back to article Moody's downgrades Nokia to near-junk status

Ratings agency Moody's has lowered its debt rating for Nokia to near junk status, and warned that the company is facing even tougher times ahead. In a note to investors today Moody's cut the world's largest mobile handset manufacturer's rating from Baa2 to Baa3, its lowest rating for investment grade stock. While the trigger …


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  1. asdf Silver badge

    wow in other news the sky is blue

    Gee betting the company on wp7 causes the ratings agency to put Nokia on the junk watchlist. Only a year late on this move. Another ratings agency fail.

    1. Chris 3

      Re: wow in other news the sky is blue

      You don't seem to understand what a rating agency does - the rating is based on the likelihood that it will default on a lone. Given its current cash pile, how would *you* rate that?

    2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      Re: wow in other news the sky is blue

      but who rates the rating agencies?

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? applies...

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: wow in other news the sky is blue

        Just because they can pay off the current debt with cash doesnt mean you should lend them more. If someone has no job but £1000 cash and £500 loan currently, would you lend them another £500?

      2. Daon151dh

        Re: wow in other news the sky is blue

        Simple question, simple answer.


    3. CheesyTheClown

      Other way around

      Windows Phone is seriously suffering because there are no cool vendors selling them. Nokia is hurting Windows phone, not the other way around.

      Really, who wants to buy a smart phone from a company who's coolest public face is Stephen Elop? It's the granny phone company.

      Windows Phone 7.5 is actually really quite nice, only problem is, I would never release software into the Windows Phone App store where it's displayed side by side with "Hottest babes on your phone."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Other way around

        Windows Phone really isn't very nice. It's bloated, inefficient, with no support for hd displays, no support for multi-cores, and most importantly, no apps.

        It's a dead platform, despite what Microsoft seem to think.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia will come good

    It will take another 12 - 18 months, but Nokia will come good and their share price will improve. You can't move for adverts for Windows Phone and people will warm to it as they seek a change from the tired old iOS interface and the sheer mess that Android is. How companies can release new devices with old versions on is beyond me it really is

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nokia will come good

      Good, good, now reeeeeel them in . . .

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Nokia will come good

      I've not been 'able to move for WP7 adverts' for quite some time now. Posters, stickers, giant window displays, C5 sponsorship and so on. So far only the blind can have missed the WP7 push in the UK.

      But I've still not seen an actual phone. Not in a users hand and the shops plastered with the adverts don't have them on display anywhere. Hell, it's no so long since a trip to TheRegister revealed fawning reviews of Nokia's folly on a near weekly basis!

      Somehow I don't imaging the latest ploy of turning Windows into a massive WP8 advertising billboard will change much, how do you go past saturation coverage ;)

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Nokia will come good

        @ Paul Shirely,

        "Somehow I don't imaging the latest ploy of turning Windows into a massive WP8 advertising billboard will change much..."

        You know, I think you've hit the nail on the head perfectly there.

        I think it's a dangerous game for MS to play. Win 8 CP isn't exactly going down well (I hate it, staying with Win7). If Win 8 Desktop gets a poor reputation then that might actually put people off Win Phone 8, even though the interface itself seems to be really quite good for mobiles / tablets. Customers can be very fickle like that.

        1. CheesyTheClown

          Switch to desktop mode

          Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Windows 8 is amazing. If you lack a tablet, use the desktop style you're used to instead. Windows 8 is great.

          That said, when you eventually do get a Windows tablet to run it on, you'll fall in love. It's wonderful :)

          P.S. - Typing this on a Windows 8 tablet.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Switch to desktop mode

            current estimated prices of W8 tablets are eyewatering. If the costs dont come down then they wont exactly be a hit. W8 will sell due to OEMs forcing it (even though XP will still be around for a long time on corporate downgrades).

      2. Dr. P

        Re: Nokia will come good

        Guess you haven't seen ICS then. It is way better than WP7 in every way and yes I also have a WP 7 phone, which is crap.

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Nokia will come good

      Well, they are currently totally bound to the fate of Windows Phone. Their future is in Microsoft's hands. The lure of their admittedly good hardware engineering isn't anything like strong enough on its own to attract customers. Windows Phone shows some very decent promise, but they've got a long way to go before we're all clamouring for one.

      Having read about various things Nokia over a couple of decades I'm not entirely surprised that it has sunk to this level. From the very beginning of the smartphone revolution when Nokia first acquired Symbian from Psion (yes, a looooong time ago) they started making a mess of things. It would appear from interviews with former Psion guys that Nokia just didn't understand it. I mean, consider how awesome a Psion 5 would have been had Nokia just added a phone to it and left everything else exactly as was? That was in 1998, but instead Nokia spent three years 'improving' it before finally puking up the 9210 which was, erm, worse.

      My view is that Nokia is first and foremost a hardware company with no one high up who really, really understood software and its market power. They didn't see the way in which it would revolutionise mobiles as soon as the CPU power was there to support it. And they continued to do so all the way through the 2000s. All their recent software decisions have been poor, and give the impression that engineering pride is more important than commercial reality. Dented pride is nothing like as bad as corporate extinction. Ask Saab. Oh wait, you can't.

