back to article Nokia after the purge: It's so unfair

Last week Nokia did exactly what analysts have been begging it to do for years - it took an axe to the company's bureaucracy and purged the leadership. The latest 10,000 redundancies leave the company with its smallest workforce since 1998. Nokia's reward was a further 18 per cent fall in its share price. Thanks, markets. The …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    History shows that nobody ever got anywhere by being totally dependent on Microsoft

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: History shows that nobody ever got anywhere by being totally dependent on Microsoft

      True, particularly with hardware providers. Microsoft sucks all of the margin out of their "partners" and leaves them. Witness IBM now Lenovo, HP, Dellapart in PCs. Best case for Nokia was that WinPhone would be a huge hit. In which case MS would turn around and sell the OS to all of their competitors with locked down features. There would be no choice but to compete on price and you have a pure commodity market in WinPhone hardware. Worst case is what is currently happening.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia are not like Apple

    That's the problem.

    They don't have alot to go on. They don't have featurephones now, they don't have smartphones that people want either. Windows Phone is a unmitigated disaster. It doesn't matter how many people you lay off, it changes neither of these things. THATS why the markets responded negatively, that the layoff wasn't the correct response.

    There is only on thing that will turn that frown around. It begins with A, and it's never going to happen.... Not whilst Elop is running the show. He would rather run Nokia into the ground than do that, as he is under strict orders from Balmer not to let than happen.

  3. IDoNotThinkSo
    Devil

    Nokia is dependent on Microsoft

    Microsoft would probably like to acquire Nokia

    Where's the incentive for Microsoft to deliver something decent? Surely if they delay a bit, they'll be able to buy it all cheaper?

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      "Where's the incentive for Microsoft to deliver something decent?"

      Because if they are not decent, people will buy Android and iOS products instead?

      1. Charles Manning

        Why does MS need to try?

        Mobile space is all working pretty nicely for MS. They're gouging enough Android vendors enough to be making a pretty tidy profit.

        But to play this game effectively, MS need to show damages. That is best achieved by having an offering, even a token offering, in the phone marketplace so that they can demonstrate damages.

        Change only comes from motivation. The current scene is making money far better than WinPhone/MoPho versions 1..6. have over the last 12 or so years.

        Hunting is harder than farming. Much easier to keep shaking down the other vendors than it is to make a real product and compete for customers.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You Missed the Fitch & Moody Downgrade

    "Baa3 to Ba1 with a negative outlook" i.e junk status, just like their Windows phones.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge
    Meh

    Eulogy for the monster that was.

    Les etres humaines continue to progress throughout the centuries, companies rise and fall as once did the roman empire, innovation explodes and then calms down as a new cycle beings.

    Unfortunately, Elop was given the shitty end of the stick and is having problems cleansing his fingers.

    There are no lessons to be learnt, there are no mistakes which can be gleaned over. There remains just a reminder that the infallible are definately not infallible.

    When you are ( were) number one, you can only fall and Nokia fell.

    RIP.......

    ( Sheds a tear, not )

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The axe swung in the wrong place

    Elop must go. He's a MS zealot and his everything he does has the benefit of Redmond in mind.

    MeeGo was the solution to their smartphone woes and, just when it was ready to go, just when they'd completed all the expensive R&D, they dumped it and took on the inferior WindowsPhone OS. That's right, they (or, Elop) thought that paying license fees to MS was the right way of making a tidy profit.

    They might have had problems before but they're 1000 times worse with a MSFT zealot in charge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The axe swung in the wrong place

      Nokia with it's approach to open source software was a massive threat to Microsoft, with MeeGo (best mobile Linux available), Qt and even Symbian (at the mid-to-low end, running Qt apps) all making sense and likely to be way more popular than Windows Phone.

      MeeGo/Qt/Linux would have had a tablet ecosystem before Microsoft, and it could have been very good with big name support (Intel, plus the biggest Chinese mobile operator with 650mn subscribers being fully on board).

      Microsoft have now convinced Nokia to dump it all, eliminating this entire threat, for a paltry $1bn. Genius move by Balmer. And as a bonus they now have a pet manufacturer of Windows Phone, addicted to Microsoft software and and currently rattling around and in need of a fix before the money runs out.

