List of things to do after the acquisition
1) Move to Android.
Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business – the deal you probably assumed would happen sooner or later – has been scuppered before talks were even made public, according to a new report. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Microsoft has been engaged in "advanced talks" to snap up the Finnish mobile …
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"why buy now when you can wait a year and get it for a bargain basement price"
Because (as Huawei have indicated) there's other people who may be interested. So if Nokia's results are poor, and the share price falls, then you have a Dutch auction, and waiting for the price to fall low enough enables somebody else to make a deal.
Lots of potential buyers other than Microsoft: Paternt trolls, Private equity, any of the larger Chinese makers who haven't made headway in Western markets (probably about five or six companies in this category in addition to Huawei). Even industrial conglomerates who might want a piece of mobile action.
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People have short memories. Nokia were in freefall before Elop joined. Unfortunaltely for them they did not realise that Elop is a skydiver and is enjoying the ride down with them. What Nokia shareholders don't realise is that Elop has a parachute for himself but no one else.
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living in nokia land, former nokia enginers pop up here and there, the rumor is from them that Apple pays 25$ per iPhone to Nokia.
You know that settlement they made over Nokia Frand patents. Android was never a good option for Nokia. Nokia needed to differentiate themselves from the bunch. Android was a dead end, what they had to choose from was Meego and Windows Phone. The only options Nokia really had. What they did choose we all know.
Tomi Ahonen has a detailed analysis of their sales and financials that shows the freefall didn't start until after the 'burning platform' memo. They certainly had trouble with a dated UI and inconsistent behaviourbetween models, but people were still buying them up to the point Elop anounced they were dropping everything and jumping into bed with MS.
"Tomi Ahonen has a detailed analysis of their sales and financials that shows the freefall didn't start until after the 'burning platform' memo."
But the damage was done before that. Apple (ptooh!) were defining what a modern smart phone was, and how an app store and ecosystem worked. Nokia brought us dogs like the 5800, and Ovi, with inconsistent user experience and patchy performance. Bright spots like excellent audio, "comes with music" (which could have been a Spotify) and mapping were never properly exploited. They were late to the party on capacitive touchscreens, they persisted with thick candybar formats when thin was the new black, and they never seemed to understand the importance of screen size (so very high dpi for the time on the 5800 screen, but screen diemnsions that were laughable). They persisted with feature phones (ie restricted smartphones) when the margins were to be made offering more expensive phones with higher capabilities. And despite an early lead in credible cameras they were too slow in upping the resolution to supplant compact cameras.
"You aren't familiar with the N8 then"
No, because like vast numbers of others I'd jumped ship by then. The N8 was released in Q3 of 2010 so was comparable to the original Galaxy. On many counts the N8 was better, but the Galaxy had a better quality, bigger, higher resolution screen, even though the phones were about the same size. Compared to the Galaxy S2 launched in Q2 2011, the N8 was laughable.
The N8 repeated the 5800 story - functionally it did what it said on the tin; good in so many ways, but not good enough where it counted.
So your argument boils down to "I preferred a Galaxy S to an N8, therefore Nokia were doomed". Right. The statistics showing tens of millions still buying Symbian a quarter, enough to still outsell all Android phones together, is not relevant.
I liked things that the 5800 had over an iphone, I guess Apple were doomed too then.
You are sidestepping the issue here. Clear statistics that the freefall didn't start until after the Burning Platform memo indicate that exclusive adoption of Windows Phone is the major contributing factor to Nokia's current state of affairs.
Nokia had a small but steadily spreading fire to deal with. They threw oil on it.
Your problem is you are only going off sales figures to indicate the health of the platform - the real problem with Symbian is that it's a highly complex beast - Symbian Nokia uses is just one of many different flavours out there. As they developed it to further suit their needs (or the requests of the network operators) decisions were made with Symbian which meant overhauling it to make it touch friendly was a huge task. Simply put - on Symbian it would take almost 2 years (or longer) to get the OS updated to work with the new handset and multitudes of Nokia Symbian variants were made for particular handsets and led to screen resolution limitiations amongst other things...contrast this to Windows Phone 8 where one OS fits all and so a handset is out the door in less than a year from inception to delivery.
