Print 26 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on Jun 16 at 5:39 AM

  (Source: Paramount Pictures)
All is not well in Nokia Land

Nokia seems to be riding high in the U.S. with its Lumia 900 smartphone that runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. The company is seeing high demand for its flagship smartphone on AT&T's wireless network and is reportedly in talks with Verizon to expand its market presence in the U.S.
However, all is not well with Nokia globally. The company's overall smartphone market share has plunged worldwide with the most recent figures from IDC showing that Nokia had just 8.2 percent global smartphone market share for Q1 2012 compared to 24.7% and 29.1% for Apple and Samsung respectively.

Nokia Lumia 900
As a result of its precarious place in the worldwide phone market, Nokia is looking to make some drastic changes to put out the flames on this burning ship. Today, Nokia announced a plan of action that centers around three key goals:
  • Invest strongly in products and experiences that make Lumia smartphones stand out and available to more consumers;
  • Invest in location-based services as an area of competitive differentiation for Nokia products and extend its location-based platform to new industries; and
  • Improve the competitiveness and profitability of its feature phone business.
In an effort to follow through this plan, Nokia looking to its Lumia brand of smartphones to showcase its innovative side and reclaim market share back from industry heavyweights like Samsung and Apple. "We intend to pursue an even more focused effort on Lumia, continued innovation around our feature phones, while placing increased emphasis on our location-based services," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO. "However, we must re-shape our operating model and ensure that we create a structure that can support our competitive ambitions."

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

Nokia is also shaking up its executive team. Effective July 1, 2012, Juha Putkiranta will become executive vice president of Operations; Timo Toikkanen will take over as executive vice president of Mobile Phones; Chris Weber will service as executive vice president of Sales and Marketing; Tuula Rytila will claim a position as senior vice president of Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer; and Susan Sheehan assume the role as senior vice president of Communications.
Executives on the way out the door effective June 30, 2012 include Jerri Devard (chief marketing officer), Mary McDowell (executive vice president of Mobile Phones), and Niklas Savander (executive vice president of Markets).
Perhaps the most drastic change, however, is Nokia's decision to eliminate 10,000 employees worldwide by the end of 2013. These job losses will come as a result of the closure of Nokia facilities in Finland, Germany, and Canada along with the streamlining of its corporate, IT, and support functions.

"These planned reductions are a difficult consequence of the intended actions we believe we must take to ensure Nokia's long-term competitive strength," added Elop. "We do not make plans that may impact our employees lightly, and as a company we will work tirelessly to ensure that those at risk are offered the support, options and advice necessary to find new opportunities."

Source: Nokia

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Big mistake
By zlandar on 6/14/2012 9:14:03 AM , Rating: 4
Instead of hedging their bets and making smartphones for both Windows and Android, they bet everything on an OS with less than 5% of the market.

RE: Big mistake
By Arsynic on 6/14/2012 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 4
Remember when Android had 5% marketshare?

RE: Big mistake
By zlandar on 6/14/2012 10:33:38 AM , Rating: 3
I also remember Android and Windows Mobile were the only two choices available for 3rdsmartphone makers back then since Apple and RIM do not license their OS to other companies.

RE: Big mistake
By zlandar on 6/14/2012 10:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
I also remember Android and Windows Mobile were the only two choices available for smartphone makers back then since Apple and RIM do not license their OS to other companies.

RE: Big mistake
By JasonMick on 6/14/2012 10:25:48 AM , Rating: 2
Remember when Android had 5% marketshare?

I know several people who are waiting for Windows Phone 8 (interestingly, at least one is planning to switch from an iPhone to WP8)... merely anecdotal, but if my friends (some of whom aren't overly "techie") are any indication I'd say Nokia could see some nice gains with Windows 8.

Regardless, if it had gone with Android it would have been just one in the crowd and likely wouldn't have fared any better. Instead it positioned itself as the premium WinPhone maker, a position that could pay off in time, if it can survives.

Nokia is an interesting case in that it's a company with very attractive product, but that has suffered from lack of exposure -- very different case from RIM who has both a lack of promotion AND a lack of products.

