back to article Nokia loses $1.7bn in Q1, sales chief falls overboard

Nokia's sales chief Colin Giles will depart in a shake-up of the company's commercial operation, the mobe maker announced in its earnings call today. After he clears his desk in June, 20-year veteran Giles won't be replaced, with the four regional senior VPs now reporting directly to head of markets Niklaus Savander. As the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The WP8 question

    Unless or until Nokia can state that the Lumia models will update to WP8, its hard to see the current smartphone lineup as a good buy.

  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    Lost $1.7bn? For that money you could buy a web based startup with 13 staff and no revenue.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sales Chief - poor sod

    The CEO unilaterally destroys overnight all value in the company and it's current product lines by going "all in" on Windows Phone - without any actual product to sell - and the Sales Chief that diligently grew sales over a 20 year career is thrown under the bus when nobody wants to buy the new Windows Phone product, or even the old ones that the CEO burned on his bonfire.

    Farking marvellous - no wonder he's walking, I would too.

    The CEO is a complete tool.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Sales Chief - poor sod

      TBH, if I was the outgoing sales chief then I think now is a good time to sit on a big fat bed of gold and spend time with the family.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sales Chief - poor sod

      Totally agree. Been there. Granted sometimes it's the sales people who make those silly decisions. But here it was the CEOs it seems.

      Seen it happen on the small scale too. :(

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sales Chief - poor sod

      I agree that Elop's decision to ditch Symbian just as it was finally maturing enough to be a serious potential rival to Android & iOS was pretty bloody silly but Nokia have had problems for years. Between some cack-handed handset designs and an internal management structure straight out of the worst US Management Guru Handbook (eg "hey, let's have more than one department working on handset designs, and what's more, let's have them compete with one another! You're guaranteed to succeed when all your employees are more concerned about out-performing their colleagues than they are helping the company outperform its rivals!") they've been heading for a nasty bump for about 7 years.

      (In saying that, at least they were successful to begin with - I recall seeing similar stupidity from Siemens, who've never been anywhere near as good at making decent phones as Nokia, and whose reaction to having inadvertently produced a decent handset was to panic and junk it before anyone had time to notice...)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sales Chief - poor sod

      Elop is the PHB ...

      - http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2012-04-01/

    5. BrentRBrian

      Re: Sales Chief - poor sod

      .... a complete Microsoft Tool

  4. Ralph B
    FAIL

    Challenging my arse

    > Elop describing the UK market as "challenging"

    Or rather the UK market describing Elop's strategy as "deluded".

    1. Captain Underpants
      Joke

      Re: Challenging my arse

      Nokia's WinPho7 handsets are challenging your arse? I think you must be using it wrong...

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re: Challenging my arse

        Disagree...

        Rename Nokia's WinPho7 to "Izal Medicated", and you've a real challenge....

        Worse than a vindaloo when you go to the loo.

  5. Neil 7
    Mushroom

    Desire to cut costs has killed Nokia

    Elop's desire to cut costs - which on the surface makes good business sense - is having a disastrous effect now that he has no revenue, which is a direct consequence of his zeal to cut Symbian costs.

    If he hadn't been so quick to burn Symbian (and also MeeGo/Maemo), he wouldn't now be faced with massive losses and still nobody is buying his precious Windows Phone.

    No doubt he will continue cutting costs and selling off assets until there is essentially nothing left of the company. It looks like Elop learned one thing at business school, to keep your costs low, but didn't learn that making a profit actually matters more.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101
      FAIL

      Re: Desire to cut costs has killed Nokia

      Sales were utterly collapsing before the 'burning platforms' speech. The N8 was horribly late and, with the exception of the camera, uncompetitive with Android products in the same price range. Whether the Windows Phone strategy works or not isn't clear - but it was a better plan for Nokia than the one before.

      1. Neil 7
        Meh

        Re: Desire to cut costs has killed Nokia

        Sales were on the decline, but they were not collapsing - that only happened after the speech which dramatically accelerated the decline. After the speech, carriers didn't want to buy Symbian stock any more - at any price. Nokia also had Belle in the wings, which is the facelift Symbian needed as well as bringing full Qt support, but this was artificially delayed having been ready in the summer and released only recently.

        Nokia did everything they could to undermine Symbian after the speech, which up to that point was still making a healthy contribution to the bottom line and would have continued to do so had Nokia not burned the platform so publicly and catastrophically.

        Nokia purposefully killed Symbian quickly in order for Microsoft to make up ground with WP, but in doing so they have broken Nokia, probably for good, as now they have precious little revenue and WP doesn't look like it's the winner they expected it to be.

        1. Philip Lewis
          Holmes

          Re: Desire to cut costs has killed Nokia

          "they expected it to be."

          By "they", I assume you are asserting the royal plural for the "Manchurian Candidate" at the helm of Nokia. I doubt anyone at Nokia other than Elop "expected" WP to be the success necessary to compensate for the disasterous situation Elop has foisted upon Nokia.

