back to article Nokia shareholder tells CEO Elop he's going to hell

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has been taking flak from angry shareholders at the company's annual investor's conference, with accusations flying that he's running the company into the ground by keeping Nokia as a Windows-only operation. "You're a nice guy ... and the leadership team is doing its best, but clearly, it's not enough," …

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  1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    There is no Plan B

    Oh, I think you'll find there is a Plan B Stephen, it just sounds like you were plan A.

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  2. Fihart

    Haven't learned Lesson One from Apple.

    If the product is right, people will pay the price.

    You don't have to waste capital and lose income churning out new models to fill every price point.

    By all account the Win phones are pretty good but sales mainly rely on them being cheaper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If the product is right, people will pay the price.

      If the product is 'cool' people will pay the price.

      Android and windows are not 'cool'

      At least Android phones try to one-up apple by being more open and trying to be larger and faster.

      Windows phone is great, but what difference is there between the Nokia, HTC and Samsung phones again????

  3. garyc2011
    Facepalm

    Oh Dear

    Why Why Why Didn't Nokia release even ONE Android Handset..............based on a compatible chipset to reduce delivery times/dev cost.

    Oh I know, it has to be clear to everyone the Elop is a Trojan.............Obvious is obvious........

    Or insane................It's funny, but whenever he made his famous "burning platform" speech this came into my head

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjVWORC3Wcc

    1. eulampios

      Re: Oh Dear

      Exactly,

      Elop's decision to unilaterally go with Microsoft, killing Meego and put all the company's eggs in Redmond's basket would be justified if at least one of the following were true:

      a) Win8 were a much better platform, which is not.

      b) you could only go with a single platform at a time. The rest of manufactures have proven just otherwise. Or at least they were more any of them would be more interested in Winphone8 than in Android.

      c) Win8 were free of charge, but still why not using both, plus Meego? Especially, when Android is free as in freedom and you can configure it better than the proprietary one. Meego might have been quite interesting on tablets, e.g. You can make you phones dual-trial-boot

      d) Microsoft would buy every phone Nokia makes by the Nokia's price and resells it for them

      e) Steven Elop were not a crazy MS fanboy, nor a Microsoft payee, nor a liquidation manager appointed by S. Ballmer

      1. garyc2011

        Re: Oh Dear

        Its clear Microsofts orders were to kill off any OS that could compete with WP

        Meego looked awesome but they refused to sell it in the UK also presumably as part of this agreement

        Found this, and it is SCARY !!!! - soon there will be a 2nd Nokia Entry when they are bankrupt

        http://www.asymco.com/2011/02/11/in-memoriam-microsofts-previous-strategic-mobile-partners/

        The shareholders need to show Elop the door NOW

        1. NB

          Re: Oh Dear

          > Meego looked awesome but they refused to sell it in the UK also presumably as part of this agreement

          Umm, I got a N900 a couple of years ago with Meego from carphone warehouse in the UK, I still have it at home in a drawer. At what point did they refuse to sell it?

          1. Decade
            FAIL

            Re: Oh Dear

            Of course, he's referring to the N9. The N900 runs Maemo, and was released before Elop became CEO of Nokia.

          2. garyc2011

            Re: Oh Dear

            I had an n900 too, nice kit, but if i remember rightly it ran maemo while the N9 ran meego

            How was Elop acting in Nokias and its shareholders interests with this ?

            http://nokiagadgets.com/2011/06/23/elop-theres-no-return-to-meego-even-if-n9-would-be-success/

            Sorry the Guy was sent into Nokia to kill anything that was not WP

            1. apjanes
              Facepalm

              Sigh....

              Sigh, it shows I'm getting old when every time I see "WP" I have to spend a few milliseconds translating from "Word Perfect" to "Windows Phone"!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Dear

        Windows Phone 8 is a much better platform than IOS or Android. So good that Apple are rumoured to be copying the approach in IOS7...

        nb - Android is NOT free. It contains patented technology that needs to be licensed from Nokia, Apple and Microsoft at a minimum...

        1. garyc2011
          FAIL

          Re: Oh Dear

          "Windows Phone 8 is a much better platform than IOS or Android"

          Thats a pretty sweeping statement, tell me what metrics are you basing this on ?

          Quality / Quantity of Apps ?, Features ?, marketshare ?, *rumours* Apple are copying them ?

