back to article Finns, roamers, Nokia: So long, and thanks for all the phones

Finns are in mourning this week after Nokia has sold its mobile phones unit to Microsoft: a decision that weirdly seems both inevitable and shocking at the same time. But they should be proud, for Nokia had an incredible 15-year run at the top of an entirely new industry, making stalwarts like Motorola and neighbours Ericsson …

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  1. SW10
    Happy

    6310i

    Did anyone ever need anything more?

    Drop-proof, kick-proof, coffee-proof, beer-proof.

    Made calls, sent texts and, er, had WAP.

    All with 7 days-worth of battery charge.

    Try telling that to the yoof of today...

    1. IDoNotThinkSo

      Re: 6310i

      I still use one. Why not?

      I also have an N900. Great and terrible, at the same time. A reminder what could have been...

    2. frank ly
      Thumb Up

      Re: 6310i

      I have two. They pick up a signal just about anywhere.

      1. Ramazan

        Re: 6310i

        I have two Motorola StarTac 130's, they pick up a signal just about anywhere, and have a style.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Did anyone ever need anything more?"

      Yes, looking at home things have gone it seems that did.

      Hopefully the fall of Nokia will be a stark warning to other companies, if you don't have good leadership and spend too much time messing around with bureaucracy then you're going to fail and get swallowed up by someone else for peanuts.

      I do think under Kallasvuo Nokia produced some of it's most spectacular turds, the writing was on the wall for years thanks to him.

    4. Getriebe

      Re: 6310i

      In my company they are so sought after if you have one and leave it on your desk it will get stolen. Your sim will be left but the company 6310i will be gone.

      Amazing phones. 7 days - you must talk too much or have a defective battery!

  2. Anonymous Coward 101

    Nothing lasts forever

    Everyone can argue from 20-20 hindsight, but if Apple hadn't entered the market in 2007 (and in doing so showed Samsung how to make smartphones normal people want to use) Nokia would have been doing very well. I shudder to think of the barely functional monstrosities they would have been making, but they would have been doing well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing lasts forever

      Hindsight is an amazing thing, so many armchair CEOs out there who make comments like "well, of course anyone could see that..." when in actual fact they have no knowledge of the upper workings of even the simplest corporation.

      In hindsight everyone can see that the iPhone and the Android OS are successful, but most people who are fans of the phones refuse to entertain the fact that these were far from certain products and majorly lacking in their first iterations. Particularly the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards at the time, the list of features it didn't have that were standard on Nokia phones is as long as your arm.

      1. Ramazan

        Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

        "the list of features it didn't have that were standard on Nokia phones is as long as your arm". In fact, the first iPhone was so much greater than all European phones together, that even without MMS support it was _far_ greater than anything else.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

          It didn't have cut&paste too. It was designed like an iPod with a phone inside, not as a *smart*phone.

        2. Daniel B.

          Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

          You must be still affected by Jobs' RDF.

          The first iPhone was a joke; it lacked so many standard smartphone features it wouldn't even be considered a smartphone by smartphone users!

          No apps and Jobs saying that there would never be an SDK.

          No copy/paste

          No MMS

          It was little more than an iPod that made calls and had PDA features.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The first iPhone was a joke

            and yet it sold well, and this coming from a company at the time made colourful computers for idiots and mp3 players.

            What does that tell you about the general mindset of the public at the time???

            Maybe people were so sick of the crap being produced that as soon as someone offered an alternative, even if it was flawed they jumped all over it????

            1. TimePilot84

              Re: The first iPhone was a joke

              But it didn't sell well. The first iPhone was a flop until they corrected these deficiencies and fixed their arrogant pricing scheme.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              Re: The first iPhone was a joke

              Apple understood there was a different customer beyond the business user. It understood people would like to bring a single device with them, not an MP3 player and a phone and maybe a PDA. Unlike previous smartphone, first iterations of iOS, Android and Windows Phone lacked (and the latter still lacks until the Enterprise Package is released), some business features that are useless to non-business users, like true multitasking for every app, advanced proxy settings or VPN support, which were already available in Windows Mobile, for example.

              Apple the usual design touch, and understood also that multitouch would have simplified many kind of interactions a lot, without the need of a stylus, and designed its UI around it - and that was the real killer feature. I found first iPhone and Androids totally useless in my company environment - but it was the right move to sell smartphones to the general public - instead of MP3 players and portable game consoles. PR and the press made the rest - no product get so much attention lately.

              1. John 62

                Re: The first iPhone was a joke

                There are many things I miss from SE k750i that my iPhone 3G should have, particularly BluePhone Elite compatibility (view and create SMS on my Mac! I suppose that's what Messages is for, but my iPhone 3G is too old for iOS5) and BlueTooth HID remote control for Macs. It was crazy that I could transfer photos from my dad's SLVR (ugh - probably worst phone ever) via BlueTooth, but not from my iPhone.

