EDIT: Dean has made a really good comment about Skype and operators here. Regardless of your feeling about the subject, I recommend to read it.
Also: This is definitely not picking up old stuff. Tomi visited this subject last month. I’ve added that to end.

Here comes my second posting. I’m still covering the sales boycott claim (and still not done with it). I just want to address this issue of Stephen Elop admitting the resales boycott well because it is “the” proof Mr. Ahonen seems to hang into. Actually, it is so strong statement that he went back to multiple blogs and commented there that “I will delete every person who comes here to comment that there is no boycott of carriers because they hate Skype from now on.” [1] So it has to be rock solid, one would think, right?

So we have (practically countless amount of times) Mr. Ahonen saying in all different forms: “Elop clearly admits that there is a reseller problem relating to Skype”. And he then openly gives us both the question made to Stephen Elop in Shareholders’ Meeting and the answer he gave. [2]

I will go to the claim and counterarguments, but let’s first give everyone (once again) chance to read the question and answer exactly as they were in Tomi’s blog:

Question:
“I believe Nokia has a problem with product distribution. Operators do not want to sell Windows Phone smartphones, because Microsoft has acquired Skype, who offers free Internet calls. Skype calls are eating operator revenue. There may be ways to block Skype, but there will always be ways to get around it. What will you (Nokia) do to get over this problem.”

Answer from Stephen Elop:
“So, thank you for your question about Skype. Indeed, Microsoft did buy the Skype company as part of the ecosystem that comes with Windows Phone and Windows and so forth, so that’s quite correct. The feedback from operators is they don’t like Skype, of course, because for those operators who have a traditional wire-line business, traditional telephone business, it could take away from revenues.

And, so what MSFT has done – and we’ve been part of these conversations as well with operators – is as you correctly say, if operator doesn’t want Skype installed on a Windows Phone from Nokia or any other company, then the operator can make that decision.

Now, you’re right: it can be circumvented. But of course it’s on all Android devices, it’s on iPhone devices, it’s on iPad, it’s on all of those devices. So in fact what we’re doing with the operators is turning it around into an advantage. Instead of them just complaining about Skype on Android or Skype on iPhone, with Microsoft and Nokia, we can have a conversation that says ‘ok there, is this Skype thing, is there a different type of partnership we can do that recognizes that voice over IP like Skype is coming no matter what, but maybe we can do something creative that generates incremental revenue for you.’ Some operators are looking at bundling Lumia, Skype and their own services with higher-bandwidth allotments to actually charge the consumer more and generate more revenue for them. So by actually controlling the Skype asset, we can begin a conversation about how we can have a better Skype-based relationship, which was impossible for operators to do before. So it’s actually quite a bit more advanced than whether operators like or don’t like Skype; they actually want to engage in a conversation about what does this mean and how could we do something that we couldn’t do before. Thank you.”

One would assume that from these beginning points we can have only facts coming out of Tomi Ahonen – “bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, speaking regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually”

So wrong. Tomi Ahonen has nerve to read this (and I quote again) “Elop admits the problem is explicit to Microsoft being the owner of Skype. This issue has nothing to do with who installs Skype on what phone. In fact, current Lumia phones do NOT have Skype on them, but this problem is admitted by Elop to exist and to be significant. So significant that Nokia joins Microsoft in meetings to try to end this. Elop did admit some operators (I never said all) have refused to sell Lumia because of Skype.

Regarding the underlines statements as compared to original transcript: I suspect I’m either incapable of reading English or then the text lacks a lot. Neither is mentioned.
But luckily Mr. Ahonen is going to full details and explains it to us who can’t see what he sees. Mr. Ahonen says “If Elop confirms the question ‘as you correctly say’ and says ‘of course’ operators don’t like Skype and that they are ‘Just complaining about Skype’ – any fair-minded person will take these comments as yes, Elop did admit that some operators/carriers do have a problem relating to Skype.”

We seem to disagree with Tomi Ahonen on the definition of fair-minded person. Nevertheless I feel I need to use the comments in his own blog to gather the well put data here:

Mr. Ahonen puts this claim behind three admits. In his words: “I said Elop ‘Clearly admits that there is a reseller problem relating to Skype.’ This transcript confirms beyond any doubt, it is exactly what Elop said, three different ways, in a span of only 12 sentences.”
Luckily Mr. Ahonen has active pool of people who commented from very beginning that
“He only said that ‘operators do not like Skype’. That does not have anything to do about your speculations of Skype influence between operator-Nokia relations.” [3]

THE THREE ADMITS

Admit #1 was “And, so what MSFT has done – and we’ve been part of these conversations as well with operators – is as you correctly say, if operator doesn’t want Skype installed on a Windows Phone from Nokia or any other company, then the operator can make that decision.