          Actually, I doubt whether it matters at all. The MS strategy to destroy Nokia for later consumption at firesale prices through the agency of Elop is right on schedule!

  6. Arrrggghh-otron

    About time?

    Maybe time to give Android a try eh Nokia? I for one will give serious thought to your Android offerings if they have a qwerty keyboard like the N97 et al.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About time?

      Certainly, why not - shouldn't cost too much to slap it on a few devices.

      MeeGo might also stand a second chance, as would resurrecting Symbian and the Qt strategy. Get Android apps running on top of MeeGo and Symbian as a short term measure. Then get Qt running officially on Android (and also the soon to be launched Tizen OS).

      Grow the Qt ecosystem everywhere - don't be precious about it. But give the premier Qt experience on your own hardware.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About time?

        The MeeGo-Harmattan Swipe UX is an absolute joy.

        Any system based on the Swipe UX would sell big time - the N9 outselling Lumia even though the former was only marketed in places like Kazakhstan confirms this. The fact it would also be 100% Nokia will bring back the punters that have been driven away by Windows Phone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android? When hell freezes over

      Or Elop is thrown out on his arse, which is about as likely.

    3. xperroni
      FAIL

      Re: About time?

      > Maybe time to give Android a try eh Nokia?

      Though surely those Microsoft payments come with some obligations attached? Things like not investing in rival OS'es?

      And anyway, turning around now would mean a massive loss of face, not to mention writing off all the money invested (lost) trying to make the current strategy work. A corporation cannot change its collective mind about its overall direction every other year; for Nokia now it's make or break, and unfortunately it increasingly looks like the later.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: About time?

        The MS deal is likely to have come with steel cables attached, rather than strings... but when things look this bad jumping ship seems like a good option. You can either jump ship, survive and deal with the consequences or go down with the MS powered ship.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heading in the right direction

    It was always going to take time for Elop to turn a company the size of Nokia around and he's getting there slowly. He's managed to cut costs and move out of the way a sales chief who was probably too stubborn to accept and embrace the future of mobile and tablet computing in Windows Phone 7.

    It's clear that the Lumia range is selling and the Windows App store continues to grow on a weekly basis with some fantastic apps and the market share for Windows Phone can only grow and this can only help Nokia. It's clear from their numbers that they've lost a lot of money due to the almost worthless symbian platform that the previous CEO held on to for too long.

    Once they've flushed all these symbian devices down the toilet and they can focus on the great Lumia range hardware and Windows smartphones then Nokia will be back in profit in no time.

    It's good to see Elop is willing to shake things up and move on the deadwood in the company that's holding it back who can't see the long term vision and strategy for Nokia. Great time to buy their stock as Elop's experience and drive will ensure the company regains it's lost market share to the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      I hear about Xbox hueg losses and what is this?

      "sales chief too stubborn to accept and embrace the future of ... Windows Phone 7"

      "great Lumia range hardware"

      "deadwood in the company that's holding it back"

      "almost worthless symbian platform"

      "Elop's experience and drive will ensure the company regains it's lost market"

      Has been copypastaed from a Microsoft talking point memo? Or maybe an investment boutique flyer?

      And it's "its", not "it's"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Copypasted from a Microsoft talking point memo?

        No, even the Microsoft marketing folks are more subtle than this astroturfing bozo.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Heading in the right direction-

      Which is down the plughole...

    3. Yag

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      heh... Too bad "anonymous coward" and "trollface" don't mix, I guess a lot of people didn't caught the obvious irony...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      Were you paid by Nokia PR dept to write this...........??

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      Steve, is that you?

    6. tirk
      Trollface

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      You do reaslise that if you don't post using your own name, you can't claim the marketing dollars, right?

    7. Paul Shirley

      Re: Elop to burn a company

      I misread that as "Elop to burn a company" 1st time. Makes more sense than what it actually says.

    8. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Heading straight down, more likely.

      Elop's decision to act as MS mole and ram WP7 on Nokia seems to have turned a slow profit descent into a nosedive. If shareholders were smart, they would be voting for Elop to get sacked and put up someone who can either ressurrect Symbian (with Belle) or push out an Android stopgap while they get their shit together.

      Switching to WinMo killed Palm, it seems that the same is happening to Nokia so they should get rid of it while they still can pull themselves out of that mess.

    9. Philip Lewis
      Devil

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      I am not sure if that post was serious or sarcasm, so I don't know how to rate it. :(

    10. Whitespace
      FAIL

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      If only you had taken the trouble to register and log in you could have used the "Joke Alert" icon and received a zillion up-votes.

    11. Snapper
      WTF?

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      ....are you on?

    12. Vic

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      > It's clear that the Lumia range is selling

      That's not clear to me at all.

      Vic.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heading in the right direction

      > It's clear that the Lumia range is selling

      It's also clear that the Pope is a Hindu.

      Learn to astroturf properly.

  8. Leona A
    FAIL

    RIP Nokia

    Was nice knowing you.