                Browsing the web on my SE k750i was not the worst experience and it was handy in a pinch. I used to read my email in bed with it. Battery life was good, too.

                But you're right, Safari was the iPhone's killer app, along with the screen, which was very large at the time.

                Jobs even expected Safari to be the app delivery mechanism. All those web developers could have continued their php, but they actually demanded to be able to use obj-C!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

          Like I said, some people can't accept that the iphone wasn't fantastic from day one.

          Off the top of my head, it was missing:

          Stereo bluetooth support

          MMS

          Cut and Paste

          Anything other than basic GSM support

          GPS

          Front facing camera

          Any form of voice control

          Gyroscopes/Accelerometers

          Compass

          App support

          I'm pretty sure the list goes on.

          1. ThomH

            Re: the first iPhone was laughable by European (ie: Nokia) standards

            The idea that products succeed or fail based on tick lists of features is absurd even if you ignore the motivation behind the list selection criteria.

            Here's what most people used a phone for in 2007: calls, texts. Here's what they could do with an iPhone: calls, texts, the web. With a usable interface thanks to multi touch. And without sending you bankrupt because Apple strong armed the carriers into unlimited data.

            What is laughable is the preceding interfaces for the web, full of modality and fixed-level zooms and web pages reduced to the system font, and the idea that people would pay 50p/mb for the privilege.

            Apple opened the door, Google charged through it.

      2. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Nothing lasts forever @AC12.15

        "Hindsight is an amazing thing, so many armchair CEOs out there who make comments like "well, of course anyone could see that..." when in actual fact they have no knowledge of the upper workings of even the simplest corporation."

        True, but when people who *do* claim to know the workings of corporations can run a company that anyone here would have regarded as unassailable much less than ten years ago onto the rocks, and without any outside assistance, one is forced to wonder whether the wrong people become upper management.

        The article starts with the words "... Nokia has sold its mobile phones unit to Microsoft: a decision that weirdly seems both inevitable and shocking at the same time." It *is* shocking - this shouldn't be happening in a sane world - but, ever since Elop took over (which brings us back to questions over the actual abilities of upper management to find their own arses with a map and torch), this situation *was* inevitable, and not in a good way. The smartphone world needs more competition amongst platforms, not less. I hope the good folks at Jolla Oy can take over what should be Nokia's place in the world ...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing lasts forever

        Did you ever try using the web on a symbian phone with a 0-9 keypad?

        Did you ever try using the web with a stylus and no "pinch to zoom"?

        I did, it simply was agony. Multitouch brought us the mobile web in a usable form, simple as that.

        People wanted mobile internet more than they wanted a million features they were never going to use.

  3. IHateWearingATie

    I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

    ... but there's no way I'm moving to Windows Phone while is seriously lacks apps.

    Such a shame gems like their imaging and maps units got tied up with the rest of the car crash for so long.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

      Please, name an app which WP lacks - and not a game, please.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        That's the wrong question.

        WP lacks apps, it lacks YouTube, it lacks Instagram, it lacks a lot of the big name apps but it has a wealth of unofficial apps that provide the same functionality if not better (YouTube vs MetroTube).

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

          >I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone... ... but there's no way I'm moving to Windows Phone

          Sony has your corner. Basically they've stuck the important internals (lens, sensor, processor) from the very-highly rated RX100 M2 compact camera into a smallish unit that uses your phone's screen.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/06/sony-qx10-qx100-preview_n_3878299.html

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

          It doesn't lack a YouTube app. The MS app has been blocked by Google, but there are others working. It lacks Instagram, but there is plenty of Instagram-like apps. And high-end Nokia phones have excellent cameras and camera apps.

          But what people look for? An app name or an app functionalities? If there is a different app from a different company performing the same functionalities or even better, what's the problem? Here Map and Here Drive are far better than Googles and Apple ones, and allows to download maps locally - should WP user complain there's no Google Maps? They would be fools.

      2. Greg 24

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        Try sticking this in google and you'll see how many developers are sidelining Windows Phone

        "no plans for a windows phone version"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

          Yes, one of the ones I found was "Skype: No plans for Windows Phone version". So, I suggest your method of suggesting there aren't enough apps is not entirely scientific.

      3. RaidOne

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        I don't have a Win8 phone, but I have a tablet, and I will tell you which app is missing in Win8: a decent browser. One that can reflow text, so you don't have to scroll around. That's why my 3 year old Android tablet gets more use than the new Win8 one.

        Basic fail.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

          Windows Mobile had a browser that did reflow and many sites became mostly unreadable, today most sites are designed with a given graphic structure in mind and can't be "reflowed" well.

          But you say you don't own a WP8 phone thereby you don't know how it browser works: for example *double tap text* and it automatically zoom it to the margin width - no need to scroll around, just scroll up and down.