          Nah, your just talking bulldust i'm afraid.....it's a failure

          I'm sure with Nokia's Patents they could have got a deal with Microsoft with very little money changing hands.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: Oh Dear

          Obvious troll is obvious.

        3. jonfr
          WTF?

          Re: Oh Dear

          Oh dear, you got the Microsoft sickness. Please, see a doctor. At least install some version of open source on your computer and switch your mobile to Android.

        4. alisonken1
          FAIL

          Re: Oh Dear

          I'm still waiting for the _actual_ list of infringements that Android is said to have copied. When you can come up with a list of _actual_ infringement, then I will listen. Until then, it's just FUD.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh Dear

          "nb - Android is NOT free. It contains patented technology that needs to be licensed from Nokia, Apple and Microsoft at a minimum..."

          Really? Care to tell us what they are... or are you just spouting the corporate FUD that you're paid to?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh Dear

            Well the Nokia WiFi patents are a well known one. Microsoft FAT is another. Apple's bounce back at the end of a scrolling list is another.

            The fact that many very large multi billion dollar corporations - including those that have been up for a fight in other cases have just paid up says to me that the patents are significant and valid.

            1. Phil W

              Re: Oh Dear

              Except bounce back was recently invalidated by a US court wasn't it? Or at least Samsung devices were found to not be infringing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Dear

        "a liquidation manager appointed by S. Ballmer" -> upvoted

    2. Phil W

      Re: Oh Dear

      What they should of done is release the N950, as both a Maego and Android (with different product names to avoid confusion obviously).

      At the time the N950 was a fantasticly spec'd bit of a kit. It looked great with it's metal casing and having a QWERTY slider was and still is an unusual feature that there is a market for. Especially if it can be done without increasing the phone to the size of a brick like the N900, and the N950 wasn't a bad size at all.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Oh Dear

      Look at the current world's top smartphone manufacturer...

      Does this company produce phones for different OSes, hedging their bets? Yes. They might not have a wide range of devices but they do have a wide range of OSes, therefore keeping knowledge and skills they might otherwise have lost. It also keeps the suppliers on their toes as they know they need to continue improving.

      Does this company somehow manage to promote their brand over the brand of the Operating System? Yes. The platform / Operating System is the enabler, not the crutch.

      Now look at Nokia. They have one smartphone OS and they trumpet this as a sales ploy.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Oh Dear

      Nokia took the wrong turning sometime in 2002. Even without Elop they were doomed. As if he is slowing or accelerating the end, I don't know. But they are doomed. It's too late. They are now really just a Marketing and Distribution company. Maybe they should flog that bit and the name to someone instead of the long drawn out demise of Kodak and Polariod?

      1. garyc2011

        Re: Oh Dear

        "Nokia took the wrong turning sometime in 2002"

        Yeah I agree, but what I can't understand is why Shareholders allowed Elop to Gamble Nokia, and that is exactly what he has done, he put all Nokia's eggs in one basket and gambled the company on an untested OS.

        It makes sense if ultimately there was a MS agenda at play, any sensible CEO would not have released the "Burning Platform" memo...nor would they have put all their eggs in one basket.

        If Nokia continues on its present course with WP, Elop may well soon finding himself having to write another "Burning Platform" memos.......................

      2. sorry, what?
        Unhappy

        Re: Oh Dear

        Disclaimer: I worked for Nokia for a few years back at the turn of the century.

        IMHO Elop was a disaster for the company; yes it was in trouble and yes they needed to change the way they managed their software stack but signing up to Microsoft the way they did was utterly foolish. I felt at the time it was the wrong move, and kept saying to my wife (who still worked at Nokia at that point) that the obvious choice was to go multi-platform like Samsung and HTC.

        Something that I still think; if you want a phone for calling people or for data use outside the urban environment (or where signal quality is not so good) you can't beat Nokia hardware.

        What you can beat is the Nokia software stack.

        I've played (rather than used) Windows Phone and simply couldn't get along with it. I'd love to see someone porting something like Cyanogen onto a Lumia to see how well it works. However, as with all other 'current' smartphone OSes (it seems), even Android suffers the battery gobbling issue that Symbian never did.