    Nobody wants a Windows phone, but you wouldn't be told, guess you'll learn the hard way.

    1. Fibbles

      My thoughts exactly...

      RIP Nokia

      I and my trusty old 3210 salute you.

      1. Thomas 4

        @Fibbles

        I too have fond memories of my earlier Nokia phones. I loves my faithful 6210 with its cutting edge IR port for my Psion Revo. I remember the bold designs Nokia came out with in its first launch of the N-series, the N90 that changed from a clamshell phone into a camcorder (sort of).

        And now? We have an endless series of the same boring black square slabs that every other manufacturer is cranking out, except with an OS that Joe Public doesn't understand and techies do not like.

        Fuck Elop and his reinvented Nokia.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RIP Nokia

      Those who do want a "windows" phone (like on the of the wife's friends) actually buy an Android device. I heard this conversation downstairs: "new phone... don't like Apple... I'm happy with Windows". Aha! I though, now I'll finally get to see a WP7 device.

      Hurried downstairs to "get some coffee" only to discover that the gadget in question was a top-of-the line HTC Android...

  9. phlashbios
    Meh

    Featureless phones ?

    I have used Windows Phone 7 for a number of weeks and it is a slick, pleasant experience. However, when up against Android and Apple, the hardware and software need to be a compellingly better experience than the competition, and they simply aren't at the moment.

    Here's a good example of just one area it falls short. Want to watch BBC iPlayer on a Windows Phone ? Well you can't, because Windows Phone 7 does not have Flash support or HLS, and there is no word from either the BBC or Microsoft about when there will be support and in what form it will take. That is just one example of the issues consumers face.

    When you are trying to beat the competition, you are not going to manage it when your products are not as capable as others on the market, no matter how slick your OS may be.

    I have just taken delivery of an HTC One X last week, which is where the leading Android experience is at currrently, and it simply does everything you could want and does it very well too. Until Nokia and Microsoft get their heads round the fact that competing in the Smartphone market will require them to offer something better than the competition, rather than targetting the middle to low end of the market, then they are doomed to fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Featureless phones ?

      Don't forget the stupid issue with sd cards and zune software. Android wins hands down.

    2. BanjoPaterson
      Pint

      Re: Featureless phones ?

      I've got an HTC X One too and quite like it. I like the larger screen, although the image of holding Ghetto Blasters on ones shoulders came to mine. The only issue I have is its bluetooth and my car's don't seem to get along and I don't know why. Still, it connects to the earpiece, so a livable downside (ie this is not a strong enough reason to return it).

      I've only seem one WP7 in the wild -- my niece's phone last year! Couldn't believe it. I played with it for a bit before handing it back. However, early this year when I saw that my niece had an HTC with Android. I asked her what happened to her old phone and she said it's now her backup phone and she replaced it with an Android one because it didn't have enough software. I didn't ask what specific software so not sure. So there you go -- the only WP7 in the wild I've seen and it got ditched after 6 months.

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Joke

        Ghetto Blasters?

        God, your sooooooo '90's

        Theyre called a "Third World Briefcase" in this century

  10. jai

    blame?

    Nokia blamed "lower seasonal demand for our feature phones

    It's a bit rich to put blame on "lower seasonal demand" - what that means is that the competition's phone where better and more inline with what the customers wanted. And Nokia can only blame themselves for that, not the general phone-buying public.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: blame?

      It also means that Q2 is likely to be even worse as Nokia won't have the advantage of any "seasonal demand" even if it was low this year, plus Symbian and feature phone sales will have eroded even further.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mis-parsed that marketing-speak...

      "Lower seasonal demand for our feature phones" simply means "Nobody wanted to buy our phones, even at Christmastime".

    3. druck Silver badge

      Re: blame?

      It's going to be one hell of a long season for Nokia!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just love watching train wrecks!

    Bring out the popcorn!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: I just love watching train wrecks!

      agree, but sad the same time.

      A lot of so called analysts say don't write nokia off yet, and I really hope they are correct in the long run.

      On the flip side, nokia may have one too many wounds to carry on fighting.

      I however would like to see nokia be number one again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just love watching train wrecks!

      I don't. I know too many people who worked at Nokia to find this even remotely funny.

  12. James 51 Silver badge

    I have an n900 but I don't see anything on the market that would make me want to buy another phone. Where's my upgrade path? Even though in terms of capability the pureview would be a big step backwards I'd accept for the sake of the camera but where is it?

    I would happily pay the cash for one of their dual sim feature phones (handy on holiday) but they are impossible to get a hold of on the highstreet and none seem to offer 3G.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      N900 upgrade path

      That would be the N9, available even in those countries that were denied it - it's available online in the UK from several vendors.

      Dual-SIM phones can be had online from a bunch of retailers too, eg. Amazon, and again in the UK. Bought a 101 recently for my mum, cracking little thing for £35. The Asha 2xx look like great phones too.