As for the reoccuring argument that Nokia should have stuck with Symbian, I don't buy it. That's a ticket to a slow death. Yes Symbian was growing in unit sales, but it was much like RIM's current OS -- unattractive and stale -- as evidenced by its sinking market share (i.e. its competitors were also growing and faster). Had Nokia stuck with Symbian it would likely be in the same state today, if not worse -- just ask RIM. You can't keep peddling a stale product and Symbian Belle struck me as very unimpressive when I played with it.

RE: Big mistake
By Shadowself on 6/14/2012 11:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
I know several people who are waiting for Windows Phone 8 (interestingly, at least one is planning to switch from an iPhone to WP8)... merely anecdotal, but if my friends (some of whom aren't overly "techie") are any indication I'd say Nokia could see some nice gains with Windows 8.

Interesting. Thus if you have two friends, then 50% is switching from iOS and 50% is switching from Android. If you have 100 friends then 1% is switching from iOS and 99% are switching from Android. Either way, it looks like your other non iOS favorite platform is going to take the biggest hit if your possible future is true.

RE: Big mistake
By JasonMick on 6/14/2012 1:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. Thus if you have two friends, then 50% is switching from iOS and 50% is switching from Android. If you have 100 friends then 1% is switching from iOS and 99% are switching from Android. Either way, it looks like your other non iOS favorite platform is going to take the biggest hit if your possible future is true.
I don't have favorite platforms... I root for whoever is best. I'm all about survival of the fittest.

Right now I believe Microsoft is leading in the GUI dept. followed closely by Google. Apple trails in GUI, but probably has best core apps (though its latest additions like maps look pretty horrible). In terms of 3rd party apps Google and Apple are obviously neck-and-neck, with Microsoft a bit behind.

That's not to say WP8 lacks apps, but some key hit titles I expect on other platform either are only available as "clones"/similar apps, or simply aren't present (e.g. there's some spider game, but no Cut the Rope). In other words, at present each platform has some aspects working in its favor. For me I don't have time to play a ton of apps, so I picked Windows Phone as it strikes a nice balance between a great UI and strong core apps, which let's me get basic tasks done fast.

As for the WP8 tentative acquirer breakdown...

To give hard numbers, of my 10 or so close friends, I've talked to about 6 about their upcoming phone purchases -- two are sticking with Android, two are planning to switch from Android to WP8, and a fifth is switching from iPhone to WP8. A sixth -- I think owns an iPhone (they did at one point, at least) -- so it actually may be 50-50 for Android abdicators vs. iPhone abdicators.

RE: Big mistake
By TakinYourPoints on 6/15/2012 1:40:19 AM , Rating: 1
In terms of 3rd party apps Google and Apple are obviously neck-and-neck


RE: Big mistake
By Paj on 6/15/2012 8:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I had my first go of a Windows phone (Lumia 800) the other day and I gotta say its completely lovely. The interface is simple and beautiful. I didnt have much of a chance to use it an anything other than a superficial way, but it was very intuitive and I loved how clean and simple it was.

Sticking with Symbian was a losing strategy. I've seen the latest 'touchscreen' Symbian phones and they are truly horrible.

Being the 'premier' Windows 7 hardware company, similar to how Samsung is with Android, is the right thing to do in their situation. The risk is that WP might never experience double digit market share - this depends on Microsoft.

RE: Big mistake
By Belard on 6/16/2012 5:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
If you are currently using an Android phone, look up "Launcher 7" (28,000 rated / 1million+ downloads) its works wonders on my POS Galaxy S phone.

Why I *DON'T* like Android's UI: Tiny little grid icons like iPhone. To dial a number or contact list, you have to AIM your finger at one of 5 little titty bitty buttons on the screen.... OMG, like the 4x4 grid icons aren't small enough already (I'm a man, I don't have child fingers). The 2x4 grid of WP7 makes great sense on a 4" or smaller screen.

I never got the hang of having 5-whatever app screens. My main screen would be minimal with 5 apps (Camera, contacts, text) so I have dead space if I missed. But did I have gallery on screen 2 or 4? Which screen am I on? etc.