Symbian wasn't dead, but it was on its way. Nokia's inner workings weren't streamlined, differerent divisions did their own things, duplicated workloads, came up with different ways of doing the same things and never worked closely together enough to get their R&D developments incorporated into the OS.
Whether they made the right choice moving to WP is debatable depending who you talk to, but fact is that Symbian was proving too much of a time/cost black hole to try to modernise...the OS had backed itself into a corner with the way it was developed and was very unwieldy to try to tame.
"Your problem is you are only going off sales figures to indicate the health of the platform"
Yes, that's because this is a debate on when Nokia went into "freefall", presumably referring to sales.
There may well have been other technical or economic reasons why they preferred to switch to WP. However, that doesn't change the point that there was no freefall in Symbian until after it was dropped.
Also I'm not sure what you're referring to buy different versions - which phones ran which different versions of Symbian?
I'd take my 5800 over any iphone of the time. The 2007 iphone couldn't even *do* apps - that came later. Of course Symbian wasn't perfect, but then iphones were playing catchup in lots of areas too (back then even copy/paste was yet to be mastered; poor screen resolution until 2010; free satnav didn't come until 6 months ago and we know how well that worked; ios 7 finally brings proper multitasking).
The modern smartphone was defined by many companies, more so than just Apple (who defined it as a phone that couldn't even run apps, and had dial-up speeds slower than feature phones). Consider how the biggest criticisms against WP in these forums are the things that it took IOS ages to do also, and were Symbian had them years earlier.
The damage was done? If the Symbian^1 era 5800 was so bad, I wonder why they were still number one until 2011 (when they were overtaken by Android - and still outselling iphone). (Note, although their market share was falling, sales were increasing - percentage market share isn't a good way to compare over time when you have different sized markets. The Android growth in that period was mainly coming from phones that previously weren't counted as smartphones, and not that Symbian was losing sales overall.)
"They were late to the party on capacitive touchscreens"
Resistive screens are good too - each have their own advantages (resistive work with pens too, and can be used with gloves - we now have capacitive that support these, but this wasn't around in 2008).
"they persisted with thick candybar formats when thin was the new black"
With 4 day battery life on the 5800, that was fine by me. Phones tended to be thicker then.
"and they never seemed to understand the importance of screen size (so very high dpi for the time on the 5800 screen, but screen diemnsions that were laughable)."
Whilst I'd have liked a larger screen, it wasn't until Samsung started pushing larger sizes in 2010 that this changed; Nokia were no more guilty than Apple. Nokia did have higher end models that were 3.5" at that time. Also remember that Nokia were early adopters of 16:9 aspect ratio, which means thinner screens.
"They persisted with feature phones (ie restricted smartphones) when the margins were to be made offering more expensive phones with higher capabilities."
So Apple should stop making ipods? Samsung are in the wrong to make low end phones too?
"And despite an early lead in credible cameras they were too slow in upping the resolution to supplant compact cameras."
41MP not enough for you?
If Nokia fails with Windows Phone, Windows Phone will have failed, and Microsoft will have failed. Why would Microsoft want to add to that misery by buying a worthless phone company for too much money?
No, Microsoft needs Nokia to succeed. Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business will probably not make that handset business more successfull than it is now though.
Nokia can limp along for a while.
There are some 'crown jewels' that certain fruity companies would want. Map Data and GPS tech is very important in the mobile phone / tablet market place.
If Microsoft becomes a handset manufacturer, you can kill Windows adoption goodbye.
Had Google bought Moto earlier, half of the handset makers would have bailed on Android because Google's phone would always have an advantage.
"Had Google bought Moto earlier, half of the handset makers would have bailed on Android because Google's phone would always have an advantage."
I doubt it. Where else would they have gone? Phone software only seems to be successful if it is built by a software-focused company. When a hardware-focused company tries to do software the results are invariably grim, whether we're talking smart phones of smart TVs.