      Like it or loathe it, or even loathe it a lot, and despite the mess, Android is the only money spinner available to outfits like Nokia at the moment. Even if they adopted it just for a few years it could save the company. In a weird way I think Microsoft need Nokia to adopt Android for a few years to make sure that Nokia is still there for when Windows Phone starts attracting larger sales. I mean, if Nokia don't make high spec Windows Phone mobiles, who will?

      1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Nokia will come good

        I think Nokia started making a mess of things (read Symbian) before they acquired it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia will come good

      Get real! No one gives a toss how good or bad an O/S is, seriously they don't!

      In the real world where average Joe and Janice live, work and play, they see a mates phone, it makes calls, had a usuable interface some good games and they're sold. They don't give two flying monkey's f**ks what the name of the manufacturer of the phone or the O/S is, they just want a usable gadget that will still be OK 12-18 months into standard 2 year sign up.

      At the moment Joe and Janice only see Apple and Android. They see some celebutard in Hello waving their iPhone about and they want one. Their baby-sitter comes round with a Samsung S2, they talk, next thing another sale to Samsung/Android, that's how it works out here.

      That my friend is the harsh reality of life in the real world where all the bollocks and blind faith that we techno geeks spout, makes less impact than a fly hitting the windscreen of artic truck at 60 mph.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What kind of stupid rating system is that?

    1. Paul RND*1000

      Re: Baa!

      Brought to you by the same people responsible for credit ratings like AAAA, AAA, AA+, AA, Aa, A++, A+, A, AB+ and so on.

      Because god forbid we have ratings which even vaguely resemble a failing grade.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RND.

        All about the smoke and mirrors. :(

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Baa!

        Do those guys write A-Level exams as well?

      3. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: Baa!

        Maybe the do - we just don't get to hear about them. After all no-one is likely to want to invest in a company rated ZZZ-. Apart from Gordon Brown perhaps.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Baa!

      One for sheep?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the number one leader in their field to a shell of their former selves and even Microsoft's assistance cannot pull them from the brink.

    This will be Apple in ten years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or Google in 5 or Microsoft, or Amazon or Facebook

      Look at AOL and Yahoo! A lead doesn't mean you'll keep it.

      May be Yahoo! will make a come back apple style. Who knows. 10 years ago, everyone said apple was dead. Doing OK at the moment though.

      Instead of a crystal ball, you should try a magic 8 ball. Just as likely to be right.

    2. JeevesMkII

      I'm not sure Microsoft's hands were trying to pull them back from the brink

      More like push them off. Nobody, perhaps not even Elop, thought this Windows Phone switch would end well. Nokia desperately need a plan B right now, because no Microsoft phone OS has ever had any sort of useful mindshare. It's always going to be an also ran in the industry.

      Sadly I suspect the plan B is to sell their smart devices business to Microsoft.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Rob

        Re: I'm not sure Microsoft's hands were trying to pull them back from the brink

        It did cross my mind that this could play into Microsoft's hands quite well, rescue Nokia with some cash and you have a tight relationship with a hardware manufacturer and could maybe influence the model designs a bit more. Things get tough and you need to scale back you can cut your manufacturing partner loose.

        Of course MS would never do anything like that....

        1. ThomH Silver badge


          Surely this'll end up looking really bad for Microsoft? As in: turn your company into a Microsoft shop and expect bankruptcy; try to sell WP7 and expect consumers to walk away.

          1. Rob


            Completely agree, but that's never stopped MS before, business sense isn't there strongest skill ;-)

        2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          @ Rob

          Hmmm. Perhaps it was just a free testbed for windows 8 by another name. ;)

      3. CheesyTheClown

        Hang on for the real Windows 8 Phone

        When I can buy and Intel based Windows 8 Phone with full Windows and Intel WiDi and wireless charging, it'll be the best phone on the market by a huge gap.

        Too bad Nokia is hopeless. They couldn't make a good looking phone if their whole company depended on it. But selling grandma phones will keep them going.

        Funny how everyone talks about Nokia's smart phones which are meaningless, but no one mentions their bread and butter, the cheap shit phones no one else wants to build.

        1. Jess

          Re: Hang on for the real Windows 8 Phone

          > Too bad Nokia is hopeless. They couldn't make a good looking phone if their whole company depended on it

          The N8 and the E71 both look great.

          I think the N8 is still far more popular than the Lumias.

      4. Keep Refrigerated

        Re: I'm not sure Microsoft's hands were trying to pull them back from the brink

        Wasn't there some kind of PR statement where Elop said their goal was 3rd place in the phone market? Doesn't really inspire confidence does it? Leaping from a burning platform to a sinking platform.

        Looking forward to the multitude of I-told-you-sos on El Reg forums when Nokia finally gets Borg'd by the Microsoft cube.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton



    1. King Jack

      Re: THIS IS SAD

      I down voted you because you shouted (as usual). And you always spout trash, Nokia were never known for cameras.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: THIS IS SAD

        Further to what King Jack says, the Carl Zeiss lenses that Nokia have always thought to be a huge selling point have always been a bit of a joke as far as I'm concerned; nobody who knows and cares about Carl Zeiss lenses is going to think that a full-automatic device with a point-and-shoot sized sensor is going to be significantly constrained by lens quality or that at the price points the devices are sold at this is anything more than a vanity labelling exercise, and people who just want to point and shoot aren't likely to have heard of Carl Zeiss.

