It seems that this time Tomi Ahonen ran out of ideas on what to rant about and decided to start making up stuff. This is first we got in Tomi’s blog:

China Mobile went so far they actually said, we’ll take this Lumia phone but give it to me without the Windows, put Symbian on it instead.
Honest! China Mobile looked at the early specs of the Lumia 800, refused it, and said put these same specs to a Symbian device, and don’t leave out the good stuff we get standard nowadays on Symbian either.. Look at the Nokia 801T and compare to 800 Lumia. China mobile essentially forced Nokia to go back and reverse engineer the Lumia to take Windows out and put Symbian in.” [1]

(That “Honest!” is rather nice considering where this ends up.)
Now I would have skipped this one as some weird claim he does sometimes, but then we get it again in his quite recent post:

Like China Mobile said, when they saw the Lumia 800. They said, yes, I will take that smartphone, but remove Windows from it, and put in Symbian – and then also remove all the Lumia nonsense and make it a normal Nokia device. The result is the 801T, a close cousin of the Lumia 800 but far more capable and obviously loved by the Chinese.” [2]

…so he is really going for “a fact” here.
Now it seems plausible that Tomi is trying to say something in lines of “China Telecom looked at the early specs of the Lumia 800, refused it, and said put these same specs to a CDMA device. Look at the Lumia 800C and compare to 800 Lumia. China Telecom essentially forced Nokia to go back and reverse engineer the Lumia to take GSM out and put CDMA in.
And that would match too, as Lumia 800C indeed goes for “close cousin” description and has Chinese customisation. Let’s look at them and compare:

 Lumia 800C

Lumia 800

Yes, Lumia 800C runs Windows Phone. Yes, it’s remake of Lumia 800. Yes, it was made for China Telecom (largest CDMA operator in the world). But here’s the thing: Tomi is not talking about CDMA, Lumia or China Telecom (the CDMA operator). No, he is talking about Nokia 801T (not Lumia) and China Mobile. And he even listed features of Nokia 801T, so he has to be talking about Nokia 801T, which (to my knowledge) has been a Symbian device from beginning with. Let’s look at it now, when Lumia 800 is still in good memory:

 Nokia 801T

I wonder where Tomi sees “this Lumia phone without the Windows, Symbian on it instead“? And they don’t even look the same! If this is “close cousin“, I assume Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 are siamese twins?
Still Tomi seems to be dead serious about this. I can only wonder why he was invited to the same meeting room where Nokia and CMCC representatives were discussing about Nokia Lumia line? (I mean: he had to be there since he knows all this, right?) Sorry, trick question. Naturally he never was there as such discussion never took place.

Now the most meaningful bit here is that China Mobile uses TD-SCDMA for their 3G network. Largest mobile operator in the world. Their only choice of technology. Only operator using the technology.
Now if you take ordinary 3G GSM phone like… Lumia 800 and fire it up in China Mobile network, it connects to 2G GSM network (as it lacks TD-SCDMA chip). So 2G is all you get. About 1/3 of the speed of 3G network. Tops.
Going “Lumia only” to such a setup is a suicide and I can’t blame Nokia for not doing that. And why would they, since specifically tailored Symbian phones for the network exist already? And again, why would they go for Lumia since TD-SCDMA is not the easiest standard to fulfill to a new OS.

If somebody did not guess it yet, the whole story is plain lie. And what comes to Tomi’s text, I think Nokia has done all the right things here: Making a TD-SCDMA version of WP7.x Lumias would have taken too much time and resources. I’d bet my money on Nokia entering TD-SCDMA with WP8 enabled Lumia.
And honestly, even Tomi wants us to think so, it is NOT a cost efficient way to take a ready product and “reverse engineer” it to another HW, another radio and another OS. It would be faster to make it from scratch and even then there would have been no way Nokia would have made it in time if all had started at the point when “early specs of the Lumia 800” were shown to China Mobile and they had been saying “remove Windows from it, and put in Symbian – and then also remove all the Lumia nonsense and make it a normal Nokia device“. No way to make TD-SCDMA device in time remaining after that. Now one would assume Tomi is just not aware of TD-SCDMA and makes an unfortunate mistake here. But he is well aware of it and we know it:

Nokia had been courting China Mobile for decades, providing it with everything from custom handsets to networking equipment on the China-only 3G standard called TD-SCDMA (the iPhone doesn’t even come in this configuration, Nokia provides many phones on it).” [1]

So how can he miss this when the phone has the goddamn T in the model number, for crying out loud?!?

