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.

  9. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Too late to switch again

    Of course it is clear that going with Windows Phone was an epic mistake. It was clear to most people even two years ago.

    But now the transition is complete, and Lumia phone sales have started to pick up. The latest models have received good reviews (despite, or because of, WP8). If Nokia announced a switch to Android now, it would AGAIN "osborne" its current product line, and re-start an expensive transition period. It would be unable to survive this.

    In short, Nokia may or may not survive with Windows Phone. It will certainly not survive by switching horses again.

    1. garyc2011

      Re: Too late to switch again

      "In short, Nokia may or may not survive with Windows Phone. It will certainly not survive by switching horses again."

      Yes but thats the point..............THEY DON'T HAVE TO SWITCH !!!!!!!

      Why can't they release even ONE Android Handset ????? - Just plain Vanilla Android - No fancy skins and a decent design with a good camera, swappable battery, and SD Card.

      I guarantee it would outsell WP Lumias in under a year.

      They seem to be releasing a new Lumia every month this year, so clearly it's not a resource issue.

      I fear it's in the MS agreement that forbids any such thing.

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Too late to switch again

        I suspect there are a few billion "good reasons" to remain wp only.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Shagbag
      Boffin

      Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

      There is no shadow of a doubt that Nokia continues to produce attractive handsets that many consumers would love to get their hands on IF they didn't come with WinPho. I have posted many times before about this.

      Nokia could regain lost market share if it broadened its OS base to include Android. It seems the world loves Android and while Nokia are hooked on the heroin being given to them by their Pimp, Samsung, et. al. will continue to eat their lunch.

      Shareholders are getting agitated and beginning to ask questions. Elop will be out before the end of the year.

      1. garyc2011
        Unhappy

        Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

        "There is no shadow of a doubt that Nokia continues to produce attractive handsets that many consumers would love to get their hands on IF they didn't come with WinPho. I have posted many times before about this."

        Absolutely spot on and I concur, one only needs to peruse the internet boards to see there is demand for an Android Phone from Nokia

        I remember before Christmas there was talk of getting a shareholder petition to get rid of Elop. I don't know what they are waiting for...................

        The sad thing is Nokia have just been used by Microsoft who simply can't lose, Nokia Lumia takes off = MS Wins, Nokia can't make competitor devices = MS Win, Nokia goes Bankrupt = Patents for MS = Win.

        This who Elop thing smelt fishy from the beginning since he publicly executed Symbian......REFUSED to Sell the N9 Meego in the UK etc ...............He always acted in Microsofts Interests NOT to Nokia and their shareholders..............

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

          " ..REFUSED to Sell the N9 Meego in the UK "

          Let's get the blame to the right place: you got no cheap N9 because no UK operator wanted to offer N9 to their customers. The markets where it was sold were markets where a local operator decided to range it. No conspiracy, no evil plot, just simple commerce. Nokia could not sell a phone over the heads of the local operators - they just don't have that infrastructure (in the UK). The likes of Carphone Warehouse are just agents for the operators - their stock comes from the operators, and is locked and subsidised by them too. There's no free market; you don't have free choice.

          You could *always* buy an N9, unlocked, in the UK, but then you'd have to pay its full retail price. Maybe you really wanted the discount from the operator, but giving that to you was their choice, not Nokia's. So bitch to them. They certainly deserve it.

          Personally I want all these subsidies to go - all they do is make my bills more expensive, and restrict my choice of handset. There's also no reason for it anymore: does Sky sell you a TV when you take out a subscription? No, because you've already got one.

        2. Philip Lewis
          Megaphone

          Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

          I got an N9 anyway and despite the lack of fart apps, I am immensely satisfied with it.

          I guess they are starting to get rarer now. Elop probably had every device not shipped crushed. There were some materials write offs of significant size on the balance sheet for components for phones no longer produced. Buy hey, what's a few hundred million dollars dumped into the chipper if it keeps the strategy to the forefront and everyone "stays on message"?

          Elop is an MS tool and one would like to hope that in the future, a smoking gun appears which proves this point and subsequently lands Elop and Balmer in the klink for a long time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

        Nokia plus Android?

        I refer you to HTC and the mess they are in despite having a range of phones at least the equal of (and possibly superior to) Samsung.

        In Android land if you are not top dog you are living on crumbs.