Add in that Android is free, WP is expensive, and there were no other free phone OSes ar the time. The existence of the Nexus 4 doesn't seem to be putting third party manufacturers off, nor is there a big queue for Firefox or Ubuntu phones?
They would have gone to a different OS.
The point is that if Google had introduced Android and then introduced their own handset, other phone manufacturers would have questioned why would they enter a market where Google's phone would have the latest and greatest and they would be a second tier phone.
Google can still do this via Moto Mobility.
They could do it and laugh all the way to the bank...
I was so disappointed that I would never see if the next Symbian OS up against the Android. I heard some great things about it and thought that it could be some great competition. Would it have the legs to keep up against google? If anyone could then nokia was an interesting bet.
Then when they announced the partnership that pretty much went out the window.
The MS OS is quite good, but its reputation with the Windows phone OS was really always going to put it on a back foot.
Personally, I think the best thing Nokia could do is resurrect their brilliant Debian-based phone OS Maemo.
There's still a huge community surrounding the n900, despite it being nearly 4 years old. It'd be brilliant if Nokia could take that and put it on a modern phone (a Huawei one, perhaps, if Nokia haven't got the cash to be making their own phones anymore)
Despite its age, the n900 is still the most powerful (in terms of things you can make it do) phone I have ever known. (mobile SSH terminal complete with agent, port and X11 forwarding, anyone?)
Absolute brilliance by Nokia, but it was exactly what the trojan horse Elop was (successfully) deployed to assassinate.
Yes, because everyone who owns a smartphone thinks "well, this thing is great, but it'd be much better if I could display an Xterm on it that's running on my desktop."
Give it a rest. Maemo is and always was garbage. Maybe if they'd ever got the next-gen Qt UI up and running it might have amounted to something, but as it was everything about the platform and the hardware they shipped it on sucked.
...the company has such a great success rate with acquisitions under Ballmer. Maybe it could be as successful as Aquantive, or destroy its own revenue stream like Skype. Fantastic. Microsoft can burn up more cash reserves while running a couple once great companies the rest of the way into the ground... What could go wrong?
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I can't believe I'm doing this, but I actually agree with Eadon.
If Nokia had continued to control it's own destiny, then it would not be faring so poorly in the smartphone market. Sure, it might not be doing as great as Android and iOS, but I dare say it would be giving Blackberry a serious run for their money.
By ditching Symbian and going exclusively for WinPhone, they effectively told their loyal customer base (which included me) to go sodomise themselves. If we were going to be forced to learn a brand new mobile OS, most people would look elsewhere and make an informed choice of what to learn, instead of blindly bendnig over and giving two deep coughs for MS.
<- Coat, cos thats what most of Nokia's customer base grabbed before leaving.
I do not.
Nokia had a nice overview of its 10 topmost markets in its annual income statement. Things were going very well indeed in all of those markets, until 2008 or so. At that time, Nokia's key markets in Europe started to collapse, curiously timed with the introduction of iPhone and later Android. 2009 was worse as key markets outside Europe started to collapse too. There was however still global growth as Nokia was making inroads in some other big countries. But the collapse in the UK, Germany, France, Indonesia continued
By 2010-2011 or so global growth stalled to, the collapse became to big to hide.
Nokia had already lost its "loyal" Symbian OS customer base by then in Western Europe.
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I was always a Nokia user from ~1997 until the xPress music 5800 (or was it 5900?). I wasn't too happy with my previous nokia, but the 5800 was utter crap, buggy software, it crashed too often, the backup/sync software just didn't work properly and it had a soft as butter resistive touch screen. At that point I went to HTC, now I'm back with a Nokia 820 and I'm fairly impressed.
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"You'll all see things my way in the end."
Oh I sincerely hope that day never comes.
While your suggestion is perfectly plausible, never attribute to underhandedness on MS' part what can just as easily be attributed to Elop taking a job that was way over his head and, not knowing what else to do, going running to the familiar to help him out.
I've seen this happen many times in the past and would say it's equally, if not more, plausible than the trojan horse theory.
But regardless of Elop's reasons, Nokia are now a mere shell of what they used to be. I remember when everyone I knew had a Nokia phone, and we laughed at the poor sod who'd ended up with a Sagem phone. Those were the days...