So… If operator does not want Skype installed, they can make that decision. How is this a sales boycott?
Also: “what MSFT has done is as you correctly say” – what was in the question that MSFT had done? It had it rather clearly that Microsoft has acquired Skype. That should not be a news to anyone and is a fact not to be denied. However,it does not participate to the admitting global resales boycott of Nokia Lumia that Mr. Ahonen was after. But perhaps we have better luck with second admit?

Admit #2 was “The feedback from operators is they don’t like Skype, of course,…

This was mentioned all over the line and I quoted it already before: Operators don’t like Skype as it eats their revenues. And still, nothing to do with admitting resales boycott. Let’s try third admit.

Admit #3 was “Instead of them just complaining about Skype on Android or Skype on iPhone, with Microsoft and Nokia, we can have a conversation that says ‘ok there, is this Skype thing, is there a different type of partnership we can do that recognizes that voice over IP like Skype is coming no matter what, but maybe we can do something creative that generates incremental revenue for you.‘”

Tomi Ahonen sticks to the part that operators are “just complaining about Skype”. However, Mr. Elop clearly talks about operators complaining about Skype on Android or Skype on iPhone. It is total FUD to pick that small part of the sentence and twist is to prove some resales boycott (which still was not addressed). Also, this is the point where we have CEO Elop pointing out that Microsoft has an advantage to affect the Skype, which is NOT possible fro Apple or Google. However, Mr. Ahonen does not seem to take it that way.

I’ll rest my case here. I can’t figure out how someone who “supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe” would ever produce such and obvious BS and then stick to it no matter how much people complain about it. Clearly the question included a hook about secret sales channel boycott of Nokia Lumia based on Microsoft’s Skype Acquisition. And just as clearly CEO Elop did not bite it nor did he “admit” the claim at any point.

EDIT:

Tomi just does not quit on this one. This is from his blog, July 6th 2012:
Dont’ take my word for it, Elop himself told the Nokia shareholders that yes, Skype is severely disliked by operators/carriers and by some to that extreme degree they have refused to sell any current Microsoft Windows based smarphones – which don’t even have Skype preinstalled. This not because of Skype but because Microsoft now owns Skype. It does not matter whether you think this is fair, or illogical, or even you believe it is true. Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia, tells the Nokia shareholder meeting, he formally talks as Nokia CEO to the owners of Nokia, and this is on video and in transcript – that the reason carriers hate Windows Phone smartphones is because Microsoft now owns Skype. Not because you and I use Skype on some phone on Android or whatever. Elop says, the reason carriers hate Windows Phone smartphones is because Microsoft now owns Skype – and Elop tells us some have gone as far to stop selling any Windows smarpthones not just Lumias. Go watch the video!” [4]

REFERENCES:

[1] Tomi Ahonen’s comment
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/are-we-ready-for-the-numbers-nokia-smartphone-market-share-projection-2012-ends-year-at-3.html?cid=6a00e0097e337c88330168eb153233970c#comment-6a00e0097e337c88330168eb153233970c

[2] Nokia So Alarmed: Release Full Text and Video of Skype Comment by Elop, trying to spin the story
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/nokia-so-alarmed-release-full-text-of-skype-comment-by-elop-trying-to-spin-the-story.html

[3] Comment from ‘Peter’
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/nokia-so-alarmed-release-full-text-of-skype-comment-by-elop-trying-to-spin-the-story.html?cid=6a00e0097e337c883301630567da09970d#comment-6a00e0097e337c883301630567da09970d

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/07/the-sun-tzu-of-nokisoftian-microkia-mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whose-the-baddest-of-them-all-waterloo.html

Guideline for commenting:
I hate the way Tomi Ahonen deletes criticizing comments from his blog. However, I plan to follow three of his principles: I’ll delete comments that are

  1. Personal insults to someone
  2. Duplicates
  3. Spam

Everything else gets to stay. And I try to comment back. Just wait.