        In Windows Phone land Nokia *are* top dog (of an admittedly smaller market) and are still in business and growing their market share.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

          Even at this late starting point Nokia could provide much more on an Android system than HTC and the rest can, with the possible exception of Samsung. They can build a theme and launcher based on MeeGo, improve power management (again based on MeeGo), and supply a complete series of apps based on those found on MeeGo and Symbian phones (Nokia Maps, media, office apps, file manager, etc...). With most other Android manufacturers you have the Google apps, a music player, a couple of third party apps like Astro, a half-hearted manufacturer shop and then you're left to your own devices.

          Of course what they should have done two years ago was put a Dalvik interpreter in MeeGo and put out a nice range of MeeGo phones, but we all know why that didn't happen (see icon).

    2. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Nokia cannot hide from their failure

      "If Nokia brought out an Android phone, their fortunes would immediately reverse"

      Yes, they would likely go from making a profit as they did last quarter to loosing money...

  11. Paranoid Infosec Guy
    Mushroom

    Nokia N900

    Just reissue the N900 with a better battery and I would be happy.

    1. tomban
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nokia N900

      N900 was a pretty good device, let down by a few things including the OS.

      It was the last Nokia I owned, after being faithful for years.

      1. garyc2011

        Re: Nokia N900

        Yeah I had an n900, got one of the first batches in the UK (cost 500 quid if I remember rightly), amazing hardware, but the OS was full of bugs, and It took Nokia AGEs to release PR1.2, and when It arrived it was a let down.

        Funny because of the way Nokia end-of-lifed it after just a few months, it was my last Nokia too, I owned mostly Nokia over the last 14 years, including most of the communicators (the first ones were massive and heavy, but amazing for the time)

    2. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Nokia N900

      I still have my n900 as a backup phone. A spare battery that is easily swapped solved the battery life issue for me.

      Got a 9320 and a playbook after the keyboard got a crack and couldn't find a replacement. Pity, in many mays it's still head of lots of the competition (keyboard, stylus, flash support, ability to get full linux and apps working (v slowly), swappable battery, micro sd, proper multi-tasking etc. Some phones have some of these but tricky to find one that has them all and I avoid android as I don't want to be the product).

  12. gaz 7
    Mushroom

    If Nokia had any guts...

    They would release an Android phone AND one based on Jolla (nee Meego)

    Also need a slidey keyboard one, as well as a slate. The N9/N950 combo would have sold well had the last little wrinkles been ironed out. Nokia had great R&D and great ideas, what it needed was great management of that R&D not chucking it out in favour of Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If Nokia had any guts...

      > Nokia had great R&D and great ideas

      Too much R&D, too many ideas, no focus, ridiculous time to market issues, and an utterly fragmented set of platforms. It was an app developers nightmare! Different underlying operating systems, different underlying API versions, different windowing systems, different screen aspect ratios. No wonder there were never any apps ...

      He's gotten one thing right - it's a battle of ecosystem and brand more than hardware (to a degree it always has been). Unfortunately MS are currently on the losing end of both of these. Not enough market share (across any phone vendor or tablet platform) to drive growth in the eco system, and simply a lot of collateral damage from the desktop Win8 bad publicity hitting WinPho. WinPho is _actually_ quite a nice OS, and the phones are pretty good.

      However there is pretty much no marketing currently which is going to get past the "Windows" brand tarnish - people see these at a Windows Phones made by Nokia, not Nokia Phones with Windows OS.

      1. Johan Bastiaansen
        Unhappy

        Re: If Nokia had any guts...

        "Too much R&D, too many ideas, no focus, ridiculous time to market issues, and an utterly fragmented set of platforms."

        Caused by big egos and small brains in upper management. It was all company politics and that's what killed them.

  13. Mark Burton
    Thumb Down

    but the American boss???

    If you can't get that fact correct, what hope of any others being correct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but the American boss???

      He is American - from Canada in North America...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but the American boss???

        Canadian != American.

  14. Vince

    What is interesting is that Microsoft don't seem that bothered about Nokia either. At the last few events I've been to where Windows Phone was being showcased, the MS staff made it quite clear that the HTC 8X is the preferred model and the one they all sported, recommended and said they would get. I'd have expected them to heavily sway for Nokia by corporate instruction but it seems not.

    Some have suggested MS are ultimately trying to kill Nokia to swoop in and get the patents. This may be true, but it seems a long winded way to do it.

