) and can be improved. But that petition site has some laughable request as well, as the request for a "notification screen" - forgettng that Live Tiles are already capable of delirivening excellent notification in a far better way. Sure, in a different way than Android/iOS, but that's a great feature of WP.

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Try sticking this in google and you'll see how many developers are sidelining Windows Phone

"no plans for a windows phone version"

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

I don't have a Win8 phone, but I have a tablet, and I will tell you which app is missing in Win8: a decent browser. One that can reflow text, so you don't have to scroll around. That's why my 3 year old Android tablet gets more use than the new Win8 one.

Basic fail.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Yes, one of the ones I found was "Skype: No plans for Windows Phone version". So, I suggest your method of suggesting there aren't enough apps is not entirely scientific.

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Instagram.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

It has more modern apps than symbian does.

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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

>and not a game, please.

Yeah because games never drive hardware sales especially in the consumer space huh? There probably wouldn't be a windows monopoly on PC in the home if not for DirectX. I remember a lot of people sticking with DOS instead of W95 due to a lack of gaming prowess.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Windows Mobile had a browser that did reflow and many sites became mostly unreadable, today most sites are designed with a given graphic structure in mind and can't be "reflowed" well.

But you say you don't own a WP8 phone thereby you don't know how it browser works: for example *double tap text* and it automatically zoom it to the margin width - no need to scroll around, just scroll up and down.

Can't understand what tablet you have - which anyway may run Win8 RT or Win8, not WP - but usually tablet screen size is enough to read a site without scrolling, unless your sight requires a large magnification.

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

When voting down, please add a name of an app missing... I'm still waiting, it should be easy to find one.... or not?

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LDS
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Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

Because games can be very specific to a single platform. Even porting games from DOS to Windows required a deep rewrite and that is why you see very few games on Linux or OSX. Do you mean Linux and OSX are inferior platforms for lack of games?

Do you select a smartphone because of games? I hoped adult people select them for productivity apps, not games.

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Linux

Maemo? MeeGo?

I would have expected greater mentions of these two...

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LDS
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Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

Why? Maemo was a half-baked smartphone OS - and surprisingly for Nokia, it was even weak at phone tasks. For example the N900 IIRC could not assign different ringtones to callers. It was a a little Linux PC, but not a *smart*phone. Too much was left to external developers, hoping they would plug the OS holes, but it didin't happen.

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Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

The N900 was supposed to be a prototype. Then Nokia decided to move to MeeGo and released the N900 to the public to makes some sales out of the investment on Maemo.

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LDS
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Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

I understand Linux hardcore users were happy with a phone where you could open a shell, but most users don't care at all about opening a shell on their phone. iOS first and Android later showed that the best way was to remove most "PC features" from a mobile OS because most user need a device simple to use, not something to hack to run a Cron script to merge your local address book with a remote one via SFTP....

Maemo was a developer OS, not a user OS.

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Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

"Maemo was a developer OS, not a user OS"

But it was *very* close: *almost* usable by the average numpty. But then they chucked all that in the bin and started all over again with MeeGo; leading to the delay that Mr O seems to be saying was the final nail in the coffin.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia's real fall

The guy is obviously trying to prove that Elop is the worst CEO ever, it's not an analysis of the numbers, it's just the numbers. For it to be an analysis the whole operation at Nokia needs to be examined, the state it was in - and it was in a state - and some idea about how it would have fared with other decisions made and how this may have affected their competition. Also, again there seems to be an idea that Nokia is only a phones company, a mistake fallen into by lots of people who should know better.

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Re: Nokia's real fall

The real damage to Nokia came in the six months prior to 2/2011, not after.

I advise you read Ahonen's posts from January 2011 - before burning platforms, you will note - and you will find statements like the following:

"Nokia lost more than one quarter of its total market, in just six months!

This does not happen anywhere! When Toyota the carmaker had its global recall problems with its breaks, it did not lose one quarter of its total market in a year, far less than in six months. ... When Motorola experienced the iPhone effect and suddenly the Razr went from the hottest phone on the planet to the undesirable, Motorola lost one quarter of its customers - in one year, not in six months."

Ahonen deletes coherent, polite comments that disagree with him, as I can testify to. So much so, another blog was started by a former Nokia employee to challenge Ahonen's drivel: http://dominiescommunicate.wordpress.com/

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Re: Nokia's real fall

Those figures are meaningless. They only compare a good 2 quarter period of improvement after the Symbian relative decline had already begun, with the time after a CEO had publicly declared a massive strategic change. They also fail to analyse what would have happened in the market had Elop not made that change, or what his other options were. To be fair that can only be speculation. But they also fail to take into account the competition, which is known. Such as the growth of Chinese dumb phone sales in developing markets, and the new low-cost Android phones. Plus Samsung, who have done rather well at this competition malarkey, and have gone into quite a few industries in the last 20 years and trashed large numbers of their rivals.

It's possible that Elop is to blame for the dumb phone loss of competitiveness. Nokia had held off competition from companies with cheaper labour costs for ages with excellent sales and logistics, plus huge economies of scale, I've no way of knowing, but those sort of sea-changes in relative competitiveness often happen over longer periods.

Finally, this guy writes as if everything at Nokia was rosy, then along came that nasty Mr Elop and spoiled it for everyone. Well if that's true, how come the board appointed someone as crap as Elop? Then compounded the error by sitting back and letting him implement his burning platforms strategy? Then left him in place as it continued? Why, it's almost as if they agreed with his strategy themselves!

Also how come they had about 4 competing and incompatible operating systems? All unfinished after millions in R&D cash had been lavished on them? Nothing finished, nothing even seemingly determined as the one to go with. And this 3 years after iPhone had shown the massive flaws in Symbian! Sure Symbian did more, with huge efficiency, but Apple were taking market share off it anyway, because iPhones were actually nice to use... Even it one disagrees, and thinks Symbian was better, the market and the profits say otherwise. None of that was Elop's fault, it all happened under the watchful eyes of the board that appointed him.

Even if I believed Ballmer and Elop were competent enough to execute a Manchurian Candidate conspiracy, it was still the Nokia board that oversaw the years of internal chaos. They still appointed Elop. One assumes they asked him what he planned to do... They approved his strategy change. They continued to support him as Symbian collapsed. They agreed this sale to Microsoft. So even if you believe Nokia were pushed - they'd already jumped by that point.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Anonymous Coward 101 Re: Nokia's real fall

Sorry, but you're misquoting in an effort to distort history. Those statements refer explicitly the period AFTER the "burning platforms" memo.

Second, it is common knowledge, and has been stated by Timo several times, that he deletes insulting, out of topic, or just plain false comments. Like those PR statements in the MS/Corporate nokia blog, you cite. That is the real drivel.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC12:16 Re: Nokia's real fall

Where did I write that it was anything else than the numbers? The analysis are in the rest of the blog.

Besides, what is the alternative to Elop being the worst CEO ever, that he is the best Microsoft mole ever? Because it is either one of the other, there is no other way to explain the "burning platforms" memo and all the following decisions.

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