      The PureView 808 should be launching in the UK next week or early May.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: N900 upgrade path

        Can't agree. The N9 is a nice phone and I like MeeGo, but Nokia abandoned another OS at launch, and the N9 has no keyboard. Now, if I could get my hands on an N950, that would be ace, but I'm stuck on my N900 for now. Going to go SIM-only and wait to see what happens with Tizen.

        Someone make a proper smartphone with a bloody keyboard. Please? Please??

        1. gaz 7
          Unhappy

          Re: N900 upgrade path

          I'm in the same boat. My contract is almost up. I really like the N9 but it has no keyboard or SD storage, and is not available on contract so I have better things to drop 300 notes on in one go. I'd consider an E7 (wife's got one and really nice although symbian) but they're still about £30 a month on a 2 yr contract at least, which is mental considering the lifespan.

          Thinking about going sim-only and getting a second n900 as a spare or a Galaxy Note. There are landscape slider qwerty Android devices but none officially in the UK.

          I cannot understand the reluctance of Nokia to release the N9/N950 globally unless it's a condition of MS which would not surprise me.

          1. petur
            Unhappy

            Re: N900 upgrade path

            Also in the same boat, hope it doesn't sink. Would have gone N950 if they sold it, and I know many who would, but no, they refuse to sell it, or even sell the N9 in more countries;

            Well, if you refuse to sell phones that you have developed and that people want, don't be surprised that revenue goes down ;)

          2. MaXimaN
            Happy

            Re: N900 upgrade path

            The HTC Desire Z and the Sony Xperia X10 Mini Pro are both landscape slider qwerty Android devices that are officially available in the UK.

            1. Raz
              Meh

              Re: N900 upgrade path

              Yep, I upgraded from an N900 to a Desire Z (T-Mobile G2) and it was great. Now last December I wanted to upgrade again to a bigger screen and dual core CPU, but there are no Android phones with a hardware keyboard that match, so I settled for a HTC Amaze 4G. Whoever (I know it's not going to be Nokia) brings a hardware keyboard to 4.5" plus Android phone has my $650.

            2. Greg J Preece

              @MaXimaN - Re: N900 upgrade path

              The Desire Z is not far off the age of the N900. (Did it get an S upgrade? Don't think so.) The Mini Pro got a refresh but it's too damn small. Plus, the reason I'm on an N900 is: I don't want Android!

          3. Anonymous Coward 101
            FAIL

            Re: N900 upgrade path

            Abandoning the N900 will go down as another example of first rate Nokia thinking in the wilderness years between the N95 and the 'burning platforms' memo.

            Picture the scene: Nokia finally have a new operating system running on a new phone. It's buggy but users like it a lot, and it sells much better than expected. If you were a smart corporation, you would devote lots of resources in bringing out more phones with the same, speedily improving, operating system. If you were Nokia, you would abandon it, cutting loyal customers adrift, and forming a 'strategic partnership' with Intel to make a new super-duper operating system. They didn't work out that they needed to move a lot quicker in getting products on shelves.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: N900 upgrade path

          I have owned the 770, N800 and N810, N900 and, most recently, the N950 (with Lumia 800 in a drawer).

          I use the keyboard on the N950 very rarely (mostly for terminal) as the onscreen keyboard in MeeGo-Harmattan is so good (Swype is fantastic). Yes, the N950 is a lovely device, but the presence of the hardware keyboard is considerably over-rated (not to mention adds a bit of heft that the N9 doesn't have).

  13. Shagbag

    The problem is W8 not Nokia

    I've got a Lumia 800 and I really like the sleek hardware design and the Metro interface. The problem, as others have pointed out, is Windows. As a seasoned Android user I am convinced WP7/7.5 was a product 'rushed to market'. Its feature set - while polished - is sparse compared to Android and the lack of a timely stream of new features from Microsoft really makes me think Nokia's cash stockpile will run out before WP gets any real 'traction' with consumers.

    Nokia makes great handsets and, generally, always has but their insistence on trying to break the Smartphone OS Duopoly makes them a slave to the fortunes of the OS.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elop or Nokia

    It can't be both ways - either Nokia gives Elop the boot or the company is dead. It reminds me of Apple's dark days, with the exception that none of the then-CEO's were daft enough to refer to the company as a 'burning platform'. As it stands, Nokia has no drawcard - it can't compete at the bottom of the market because there are any number of companies who can go cheaper, but it can't be innovative or disruptive either because they're based on a 'standard' platform along with any number of its competitors. This is a losing strategy no matter how you look at it.

    The best Nokia can do is what Apple did - bring in a CEO that can inspire and excite the market and work on something truly outstanding before the money runs out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elop or Nokia

      The best Nokia can do is what Apple did - bring in a CEO that can inspire and excite the market and work on something truly outstanding before the money runs out.

      Elop could almost have been that man if he'd pushed through the vision of MeeGo/Symbian/Qt - Qt is a great platform, Symbian needed a facelift (it now has it, Belle - very well received even though Elop had by then killed it stone dead) and MeeGo (Maemo) was rightly praised as being the first worth competitor alongside the iPhone.