          Can't understand what tablet you have - which anyway may run Win8 RT or Win8, not WP - but usually tablet screen size is enough to read a site without scrolling, unless your sight requires a large magnification.

      4. TimePilot84

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        Instagram.

      5. asdf

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        >and not a game, please.

        Yeah because games never drive hardware sales especially in the consumer space huh? There probably wouldn't be a windows monopoly on PC in the home if not for DirectX. I remember a lot of people sticking with DOS instead of W95 due to a lack of gaming prowess.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

          Because games can be very specific to a single platform. Even porting games from DOS to Windows required a deep rewrite and that is why you see very few games on Linux or OSX. Do you mean Linux and OSX are inferior platforms for lack of games?

          Do you select a smartphone because of games? I hoped adult people select them for productivity apps, not games.

      6. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        When voting down, please add a name of an app missing... I'm still waiting, it should be easy to find one.... or not?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

      That's how competition works - not all devices are created equally, you pick and choose what you want.

      Incidentally, which apps aren't available on WP that you consider essential? This is a genuine question as I'm not really an App person, outside of the basic linkedin, ebay and something to track excersie sessions. Or is it just that there aren't that overall many apps realative to the other OS ecosystems that puts you off?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        Yes, some people like to say "my app store has one billion apps" - the fact are

        1) Most of them do the same thing, or are rubbish or never updated.

        2) You can't install a billion app on your phone

        3) If a great share of those apps are apps you don't need or use, is the sheer number so important?

        OSX has far less apps then Windows, and nobody says it's an inferior OS because lack of apps - and yet there are many tasks you can easily perform on a Windows machine but not on OSX for lack of software.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. ScissorHands

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        Wphone does lack apps, but what it lacks the most is making you smile while you use it, like I do with my N9.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

      Does anyone really care about apps?

      The problem with windows phone is that it just doesn't do a lot of basic stuff yet that could be done on symbian ... it feels like a beta version waiting for improvements, but has been forgotten about

      They just set up a site to ask for comments and ignored them all

      http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions

      Seems like the government petition site - a place for people to vent rather than for advice on what to do!

      But then that was a problem with nokia after a while as it would ask people too much - and people always want the same thing just bigger or faster rather than something innovative

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

        Sure, WP has still some missing features (some added in GDR2) and can be improved. But that petition site has some laughable request as well, as the request for a "notification screen" - forgettng that Live Tiles are already capable of delirivening excellent notification in a far better way. Sure, in a different way than Android/iOS, but that's a great feature of WP.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I *really* want one of the Nokia imaging units in my next phone...

      It has more modern apps than symbian does.

  4. Aoyagi Aichou
    Linux

    Maemo? MeeGo?

    I would have expected greater mentions of these two...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

      Why? Maemo was a half-baked smartphone OS - and surprisingly for Nokia, it was even weak at phone tasks. For example the N900 IIRC could not assign different ringtones to callers. It was a a little Linux PC, but not a *smart*phone. Too much was left to external developers, hoping they would plug the OS holes, but it didin't happen.

      1. ScissorHands

        Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

        The N900 was supposed to be a prototype. Then Nokia decided to move to MeeGo and released the N900 to the public to makes some sales out of the investment on Maemo.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

        I understand Linux hardcore users were happy with a phone where you could open a shell, but most users don't care at all about opening a shell on their phone. iOS first and Android later showed that the best way was to remove most "PC features" from a mobile OS because most user need a device simple to use, not something to hack to run a Cron script to merge your local address book with a remote one via SFTP....

        Maemo was a developer OS, not a user OS.

        1. Neil Hoskins

          Re: Maemo? MeeGo?

          "Maemo was a developer OS, not a user OS"

          But it was *very* close: *almost* usable by the average numpty. But then they chucked all that in the bin and started all over again with MeeGo; leading to the delay that Mr O seems to be saying was the final nail in the coffin.

  5. LDS Silver badge

    Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

    If you look at any Nokia product, including the Communicator and NGear, you see they are phones attempting to do something else *also*. But basically they are designed like phones. Nokia was a phone company and tried to add other features to phones, not add phone features to handhelds PC, which after all was simpler but requires a different design, you no longer need a phone UI attempting to let you access more features, you have a handheld UI that gives you access in some situations to the phone UI.

