Nokia's Present & Future

Discussion in 'Mobile Industry' started by Arun, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. silent_guy

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    It's one thing to accuse of a board of gross incompetence or even of having some hidden agenda. It's another of claiming they deliberately perpetrated a $25B fraud by conspiring to run a company into the ground with the sole intention of making it cheap for MS.

    Both Occam's and Hanlon's razor are applicable here. It's a more boring story, though, and doesn't conveniently absolve many of the actors of their mistakes.
     
  2. Mintmaster

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    I doubt it. You mentioned build quality being a plus for Nokia, but where is the correlation between build quality and sales when you look at Samsung and HTC?

    Better cameras result in thicker phones, and thinner was better for most of that time. The 920 was very chunky (and its camera has flaws to go with its strengths), and even on Android the 818 would've been a niche seller with that giant protrusion. They didn't have the technology for the 1020 at the time, and more marginal camera improvements really wouldn't do much to make Nokia stand out, particularly with the subjective uncontrolled means by which most reviewers (and users) judge image quality.

    Only with the 925 in 2013 did Nokia have a camera and compact well built package that could have taken the 2011 market by storm on Android. They don't have a time machine.
    I presume the point he was making is that the wheels were in motion. Look at Nokia's response time: Even with their commitment to WP, they couldn't get their first devices on sale before Oct 2011, and couldn't get a flagship WP out before 2012, while the WP launch partners got their phones out in 2010.

    If, in Sept 2010, a new CEO decided to go with Android, there is no way that Nokia could release a good Android phone any sooner than mid-2011. The Galaxy S2 and even the S3 were going to be Nokia's competition if they went with Android.

    Yup, and the on top of that, Nokia would be starting from scratch. All these other guys had a leg up on Nokia, and have a cheaper manufacturing environment to boot.

    Does it really matter? They'll stick with the Nokia brand for a while and use Nokia factories. It's not closing shop.
     
  3. Mize

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    The fact remains that many people predicted that Elop would run Nokia's value down to make it a cheap buy for MS within days or hours of the burning platform memo that sank Nokia's value.

    This week those predictions came true. You can call it sheer coincidence or you can wonder if there were wheels turning behind the curtain. Doesn't matter. The fact is that all the arguments against those predictions were, simply put, wrong.

    Elop did run Nokia's value down and it was a bargain basement buy for MS.
     
  4. Gubbi

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    You are assuming Nokia wouldn't have collapsed without Elop.

    Another way of looking at it: Elop was right in his burning platform memo, but it was too late to do anything about it.

    Cheers
     
  5. Mize

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    There are many companies that have come back from the brink of disaster...Apple comes to mind...none did it by giving up their own innovation teams and outsourcing their futures. Quite the opposite in fact. Elop's move basically cut off Nokia's cash cow and tossed, into the rubbage heap, a majority of their innovation, choosing instead to become a hardware only company with their entire future riding on the success of an external player.

    I don't know about you, but I would rather live or die by my own actions than by those of an outside entity that might be looking to buy me up on the cheap should I, uh, I mean they, fail to make me successful.
     
  6. Gubbi

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    Sales of Symbian phones was already collapsing. The chance of Meego seing any kind of traction was rapidly approaching a very low order of probability. Did Nokia expect it to topple Apple's massive momentum or Google's massive developer base/webservices synergies? Their choice was basically WP7 or Android. They might have done better with Android, and might have ended up like Sony: Completely marginalized.

    Smart phones are defined by their software stacks. Nokia never did software well, never. However, they do hardware design,particularly cameras, better than anybody else (including Apple, IMHO).

    Focusing on hardware made perfect sense, IMHO. Again you can argue if WP was the right choice. The fundamental problem is that the burning platform memo was at least two year too late.

    Cheers
     
  7. french toast

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    Dont agree, look even if you think the plan of meego and symbian uniting through QT was always going to fail (I dont) you cant say the way he went about it wasn't catastrophic for nokia.
    He wasted all the r&d and talent that was put into designing meego from the ground up, when it finaly launched with the n9, it was lauded everywhere...that was just the very first attemp and elop tried as hard as he could to limit its sales, it still sold very well.

    Elops performance at nokia was abysmal. How then after thwt performance and much derision from most media outlets and financial bloggers is he not only back at microsoft.. favourite to take over balmer as CEO??

    The only reason I can think of is he did his job excepionally well...just not the one he was supposed to be doing.
     
  8. Mize

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    So how was Apple at Smartphones before the iPhone again?
    The logic that a company cannot excel in an area that it has not previously excelled in seems, well, silly.
     
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    Had they stuck with Symbian and Meego, they'd be in the same position Blackberry is in now. Sinking fast. Except it would have started at least 2 years ago. The Symbian and Meego faithful would have proclaimed it the best thing ever, just like a lot of the Blackberry faithful proclaim the new Blackberry OS the best thing ever. And the general public would have ignored it just like they are ignoring Blackberry.

    Hell, the general public were already ignoring Symbian when Nokia was still the largest mobile phone company in the world.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  10. Gubbi

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    Apple created the smart phone market. They didn't have to compete with entrenched competitors.

    Apple and Google/Android have massive developer support and mind share, something Nokia/Meego did not.

    Cheers
     
  11. Xmas

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    I think that's a very interesting observation. Smartphones may be lucrative, but only for a few players. I think Microsoft is overestimating their chances of making a profit there, at least with their current products and strategy. In principle they could choose not to enter this market, but as you say it's not in their DNA.