      What does he do? Kills it all, and jumps into bed with a dog of a platform.

      I think there is still life left in these former Nokia systems, add to that the progression towards HTML5 based ecosystems and Nokia still have a chance to innovate. I also think that by following their own path they will retain and even win back many of their former customers that have been alienated by the Feb11 speech.

      Like you say though, it needs someone to come in an resurrect Nokia - the sooner Elop is booted out the door the sooner that might happen.

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re: Elop or Nokia

        "the sooner Elop is booted out the door the sooner that might happen."

        Dunno. Simon Beresford-Wylie was the 'architect' who created Noka Siemens Networks. Once he saw that the light at the end of the tunnel was an imminent train-crash, he jumped ship (train?).

        Elop will do the same. My prediction is October, based on his history. He has a reputation of being a quitter, not a sticker.

        Leaves Rajeed whats-his-name to sort NSN out.

        Jorma Olilla - we desperately need you to take the reins again. Nokia's fuc*ked if you don't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Elop or Nokia

          It's no secret what Jorma Ollila had in mind regarding the top job before Elop came out of the woodwork. Time to revisit that plan. And Anssi Vanjoki might just be crazy enough to accept the job, too...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Elop or Nokia

            To fix Nokia, I think it needs someone that is Nokia through-and-through, and someone that intimately knows what it's like to be booted out of Nokia - thus a victim of their failure - and has observed all the mistakes Nokia have made, are currently making and should, by now, have a clue how to overcome those mistakes.

            Anssi is probably the ideal candidate - he knew Symbian still had legs, and MeeGo/Maemo was looking good. Whether it's too late to go back I don't know, but he'd know that Windows Phone isn't the answer.

            There is still huge potential in the Nokia brand, but not while it's being subverted by these Microsoft charlatans.

  15. James Pickett

    Looking forward to the fire sale, at least.. :-)

  16. P. Lee Silver badge
    Coat

    > sales chief falls overboard

    Stuffed through a square porthole, methinks. A glazed one.

    1. elsonroa
      Thumb Up

      Re: > sales chief falls overboard

      No doubt he held on to the extensive list of high-level contacts at the various carriers and retailers which he must have built up over the years. I'm sure that will come in useful when it comes to getting a new job...

    2. Whitespace

      Already started

      I bought a Nokia Bluetooth headset adapter at a huge discount a few weeks ago. Works very nicely with my Android phone. I got the impression the shop was trying to clear its Nokia shelfspace.

  17. SiempreTuna

    Saw someone with a Win7 phone last night!

    It was an HTC, though. Seemed pretty slick, but there's no way I would buy one.

    As several people have said or hinted, Nokia need to get out some Droids like now if not sooner, before there's no more company to make 'em.

    Having Droids doesn't stop them having winphones, they just really need something ASAP that's actually going to sell.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Saw someone with a Win7 phone last night!

      I saw someone with a Lumia on the tube in London yesterday.

      I mean - hey.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SAD

    Really, Really sad. How on eman can kill a huge company in a blink and the board does fuckall!

    How the mighty have fallen.

  19. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Stop

    Anyone remember...

    ... when the Xbox first came out?

    "Microsoft want to launch a console? But that's Sony/Nintendo's territory, there's no room in the market"

    ... and here we are, ten years later, with the Xbox now massive in the console market.

    The thing is, Microsoft have the money to throw at something until it sticks. Smart move by Nokia - sure, the short term picture is not pretty, but if Microsoft are willing to keep the cash flowing (and they want a piece of the mobile market, hence why we're here now), there's every chance that they can claw their way in - especially with the current two pronged assault of malware and fragmentation that Android is currently facing.

    1. Wyrdness
      WTF?

      Re: Anyone remember...

      ... when the Zune first came out?

      "Microsoft launch a mp3 player? But that's Apple's territory, there's no room in the market"

      ... and here we are, six years later, with the Zune now massive in the mp3 player market.

      Oh, wait.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone remember...

        The difference between this and the Zune is Zune was a Microsoft only project.

        Microsoft are a software company and Nokia are the best mobile phone manufacturer in the world and the public recognise that, so there are synergies between the two with their respective strengths that forms just great products for the public.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Anyone remember...

          Pro-tip: people can tell you're a shill when you:

          a) Post anonymously

          b) Use the word "synergies".

          Definitely a PR invasion on this thread. Sorry guys, this is El Reg. Not gonna wash. And this is coming from a guy who actually kinda likes Windows Phone. One of my phones is a Lumia 800, and holy damn is it fast. Just missing quite a few bits of software...

          1. W.O.Frobozz
            Thumb Down

            Re: Anyone remember...

            Oh I'm aready sensing the presence of "Steve Barkto" on this thread. Microsoft's astroturfers haven't gotten any more subtle over the years.

        2. Raz
          Coat

          Re: Anyone remember...