    That was what Handspring made with the Treo line - take a PalmOS handheld, and put a phone within. And they did it at the end of 2001. Apple took later its iPod player (after the Newton failure it left the handheld market), and put a phone inside it. Unlike Treos which were mostly aimed at the business market - the target market then for handhelds - Apple was able to target the larger consumer market (and that's why it needed a graphic processor - games for the GameBoy generation!) and thereby got the headlines.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

      "But basically they are designed like phones. Nokia was a phone company and tried to add other features to phones, not add phone features to handhelds PC"

      And designed like Nokia phones. They never made a decent flip phone or clamshell; And their continuous obsession with thick candbar formats even in the initial smartphone era meant that their head on product versus the original iPhone was the Nokia 5800. So although functionally comparable in many ways, and with better multimedia hardware (sound quality, camera, screen colours), it was too thick, the screen too small, and it carried a ghastly resistive touchscreen. Put them side by side, try a capacitive glass screen and there's no comparison. Even the succesor Nokia X6 still had a smaller screen and thicker body than the then current iPhone 3GS. Nokia's choice of higher resolution on a small screen applied to both 5800 and X6 versus Apple, but at around 3 inches, absolute size trumped resolution every time.

      Nokia's glories of pre-smartphone design were mainly in simplicity and robustness, never in stylish design. Nokia's smartphones had a non-simple UI thus losing the simplicity, they weren't (like any other smartphone) robust, and you then have to ask why people would prefer them?

      1. Maharg

        Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

        “their head on product versus the original iPhone was the Nokia 5800. So although functionally comparable in many ways, and with better multimedia hardware (sound quality, camera, screen colours), it was too thick, the screen too small, and it carried a ghastly resistive touchscreen”

        I think that summed it up, Nokia had the better phone, but the iPhone was pretty…

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

          The 5800 a better phone? It was what finally drove me away from Nokia having been a loyal customer for about fifteen years. It was crashy, its updates were never-ready, the user interface was inconsistent, it was plasticey, it had a resistive touch screen which had all the resistance to scratch of warm butter. When updates finally arrived they changed the place to get apps from about three times in the life of a phone. The protective case for it nearly doubled its size, it was a horrible, horrible phone.

          On the up side, it had better battery life than the iphone.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

        I had an X6 nice phone!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

      I always thought that a big mistake Jobs made was to kill off the Newton, with a typically Jobs line which went something like "PDAs are all awful, ours is the best, but they're all awful". He totally missed the potential for the future and it held Apple's development of things like the iPod/phone etc back. They could have been putting phone hardware into Newtons around the same time as Palm, had they continued developing what was a pretty good product. Everyone loves to hate the Newton in hindsight, but the people I know who actually owned one (myself included) really liked them.

    3. Richard Plinston

      Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

      > Nokia was a phone company and tried to add other features to phones, not add phone features to handhelds PC,

      You are misinformed. Nokia had the N770 handheld PC in 2005 which was updated to the N800, N810 and N810 WiMax. The next model, the N900, added phone features. This developed into the N9 and the N950, both of which were canned by Elop because they made WP look very poor.

      I still use my N800 and it runs Abiword and Gnumeric when required.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

        I have several friends who were loyal Nokia customers and bought the N900 as soon as it was out. Every one of them ditched it as soon as possible (switching to iPhones or Androids, no more Nokias after it) it was a nice little Linux PC, but not a really usable smartphone - and it came too late.

        It was worse than Windows Mobile phones, which at least had better phone and PDA features - and many more applications. It looked Nokia was unable to understand what a smartphone should have been - nor a PC, nor a phone, but the right mix of both. Frankly, Lumia phones are far better than the N900.

    4. Neil Hoskins

      Re: Nokia couldn't make a smartphone because it was too focused on the phone side.

      Nail - head.

  6. mrbawsaq
    Mushroom

    Nokia's Demise

    By the time the iPhone came out, Nokia made 2 types of phones - really expensive shit phones and really cheap shit phones.

    I don't see this changing now MS is calling the shots.

    Expect to see Nokia go the way of Danger, the Kin phone, Zune, aQuantive, etc, as MS do their usual with an acquisition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia's Demise

      You know MS bought it for the same reason as Skype, so they can do the NSA's dirty work for them on all those Asha phones they sell in Asia.

    2. Maharg

      Re: Nokia's Demise

      That’s odd, because I remember everything about the two Nokia’s (that’s right, I have only needed to upgrade 2 times in 7 years) I have had since the iPhone came out being better than their respective iPhones.

      When the iPhone came out it could not send picture messages, no IM, no Video Calling, No VOIP, no GPS, no space for an SD card, blu tooth, and the camera was shit, my N95 which was almost a year old when the iPhone arrived could do all that and more.

      Then I got an N8 and in fact it was not until the iPhone 5 when they were no longer comparable, it was still better then the 4S at a few things (although the N8 STILL has a better camera then the i5) I made the change to a different phone after the N8 didn’t survive its 5th music festival, (it didn’t break, it got lost) but I remember dropping my phone from a height in front of cringing iPhone owners who were amazed the screen didn’t smash and the phone fall to bits, Nokia’s had good tech, were well built and were inventive (have you seen the Camera on the 808?) but as this article says, it was not the phones, but the management that has sunk Nokia.