      It's hard to believe this has all been achieved legally - so few of the decisions seem to make sense. Nokia had some very good stuff that could, would and did challenge Microsoft - no surprise therefore that ALL of it has been excised with the utmost urgency since the ex-Microsoft guy started running the show. He has to go.

      1. Charles Manning

        Symbian open source never took off

        I spent many hours dabbling in, or at least attempting to dabble in, Symbian.

        Yes, in theory it was open source in that you could download the code, well most of it, and build it. But in practice this was not effective.

        It only built on Windows (yes there was a sub-project to try to also support Linux building).

        Building was very arcane and needed two or three different toolchains that worked in different ways.

        There was no real online community.

        The only people that ever really got engaged in this were phone vendors. General hackers, the real backbone of open source, might have sniffed the tyres but then walked away and went back to Linux, *BSD, whatever where it is far easier to get involved and be productive.

        Basically, nobody at Symbian really seemed to take on board that there is more to open source than just making a server public. Effective open source requires input and mentoring.

    2. asdf
      FAIL

      Re: The axe swung in the wrong place

      >MeeGo was the solution to their smartphone woes

      Did you ever get to see or use a N900 with Meego? There was a reason they didn't bring Meego to the smartphone market. It wasn't ready when they needed it. It would probably only now be ready if they stayed with it. Plus the branding on it sucked. It looked like the Linux distribution built for tween girls. A mercy killing really.

      1. Neil 7
        Devil

        @asdf

        Hate to split hairs, but the N900 never ran MeeGo (except for unofficial builds), it runs Maemo.

        And the difference between the Maemo UI on the N900, and the Swype UI on the MeeGo-Harmattan N9 is like night and day. While the N900 is/was a usable piece of kit, it was not a polished product that could compete with the best available smartphne (Nokia basically knew and acknowledged this).

        The N9 with MeeGo-Harmattan, however, *is* a polished product, and would have competed quite comfortably with its premium smartphone peers had it not been given a premature death.

        So if you want to criticise the N900 go right ahead, but if you want to criticise MeeGo-Harmattan you're talking out of your arse.

      2. David Hicks
        WTF?

        Re: The axe swung in the wrong place

        Err, the N900 is a few years old now.

        Have you tried the N9?

        Neither of these handsets were shipped with Meego either, they're both Maemo. I'm not sure what you mean by a linux distro for tween girls either. It looked fine to me, better than the alternatives when the 900 came out.

        I did switch away recently, because the 900 is dated and the 9 was on last-year's hardware when it came out, which is a year ago now. Nokia had dropped the ball on competitive hardware even before Elop's folly.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    margin of...error?

    perhaps?

  8. David Webb

    Win Pho

    Well, we'll find out on the 20th (I think that's the date) if Nokia is going to die or not. If WinPho 8 isn't an upgrade path for people using 2nd gen WinPho 7.5 handsets (Lumia 800/900) then Nokia will have lost possible future sales of 8/900 users who are left with a dead-end platform from Nokia.... again, and who will jump ship to players who continue to support their (not very old) phones with the latest OS.

    This wouldn't be Nokia's fault, it'll be at the door of Microsoft which will of course harm the Windows Phone brand itself. If however it is possible to upgrade from 7.5 to 8.0 then people will stick with the Windows Phone system and when their contract runs out be more likely to purchase another Nokia.

    1. EddieD

      Re: Win Pho

      I really hope the N9 or that 808 pureview is available when my contract expires on my Lumia 800 next year.

      I like Nokia products,the 800 is well made, looks good and, as usual with a Nokia, built like a brick spithouse*.

      Regardless of whether the Lumia 800 can upgrade to Win8 or not, I'm going elsewhere.

      Comparing my phone to a Galaxy SII when I was on holiday with a mate a few weeks back was painful.

      *http://www.sickipedia.org/search/1/?q=nokia+smashed

  9. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Fingers crossed.

    Elop gets a lot of flack for taking Nokia into the Microsoft camp, but the blame for Nokia's lack of investment in Symbian lies entirely with Elop's predecessors: they had their chances and blew it. Repeatedly.

    I still have a soft spot for Nokia and it's sad just how badly they managed to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Elop might still be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat, but it's hard to see how Nokia can make a comeback at this stage. I suspect their mobile phone division's future may well be similar to that of Motorola Mobile: a buyout by Microsoft.