You can customize your tiles beyond the ability of an actual WP7 or WP8 phone such as the following:

1 - On your ALL APPS screen, you can choose which apps to hide. Such as all the stupid at&t apps you can't uninstall (Yeah, I should root this, but it works - mostly)

2 - Tell L7 (launcher 7) to rotate the titles to the phones position... they look great, never upside down.

3 - Custom colored tiles: I have my base color (dark blue for now), but my DIAL tile is GREEN (street sign green). I have my Internet/Gmail tiles semi-transparent. Messaging a lite shade of blue. GPS map is dark green. Everything else, default.

Without reading or much effort, I easily find what I need. The CLOCK tile actually shows me the time in large numbers (I DL an Android widget) I wish they were an Android clock that would also display the NEXT alarm event.

4) You can choose a background besides BLACK. It an be WHITE, it can be a wallpaper (I recommend a dark one still).

5) The battery shows % instead (user option, which I prefer).

So I think the Lumia 800 is a beautiful phone, its smaller than the usual giant phones these guys keep making bigger year after year... But at&t is not selling it (idiots) and the specs on all Nokia phones are 2 years old. Why would I want a NEW 2-year old phone?

I think I'll get some other Android phone, stick Launcher 7 and keep using it... :(

Give Launcher7 a try... I've been using it for a year, its simply great to use.

RE: Big mistake
By Belard on 6/16/2012 12:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. But I would also likely still buy an Android version of the Lumina 800.

RE: Big mistake
By mattclary on 6/14/2012 11:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
What was that, like the first day it was released? ;)

RE: Big mistake
By Guspaz on 6/14/2012 11:36:11 AM , Rating: 2
Remember how when Android had 5% marketshare that marketshare was growing rapidly, while when Windows Phone had 5% marketshare it was shrinking rapidly?

RE: Big mistake
By Reclaimer77 on 6/14/2012 5:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
Remember when Android had 5% marketshare?

Years ago when there weren't hundreds of zillions of people with a smartphone?

It's a bit different now. Android and iOS are reaching critical mass. There's just not a ton of market-share out there for WP to capitalize on. In order for WP to do so, Android or iOS is going to have to somehow lose tons of customers. And I don't see that happening, do you?

If Google had waited a year or two on Android, we wouldn't be having this discussion. iOS would have been too entrenched. This is Microsoft's problem, and you WP7 fans need to just admit it. Microsoft has taken WAY too long to make WP competitive. And here we are halfway into 2012 with still no top-end Windows Phone!

Microsoft under Balmer has some sort of confidence problem, or a lack of direction. The Zune HD was a great platform that just needed some help, but no, they just kill it. WP7 could have been on the cusp of the tech-curve, but they sit idly by and watch Apple and Google gobble up the entire market. And the story goes on and on.

RE: Big mistake
By laok on 6/14/2012 9:56:47 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft can screw up Windows Phone and survive, but Nokia can not.

Even if Microsoft moves forward but slowly with Windows Phone system, Nokia will bleed.

Nokia should know what will happen when they hire that Microsoft trojan.

RE: Big mistake
By StevoLincolnite on 6/14/2012 10:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
Well, once Nokia is done bleeding, it will be fit for a good ole' buyout by Microsoft or some other company, Nokia will be at it's cheapest!

RE: Big mistake
By Mitch101 on 6/14/2012 12:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia just sold its high end line - Vertu but will retain a 10% stake in the company.

Today - Nokia Acquires Mobile Imaging Technology Maker Scalado - Nokia today announced the acquisition Scalado, which currently has imaging technology on more than 1 billion mobile devices.

Also the Nokia line of Windows Phones have been selling a lot better than expected. It still shows at the top of Amazon's list occasionally dropping down but right back up.

Not exactly the signs of a company that is going to disappear.

RE: Big mistake
By Zuul on 6/14/2012 12:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia was a sinking ship already and needed a hail mary and a quick win. Their OS was not going to be viable in the long run and they could read the writing on the wall when many of the Symbian partners (Samsung, Sony, LG) withdrew and switched to Android. Given the situation, I don't think they had a lot of choices.