    Why they killed everything is beyond all credibility to everyone bar the boss. They should have released some Android stuff, even if it was just to bridge the gap - after all, it is established, accepted and would have been readily available to ship by comparison, giving them money coming in while they developed the other strategies.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where were Nokia's shareholders?

    When Nokia was incapable of turning Symbian into a competitive OS to iPhone (hardly an insurmountable task, looking how Android has done)? Or properly getting Meego off the ground? Back then was the time to shouting and screaming and telling Nokia to get its house in order. Now is too late.

  16. gautam

    Ditch him whlst still have some time.

    So whay cant the Nokia Board still ditch him and change course?

    OR are they awestruck by MS marketing money and staring at the sinkhole already?

    Strange are this corporate ways (american arrogance). WOnder who are the major fund/shareholders who can perhaps twist a few arms?

  17. pigor

    It's probably too late for Nokia to go for Android for their top-end offer: They have a working platform for smartphones and Android will only create "internal" competition.

    At the same time Nokia doesn't want to be dependant on others that Nokia perceive as competitors.

    Microsoft was not perceived as a competitor but more as a partner who could provide software and services that Nokia failed to develop.

    We shouldn't forget that Nokia failed horribly with their Ovi store too.

    Nokia is a good example of hubris at work.

    Lets remember a bit of history.

    Nokia were the leader in features phone as well as smart phones (Symbian S60) and they were rightly proud of their dominant position (50% of the global shipments).

    They never believed in touch screen, doing everything possible to kill them within Symbian.

    When the iPhone came out they dismissed it as a failure... when it was clear they were wrong they went in panic mode.

    Some says Nokia could have joined forces with UIQ to build on a platform already made for touch screen.

    But Nokia did not want to collaborate with other manufacturers, that's was clear.

    Nokia decided to slap some touch screen support on top of S60: the first phones were abhorrent, with the updated OS shipped too early with very little integration between the touch support and the UI.

    At the time Nokia has several strategic projects going on at the same time to counterbalance iPhone and their best engineers and designers (to don't mention budget) were split between them...

    several projects were axed and reborn in different ways.

    When finally S60 had a decent touch support and Meego was getting mature, Elop arrived!

  18. MJI Silver badge

    We have moved on

    Last 4 work mobiles, Nokia, last couple, Symbian

    Latest HTC Android

    1. garyc2011

      Re: We have moved on

      "Last 4 work mobiles, Nokia, last couple, Symbian"

      Did you not get the burning platform email ??? you were supposed to leave Symbian for WP not Android !

      Tsk tsk, Elop will be very cross :p

  19. That Steve Guy
    Pirate

    We all saw it years ago

    Putting all your eggs in the M$ was always going to be a flawed strategy.

    As others have said Nokia didn't have to go Windows exclusive, HTC, Samsung and many other manufacturers offer both Windows and Android.

    Make Elop walk the plank! Yarrr!

  20. Dave Bennett

    I feel dirty

    I feel dirty saying this, but the Lumia phones are starting to look like a very attractive option to me. My first (admittedly late) move to smartphones was to Android and I really didn't like it (This was possibly because it was a Sony device though). So to my shame I ended up getting into bed with Apple, and until recently I hadn't looked back.

    However I've fallen massively out of love with them, despite being well looked after my 4S is having endless problems (unluckily the problems started just after the warranty ended) and I'm finding the lack of change a bit tedious. A colleague has Windows Phone 7.8 and when I have had a play with that I like it a lot, miles better than Android IMHO.

    I think Nokia are missing a trick by not releasing a direct iPhone competitor - something all glass and steel and heavy, we all know that glass is a premium material, that's why my house is riddled with it. The 920 plastic feels pretty cheap to me, although saying that perhaps if my phone wasn't so 'premium' the power button would still be working.

    In my very small sample of myself and 1 friend, who was previously a rabid Apple fan, we are both uninspired by their latest offerings and are likely to move elsewhere. For me it's unlikely to be Android again.

    All that said, I don't see why Nokia don't release Android versions, aside from a bit of dev costs what harm can it do? It might keep Elop in a job for another couple of years... no doubt he's got some Faustian pact with Microsoft.