    Buying Nokia's mobile phone business would give Microsoft the ability to take fight directly to Apple on their own terms by owning the whole widget, instead of relying on a shower of indifferent products from a cloud of third parties. The right hand—the software—really does need to know what the left hand—the hardware—is doing. That's the only way to do holistic design. And Microsoft know this now: they've got their own experiences working on their XBox platform as an example of what they can achieve if they nail it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Fingers crossed.

      Yet it was Elop who farmed out Symbian 3 to Accenture, canned Maemo, and dropped QT. It was finally all ready to go and WP could have even complemented Symbian and Maemo should he have chose, but he chose not to.

    2. SpiderPig
      Unhappy

      Re: Fingers crossed.

      Totally agree, the Symbian platform was and still is the only real platform developed entirely for smartphones. It is a robust and extremely secure platform which cannot be said for others especially Android.

      The greatest downfall of the Symbian platform was the UI that was employed by Nokia and the bulk of the so called "tech press" could not see this they just bagged the whole OS and a lot of the idiot analysts believed them.

      Elop had his chance with Meego, the N900 is a beautiful device but sadly we can only wonder what the outcome would have been if that OS had been allowed to develop.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fingers crossed.

      Elop probably doesn't care what he pulls out of the hat. He's being paid a lot of money now, and, should he ride Nokia into dust, a high ranking job at Microsoft beckons; and if he sells Nokia to Microsoft... he'll get a high ranking job at Microsoft by default. Why should he worry?

      As fir the rest of us: we have Android or iPhone.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101
        Stop

        Re: Fingers crossed.

        You mean a high ranking, well paid job at Microsoft - just like the one he had?

        Let me get this straight:

        1. Elop destroys Nokia.

        2. Some shit to do with short selling, patents, or open source.

        3. Profit!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What 'tech' remains?

    Quote: "Nokia is by some distance the most important and accomplished European technology company – and it still remains so today"

    Now that Nokia's platforms have all been 'burned' and the only route forward is in Microsoft's hands, I can't see what opportunities for tech excellence remain. Although hardware is important, I believe software has a bigger impact on consumers. The first iPhone, for example, didn't have any ground-breaking hardware (I think). Although the form was well-executed, it was a minimalist approach intended to bring the interface and content to the fore. It was the software that made it really stand out.

    With the software entirely in the hands of MS (and the hardware spec to some extent), what is left for Nokia to differentiate itself from any number of other manufactures who will make Windows Phones?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't succeed with cuts

    No high tech company succeeds by eliminating R&D, which is what Elop has just done.

    Elop has turned Nokia into an OEM, that's all they are now. If he was smart he'd be touting for the same business along with the Chinese OEMs, that would keep the factories he's so keen to close busy, particularly as he's outsourced WP manufacture to Compal, and nobody is buying those.

  12. David Black
    FAIL

    Sad

    Shame, feel sorry for the thousands of very talented people losing their jobs due to totally useless management.

    Anyone holding shares now is nuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Sad

      "Anyone holding shares now is nuts."

      Dunno. If Nokia nail it with new Windows 8 devices that share price will multiply. The shares can be compared to lottery tickets now.

      1. asdf

        Re: Sad

        >The shares can be compared to lottery tickets now.

        except lottery tickets generally have a chance of paying millions of times the initial investment. Even if WP8 is a hit (hahahahah yeah right) I would be amazed to see Nokia stock price increase by more than 5 to 10x.

      2. Thing

        Re: Sad

        'The shares can be compared to lottery tickets now.'

        By which of course you mean a tax on stupidity.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad

        " Nokia nail it with new Windows 8 devices "

        Because I see people all the time buying them.. (not...)

        The harsh reality is, that the only people I have EVER seen with a Lumia, got it for free. They even have trouble giving them away. They are plauged with problems and boast a featureset from 2008.

        I would live to know sale numbers, I mean REAL sales, not $0 gifts, and not shipped numbers. That would REALLY scare shareholders...

        1. Rob Beard
          Windows

          Re: Sad

          Well I bought a Lumia 710 for my daughter. She was after a phone for her 12th birthday and looking at what was available it was about the best device for the money. Granted it's not got an SD card slot (although I gather this could be a limitation with WP rather than the Lumias in general) but it's got 8GB of storage (I think about 6GB is actually usable) and the interface isn't too bad when you get used to it.