If they bought Nokia it would be for its patent pool. That's really the only thing they'd want from them. I also imagine that's what broke down negotiations. Microsoft tried to by Nokia for a face valuation based on its current operations, and Nokia wanted that + extra for the patent pool.
I imagine that in al likelyhood if Nokia were to sell up the first thing they'd do is start to auction off packages of their patents to other companies since that could generate a hefty profit should they need it. I can quite easily see a bidding war erupt between google samsung and apple over a large number of Nokia patents.
I'm actually surprised Google haven't done more with motorola.
MS would consider buying Nokia for fear that if they don't, someone else will.
Imagine some other player buying Nokia... The likely result would be that they either stop producing WIndows Phones or at the very least start producing phones using some other O/S, and depending on the terms of existing licences, they open themselves up to increased licence fees from Nokia-held patents, and lose the ability to leverage Nokia's patents in attacks against Android.
Many takeovers are done for defensive reasons and the above reasons do not add to Nokia's book value, but they do add to the value of Nokia from a Microsoft perspective.
Nokia is not going to sell. In my opinion, Management is committed to the turnaround
As for those who think that Nokia is going to declare bankruptcy, they have a 50% stake in Nokia Siemens Networks which has had increasing profits, they have €4 Billion in liquid assets, they are receiving patent fees from every phone maker, Nokia owns Navteq, and the market share for Windows phones has been increasing worldwide. Most of those who think that Nokia is dying are only looking at the US market. Nokia has always been much stronger in Europe and Asia, and this is where they have been growing.
Some may also say that they wouldn't be discussing a merger with Microsoft if they weren't in trouble. But that viewpoint ignores the fact that as a public company, they need to perform due diligence on anything that could increase shareholder wealth.
My opinion is that Nokia will slowly but surely gain market share by developing great phones. My guess is that we will see Android phones from them when their agreement with Microsoft runs out.
Because they have the cash to float the company. If nokia dies and their windows phones leave the market, then there are very few windows phone options left. Microsoft want to keep pushing windows 8 and windows phone with the same UI, thinking that some day people will start wanting it.... I guess what they are doing (destroying nokias value, and then trying to buy them for cheap) might have insulted too many and pushed too many too far so that talks fell apart though.
Suely, there must be some "in there" who can enlighten us as to the true state of the agreement between Nokia and Microsft to sel WIndows only phones?
Surely, if they adopted Anroid and Maeo et al, they can have a better presence in the market.
We are all speculating here and its more about wishful thinking.
Just to clarify the air. ANinsider can do us all a favour here.
Forget Android, Nokia should partner with RIM.
BlackBerry gets the maps and the cameras. Nokia gets a modern platform designed for phones, not touch desktops, and is no longer in direct competition with Samsung and HTC. RIM goes back to making QWERTY phones, Nokia makes the touch versions. A Nokia 925 running BB 10 would blow the Z10 out of the water while giving the corporates everything they want in security and manageability. Neither party is hostage to the US or the Chinese. Having a choice of manufacturers gives the end users and developers confidence in the platform. Genuine third ecosystem. And both Canadians and Finns know about beer, snow and big lakes.
Errm, It's the failed Windows Phone that put Nokia in that position.
Things could have been so different had they gone with Android, competing with Samsung rather than trying to survive on sales scraps from the odd foolish punter who is mesmerised by live tiles (widgets to the rest of us) to not see the vast platfrom problems.
I think it would have been just as big a mess. (They probably would have lost less sales, but they wouldn't have had the bung from Microsoft) They should have stuck with what they were doing. Cleaning up Symbian, while developing a replacement that would provide continuity.
Ditching that completely was what caused the huge loses in market share.
There are plenty of companies 'competing' with Samsung in Android, they even produce better 'phones IMO (HTC One X for instance, Experia perhaps). However, Samsung are absolutely slaughtering them in the market, they have a enormous budget to push their products and a massive world-wide presence.