          Nokia WAS the best phone manufacturer in the world when people knew nothing better than feature phones. As much as I dislike Apple, the iPhone swept the floor with all phone manufacturers that could not see that the phone becomes a computer. Apple commoditized the carrier, while Nokia and RIM, another train crash waiting to happen, were just too happy to provide one more feature here and there. When they realized what's going on, it was too late, and they did not had the stamina to go ahead with Meego/Maemo, and kept changing platforms like shirts, and ended up with the worst one. Samsung shows that massive money can be made in the Android market, why was Nokia not seeing that?

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: Zune

        Remember: WinPhone is the new name for Zune. So still going strong... oh, my mistake.

    2. W.O.Frobozz

      Re: Anyone remember...

      Yeahbut...Microsoft already HAD the entire PC gaming market in their pocket. The original X-box was running some form of Windows 2000..it was literally a no-brainer to port PC games to it. And most North American PC game companies did jump on board...but not until after Halo. Remember the launch? "Munch's Oddeesssyyyy" or whatever it's called was the lead title.

    3. BobaFett
      Stop

      Re: Anyone remember...

      The success of the Xbox 360 is down to a number of factors:

      - out-gunning the Wii in the graphjics department and actually supporting HDTV resolutions (not that the XBox is aimed primarily at the Nintendo audience in the first place);

      - beating the PS3 to market by over a year;

      - having a superior, well-integrated user experience made by a software company rather than a hardware company (Sony).

      The original Xbox was a pre-cursor and an experiment where the financial backing of a company like Microsoft can see these projects "stick", as you said..

      But to use the success of the Xbox as a prediction for Windows Phone is somewhat naive. I doubt you'll find many market analysts who'd bet their money as willingly as yourself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone remember...

        Don't forget throwing ridiculous amounts of money at it.

        The Xbox 360 is now profitable. The Xbox pre-360 was a nine figure write-off. The figures for the latter are generally not included in the figures for the former.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who has had the pleasure of using a Lumia 800 will know what a joy it is to use with it's interactive live tiles (rather than static grid of icons leading into siloed apps) and these phones are really slick. They prove you don't need the fastest processor or the most storage in order to get a great device that does it all.

    Nokias problem is that the salesdroids only know Android they don't take the time to learn the great features of Windows Phone, but if they did they'd better advise the customers and Nokia would get those sales figures they deserve

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same astroturfer

      as above. (Giveaway: use of the word 'great').

      You've obviously never met a salesman. They work on commission. Their previous experience with WinPho, customer dissatisfaction and returns has been so horrific that they don't want to sell a Lumia even if someone actually comes in and asks for one by name.

  21. Shao

    Microsoft's fault as much as anyone's

    Nokia should have been able to see that it spent most of its time pushing for the Tango release and hampering Windows Phone 7 development for multi-core as it wanted to corner the cheap end of the market which is driven by volume sales and low margin. Nokia found ultimately that it was difficult for it to compete there. This is not to say that going into the high end at this time is a great thing judging by how HTC is doing.

    However, Microsoft not supporting native code pretty much introduced a pause in the mobile industry such that many players were and are hesitant to adopt Windows Phone 7 and the majority are waiting for Windows Phone 8.

    Even if the companies came on board and rewrote everything in .NET, given that the majority of WP7 devices are aimed at the low end and .NET running slower than native code, would the BBC iPlayer really have been a success when it performs slow compared to other platforms.

    Even Angry Birds needs a few tricks up its sleeves to give the impression that it runs fast.

    Or maybe Microsoft just wants Nokia to do poorly and then be ripe for a takeover? Who knows.

  22. LesboInMansBody
    FAIL

    Ellop is the Village Idiot

    Ellop should go back to selling chicken dinners. He's not compentent to run anything larger.

  23. Wunderbar1

    Microsoft's partnership strikes again

    What was Elop thinking? Yes, Symbian is behind Droid and iOS, but at least they owned it (well, owned the dev process) and could control its future. Instead of making Symbian competitive they decided to throw their lot in with Microsoft, which is a lose slowly or lose rapidly proposition.

    Best case for Nokia with Microsoft was that WP becomes a huge hit (unlikely given MS past performance in smartphones) and then Microsoft turns around and sells the WP OS to anyone who wants to buy it. Nokia is stuck with a standard, unalterable experience and standard features from Microsoft. It becomes a commodity (like PCs) and everyone is racing to give away the phones for a lower and lower price. Worst case, and most likely case, is what is currently happening. Windows flops again on mobile. No one is buying a dead platform in Symbian. They have a new product which they can't sell and an old product which they can't sell.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mediæval Remedies

    Nokia, being in its later-day state, deciding to partner with Microsoft and become so completely reliantly on their tried and tested (and failed) platform is akin to someone from the dark ages coming down with bubonic plague and going to the local quack for a dose of leeches.

    It'll end the same. Unless MS are interested in acquiring a hardware arm, they'll just wait until Nokia is emaciated and walk away without looking back. At least MS have Windows and Office propping up their mobile efforts. What does Nokia have propping up it's phone manufacturing arm?