    Dave xnox

  21. Tumpin

    I hope it works out for Nokia

    I dont have all the answers but I dont think Nokia should release an Android handset. After Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola, Panasonic etc is there really room for yet another Galaxy clone with a Nokia badge on it? Is there anything more that can be done with Android that everyone else hasnt done already? Is there really room for them to get good sales numbers with Android? Will people run out and buy them just because its Nokia?

    At least right now they have an identity.

    I gotta say I like my WP8 better than my previous two Android devices. Its much better at being a phone than Android. I grew fed up with flashing Roms and poor quality apps. I now keep Android for my tablet as its more computer like.

    I have the Ativ S, I would have got a Lumina if it wasnt for the weird material they use. The new Nokia 928 Im very interested in come upgrade time.

    1. garyc2011

      Re: I hope it works out for Nokia

      "I dont have all the answers but I dont think Nokia should release an Android handset."

      You don't have to buy one but why deny others who would buy it ?

      Secondly Nokia could have differentiated with Android, with WP it's stuck with what MS says, and it looks 100% like every other WP........................

      And you got fed up with "poor quality apps" on Android ? so you prefer no apps now ? Sure only today Facebook ordered MS to take down dozens of fake/amateurish Facebook apps......then there is the instagraph app that uploads your pictures to other peoples account.....last week unofficial BBC app was polled for infringement.................yeah great apps.

      I always thought Samsung would step into the WP arena and take it over,flooding it with cheap handsets, killing off Nokia, simply to kill off WP once Tizen was ready, who knows it might still happen.

      1. Tumpin

        Re: I hope it works out for Nokia

        Its not about denting others, Im talking about Nokia's fortunes. If they released an Android handset would it change much for them? I dont see Android staying the way it is for much longer. I can see Google closing the best features in the future to help their Nexus range and Motorola. Even Samsung are trying to reduce their dependance on Goolge with Tizen. Will Tizen be a success? We all know its not just about making a good OS (look at Palm). Its the whole eco system.

        Windows gives Nokia good ties to the desktop, ties to Xbox, Outlook, Skydrive and other MS services. Windows is not going anywhere, once MS sorts out its fixes for Win8 it will be the standard for desktops and Nokia as the biggest player in windows Phone will benefit from that.

        Yes there are less apps on WinPhone but the main stuff is there and its growing fast. Of course you can find examples of bad ones but there are plenty of bad apps on Android. You talk of Facebook, look at the official Facebook app on Android, its terrible. Its not that I dont like android, like I say I have a Nexus 7 tablet and I use that for things that are not covered by Win Phone. But I wont be going back to Android on my phone any time soon, its such a mess. Anyway Im not one for forum arguements about what comes down to individual taste. Im thinking more about the overall picture for Nokia and an Android handset isnt it IMO.

  22. Stefing
    Coat

    Typo speaks truth

    https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/7373075712/h9A34E2D8/

  23. Aoyagi Aichou

    Android?

    What's with all the fascination with Android? I would very much prefer another Meego or Maemo Nokia than Android. And I would also prefer Symbian S60/Belle phone over WP8. On par with Android.

  24. marekt77

    Android would not have magically saved Nokia

    I know a lot of people really HATE Microsoft, but this idea that if only they picked Android all of their problems would magically disappear is nonsense! Before I go on, I think Nokia should have bought Palm, and taken up the WebOS mantel. It was a beautiful OS, with a lot of potential. Sadly this did not happen. Ok back to Android vs. Windows Phone. Sure there are a hard core IT folk that would love to have a Lumia 920 running on Android, but the rest of the world? Not so sure. Where I live in the US, the Android market is DOMINATED by Samsung. Galaxy and the Note rule the day here. Are they the only nice Android phones on the market? Of course not. Sure the new HTC One got rave reviews, but the excitement over it is nowhere near the levels of excitement about the new Galaxy. LG, they are almost an afterthought. Sure the Nexus 4 sold like gangbusters, but that was because of the very aggressive price that Google was selling the phone for. I know the device itself is very nice, my wife has one, but most customers probably have never really heard of it. Walk into any store here, and for the most part it is the Galaxy and iPhone that are the most advertised and on display. So if Nokia went Android they would have to compete with the likes of Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, etc... And what state is HTC in? Having been the first to market with and Android phone? They are losing money hand over fist, even though they make very nice Android devices. Is the Lumia 920 nicer than the HTC One? Maybe, maybe not, but what difference does it make if HTC cannot seem make money on Android?