  7. Joseph Lord

    You underplay the focus on carriers

    A large part of the software problem (and over proliferation of devices) was the carrier focus and their desire for locked down exclusive models. This caused them to hobble devices (no wifi until too late) and also provide too much control to the carriers. The massive variety of handsets had worked well with hits filtering through and different options for different tastes but software platforms need scale to attract developers so variety and indecision were a big problem and the common standardised platform was just crap (J2ME).

  8. cheveron

    I love my Nokia 700

    I know Symbian is dead but my phone does at least one thing the other main smart phone don't. Swype (missing from Windows Phone and iOS) or offline HERE maps (missing from Android and iOS). As MS is not acquiring HERE, I hope the offline version makes it to Android, or that Apple or MS adds Swype to their OS.

  9. Captain Hogwash
    Happy

    Re: "...even if not everyone knew where Finland was"

    East of Eden Sweden.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: "...even if not everyone knew where Finland was"

      On a slightly different, but related, point my first mobile was a Phillips Savvy, because it was made by a European firm. I didn't even consider Nokia because I thought it was Japanese ... specifically, made by Nikon!

  10. Andrew_b65

    Jorma Ollila / Jolla

    and...

    "in his strategy, Nokia would have to get much smaller before it got bigger."

    Nokia didn't let go of their brand for smartphone manufacturing after the deal goes through in early 2014 and they will only be contractually restricted from manufacturing smartphones until 2015.

    A few months from now, Nokia won't be able to make any profit building Lumias in the rapidly expanding low cost smartphone market (which is where the only growth is likely to come from for a fledgling OS) due to impending OS licence fees with Microsoft.

    It could turn out that Nokia are the winners in this buyout deal, and we see new smartphones from them in just a few years time. Jolla are basically ex-Nokians backed with Nokia money, beavering away at Meego and new hardware. Plan B looks to be alive and kicking.

    The question is, will anybody (other than geeks) be interested in a new smartphone from Nokia with an unknown operating system and no apps in two years' time, even if it can 'sort of' run Android apps?

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Jorma Ollila / Jolla

      "The question is, will anybody (other than geeks) be interested in a new smartphone from Nokia with an unknown operating system and no apps in two years' time, even if it can 'sort of' run Android apps?"

      That is a very good question, but I've got my Jolla T-shirt, and I'm waiting to chuck the balance of a new phone at them in order to find out! Oddly, I'm quite excited about it in a way I haven't been since I was kid waiting for Christmas

      !

  11. Waspy

    A decent article...

    ...and a brief but a decent obituary, thanks Andrew. If you go to the BBC, the clueless 'tech' hacks there would have you believe that Nokia only made 'phones with Snake on' prior to the iPhone (and they all have iPhones, natch)...according to them, the iPhone is the first and only smartphone

    If you showed the BBC tech team a 770 tablet from 2005 I think it would blow their minds

  12. Michael Jennings

    Ron Casey, an Australian radio announcer with a right wing / sports show, managed to get fired in about 1997 after making a racist anti-Japanese rant on air due to a local rugby league competition having been renamed the "Nokia Cup" for sponsorship reasons. It was really very funny.

    1. A. Coatsworth

      Great!

      I didn't kow Swype was available for the 700. I'm installing it right away.

      I also love my 700, it's a great little smartphone... It has a few annoying quirks, and the sad thing is they could have been easily ironed out with a OS update

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The story, as I've been told it, is that Nokia sponsored some Ozzie rules footy event, prompting the radio DJ to complain that first "they" dropped bombs on us and now they're taking over Australian sports. The local Nokia spokesperson remarked druly that it would've been an awfully long bombing run.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lumia 1020 don't understand the fuss.

    You can get a much better camera and a much better android phone for less money...

    As for the buyout, it wasn't Microsoft's current goal, but Nokia shareholders were forcing a move to Android, which forced Microsoft's hand. The number of mothballed lines in Chennai and Donguan won't be being unwrapped anytime soon.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Lumia 1020 don't understand the fuss.

      Yeah, you can.... but not at the same compact size. Heck, you can get a proper DSLR plus kit lens for £300, but people still buy compact cameras because, well, they are compact. If you haven't got your camera with you at the time, you can't prove that the Loch Ness Monster when you catch it making love to your car.

      (The nice thing is that manufacturers are picking up on this, and the range of high quality yet pocketable cameras has swelled in the last couple of years, to suit many definitions of 'pocket' ... RX100, LX-7, X-10, S-110)

    2. illiad

      Re: Lumia 1020 don't understand the fuss.

      "Nokia shareholders were forcing a move to Android, which forced Microsoft's hand"

      so HOW early had MS got it's claws in????

      And IF Nokia had got android in before that, I am sure it would be back at the top... depending on the management being able to change, If not they would die anyway... :(

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT organisation styles

    It was said of IT organisations that they regularly flipped between vertical integration and horizontal integration - with an occasional brief stop in matrix management. The latter seemed to be the worst of both worlds - with techies being directed by two managers with different objectives. The result was really just management churn - with the techies trying to keep the customers happy in spite of the chaos.