          For about the £130 I paid for it I was fairly impressed and it keeps her quiet. Of course when I come to upgrade my phone I'll probably go for another Android (Galaxy S3 if I can get one, otherwise maybe a Galaxy S2 to replace my 18 month old Galaxy S) but for what my daughter needs (a phone for making/reciving calls and texts) and wants (music/video player, Facebook, Camera, Spotify and Angry Birds) it does the job pretty well. I just wish I didn't have to use that god awful Zune software! :-s

          Rob

    2. GreenOgre
      Go

      Re: Sad

      It's tough on people in the short term (been there, done that, got the dole cheque) but those thousands of very talented people have had their bureaucratic shackles removed.

      There must be a pile of open-source code that Nokia's engineers, freed from Nokia, can leverage into a very bright future.

      1. Philip Lewis
        FAIL

        Re: Sad

        Working for free doesn't feed a family!

        Some of my engineering friends have lost their jobs, none of them are looking to donate their time to an open source project to feed their family.

        Christ their are some morois in here!

        1. asdf
          FAIL

          Re: Sad

          > none of them are looking to donate their time to an open source project to feed their family.

          The moron is you. You do realize a large portion of open source code is written by people on salary right? People who work for companies like Red Hat, Oracle, Google, etc. Even Microsoft has jumped on the Hadoop open source bandwagon. Companies have realized in some things it makes more sense to work together than reinvent the wheel in non core software over and over. Divide and conquer and the rich most own everything might fit your world but it doesn't always in the real world.

          1. Philip Lewis
            FAIL

            Re: Sad

            Really? I collect a salary, I don't donate my time to FOSS projects because they don't pay the bills. The fact that Oracle, HP and the rest actively support and pay people to code for FOSS projects is completely fucking irrelevant for an unemployed electronics engineer specialising in low power electronic circuitry. No FOSS project is going to feed his family.

            Your comment is illogical and moronic. In fact I cannot see that it contains any content whatsoever other then the sandard "FOSS will take over the world, give and get rich" bullshit which bears no relation to reality, or the point made in my post.

            Reality check: Food costs money. Money must be (a) earned, (b) won, (c) borrowed, (d) otherwise acquired. Therefore in order to eat, it is unlikely giving away the one resource an individual has to sell (his time, energy and skill) is likely to be a viable strategy.

            Moron = you.

            1. Robert Forsyth

              Re: Sad

              All those TI 74 series books which show the inner workings

              Microchip PIC books

              Sony product repair guides

            2. asdf
              FAIL

              Re: Sad

              Damn don't bother replying I will withdraw comment when shows up in 3 days. F__k articles where posts doesn't show up almost immediately. I am going to start downvoting the shit out of them.

  13. Conrad Longmore
    Unhappy

    N900

    There are many things that Nokia got wrong, but in my mind the worst of them was what happened with the Nokia N900 launch and product development after that. When the N900 was announced Nokia still had a chance to shape the smartphone market the way they wanted it. It was a competitive device, Android was still finding its feet, the iPhone was still restricted on carrier exclusive deals and Nokia customers were looking for an upgrade.

    But Nokia effectively killed off the N900 at launch by indicating that there was another, better, phone coming. And then shortly after the phone came to market, Nokia killed off the N900's Maemo OS to merge it with Intel's Moblin, a decision that was utterly catastrophic as it meant there was no further development of the Maemo line of devices.

    Customers waited. And waited. And waited. But once you got past the 24 month contract barrier, they simply went elsewhere, and by and large Symbian owners just switched to Android. Yes, eventually Nokia came out with the N9 which was a contractual obligation almost. A good phone, but two years too late.

    Nokia aren't the only company in a mess. RIM is where Nokia were a couple of years ago, but appear to be blinkered to their upcoming extinction. Sony is haemorrhaging money at an alarming rate. Motorola looks like it is being asset stripped of patents. HTC and LG are struggling too. Only Samsung and Apple are doing well out of the big players. At least Nokia seem to have some sort of plan..