    Series 60 royalties, that's what...

  25. GreyWhistler
    Unhappy

    The Big Gamble

    Nokia took a huge gamble by tying itself to Windows. Now they have lost control of their own destiny. Logically, Microsoft won't care who wins in phones, as long as they use Win8. Nokia have to give us a compelling reason to buy their products and that is getting harder in a rapidly maturing market. I wish them well, I used Nokias for years, but they aren't doing themselves justice any more.

  26. David Black
    Unhappy

    Farewell faithful hound

    Nokia actually had a strategy for surviving the "turnaround" and it basically involved pitching Symbian to the low/mid-range (and bringing competitive features and an ecosystem with it), cannibalizing the featurephone market of S40 and then bringing through Meego on the high-end. They could have maintained this approach and inserted Win Phone, purely targeted at their non-existant US market, possibly offering limited variants in other limited territories until Win Phone matured and could oust Symbian from the mid-range then laterly the low-end. This could all have happened without much pain or sorrow over a 2-3 year timescale.

    Nope, Stephen burned the platform that was generating 93% of the company profit. That was his decision alone. It was primarilly motivated by overwhelming negativity to Nokia and Symbian in particular in North America who had just woken to the age of the smartphone about 10 years after everyone else. As the management of Nokia became physically more North American, their viewpoint directed everything. No one seemed capable of noticing that North America was (unfortunately) miniscule for Nokia (0.7% of revenue) and that really they needed to manage a European company that was storming Asia... even if it was losing ground.

    Short, sharp shock better than managed transition... well only if it doesn't kill the patient. Revenues and profits would've declined savagely in the managed transition but Nokia would still be alive in 2 years time. At this rate, the brand will be alive but nothing that is "Nokia" will survive til Christmas this year.

  27. W.O.Frobozz
    FAIL

    It's SGI all over again

    Anytime a Microsoft mole takes over a company and gives it a glittering vision of dumping the old, successful operating system and replacing it with Windows...it always fails. Look for Elop to follow Ricky Belluzo, murderer of SGI, straight to Redmond's doorstep for a cushy job once he's completely poisoned Nokia.

  28. Mikel
    Windows

    Sell some phones

    If they don't sell some phones, nothing else matters.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deliberate

    This is a deliberate strategy by Elop to trash the company value so that MS can step in and buy it on the cheap and then offer their own brand phones à la iCr@p

  30. Magnus_Pym

    More Zune that Xbox

    I think Elop is just running the xbox strategy. Pour money into loss making hardware for years and hope to make the money up later in games sales. The xbox showed that it doesn't matter how bad the initial user experience is or how buggy some of the equipment turns out to be if you pockets are deep enough ...

    ... and there is a compelling reason for getting on board. It was always the games that sold the xbox; exclusive games that hard core gamers would spend big money on 'cos they couldn't play them without the hardware.

    However this didn't work on Zune because there would never be anything compelling and exclusive to buy it for. I can't see it working at Nokia for the same reason.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: More Zune that Xbox

      > It was always the games that sold the xbox; exclusive games that hard core gamers would

      > spend big money on 'cos they couldn't play them without the hardware.

      This is basically the "killer app" theory, which has become such a cliché that it's hard not to view it with deep suspicion; but in the case of the game consoles I suspect it's true, with the exception of the Wii (where, in a sense, the UX was the killer app).

      Sony did a good job with the Playstation and PS2 of dominating particular market segments, such as RPGs, with exclusive games. It took Microsoft a little while, but they learned to do the same thing with the Xbox and Xbox 360, which became popularly known as the dominant systems for military-simulation games, for example, or online console gaming.

      But as you say this is unlikely to work with WinPhone. Individual phone apps just haven't been that important (no, not even Angry Birds) to sales. The *number* of iOS apps has, I think, helped drive Apple sales - but as an aggregate, not because of specific apps. And Microsoft can't tie up enough exclusive deals to have a compelling app portfolio.

      And even if they did, there's no good way for Nokia to differentiate its WinPhones from others.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy or Cock Up?

    I see a lot of comments about "Microsoft trashing Nokia so they can buy it cheap"; but this just doesn't add up.

    If Nokia goes down, so does Windows Phone; so Microsoft's stake in the phone market is gone. Nokia's patents will have the same value (more or less) even if the company doesn't exist, but these will devalue over time as the market and technology moves on. Why would Microsoft want a bunch of aging phone patents in a scenario where it isn't a player in the phone market? Making Nokia worth less (or even worthless) means others can afford to bid for Nokia as well; and those players (Google, Samsung, Apple) will have a stronger position to bid from whilst Microsoft's ability to bid will be severely reduced by a failed phone strategy.

    The current situation at Nokia seems more like cock-up; they didn't anticipate how well Android would do in the low-end market, traditionally a good earner for Nokia, and the continued success of Apple and Samsung in the high price points makes it difficult to market the Lumia range. I don't think anyone a Microsoft will be celebrating over this.