    There was also a fad for trying to emulate Tube Investments successful structure - splitting large companies into many small ones each aligned to a competitive segment. This often produced the "robber baron" mentality where these sub-companies were uneconomically undercutting their siblings in competition for the same customers' business.

  15. John LS
    WTF?

    Shareholders?

    Surely the Nokia shareholders must be asking questions about an ex M$ ceo screwing the company then selling it off to of all companies M$?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they could have done it.. in 2011

    Back in 2011 I had my N950 and N9 Meego handsets - they were, indeed still are, utterly brilliant. A great evolution from Maemo. Feature complete, a joy to use.

    Nokia had done all the expensive R&D on Meego/N9 and they were ready to go - they had qwerty handsets as prototypes. A great product from a great brand, it was bound to have been a success; devs would have made the apps which seem to determine success these days. They could have neatly transitioned all the Symbian users to Meego.

    But no, Elop arrived. He scuttled the company, threw away Meego despite it being ready for market, because he wanted to focus on WinPho. Meego was trashed as side by side, there's no comparison. So he'd osbourned his product range and the substandard replacement, WP7, was ages away.

    The deals he did with his MSFT masters (did he ever leave?) meant that noone else could buy the company without punative penalty charges due to contract tie in.

    Elop only ever acted in the interests of MSFT. Had they appointed anyone else, they'd have launched Meego and, based on my experiences of it, it would have been a roaring success. But instead as a direct result of his action, Nokia was devalued and MSFT bought it for peanuts.

    Read Tomi's analysis http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/

    High hopes for Jolla and Sailfish.. what else is there to have hope in?

  17. Irongut

    Good design?

    I've never understood why people say Nokia designed great phones. My first and last Nokia was a 6110. The UI was awful and when I needed a new phone the replacement models were worse - they used the same UI with more and more options tacked on to the end. I preferred Ericsson, Motorola and more recently Samsung.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Good design?

      I agree with you about Nokia's original UI getting more and more stuff added on to it, until their candybar phones of recent years had hideously messy menus. Although back in the green screen days, I'd argue they had the simplest menus of the phones I used (Sendo, Motorola, Siemens and Nokia).

      But to argue that Motorola's appalling mess of a menu system was ever better than Nokia's is laughable. My first mobile was a Moto MicroTac - excellent for the time, but confusing. My favourite ever phone, the one I still wish I had was the Razr V3. Ergonomically brilliant. Software by Torquemada...

  18. M_W
    Happy

    They totally missed the boat

    I remember in 2008 doing a direct comparison between an iPhone 3G which I had just got, and a Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic which one of my friends had.

    He said 'Have a look at this, I can play iPlayer on my TV from my phone'.

    Correct - he could, but it was shocking quality. Really blocky, very bad quality, very poor frame rate.

    I then pulled out my apple AV cable and did the same thing via the iPhone. Perfect SD quality video without any issue, and then when the HDMI cables came out, perfect HD quality via the old iPhone 4.

    And that was the simple thing - Nokia's devices were a briliant phone that happened to do things like data or video, but badly.

    Apple made a device that was a computer and media content device first, and a phone second. And was easy to use. We all know how sodding bad an iPhone is as an actual phone. It's pants - drops calls all the time and much of the time will sit without ringing and then popping up a notification for a voicemail from the call you never got.

    But maybe that is what people want now - a computer with apps in their pocket, not necessarily to make calls on it so much - you only have to look at how tariffs have changed to have unlimited voice and texts but limited data to see how the telco's have spun things 180 degrees.

    So the only way that Microsoft / Nokia can get back in the game is to grow the apps side of their business. That is what keeps Android and Apple going.

    1. mrbawsaq

      Re: They totally missed the boat

      MS have about as much chance of growing a successful app ecosystem as my girlfriend has of growing a cock.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: They totally missed the boat

        "MS have about as much chance of growing a successful app ecosystem as my girlfriend has of growing a cock."

        And even if they do, they will eventually abandon it.

    2. Robert Forsyth

      Re: They totally missed the boat

      My Nokia 5800 played BBC iPlayer fine (with the option to download the video and just checked the server for the licence) and it could output to TV with the included AV lead.

      However, it wasn't an N series, being much cheaper including free music subscription, so was not the same market as the iPhone.

    3. gkroog

      Re: They totally missed the boat

      So, M_W, Apple's phone...is a bad phone? But its good as something other than what it was named for? ;P

  19. Ramazan

    Qt

    Maybe Microsoft didn't need no stinking Nokia at all, but only wanted The Excellent Trolltech's Qt

    1. ScissorHands

      Re: Qt

      Nokia sold Qt more than a year ago.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Qt

      Which Nokia sold to Digia before being acquired by MS...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So in summary

    Nokia lost its world-leading position thanks largely to bureaucratic and complacent upper management.