As they had dedicated their resources into their own OS, they had to re-design their devices around a platform they didn't have experience with. I'm 100% positive they would've approached Google first because of the marketshare.

Unfortunately, Google is well known for not providing much support beyond providing the core OS which is why each vendor, along with each carrier is responsible for their own customization and updates. Had Nokia went with Google, they'd be engineering it themselves, at their own cost, and probably still be working on releasing their first Android phone to the market.

On the other hand, Microsoft will throw money and bodies at you to get what you want if they can see a good ROI from it. Which is exactly what they did. Nokia needed a cash infusion to re-platform and they got it from Microsoft (likely thanks to Elop's relationship with Microsoft).

I have my doubts whether Nokia will succeed. I think like RIM, they clung onto something that was had became out of step with the market for much longer than they should've. WP is their hail mary - however it may have been too late for them.

Deathwatch contest
By DukeN on 6/14/2012 11:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
Who dies first - Nokia or RIM?

I say Nokia, they have next to nothing left to dominate. Atleast RIM has a chance in the big business side of things...

RE: Deathwatch contest
By Ramstark on 6/14/2012 1:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
So...Windows environment doesn't have an opportunity in business uh?...
Ok...I'm gonna turn to the other side of the table and just say that giving opinions without enough research is as bad a kick to a kitten...kittenkiller!!

RE: Deathwatch contest
By Belard on 6/16/2012 5:39:41 AM , Rating: 2
RIM will die first.

Good moves
By Nautical on 6/14/2012 9:12:12 AM , Rating: 3
It is encouraging to see Nokia's leadership execute on their vision regarding the future of smart phones. HP's (abandoned) execution of their purchase of Palm is testimony to how difficult it is to sell a revolutionary idea internally and then continue to execute with critics at every turn rooting for failure. Cudos to Nokia for building a corporate culture that can withstand change.

RE: Good moves
By Guspaz on 6/14/2012 11:38:58 AM , Rating: 1
There's nothing revolutionary about "Let's drop our own unique OS and 'me too' our way by using somebody else's OS that other companies also use!"

Probably an unpopular opinion...
By aliasfox on 6/15/2012 11:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
But Elop is no Jobs. Both were brought in when the companies were in dire straits:

- Nokia with 7 quarters of cash left, by some accounts Apple had less than two months.
- Neither really had any high selling products or products with any level of mindshare
- Both companies were being beaten by competitors that had released new operating systems that had quickly gained marketshare - iOS/Android now, Windows 95 back then

By many accounts, Elop is trying to follow the Jobs playbook:

- Shrinking the company
- Killing extraneous, legacy products (In Elop's case, probably too early)
- Focusing on core markets
- Releasing a distinctive product to capture mindshare (both happened to be teal, too)
- Marketing

But what did Jobs have that Elop doesn't?

- TBWA Chiat (I think that's the name of Apple's ad agency)
- Jony Ive
- Charisma. Lets face it, Jobs could rally not only customers, but also his employees to release products on-vision, on-time.

Jobs likely sold his soul to the devil (who collected early) to save his own company. Will Elop be willing to do the same?

RE: Probably an unpopular opinion...
By Belard on 6/16/2012 12:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. Nokia is not Elop's baby.

Jobs was the father of Apple (Woz, the mom). Jobs is not a techie person, a big jerk, he could sell a bag of flaming dog turds. But *HE* did cause innovation in the computer market that Gates could never think of.

Zune should have killed the iPod, it didn't. They came out with ugly brown-turd looking players. Apple does the rainbow.
Windows brings the tablet to mainstream, nobody buys it... even 10 years later. Apple sells more iPads in 18 months than Nintendo sells Wii in 5 years.

stock images
By chµck on 6/14/2012 6:07:05 PM , Rating: 3
At first I was impressed that Mick didn't use his photo of him holding the lumia 900 with his ginormous thumb against his pants, then I realized it was written by brandon.
Maybe another day...

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