        Kodak is sad but was hardly inevitable — compare and contrast with the trajectory of Fujifilm, currently riding high on the well-received X series of enthusiast cameras.

        1. Daon151dh

          Re: THIS IS SAD

          "Further to what King Jack says, the Carl Zeiss lenses that Nokia have always thought to be a huge selling point have always been a bit of a joke as far as I'm concerned; "

          Show's what you know really, Carl Zeiss optics as used by Nokia and Sony Eriksson are far superior to *any* of the competition. I have used SE and Nokia N-Series phones for a looong time now and nothing from Apple or the Android mob can compare for picture quality.

          Nokia's downgrading by Moddy's actually makes me laugh. Remember this is a private company who make profits out of their "ratings". Also remember these people are part of a financial system that rewards short termism and punishes long term strategies.

          So why is Nokia doing so badly ? are their phones that crap ? I have the N8 and it is no iPhone but then again I am not forced to live in a walled garden. You can read in here how the iOS is the best OS since sliced bread. Really ? I am mean honestly ?

          IOS has a great front end, but it took me about 5 minutes to realise that it's all front end. I found that I had to apply security settings on an ad-hoc basis for apps. My Symbian OS can do it globally, and RIM's OS does it even better.

          So why is Nokia doing so badly ? Here's a test for you, go looking for a new phone. Check websites, shops etc. You will be pushed Samsung's aggressively, then maybe you'll get pushed towards the iPhone if you talk about premium contracts etc. I had to insist that I got the N8 from Vodafone, the tw@ on the phone told me that the N-series phones were dead.

          Really ? yes he said.... "but the new Samsung.... blah blah sales patter like watter blah de blah"

          So why is Nokia doing so badly ? Because their rivals are spending millions in advertising and subsidies to get *their* devices out their. Simples.

    2. My Alter Ego

      Re: THIS IS SAD

      Me thinks that you're thinking of Konica.

  6. llewton

    the microsoft kiss of death, the gift that keeps on giving. i'm truly sorry for the innocent workers that are losing their jobs and will continue to lose their jobs, if it weren't for that, i'd be quite happy to watch this spectacular downward spiral.

  7. npo4

    Might improve with Lumia 900 sales

    The Lumia 900 has been doing better than expected in America, and once we see the WP8 devices, I'm sure sales will increase.

    Obviously, they'll never reach their former monopoly, but as their devices improve, sales will increase somewhat, and their share price will be higher.

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Might improve with Lumia 900 sales

      "Better than expected" == They actually sold some.

      Nokia never had any significant presence in America.

    2. fishman

      Re: Might improve with Lumia 900 sales

      Only because they are giving them away for free with a contract.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        "Only because they are giving them away for free with a contract."

        Sort of like how if you buy a car with a loan it's free - all you need to do is pay for it in instalments.

        1. Daon151dh

          Re: "Only because they are giving them away for free with a contract."

          Most car makers don't go bribing their dealers to take on their phones with massive kickbacks. Apple do, in fact Apple do it big time as does Samsung.

          Car analogy is actually a piss poor analogy so you get a big fat f**k off Fail for that one like.

          1. JC_


            Sort of like how my ISP gave me a router for free in return for signing up to a contract. They're not actually standing in front of the shop, handing phones out to passers-by.

            Is that better for you, internet-tough-guy?

  8. This Side Up

    Dream on!

    "No doubt Nokia's management, and Microsoft's for that matter, are hoping that Windows Phone will be a massive hit "

    Yesterday's handset maker teaming up with yesterday's software house. There's nothing like telling your customers that you have no faith in your own operating system.

  9. Confuciousmobil

    For Windows Phone to break into the market it needs a market leading phone - if they don't get one soon they will always be known as a third rate OS.

    I hoped Nokia could deliver, but unless they do soon they are likely to pul out of the phone market and where will that leave Windows Phone?

    MS need this to succeed as much as Nokia do - they have both invested a lot and Windows Phone could be good, but it needs market leading hardware to show it off first - with it they could both succeed, without, I'm not sure.

    I would like to see a third player in the mobile OS arena but unless they do something soon it will remain a two horse race.

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      I'm reminded of Psion getting into bed with Motorola- That relationship effectively killed Psion.

  10. Chris 171

    I'll buy a Windows phone...

    When/if it can do everything Symbian can. From what I've read it's gonna take a while.

    Elop must have known this right? This whole saga is starting to smell worse by the day..

    Just make phones that can do tons of different things wrapped up in some lovely hardware. Not that hard is it? Nokia did it with the N8/9 already ffs, 808 just takes the biscuit on the mobile tech front too.

    Phones are phones, 6310 as an example but these are converged devices. Make better, you don't need to copy apple, just skin Symbian on the quiet.


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