        Perhaps if there had been more focus on improving app interoperability and UI usability on Symbian that bit earlier it wouldn't be dead now and Nokia might still be king of the roost.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS mobile hardware division

    So at what point does purchase of a declining Nokia to form Microsoft's phone hardware division start to look like a good plan B?

  5. Steve Knox Silver badge

    What is vs what should be

    "We make adjustments as we go. But it's very clear to us that in today's war of ecosystems, we've made a very clear decision to focus on Windows Phone with our Lumia product line," he said. "And it is with that that we will compete with competitors like Samsung and Android."

    Interesting language there: he's not claiming that he's doing the right thing, only that he's committed to doing what he's doing. Although you could argue that he leaves the door slightly open by limiting Windows Phone to "our Lumia product line", it's very telling that he considers "Samsing and Android" to be competitors.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: What is vs what should be

      I've found that attitude to be pervasive among many executives; especially when they know they've made a mistake. Some weird thing in their brain makes them believe that people see them as infallible & if they admit their mistake(s) and try to correct them they will be seen as weak.

      Personally I'd rather be seen as falliable as opposed to stupid though.

    2. Jack Prichard
      FAIL

      Re: What is vs what should be

      Yep that he says:

      "And it is with that that we will compete with competitors like Samsung and Android."

      Really sounds like something MS would say, you know, someone who is trying to push an OS rather than handsets.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: What is vs what should be

        Honestly, some people just WANT to see conspiracies. Competing against "Android and Samsung" is a perfect summary of Nokia's challenges.

        Nokia is a full-range manufacturer, as is Samsung. Both companies make everything from simple voice-and-text phones all the way up to high-end smartphones.

        In smartphones, Nokia competes with Android as a platform. Below that, their only significant competitor is Samsung's line of non-Android featurephones (against Nokia's Asha series) and Samsung's plain voice-and-text phones (against Nokias 1xx and 2xx series).

        You know that both Samsung and Nokia make more money on every simple phone they sell than Sony Ericsson have with any of their Android efforts to date... dumbphones and featurephones might not be in the tech-nerd's line of sight, but they're popular devices, that people want to use, and that produce actual profit for their makers. If you want a future, you need a profit.

      2. Zola
        Unhappy

        Re: What is vs what should be

        Really sounds like something MS would say, you know, someone who is trying to push an OS rather than handsets.

        Past comments from Elop have always given the impression that his primary objective is to make Windows Phone a success - the performance of Nokia always seemed of secondary importance.

    3. Mikel

      Re: What is vs what should be

      Doesn't want to get caugh misleading the market with phrases like "we are hopeful that..." when he knows all hope is lost. Could increase his exposure to criminal prosecution.

      So here he is... "all along now, over the cliff we go. You there in the rear - no stragglers." But he is a billionaire and isn't going to miss a meal no matter what. Probably laughs himself to sleep at night.

  6. cortland
    Big Brother

    But...

    They have Lean Six Sigma and good metrics; they HAVE To succeed.

  7. Kurt 4
    Thumb Up

    My Nokia Lumia 920 is amazing and that's saying a lot since I was previously an android fan. I don't think it would of made much difference if they relased an android 920. It would be like the Samsung ativ s windows phone, most people I talk to have never heard of it or seen it.

    1. Zola
      Facepalm

      Two years too late

      An Android 920 would make Lumia 920 sales look like a rounding error (which isn't far off what they are already).

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Two years too late

        no, it wouldn't, it would be just another android in a sea of similar devices.

        1. garyc2011

          Re: Two years too late

          "no, it wouldn't, it would be just another android in a sea of similar devices."

          yeah, much better to be another wp in a small puddle of similar devices (/s)

        2. Johan Bastiaansen

          Re: Two years too late

          "no, it wouldn't, it would be just another android in a sea of similar devices."

          No it wouldn't. It would be a Nokia. That name still rings a bell with a lot of people.

          1. Zola
            FAIL

            Re: Two years too late

            No it wouldn't. It would be a Nokia. That name still rings a bell with a lot of people.

            As evidenced by it's continued declining smartphone marketshare. The Nokia brand alone isn't enough to sell smartphones that run a platform that consumers aren't interested in buying. Don't make the same mistake that Nokia did, which is to believe that Nokia customers will continue to buy Nokia come what may. Customers are a lot more savvy than you - and sadly Nokia - give them credit.