    Similarly, Nokia could have decided that they're too late to enter the "new" touch smartphone market and continued to sell feature phones profitably while looking at other markets to expand into. They haven't always been, and don't need to remain, a mobile phone company. (And that's basically what they're doing now, but only after losing a lot of money.)
     
  12. silent_guy

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    They were good at the essential components, weren't they? Software stack, UI design knowledge, hardware expertise, marketing. The pieces for the modern smartphone were all there.

    Nokia (and Blackberry) had the burden of having to move from old style phone OS to touch computer that also happens to be a phone. These things rarely go well.
     
  13. french toast

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    look we can dissagree on that all we like, however you cant deny the burning platform memo was a complete reckless disaster, if you are going to change, do it gradually or at the very least dont publicly slate your current and immediate future products. .

    Nokia n9 proved a very successful first attempt. ..and thats with no backing from the outset..ie, no advertising, not launching in nokia strong hold markets, equiping it with out dated processor, publicly stating its dead on arrival from the very first day...it still held up very well against wp7 that was already out.

    Wp7 was essentially a feature phone mobile os in terms of features and wasnt very popular at all apart from a small group of hardcore fans who would bombard tech site comments.
    When elop took over nokia was stsrting to struggle and needed turning round..but lets not believe the spin, it had a solid plan in place from top to bottom with many hours and $ gone into r&d before elop even arrived.
    It had billons of cash in the bank, many assets and patents and was still the top phone seller in the world.

    It needed turning around but I certainly wasnt finished..not by a long way...elop fucked the company over..as soon as he arrived things went from bad to a crisis.




    This is something that has to stop, steve jobs isnt even here any more yet the reality distortion field still burns strong :)

    I remember buying MANY smartphones YEARS before the limited but slick iphone even turned up.
    They had cameras, could download apps and games, play videos, had gps, accessed the internet, played music and videos plus many other advanced features that contribute to making a smart phone.

    Iphone didnt reinvent the wheel, it just made everything slick and easy to use, and fashionable. .some of which was through clever marketing which was leagues ahead of everyone else.
    The only new thing that apple brought to the table with the iphone was multi touch...that was new, nothing else.
     
  14. nutball

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    You dismiss it as if it's nothing - making the functionality accessible so that normal people can actually use it, and actually want to buy the phone (in very large numbers). I too owned smartphones before the iphone and each one ended up being thrown at the wall as a result of "user experience short-comings" (thank you Nokia).

    Note also that Gubbi said that Apple created the smartphone market, he didn't say they created the smartphone.
     
  15. Dominik D

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    And this is where you run out of examples. ;) Samsung and Amazon are the only companies that make some reasonable monies from Android devices. For others it's peanuts or loss.

    You can't differentiate with camera alone. OOTB experience with stock Android ain't gonna take you far - just take a look at the cheap, sub-100GBP Android tablets and UX they offer. You've got to invest a lot in Android to even dream of reaping any benefits out of it. This is what Samsung did (and they did it early enough). Most other players were to late or didn't have enough steam to invest in the platform.

    Except that, well, Nokia is not excelling in area they've been in for ages and Apple happened to excel in a completely new area that wasn't there before: designing and implementing smartphones for regular consumers. It's not that iPhone 1 was great. It was less crap than anything else out there and it provided something new to the consumer.
     
  16. Dominik D

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    I actually think they're rather conservative in their estimates. Assuming that their figures make sense and they can even out at ca. 50mln units, getting there in 1,5-2 years isn't that much of a stretch, IMO. And their long term numbers - 15% of market in 2018 - aren't that far fetched either. MS still has more than half of that number and WinPho is gaining significantly over the RIM's dead body. ;) It can probably exceed 10% worldwide just by continuing that.
     
  17. french toast

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    It doesnt matter it means the same thing, nokia sold gazillions of smart phones before iphone turned up on the scene...so there was already a smartphone market that was thriving.

    Im not dismissing it, I wouldnt have mentioned it if I was, for user experience is was something new....partly down to multi touch...a simple easy to use UI, and some extremely clever marketing which has been copied but never bettered since.
    -it was very limited...but excelled in the few things it did..that doesn't make it the first smartphone or create a new market for them.

    Iphones success was 40% clever engineering 30% genius marketing and foresight from jobs...and 30% idiocy from old skool nokia execs who arrogantly refused to look at the chsngimg market trends and change tak, despite being light years ahead in every area apart from software.

    Nokia was painfully bloated and slow by that time and drunk on success..understandably so considering they were kings...they had the resources and market power to revamp the once ahead of its time symbian to compete, or bring in the necessary talents to help.
     
  18. Gubbi

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    Apple didn't reinvent the wheel, they reinvented the smartphone. The combination of multi touch, a decent screen and enough ram to run a browser properly redefined the smart phone.

    I had a N95 which launched around the same time as the first iPhone. I loved it, but it is nowhere near the original iPhone in capability.

    Cheers
     
  19. Mize

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    You can't be serious. I've been surfing the web and handling email and even editing word/excel documents since 2002. You seem to have forgotten Palm/Treo and every other incarnation of smart phones from pre-Apple iphone.
     
  20. Xmas

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    I wouldn't rule out 15%. I wouldn't rule out 30% or 5% for that matter. But even if they achieve that (which I wouldn't bet on) market share isn't the same as profit share.
     
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