Answer is, he did not. Not by mistake. He actually created the whole story and now spreads it around as a truth. I’m calling this once again deliberate fouled-up data from Tomi Ahonen.

UPDATE September 2nd 2012:

Tomi recently wrote his open letter to Nokia shareholders. In Finnish version this was asked (both captions were in Finnish, translations are done by me):

@Tomi

Kai olit tietoinen China Mobilen käyttämästä verkkotekniikasta, TD-SCDMA, jota ei yksikään Windows Phone -puhelin toistaiseksi tue, kuten ei myöskään yksikään iPhone? Tämä tilanne vastaa hieman Applen iPad 4G sotkua Euroopassa, paitsi että tässä tapauksessa puhelimet eivät saisi ollenkaan yhteyttä Chine Mobilen verkkoon. Kirjoitit asiasta kuitenkin näin: “China Mobile niin kiivastui Nokiaan, etta ei suostunut ottamaan yhtaan Lumia mallia”. Todellisuudessa ongelma liittyi verkkoteknologiaan, eikä Elop vihaan.

Miksi ihmeessä China Mobile siis Windows puhelimia myisi, kun ne eivät heidän verkossaan yksinkertaisesti toimi?

Posted by: Teemu Teekkari” [3]

@Tomi

I hope you are aware of network technology named TD-SCDMA, used by China Mobile and not supported by any Windows Phone -device so far? It is very similar to Apple’s iPad 4G mess in Europe, except that this time phones would not make connection to China Mobile network at all. You however wrote: “China Mobile was so upset with Nokia that they refused to take a single Lumia model”. In reality problem is in network technology, no in Elop hatred.

Why on earth would China Mobile sell Windows Phones when they simply do not work in their network?

Posted by: Teemu Teekkari

And Tomi’s reply?

Teemu – Tottakai tiedan, olen avustanut TD-SCDMA teknologian kehittamisessa ja China Mobile on eras monista referenssiasiakkaistani. Teknologialla ei ole tassa asiassa ratkaisevaa merkistysta, koska Nokia jo toimittaa alypuhelimia tuolle tekniikalle, ja China Mobile heti Lumia 800 mallin nahtyaan sanoi etta ottavat nuo speksit mutta Symbian jalustalle valmistettuna vastaavana mallina jota Kiinassa nyt myydaan mallina 801T.” [4]

Teemu – of course I know it, I have assisted in development of TD-SCDMA technology and China Mobile is one of my many reference customers. Technology is not an issue here, since Nokia already provides phones for that technology, and China Mobile said immediately after they saw Lumia 800 model that they’ll take it but as a Symbian model which is now sold in China as 801T.

So… The fact that Nokia delivered TD-SCDMA Symbian phone (801T) to China Mobile is a proof that they could have just as well delivered TD-SCDMA Windows Phone?
Let’s all ignore the facts!
Like the small detail that 801T work most likely started before Lumia development and on top of existing TD-SCDMA chipset/platform combination. (Compared to doing Windows Phone as a “never done before” chipset/platform combination and in much tighter schedule.)

I at some point suspected that Tomi is just massively trolling with his blog. With this discussion, I cannot tell if his trolling or simply losing it.

REFERENCES:

[1] 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

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/07/digging-deeper-into-nokia-q2-results-and-exactly-how-many-awesome-sales-was-att-and-china.html

[3] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/08/avoin-kirje-nokian-osakkeenomistajille-this-blog-article-in-finnish-english-version-coming-next.html

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/08/avoin-kirje-nokian-osakkeenomistajille-this-blog-article-in-finnish-english-version-coming-next/comments/page/5/

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

In addition, if you wish to challenge my previous posts, please comment to those.

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