I was previously talking about “platform war” between Symbian, MeeGo, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. When I got Lumia 800, I planned to check if there is any FUD relating to Lumia.
Soon I realized I will have to also cover the “13 systematic faults of Nokia Lumia” by Tomi Ahonen. He is really trying to push the list down out throats, as you can see. (And trust me, I did not pick up every occasion he has referred to this list):

There are at least 13 reasons why these current Lumia smartphones will fail every market including the USA.” [1]

You may want to read my review of The Real 13 Reasons Why Nokia Lumia Will Fail Not Just in USA but Across the Planet.” [2]

I could not imagine Elop to be so incompetent to release the Lumia line with 13 design and marketing defects that it is guaranteed to fail in all markets including the USA.” [3]

I told you, there are 13 systematic major marketing problems, from the launch project to the actual design of the handsets and their production and manufacturing problems. 13 strategic blunders by Nokia and Elop in the current Lumia series up to and including the Lumia 900.” [4]

Here is my definitive analysis of why the Lumia line is failing and cannot succeed even in the US market, from marketing to product design: 13 reasons why Lumia failing.” [5]

We learned that Nokia Lumia series has 13 systematic faults why it fails in all markets including the USA.” [6]

Please note:
There are 13 systematic faults in Lumia line. In no case has Tomi said that this is “13 faults in Nokia portfolio” or “13 faults in Nokia strategy”. It’s Lumia.
He is so certain about this that there has to be 13 solid reasons, right?
13 reasons why Lumia line is going to fail (but Symbian or MeeGo would not), right?
And just because Elop’s Windows Phone strategy, right?
Nothing to do with Nokia design or portfolio overall, right?
And it’s 13 reasons, no repetitive items, false claims or weird interpretations included – right?
(Starts to sound like the infamous 101 reasons listright?)

Now for the list Tomi offers us a condensed list and detailed list. [7]
To save your time, I’ll use the short version (feel free to read the whole bunch from the original) but I’ll comment the details if short version needs clarification.

Reason 1 – Messaging Madness:
Nokia has a natural strength in messaging-oriented smartphones (the most used feature of all mobile phone owners from Africa to the USA is messaging, including smartphone owners). It is abandoned with the first 3 Lumia phones. Nokia voluntarily foregoes a competitive advantage that it has always before taken advantage of. Thus Lumia will perform worse than Nokia smartphones have done before.” [7]

Tomi always seems to pull in text messaging “worst ever experience” when he lists Windows Phone/Lumia issues. And Tomi is known for talking about text messaging as most important feature, so this has to be bad.
Now let’s see:

  • messages hub in Windows phone is same conversation-oriented solution as in Nokia N8/E7, Nokia N9, The whole Asha-line… That cannot be the problem.
  • Text input has far better auto correction than Symbian, on par against N9, (even if Swype input from N9 is considered) and way beyond Asha 311 with its tiny screen.
    In addition, on-screen keyboard is same size as any QWERTY in touchscreen-only device with similar screen size, so can’t be that either.
  • Windows Phone supports SMS and MMS, UI is fast… No, can’t figure this out.

So what is the issue here, Tomi? Is this the weird delivery report implementation? Or lack of draft messages? What’s the problem? Let’s see the details:

Did Nokia bother to put a QWERTY keyboard onto its first three Lumia phones? No!” [7]

Wait, that’s it? That’s the reason why Lumia is worse than N9 or N8 what comes to text messaging?
Believe me or not, but baseline is that he puts the same thing in multiple ways: lack of QWERTY. (Tomi remembers to mention the SMS bug that Microsoft fixed already, though.)

Now get this: LG Quantum C900 is a Windows Phone 7 device with landscape slide-out QWERTY. Nokia could (if they wish) do a slide-out QWERTY Lumia. There is nothing in Windows Phone preventing it, this is conscious decision on product palette. So lack of QWERTY is not Lumia fault.

On the other hand, if it is landscape that bothers you (that portrait-locked menu is not really fitting to that landscape QWERTY), let’s try out Dell Venue Pro:


This is not problem with Windows Phone strategy or Windows Phone OS, this is problem with Nokia’s current portfolio. If this is reason why Nokia will fail, Nokia would fail with MeeGo or Symbian too.

Reason 2 – Camera Catastrophy
Nokia mobile phones have always been known for good cameras, its flagship phones tend to have had the best cameras in the world. The camera is the second most used feature. The Lumia series is a downgrade of Nokia camera capability and will severely disappoint past Nokia owners and not stand up to rivals today.
” [7]

Let’s compare:
N8 – 12mpix.
N9 – 8mpix.
E7 – 8mpix.
Lumia 800&900 – 8mpix.
Nokia flagships “tend” to have best cameras – sure. But e.g. E90 Communicator had poor 3.2mpix camera at the time when N95 (launched before E90) had 5mpix. E90 also had LED flash. Why? Because N95 was branded as camera phone (like N8) but E90, N9 or Lumia 900 were not. And what comes to flagships, N9, Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 are using Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia just has not done a single camera-oriented device on Windows Phone – yet.

Remember the case with QWERTY just few lines of text ago? How Windows Phone is not limiting this but it’s just some weird portfolio decision?
Well, HTC Titan II has 16 megapixels to keep Tomi quiet about Windows Phone/Lumia being the problem.

Now Tomi also remembers to mention lack of MicroSD card and HDMI as other reasons for camera catastrophy. Apparently this was not issue with N9 and N950 he likes so much? And E7 without MicroSD was not a problem? (It was already locked design before Elop came to Nokia).