    1. petur
      Unhappy

      Re: N900

      Indeed... and to know that Nokia already had the devices for many years (N770/800/810) that were just lacking the phone bit but already had the smart bit. I remember calling with my N810 while travelling, using wifi+VOIP. Android didn't even exist yet. But the nice little devices never got the attention from Nokia they needed, and this is how they missed the whole smartphone market.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: N900

        Nokia's actions between 2007 and 2010 amounted to self-defilement. For example, the premium priced N97 in 2009 had the same cheap hardware as the mid-priced 5800 from 2008. This was jaw-droppingly arrogant and suggested Nokia thought their customers were fools.

        They had the time and the money to either tart up Symbian and get Maemo up to speed. They could have had the N9 and the later versions of Symbian out by 2010, certainly. They didn't. Customers and developers moved on.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: N900

      Add another digit

      Sometime around the N9120 or so Nokia lost the GUI plot.

      They bought Trolltech too late and destroyed it.

      Maemo was years too late (and didn't actually drive a phone!) and was destroyed by Meego.

      If ever a company destroyed its world leader position itself by bad management it was Nokia. They make Kodak and Polariod look competent and face the same future.

    3. Nick Kew

      Re: N900

      Yep. maemo was good, the N900 wasn't (and isn't). But there was quite a buzz, around the time it was released: I recollect it as a true Hot Topic at FOSDEM. Dumping maemo for meego effectively ceded the whole of that market to the Androids. Hindsight not required: it was perfectly clear at the time.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmm..

    Ex microsoftie somehow ends up in charge of other company. Said other company dumps it's own products and concentrates on Microsoft product. Said company flushes itself down the toilet. Future possibilities are Microsoft buys company or buys its patents for its war against other companies.

    Sounds like industrial espionage to me.

  15. It Wasn't Me, I Swear.
    Meh

    Well... not quite...

    Andrew I understand the analogy between Jobs' moves and Elop's but there is a fundamental difference:

    What Jobs did not do is intimately connect the performance of Apple's toys to the performance of another company - he instead chose to control all the things that made the Apple toys tick (even while the OSes - old and new - were creaking).

    The comparison would have been apt if Elop junked everything but Meego, or bought another OS and slotted it in (though that last part would have been madness given that Meego was at-least good-enough). He lost Nokia's loyal supporters by not doing so (imagine Jobs putting Windows on the Macs and skinning them) and failed to capture the imagination of everyone else, who is left then to champion the devices in circles where it matters?

    As you suggest, given the economics of mobile refresh cycles Nokia simply doesn't have enough runway left to give their products enough 'Nokia' personality (if it is even possible in the agreement they have with Microsoft).

    Let's hope that Apple stumbles and Windows Phone 8 has a killer innovation beyond anyone's expectations and the timeline is there for Nokia to take a breath... I just don't see it right now.

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Well... not quite...

      *cough* Intel *cough*

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    You could have seen it coming...

    As to the market share; that should hardly come as a surprise. Investors are sometimes just little kids; as soon as something drastic happens, no matter how much you tried to comfort them and explain your decisions, they will still have one thing in mind and that's their own income. Very few stock holders are willing to take risks. And once the share is in a downward spiral its also not uncommon when a 'snowball' effect happens.

    Still, many people talk about how the Windows phone is the big disaster for Nokia but quite frankly I don't agree. Especially if you look at the figures; most of the phones sold by Nokia aren't Windows phones, as such its a little silly to think that it would have such a major impact. It doesn't. In fact; when looking at it you'll see that the platform as a whole is expanding. Windows phone has found its way into several "best sold phone" or "most popular" (of the week / month)" stats., one of them being those of Amazon. Sure; its by far comparable to Android and/or iOS, don't get me wrong. But it is growing nonetheless.

    Even AT&T has stated that the sale figures of the Windows phone have exceeded their expectations.

    Which I think is the main issue here. Its not so much the Windows phone; its how much faith you put in it. If you keep low (or reasonable) expectations, as AT&T seems to have done, you may end up pleasantly surprised. If otoh. you set your standards too high...

    But is that the fault of the platform or bad leadership ?

    If AT&T can get surprising results, then why couldn't Nokia ?

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: You could have seen it coming...

      You've forgotten that Nokia have been priced squeezed everywhere. They do sell a lot of feature and simple phones but there own financial statements reveal they make very little profit on any of those. The entire low and midrange market has been commoditised and Nokia failed to move quickly enough to hold their share of the high end while it remains profitable.