    Luckily, they have been rescued by Microsoft.

  21. Simon Rockman

    Selling Vertu wasn't a sign of desperation. It was a sensible re-aligning of the business. The idea of Vertu was that it would be an experimental brand (much like Bugatti is for VW) to try super high end things with a view to brining them downmarket.

    That didn't happen. What did happen was that they amassed an amazing property portfolio as they bought a lot of the prime retail space they put their shops in.

    Nokia wasn't in the retail business and selling was sensible. I also think there was some vanity going on, the mega wealthy Nokia directors wanted something flash to impress their friends with. A bit like VW franchise owners are the only people who want Phaetons.

    What is a sign of desperation is the other sales. Selling the building on lease-back? And the ridiculous fire-sale price to Microsoft. Is Nokia really only worth half of what Google paid for Motorola? OK there are some issues on patent ownership: Microsoft only has the right to use them , not own them, but still.

    What's not factored in is supply chain - in and out. Nokia's use of platforms and making suppliers work directly together brings down their BOM incredibly. Much more important is the route to market. Nokia can get stock to most of India on a daily basis, the word "Nokia" is colloquial for mobile. "I'll call you on my Nokia". Even if it's a Sony, Spice or Samsung. The brand dominates Africa.

    The only company with better emerging market distribution is Coca-Cola.

    I can only think that there is something dreadful around the corner and Elop could see it coming. That he had to sell or the company would fail.

    I also suspect they were seriously looking at an Android Plan B and that rattled Microsoft into buying. They bought the S40 business to stop the Nokia rump from building a cheap Android phone and then leaveraging that distribution.

    Nokia was scared so they frightened Microsoft into buying them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Nokia wasn't in the retail business and selling was sensible. I also think there was some vanity going on, the mega wealthy Nokia directors wanted something flash to impress their friends with. A bit like VW franchise owners are the only people who want Phaetons."

      Not true. I once listened erstwhile CEO Jorma Ollila tell us Nokians that he didn't use a Vertu and that he had briefly considered getting his wife one for Christmas, but he got her something else in the end. None of us directors (I had the title, but not the mega-wealth) used one either. Moreover, I once had a look-see inside a Vertu store at Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong -- the salesperson ignored me.

      R.I.P. Nokia. I had fun while it lasted (1996-2008).

    2. CRConrad

      I don't have a VW dealership.

      But I still want a Phaeton! (Not a Vertu, though. Sheesh!)

  22. Levente Szileszky

    Why was ITT left out of the story?

    http://itt-deutschland.de/index.php?478c66a399ccd

    ITT and later ITT-Nokia TVs (which also included Graetz) were highly regarded back in the 80s all oiver Europe, I remember...

  23. illiad

    7 days-worth of battery???

    put it this way... a moped will go 100 miles on just a gallon of petrol...

    a prime sportscar will will empty a 100 gallon tank in about ten minutes...

    now tell me what the big difference is between those two!! - just the same with mobile phones... :)

  24. gkroog

    Memories, guys...

    We can reflect on who and why Nokia has gone, but a few here remember that they once made good stuff. Stuff that's remembered today, even though we have five inch 1080p screens and four or eight cores (!) in the latest phones.

    At the news that Nokia's phone division now belongs properly to Microsoft, I pulled a couple of my old phones "out of mothballs," and had thought back on how good they were, or wanted to be.

    My 6085 was a surprisingly good phone. I remember viewing Facebook and even work mail in its browser on its tiny screen five years ago, and it still works.

    The 9300 I have wasn't great. Some may even think of it with scorn, but back then it wasn't bad, and it still works now. The E90 I had after was only better by virtue of more features.

    My 5800 is still in use by my mother. It's 3.2 inch touchscreen was remarkably good, and it seemed to always achieve full download speed as a 3G modem. I liked its packaging and all the little things it came with. When I look at all the shenanigans that go on with the phone industry today, it reminds me of when a cell phone was just a phone and not an appendage.

    I also had a 5210, and a 3510 (not the colour screen one. But it had polyphonic ringtones!), and a tough 5110. They were all good phones, at least for me, even if they didn't survive to today.

    We won't see phones like them again. They wouldn't try to replace out PCs, and they wouldn't need to. It really is a tragedy that Nokia let something as pathetic as politics and corporate foolishness destroy good what could have been. But thanks for the phones.

  25. raving angry loony

    Correlation vs Causality.

    The list of mobile companies and their unfortunate associations with Microsoft is fairly long.

    Nokia went down the tubes some time after entering partnership agreement with Microsoft.