            1. DRendar
              Go

              Re: Two years too late

              "As evidenced by it's continued declining smartphone marketshare. The Nokia brand alone isn't enough to sell smartphones that run a platform that consumers aren't interested in buying. Don't make the same mistake that Nokia did, which is to believe that Nokia customers will continue to buy Nokia come what may. Customers are a lot more savvy than you - and sadly Nokia - give them credit."

              That's precisely the point - Nokia + Windows Phone = something very few people want to go anywhere near...

              Nokia + Android however... mmmm, that's going to be somthing seriously tasty, and I'd happily drop my Samsung allegiance to have some of it, as would many, I'd wager.

              Sadly, Elop and his puppetmasters are unlikely to allow Nokia to go that route now, and Nokia will die a slow and painful death :-(

        3. Robert Forsyth

          Re: Two years too late

          Or perhaps a Nokia smartphone which run Android apps

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two years too late

        Rounding error?

        Some parts of the world they are at 10%; many parts at 5%+ and there are over 20 million in circulation. That's far less than Android or iOS but so what?

        As long as it is a big enough market to be worth serving does it actually matter? There is now sufficient mass behind it that virtually all top apps come to WP8 (Instagram being the obvious exception) anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not much difference

      So you're saying Nokia shouldn't release an Android 920 because most people don't bother about Windows Phones? Or what?

      How much of an effort could it have been to put out an Android 920 phone? Don't you think it would grab some sales? But no they couldn't because it doesn't fit in the BIG STRATEGY. What strategy is that? "Sales is no longer our priority". I've heard a Fin say that before. And he's driving another Finnisch marketleader into the ground.

    3. Aoyagi Aichou

      @ Kurt 4

      Might I ask exactly how is 920 amazing? Aside from being pretty.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Kurt 4

        "Might I ask exactly how is 920 amazing? Aside from being pretty."

        The Lumia 920 still has the best camera, microphones, high refresh rate screen and touch panel on any smartphone even though it was relased last year. Plus the best nav and maps (although cut down versions are available on other WP handsets). And wireless charging.

        1. Aoyagi Aichou

          Re: @ Kurt 4

          So yes, the phone (as in the hardware) is great. I agree completely. In fact, that's one of the reason why I got it. The OS, however, drags it down to underground levels for me.

          (also I find the camera of 920 to be a little overrated. Nexus 4 (I think) shoots a lot sharper)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Kurt 4

            The WP8 OS is significantly better than IOS and Android. Much faster, and more responsive - very attractive in appearance - with great social integration and very simple to use.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I hear lumias are quite good

    But if you are going to charge me the same as a reasonable Samsung or an iPhone, I want history of goodness.

    It works in the fashion and car industry: come into the industry with a new high prices product and people think it is luxury (e.g. lexus) ... but MS seem to forget that for most people who managed to rid themselves of MS, they are not trying to win new customers, but convince old ones that they are different now.

    Whenever i see MS marketing stuff, it reminds the of the song by Sadam Hussain in the south park movie.. "i'll change, i'm different now" .... yeah right... this Apple -esque demo of the surface made me laugh because its actually quite truthful... the surface tablet fails to perform and crashes... lol

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1zxDa3t0fg

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hear lumias are quite good

      They don't charge like that. Check the prices. Don't compare specs (WP8 is less demanding on hardware) but compare performance.

      You don't get the same *comparably performing* Android as a Lumia 720 for the £300 it lists at. As for the £120 Lumia 520 the Android competition is laughably poor in operation in comparison. Specs aren't everything.

      And iPhone? It's worth noting that there is a reason Apple have so much money. Profit doesn't just appear magically. It is siphoned at a ridiculous rate from their customers. Almost by definition you cannot go from nothing to billions in the bank without having overcharged for your product, regardless of it's popularity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hear lumias are quite good

        "As for the £120 Lumia 520 the Android competition is laughably poor in operation in comparison."

        Well, the ~£100 Huawei Ascend G300 (Android!) phone performs quite well for me. The single core G300 is rather modest but does everything I need quite well. I don't play mobile games much though, but for my kid's games it's been ok.

        I've come to believe that Windows 8 performs better than Android on the same hardware having read it here over and over. I've yet to be made to believe that Android doesn't perform well enough on what's being sold today. Especially when you can install Jelly Bean on it.

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