    Now factor in the low end of the market, there are TONS of OEMS making cheap Android phones. Can Nokia compete with them in a race to the bottom? Will that make it profitable?

    Back to Microsoft, yes we all know how evil they are and what not, but I guarantee you they are NOT going to give up on mobile anytime soon if ever. It is too important of a market for them to walk away from. They have a huge war chest, and are in it for the long run. Will they ever dominate mobile? Probably not, and this is for the best, but they will eventually carve out enough market share to stay relevant. Microsoft is not as OEM, even though sometimes it tries to be, so it needs a top tier OEM to support their platform. Nokia needed a platform, and more importantly needed help building a platform. From a business sense it made total sense for them to partner up. Nokia got some cash from Microsoft, and Microsoft gains a top tier OEM. Nokia also gets help promoting the platform. So they do not have to do everything themselves. MS will not let mobile go, and as far as they are out there telling people about WP, as of right now this helps Nokia.

    If Nokia stayed with MeeGo, at the present count it would be the 5th major mobile OS on the market. iOS, Android, Blackberry 10, Windows Phone, MeeGo. Yeah I know, IT folks LOVED it because it ran Linux. Well sadly that is not enough. Neither WP nor Blackberry 10 are horrible OSes, but look how much trouble they are having attracting mobile developers to their platform? People who buy these things care not that it runs Linux, but they sure as hell care if it has Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc... With MeeGo Nokia would be the only one promoting the platform and they would be facing monumental challenges getting people to notice it. Just look at Blackberry, and least they have their corporate customers to fall back on. So no matter how awesome MeeGo was, how open, etc... Nokia would have to license it to others, would anyone jump on board? HTC and Samsung already make both Android and Windows Phones, what would MeeGo give them that those to platforms do not?

    Nokia was in trouble LONG before Windows Phone or Elop came along. If you want to blame anyone, blame the management board that got them into this mess in the first place. They were slow to react to the iPhone and Android and are now paying for it. There was a very good article about Nokia and their internal development environment around the time the iPhone came out. Multiple teams working on the exact same problem, but competing against each other, loss of focus, just seemed like a total mess. Had the cleaned this up right when the iPhone was announced and got their act together, maybe MeeGo would have been a player today, it defiantly had the potential, but sadly it was not to be. Now Elop could have picked up WebOS, but again, they would be going at it alone. Samsung, LG, Sony they have an advantage that they do not just make phones. Sure Nokia makes equipment, but is that enough to sustain the whole company while it tries to grow a platform against some of the wealthiest companies in the world? Probably not.

    One final point, I think what is hurting Nokia a bit in the US are these damn carrier exclusive phones. Right now if you want a 920, you can only get it on AT&T. WHY? It should be available on EVERY carrier, just like the Galaxy. You need the sales, so offer your phone to anyone and everyone that could potentially buy it!!!

    Whatever case maybe, Nokia would still not be magically awesome right now if it had only used Android. At the very least with WP they get to be the top OEM of a small percentage of the market, but one that will no doubt grow as time goes on.

    1. eulampios

      @marekt77

      Let me counter some of your tirades:

      Having been the first to market with and Android phone?...but what dfference does it make if HTC cannot seem make money on Android?

      HTC were one of the first, they did and do make nice devices, they managed to mess up with update/upgrades, agreed to pay MS $15 and other sums to Apple per a device for some alleged patents (they must be rich then).

      Anyhow, you seem to forget that HTC is also an MS partner to manufacture an WP phone, which some people had mentioned is even more advertised by MS themselves, over Nokia? So, ultimately, how does it save HTC? Samsung are not that interested in WP as HTC, which might be explaining partially their very different performance.

      HTC had originally had no Meego, nor had they ever had as much muscle and patent power as Nokia once had. How come it is good enough for Sumsung (Tizen), and so bad for Nokia?

      "Cherchez la femme", as the French say, more exactly here, Cherchez la taupe. This guy, S. Elop is a really crazy MS mole.

      1. marekt77

        Re: @marekt77

        Samsung updates do not have a good track record either, it took the original galaxy 6+ months to get Froyo out to everyone.

        Yes HTC makes Windows phones, they in fact originally made just Windows Phones, but as of late, they have focused almost exclusively on Android, they make many more Android phones than Windows phones, and all of their flagship devices have been Android phones. So yeah my point that Android in of itself would not save Nokia is valid, because it is not really saving HTC.