      Looking at the Lumia pricing they've already conceded the smartphone highend, the 710 and 800 are virtually being given away (street prices).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      "If AT&T can get surprising results, then why couldn't Nokia"

      Because we are talking of completely different scales here.

      Nokia Lumias still haven't captured 5% of the market (and probably never will). And while that might be good results to AT&T, with its low expectations for the unwanted phones, it is a terrible result for Nokia, which had 60% of the market with the OS Elop destroyed, Symbian, and which had managed to sell more Meego phones than WP7.5 ones despite the complete lack of marketing of the Meego ones. As you aptly write, "most of the phones sold by Nokia aren't Windows phones", but this won't last, as Elop has managed to fire the last remains of R&D and has killed all platforms left. Nokia is being left with WP only, and that doesn't sell.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: You could have seen it coming...

      Most of what you are believing to be truth is spin.

      Amazon and AT&T are being pushed to say these things. I you really believe Windows Phones are genuinely making it in the best sold phone list, then I have some magic beans for sale...

  17. wowfood
    Trollface

    Trolltech?

    Really? Honestly as much interest as I had in QT, it has all disappeared just because of that name.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Bye bye Nokia...

    I wonder if it would now be possible to sue Elop for malicious destruction of value? At least those fired should be able to sue him (and his boss Balmer) asking as indemnification to be divided by all the total value that Nokia has lost since the "Burning Platforms" memo.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Bye bye Nokia...

      Last year there were claims from people claiming to be insiders that at least some of the board and investors knew exactly what they were doing when Elop was hired. Since Elop could not have just surprised them with the whole 'burning platform' and move to WinPhone - the board at least must have approved this, so perhaps not a completely paranoid conspiracy theory.

      If true there's a much more interesting story (and lawsuit) waiting to be revealed.

  19. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'Nokia is by some distance the most important and accomplished European technology company – and it still remains so today.'

    Wouldn't that accolade belong to ARM?

    1. Terry Barnes

      No

      I don't think so - ARM is a very specialist niche company. It's great at what it does and is very successful, but it couldn't be seem as a rival to say Siemens or Nokia as was.

    2. Philip Lewis
      FAIL

      Without any engineers

      As far as I can determine, Eflop has fired all the engineers, so while NOK might have once been a fine engineering house, they are clearly just a box repackager/mover from now on.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia would have been minted if they had done a decent Android phone. European design is so much better, Nokia would have produced some good looking handsets with great cameras.

    But they're shackled with the very strict set of specifications WP7 imposes (rightly or wrongly).

    1. Conrad Longmore

      They deliberately chose not to go down the Android route, because *at best* it would make them just another bit player in the Android scene, where with Windows they have the potential to dominate that market segment and make it their own.

      Essentially, Android would be a lower risk/lower reward option, Windows is a higher risk/higher reward option. Unfortunately for Nokia, their procrastination really only left them with these two choices..

      1. xerocred

        Why not do both?

        Samsung and htc do... It was negligent not to have a plan B.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Both Sony and Motorola still do sell feature phones, it's just that the western press seem to think this market is unimportant despite continuing to sell 100's of millions of units per year.

    1. Raz

      Did you not read the article? That market is unimportant because no one makes money out of it and next year it will be owned by Chinese manufacturers.

  22. hokum

    They're goners

    12 months on the outside before MS takes over and guts whatever is left.

    They're losing ground in emerging markets, which has until now been their strong point, and cannot be making any money off Windows Phone. Their admission that they've only sold 2 million Lumia handsets since the range was launched shows how much Nokia is struggling.

    Windows Phone is going nowhere very slowly so focusing on that was a huge mistake. What was the last Windows Phone to be released which wasn't from Nokia? If there was any new hardware recently it didn't get any publicity. It's a dead platform.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “There will always be work for people who do things.”

    Feeling sorry for the talented folk in Salo. Nice quote from one of them above. I've heard it said in the past and it's certainly true. Best of luck with finding work without needing to relocate too far. Though I expect QT will head stateside given the amount of proprietary software it's embedded in.

  24. Jacqui

    nokia is the new sendo

    so long and thanks for all the ....

    Microsoft are prolly laughing all the way to the bank. Odd how delivering fubar software is better for a sofware company than if they delivered something decent!

  25. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Nokia needs Microsoft but does MS need Nokia?

    That is the real question..