    Nortel went down the tubes some time after entering a partnership agreement with Microsoft (officially 2006, although the real switch to Microsoft happened in the late 1990's. The sleaze surrounding that switch-over was definitely a sign of the end for Nortel, and many of us left about that time.)

    LG is still recovering from its partnership agreement with Microsoft (2009).

    Motorola went down the tubes after entering a partnership agreement with Microsoft (2003)

    Palm (2005), Ericsson (2000), Sendo (2001), Nokia (2009).

    The list is long, and every single one has a common denominator: they entered into a deep "strategic" partnership with Microsoft. You'd think companies would learn that Microsoft is never a "partner", Microsoft is a money-sucking bottomless pit whose sole purpose is to suck 'em dry and drop them by the wayside, clients and partners alike.

  26. ilmari

    Apps

    As for apps, most of them are garbage. Ignoring games, Filter out all the "website as an app" (including youtube, netflix and everything else that only exists because the browser and/or website sucks too much), reference/book/cityguide/wallpaper crud, soundboards and other gimmicks, and you're left with a pretty small number of apps on any app store.

    As for my own "killer apps", it would be openvpn, a scientific/graphing calculator (or gnuplot), some spreadsheet thing.

  27. Lars Silver badge
    Linux

    Rotting at the head

    First of all I have not read all previous comments. Second Nokia will survive or not, who knows, I do not. Third this was a rather good article on the subject. Even If I agree that Elop was the one who put fire onto the platform, due to what ever, stupidity perhaps. The fact remains that Jorma Ollila was the first to fall a sleep. A very mean thing to say. but Ollila, because of the success of Nokia, forgot all about "the product" and started to "shine" or try to "shine" as a guru of the new wonderful society and how to run universities and the state. I do not think Ollila even once tried to use "the product" the stuff Nokia produced. Ollila went for the success, not the product. Next we have the next CFO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, elected by Ollila, a nice guy, perhaps, but totally worthless, if even that. Kallasvuo was the guy who happened to bye electronics in Switzerland and happened to forget to pay customer duties when returning to Finland. Did Kallasvuo ever use a Nokia phone, perhaps he did, who knows. Now. it is so easy to be awful and critical, a besserwisser of the worst sort. Orlowski mentions Anssi Vanjoki, the popular executive, the renegade, the motorcycle guy who gave shit about the speed limits at least once. I am mean again, Anssi did have something and tried to beat Elop. On the other hand he was also the guy who said that he was sure that Nokia would newer produce silver clam cells for the US market. They eventually did but years too late. So what do we have here against a guy like Steve Jobs, a guy who must have spent months and months developing a phone to his liking, kicking and shouting, demanding. Nothing, nothing at all. Sad but true, would be the traditional words to end the shit, but if it is true, how the hell should it be sad.

    As for Nokias adventure into Linux, good but awfully slow, slower than slow, I have this feeling that it would have been better for Linux within Nokia if Linus had been anything but a Finn, and to understand that you have to be a Finn, and even that does not always help.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Rotting at the head

      > As for Nokias adventure into Linux, good but awfully slow, slower than slow

      Complete nonsense. I don't know what you were trying to do with them but they are fine. I developed applications for the N800 with Python/Glade/SQLite and a couple of thousand product images for sales reps and it ran fast. The code also ran unchanged on Linux netbooks and Windows Laptops and there was little to tell them apart in performance.

      I still use my N800 to take notes and to run Gnumeric. No performance issues at all.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Rotting at the head

        @Richard Plinston

        I can see your point but N800 was a tablet. Nokia did not do much marketing for it. The N9 was the first phone but was sold only in some countries. That one should have been released much earlier. There was a good article in theregister about the problems in getting the Maemo ready.

        1. Richard Plinston

          Re: Rotting at the head

          > The N9 was the first phone

          You hadn't heard of the N900 then, nor the N950 which was supposed to be released about the same time as the N9 but was canned by Elop.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Rotting at the head

      > Kallasvuo was the guy who happened to bye electronics in Switzerland and happened to forget to pay customer duties when returning to Finland.

      I seriously fail to see how this is a problem.

  28. LDS Silver badge

    In WP8, try "Function Plotter".... and of course you have Excel. VPN support is something sorely missing.

  29. Craigo

    "So, from 2002 Nokia began preparing for the day when mobile computers with some telephony integrated took over from telephones with some computer-like aspects... which began to happen when Apple announced the iPhone."

    I'm not so sure this is accurate. There was a Windows Mobile 2003 phone edition and HTC were building o2's XDA well before the iPhone was released..

    1. Johan Bastiaansen

      Even before that . . .

      I had an Ipaq 3970 with gprs sleeve. It was a brick, but I was running TomTom on it, albeit with an external GPS-mouse.

      The Nokia disaster was caused by self declared very smart people f*cking up.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The wealthy ones can buy their way out of trouble

    Microsoft?

    And that's another thought - is their phone OS going to actually help them?

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