Nokia would be an also-ran in Android, even though I would buy Nokia because it would be a better 'phone with a better camera and better design and, most importantly, maps that work everywhere without a data connection. Unfortunately, the most 'phones are sold by the largest advertisers using the biggest posters etc. otherwise, why would people accept arriving in Paris and finding they have barely any way to see where they are, where to go or how to get there? all of which work on a Nokia almost as if you were in your home network. I have also actually made 'phone calls to Samsung devices; the call quality is shocking, truly awful; the noise-cancellation software is garbage and has to be turned off on a call-by-call basis (Jelly bean on an S2 in my case).
Luckily, I love WP, I love the battery lasting all day and into the night easily, I love the slick interface. I love it being non-app centred, swipe-based, concentrating on relating disparate information like interaction with people by whatever mechanism all in one place. If I liked instagram, I could use one of the many, many, apps that produce pictures to post on Facebook that look like that were taken with a crappy old 'phone. The predictive text input is the best I have seen.
I have used all the others, except BB10, which looks good from this distance and would get my attention in the unlikely event WP disappeared (rather than just getting better all the time). My iOS experience is limited (and includes iPads) but I would avoid them solely on the basis of the price let alone poor phone calls, old fashioned app-centric interface coupled with a UI that even Apple are discarding to make it more like WP.
MS buying nokia will be a great way to kill the Windows phone as an OS outside Nokia as Samsung, HTC etc would more than likely drop the OS if the major player in Windows phone became owned by the OS manufacturer. OEMs haven't liked the surface but they aren't too fussed about it now since Microsoft don't seem to be able to shift many of them.
Let's start with Nokia. THEY ARE A PHONE COMPANY. They make their money selling phone hardware.Once the phone is sold, if they want to make more money from a customer, they have to sell another phone. Nokia also never understood smart phones. Buying Qt was the smartest move they ever made and then screwed up. Nokia has a long reputation of selling phones and saying screw you to their customers. For some stupid reason, they think making bunches of different phones is a good idea. That worked before. Now, we want phones who get love from their makers afterwards. People complain about iPhone software updates, but in reality, people know they're getting love when they get updates.
Microsoft needs to make their own damn phone and do it right. Spend a year and focus on industrial design. Then, whatever you do, don't let some loser like Stephen Elop looking fat and sweaty in a suit with a tie get caught calling it cool. Steve Ballmer should never been seen in public with one. Give him a Nokia. Hire someone to make it cool. Not a pop star, but an artist with a gift for industrial design. People don't realize that John Ives is far more important than most think. He brings fashion to the devices.
All these anal-ists talk about is Nokia's smartphone sales being not up to much.
Their Featurephone sales are doing quite well, and that's bread & butter income - along with that from NSN.
I can see Nokia quietly assisting Jolla in bringing hardware to the market, if they do, we'll get phones with good RF performance, and a nice smart UI.
I'm on my "last" Nokia at the moment - a N9, it's RF performance beats wifey's Samsung S3 dramatically. We're on the same network, and I often have 1-2 bars on the display with 3G (where available) data, where hers has no service. The only Nokia I've ever had my hands on that didn't perform well "on air" is the E7-00.
Hopefully Mr Elop will leave Nokia soon and someone with guts and drive will return the great ship Nokia back to it's proper course.
I still feel the best thing Nokia should have done was to be the ones that bought Palm, and WebOS instead of HP. This would have given them a beautiful, functional, modern OS that they could have paired with their industrial design to produce some incredible products! Most importantly they would own their own platform, instead of relying on Microsoft, Google, or anyone else for that matter.
At the very least they would have certainly done more with WebOS that HP ever did. And WebOS would have at least been given a fighting chance to survive.
Sadly this did not come to pass, and WebOS has died, and Nokia well, maybe if given enough time can with MS carve out a nice small 3rd place in market share globally, if they survive that long...
Microsoft is treating Nokia like a cheap John treats a single-notcturnal-cycle-employment professional in the alternatively-attired performance-arts.
After all, Microsoft's fscked Nokia vigorously, there's little more to be had from the relationship - you pay your money, you don't put a ring on it.
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