    The more time goes by, I think they don't. Well they don't need the company at all. As MS is gearing up to produce their own Tablets (probably built by someone like Foxconn) why not use the same manufacturer to build the MS phones of the future?

    So what does MS need from nokia?

    Patents and other IP.

    That is all this is about. MS wants to get them on the cheap. Eliminate, sorry Extinguish to use MS parlance a major competitor and ride in at the last moment on the Redmond white charger and buy all the IP that nokia own so at least the poor shareholders get something from the ashes of the once great company.

    I'd really like to see someone else get in on the act of buying Nokia. As I see it, only two companies could play intereference to the MS grand plan. That is Google and Apple. It remains to be seen if one of these could yet spoil the MS buys Nokia for a few cents on the dollar party.

    1. James Gibbons
      Pirate

      Re: Nokia needs Microsoft but does MS need Nokia?

      MS already owns a good part of the IP. Elop sold much of it to a patent troll and both Nokia and MS retained rights to use without paying fees. MS didn't even need to pay Nokia anything for the rights.

  26. pctechxp

    Alas poor Nokia

    You used to make phones so well.

    I used to be a huge fan of Nokia phones, they were solid and dependable.

    I love what I do for a living (if I didn't why would be a reading an IT publication) but I don't want my phone to be anything other than just that, my mobile phone, I don't want a mini replica of my desktop.

    I've owned a Nokia 3310 (Excellent phone) 3510i (not bad but screen looked a bit washed out) 6230i (superb phone I'd still be using if the service provider I was with at the time hadn't given me the wrong unlocking code when I wanted to move)

    I then switched to Sony Ericsson and came back to Nokia when I bought a 6700 Classic which was good but the keypad build quality wasn't the best.

    Then switched to HTC (which was useless), SE and now am using a Nokia Asha 300 which is ok but does not have the solid build feel of Nokias of old.

    Why don't they just go back to making phones as they used to as I'm sure there's others out there just like me that think that one Android Smartphone or Windows Smartphone is much like the next one.

  27. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Alien

    Nokia needs Microsoft but does MS need Nokia?

    That is the real question..

    The more time goes by, I think they don't. Well they don't need the company at all. As MS is gearing up to produce their own Tablets (probably built by someone like Foxconn) why not use the same manufacturer to build the MS phones of the future?

    So what does MS need from nokia?

    Patents and other IP.

    That is all this is about. MS wants to get them on the cheap. Eliminate, sorry Extinguish to use MS parlance a major competitor and ride in at the last moment on the Redmond white charger and buy all the IP that nokia own so at least the poor shareholders get something from the ashes of the once great company.

    I'd really like to see someone else get in on the act of buying Nokia. As I see it, only two companies could play intereference to the MS grand plan. That is Google and Apple. It remains to be seen if one of these could yet spoil the MS buys Nokia for a few cents on the dollar party.

  28. marekt77

    Nokia had problems before WP or Elop

    I believe Nokia really had no other choice but to go with Windows Phone after it squandered so much time and effort in the critical first few years post iPhone launch. People bring up Android or MeeGo, but ask yourself would it have really mattered? Take the Lumina 900 that is their current “flagship” phone, would it be doing any better if it were an Android device?!?!? Would it be able to stand up to the Galaxy line from Samsung or even the HTC One? Oh sure they could have dropped a dual core processor, higher res screen, etc… But what else could they have brought to the table that Samsung doesn’t already? HTC made the first Android phone ever and they too are behind Samsung now in Android devices, not for a lack of trying either. Now MeeGo, yes it was a beloved OS by the IT crowd, but that does not a market make. What honestly did MeeGo have going for it that could lure the general public away from iOS or Android? Very Little. But its open you say, its Linux you say, well the majority of phone customers really could care less about those things. Had they gone with MeeGo, they would be in the exact same position today. At LEAST with Windows, they have the “support” of Microsoft, who can afford to throw money and development into WP without much worry on their bottom line. With Android, their position might be slightly better now, but what about the white Android in the room that is Motorola Mobile? Google just bought them, so is the next Nexus phone going to come from Samsung, HTC, or Motorola? Every parent is going to give their kids special treatment, no matter how much it loves the rest of the family. What happens with Motorola starts getting the latest and greatest Android phones straight from the source? Will Samsung keep its crown? Where would Nokia be in this situation if they were on Android?