        Why is it ok for Samsung? Because they are a much, much larger company with multiple revenue streams, so they can afford to experiment with other platforms to see if something works. Nokia also has another platform, they sell a lot of phones from their Asha line that still runs Symbian.

        My point is simply this, Android would not magically fix all of Nokia's problems. Would they be in better position now had they made Android phones? Maybe, but it is not a given that Android would have fixed all of their problems.

        1. eulampios

          Re: @marekt77

          My point is simply this, Android would not magically fix all of Nokia's problems.

          I don't entirely disagree with that. But sure it could have been a game changer. My Math and statistical background both tell me that in the long run and on average, you lose if you do not diversify your risks. Wait a minute, everyone knows this rule. You only vary your portfolio along the optimum gradient. Gradients are applied to multivariate calculus. There is nothing to variate, only one "x" and this x is identically equal to MS Windows 8.

          Another fact is that, some time ago Nokia also was a big company, not anymore now.

          HTC.. as of late, they have focused almost exclusively on Android

          Same with anyone else! Isn't it enough of warning about Windows 8: "Caveat emptor!"

    2. Philip Lewis
      WTF?

      Re: Android would not have magically saved Nokia

      "Nokia was in trouble LONG before Windows Phone or Elop came along."

      No, they weren't actually , as any rational reading of their financials and market figures actually shows.

      Were NOKIA dysfunctional and less than perfect - hell yes (still are probably) - but in case you have never worked in a mega-corp, this statement is true of them all. What NOKIA were not, was in any sort of objective "trouble"

      What NOKIA were, was THE TARGET, and a lot of guns started aiming at them. NOKIA had a longer term plan which had the advantage that it did not leave its users in the lurch and provided an orderly controllable transition path for developers and phone users. Elop killed it and propagated the same myth that you just did. It is just as false now as when Elop gave it credence. The only difference is that when the CEO of a corp burns the entire corporation in writing, it has a knock on effect - in this case plummeting sales and burning of billions of dollars.

      Elop didn't have anything personally invested in NOKIA and the years invested in an orderly transition from Symbian to Meego/Maemo. He needed something that was unmistakingly his contribution. That's how big swinging dicks operate. It's about THEM, not the corp. that are charged and paid to manage. Killing everything is a no brainer for a big swinging dick. Getting into bed with MS is a no brainer for an ex MSoftie. Hiring MSofties to key positions is a no brainer for the big swinging dick as he cements his control over the executives. The fact that he owns a shit load of MS stock is a strong indicator that his decision making is clouded by personal interest, so betting NOKIA on the success of WP is also a no brainer.

      Finally, you would do well to read about Elop's "glorious" past. Having done so you might be tempted to think he is a Balmer sock puppet - I do.

  25. Wang N Staines

    Elop was a small fish that couldn't make it at MS and it was Nokia's fault for hiring such an idiot to run its operations.

  26. andy 45

    I do like the Lumia Range but...

    ...It seems as though Nokia have climbed down a few levels from their Symbian days.

    I still use a Symbian phone and was surprised to learn that the new Nokias lacked such great functions as and FM transmitter, USB on-the-go (so I can plug in a USB stick, or mouse & Keyboard).

    Maybe they plan to put these features on later models. Like Apple's favourite trick 'we can't give tem everything at once -- we'll make them buy a new phone for every extra little feature -- like 3G'

    A Lumia will still be my next phone -- I just like the Nokia build.

  27. Paradroid

    Why is the pace of change on WP so slow?

    The biggest problem for Nokia must be the slow pace of Windows Phone development.. Considering Microsoft is the new player, I expected them to be investing heavily and release continuous updates to enable new features. Instead they had to re-engineer the OS from CE to NT kernel, because they ended up in a technological dead end. While this was happening they should have had another team overhauling the front end. It needs things like multiple tile pages, a completely written music player with all the crappy panorama views stripped out, and numerous other small enhancements.

    I bought an early WP7 device, full of expectation that the OS would continually evolve with updates, but in reality very little has happened. WP7.5 fixed a lot of pain points in the OS, but WP8 is really just WP7.5 with a new kernel.

    Nokia must be doing their nut waiting for the OS to improve, especially as there is a lot of very clever thinking in Windows Phone, it just needs finishing off. It's clean and simple, but a little too clean and simple sometimes.

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