    1. David Beck

      Re: Conspiracy or Cock Up? or buying a cheap patent portfolio?

      You seem to think MS are interested in Nokia as a running HW company. I think you will find you are mistaken. Nokia have a huge patent portfolio related to mobile which will, under the leadership of Elop, not be disposed of during the decline. MS will use some of it's cash to acquire the portfolio and Nokia will be no more. Makes sense if you are a lawyer or an accountant.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    xbox situation is no comparison. Gaming is a small subset of the entire computing industry and with Sega gone and Nintendo deciding to go for low end machines there was only Sony to battle with. Even then it cost MS billions before they turned a profit and they already had a huge market share in games due to direct x being the defacto graphics engine for PC based games.

    To give an indication of how big the market is for mobile, Apple's iphone is probably only 10-20% of worldwide phone sales, yet just that division made more money than the WHOLE of MS.

    On top of that you have a multitude of players, the carriers, Apples own retail stores, a vast number of OEM's like Huwei, LG and Samsung who would like to control their own destiny and are not intwined with MS like HP and Dell are.

    This is one market place that you cant just buy your way into. And you definitely cant be slow.

    Wp7 has failed. But MS's strategy for Wp8 is interesting in that it will have market share by proxy through sharing the same OS internally as its desktop/tablet counterparts.

    However, as Android proves, market share does not mean dollars for developers. You need the right demographic who are willing to spend to keep indie devs in business. You also need the right kind of devs (not business software makers i.e. . Net devs) but people who come from a design / gaming background.

    I just think that it really isnt a forgone conclusion that MS's size means it will always win.

    Nokia should have thought of that.

    (and what was wrong with Nokia hedging their bets and using Android or even forking android like Amazon have done, as well as running wp7?)

  33. Zolko
    Pirate

    So, when are they going to fire Elop ?

    Oh, and how much is he going to pocket for having destroyed Nokia ?

  34. shane fitzgerald
    Meh

    Windows 8

    If windows 8 is a success with the new ui and wp8 is similar in look and feel it may give it a boost from the publicity. If software can be deveoped cross platform easily this would be a big boost also.

    Lot of buts though but i reckon thats nokia last card. If that does work, give up and sink burning platform 2.0.

    personally as a developer ive left nokia, followed the isheep. Though i prefer android, its where the money is.......

  35. k9gardner

    It needs to work

    Since Nokia bet the bank on Windows Phone, it needs to work. I am a diehard iPhone user, though I wouldn't snub an Android phone if one were thrust into my hands. I have no real clue what Windows is thinking with their phone OS, but I do know that they have a hell of a lot of really smart people working on it, and they believe they have a product which is differentiated from the rest of the market. I have to believe that there's a real product there with some real value for a bunch of people who are tired (as I am) of how many freakin' "keystrokes" it takes to get to anything on a typical smartphone.

    Nokia's marketing has been - well, I haven't seen any. Any. At all. So they're not penetrating the channels that would hit me, for what that's worth. Microsoft, yes, I've seen some, but not massive. Both companies need to up the ante if they're truly going to play on this field. It's totally in everyone's interest for there to be this third player in the market. I think those who are hoping that Nokia and/or Microsoft crash and burn on this one are wrong-headed. Lots (I mean lots!) of people's livelihoods are connected with these companies, around the whole globe. They have to find a way to make it work, without excuses, and without delays.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It needs to work

      If this doesn't work - and I hope it doesn't, and that Nokia are still able to crawl away bloodied and bruised, but still breathing to try something else without Elop & MS - there will ALWAYS be a third option.

      There are a whole host of alternative mobile operating systems out there or emerging, and even more that haven't yet been invented - the future of mobile is so bright that it would be foolish to think that iOS and Android is all there is, and all there ever will be.

      If Windows Phone fails, and I hope it does as it's yet another proprietary OS that that doesn't innovate and isn't any better - in most cases, significantly worse - than anything else (I have a Lumia 800 courtesy of Nokia), then nobody should shed a tear for Microsoft - instead, breath a sigh of relief.

  36. Dylan Fahey

    Why didn't Nokia...

    Why didn't Nokia get in bed with Google, that's a devil I can live with. MS is a blood sucking vampire that kills every partner it comes in contact with. Nokia really made 3 mistakes. Killing off Symbian, getting in cahoots with MS, and not making love with Google.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Stephen Elop

    How's the turd ecosystem doing for you?

    If you're bankrupting Nokia so that Microsoft can purchase the Finnish company for pennies, you've done an exceedingly wonderful job. Mission accomplished, sir.

  38. calumg
    FAIL

    That's more than MS paid them?

    Didn't MS pay Nokia $1bn for ditching Android? Looks like that move hasn't paid off then. They should have offered a variety of OSes rather than putting all of their eggs in one FAIL basket. MS needs Nokia far more than the other way around. All Nokia needs to do to stop bleeding red ink is to offer Android. Fools.

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