    No I think what damaged Nokia happened way before Elop got there. I remember reading an article online about all of the infighting, and multiple teams working on different solutions to the same problem. The iPhone was a monumental wake up call for the entire industry. Like them or hate them, Apple was able to out engineer and out class every other cell phone company in the world. Google had a quick response with Android, those that did not, RIM and Nokia. Well they are living with the consequences now. Even MS was slow to answer and now while the do have a nice slick OS, it may be too little way too late to catch up to Apple or Android.

    My final thought, whoever will wish to break into the smartphone market now will need a radical, “game changing” idea. The reason is simple, apps and media. An average iOS or Android user has invested time and money purchasing and learning a various number of apps and media on their phones. If they upgrade to the latest iPhone or Android phone, their stuff comes with them. Apple in particular makes this really easy. Oh and do not forget accessories, Apple really has a stronghold here. When alarm clocks, speakers, and even cars come with iPod Docks, it is hard to move someone away to a new product that will not work with all of these accessories. Sorry but it is Linux, it is open, or hell even live tiles and Xbox integration is NOT going to cut it.

    1. Paul Shirley

      "But what else could they have brought to the table that Samsung doesn’t already?"

      The Nokia brand *was* valuable before Elop, that alone would have bought them an enormous headstart against the entire market. Samsungs early devices weren't that good, they had to fight their way to the top, Nokia could have beaten them if they'd moved early.

      Nokia may still have a usable reputation for quality hardware with most punters. With multiple OS teams already working on Linux devices its entirely believable they could have produced noticeably better devices running Android, before Samsung took the market. If 1-2 years ago Nokia Android offered 1.5 days battery life compared to the normal 1 day, they'd have minted money and bought brand loyalty.

      Today it's too late, the entire biz is commodised to the point there's too little high end market to share and brand loyalties are entrenched. So entrenched Microsoft has resorted to perverting and risking desktop loyalty in Windows 8 to backdoor its way into mobile.

  29. cocknee

    Couldn't agree more

    The Lumia 900 on Android 4.0 would have been a force to contend with, don't think Samsung would have their top-dog status. As for the up and coming N808, at least it's on Symbian and not Windoze but on Android.... a killer piece of kit as well.

  30. clriis

    Relax

    Am still happy with my Nokia E72 with 32 GB SDHC card and Sony Ericsson MW 600 Bluetooth headset....for + 2 years this combination has served it's purpose and am sure it will do for another year until WP comes off age.

    I enjoy pushed Gmail and Google calendar, free navigation, fast browsing with Opera Mini and quite a few apps for S60 like Xchanger for up-to-date currency rates and Dropian, a near full featured Dropbox client and Podcatcher where I download my favourite talk radio shows

    Am not happy that I cannot do transactions with my netbank and that BBC + Denmarks Radio r out of reach for video casting...I get most on Youtube though...ohhh and did I mention: Spotify works beautifully especially when I connect to my Bose Soundlink via bluetooth seamlessly.

    What else you want???

    1. Nick Kew

      If only ...

      The E71 was a wonderful phone, and I understand the E72 was much the same. But whither that line now?

      My E71 recently died (drowned in a lot of water). Can I replace it with a decent update? The E5 is far from a worthy replacement, while the E6 is one helluva price for an OS that's being orphaned (and noone wants to stock or sell them). Ugh.

      It says something that the E71 is more expensive now than when I bought it three and a half years ago. Back then Nokia were keen to sell me a superb phone. Now they don't even seem to be making an effort.

  31. Andus McCoatover
    Pint

    Well written.

    Mr. Orlowski.

    That is the best article I have ever read from El. Reg. I stand erect.

  32. bep

    I own an N900

    It was a nice device in many ways but unfinished and had a catastrophic habit of doing some kind of background clean up process that slowed it to a crawl, always at the most inconvenient times. Nevertheless with appropriate development I can see it would have led to an excellent device. I'm now on Android. Going Android would have been a challenge for Nokia, but Samsung has managed pretty well and the alternative choice doesn't seem to be working out too well.

  33. N13L5
    FAIL

    Nokia is in trouble, not because it failed to make needed, big changes in 2007, but because Elop announced big changes over a year before any product was ready... He obviously missed the business school class that covered the Osborne effect.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021