Again, this is not problem with Windows Phone strategy, this is problem with Nokia’s past/current product decisions. If this is reason why Nokia will fail, Nokia would fail with MeeGo or Symbian too.

Reason 3 – Look and Feel is not competitive.
Nokia Lumia has gotten good reviews for its appearance but nothing beyond that. And by its one form factor alone, it will not win many converts, but on the abandoned other form factors, and its lack of typical Nokia elements, it is a downgrade from what Nokia has been in the past, and yet is not competitive with rivals today.
” [7]

Huh? I thought Lumia was exactly getting food grades on that – the look and feel. It copied N9 which Tomi is praising as a savior of Nokia, for crying out loud! What is Tomi after? We need to look at detailed explanation now.

If you like QWERTY form factors ie a slider or Blackberry style smarpthone, then this look is wrong for you. The sad thing is, that usually with new lines, Nokia has done a pair, ie the N8 was the tablet style pure touch screen, and its sister model was the E7 with the QWERTY slider. Same with the N9 (pure touch screen) and its sister the N950 (with QWERTY slider).” [7]

Wait, what? QWERTY again? I thought we passed this already in reason 1? Something else?

the precision of the hinges on the E90 Communicator or the sheer delight of engineering bliss that is the slider/folder motion in the E7. Nokia could have given us great feel on the mechanics – where Nokia excels far above all other handset makers. But it did not. The Windows Phone OS forces the standard buttons on the touch screen that crowd out part of the screen permanently and the other controls are pretty lame. Again, Nokia abandons what is its competitive advantage in a futile attemp to match the iPhone.” [7]

…I’m speechless.

(Tomi does mention colors. I can’t bring them in because he listed himself colors as one way to “save Nokia”):

Nokia can easily, easily allow the widest choice of colors of original casings of new phones – and then offer full casings of replacement/variation colors.” [8]

Tomi, you got the colors in Lumia line (and exchangeable covers in Lumia 710 and 820). Don’t mock Nokia now.
This is repetition of reason 1.

Reason 4 – Nokia Brand failure.
Nokia’s brand has been damaged very badly in the past year. Whatever Nokia was able to do in 2010, today Nokia will do far worse, whether in the USA or rest of the world.
” [7]

Only thing Tomi lists here to prove the brand failure is the Kantar Survey. Unfortunately, that he should not list, as I pointed out recently. (Read here)
The item is based on fouled-up data and therefore totally invalid.

Reason 5 – Windows Brand failure.
The Nokia brand damage is recent and perhaps reversable but Microsoft’s brand damage with Windows Mobile and Windows Phone has been sustained far longer and been far more comprehensive. Microsoft has good brands such as Xbox and Office Suite but its Windows Brand is weak and in mobile, it is poisonous.” [7]

Okay, this I totally agree with. Making the OS “Windows Phone” is rather stupid. As Tomi says:

Microsoft is a strong brand. The Office Suite and some of its components like Word, Excel and Powerpoint are clear market leaders in their fields. The Xbox brand is strong. But Windows. Windows is not a loved brand. Windows is synonymous with crashes, bugs, delays, incompatibilty, viruses, spyware and tedious updates. Windows is why people talk of the ‘Microsoft Minute’ in the delays to boot up a PC. The term Internet Exploder came more as mocking Windows crashes than IE the browser crashing.

So Windows is a most unfortunate decision in branding. And the irony is, that Microsoft decided to rebrand its smartphone operating system when it switched away from Windows Mobile. Microsoft could have called the new OS anything. Microsoft Seven. Microsoft Mobile. Microsoft Phone. Xbox Phone. Zune Mobile, Internet Smartphoner. XPhone, Ballmerphone, Redmondo. Or just about anything other than Windows. But no, they called it Windows Phone. So now the new Microsoft smartphone OS has the worst branding baggage out of the whole Microsoft empire. What a dumb move.” [7]

I can already see Microsoft design team:

Person 1: “Windows Mobile has bad sound in it. Tell them to get rid of the bad word.”
Person 2: “Okay, do I tell the which exactly it is?”
Person 1: “Well… Anyone can understand that, right?”

Yet I feel if it was “Xbox phone”, Tomi would complain it feels like gaming device, not like smartphone.
Nevertheless, we are at reason 5 and this is first reason that actually makes sense and is tied to Windows Phone strategy.

Reason 6 – Input failure.
The Nokia strength has been exceptional QWERTY keyboards. On the N9 using MeeGo Nokia was able to innovate with touch screen inputs. But Lumia has neither. It is a cheap copycat of the iPhone style touch screen input and Lumia abandons natural Nokia strengths while showing no competitive advantages.” [7]

Oh. My. God.
Tomi, this is third QWERTY reason within 6 reasons! A bit obsessed, are we?
Repetition of 1 and 3. But at this point I think it is fair to say Tomi is right in that, QWERTY slider would be great. But for some weird reason the most sold phone models from other manufacturers do NOT have QWERTY slider.
(Still admitted – there is obvious hole in portfolio that Nokia should fill.)

Reason 7 – Fails in variety of models. Nokia has traditionally been able to hold to the world’s largest smartphone market share – a year ago Nokia was literally not just bigger than the iPhone, it was bigger than the iPhone and all Samsung smartphones – combined. Now Samsung is ‘doing the Nokia’ with its expanding Galaxy portfolio while the three Lumia devices are near clones of each other. Nokia is again voluntarily abandoning a competitive advantage, which means Lumia will perform less well than Nokia was able to do in the past.” [7]

I think I have to quote Tomi Ahonen here:

So then some more engineering idiocy or accounting madness. A little while ago maybe it was in 2009, Nokia announced a strange decision – they would be reducing their product portfolio. This is again sheer madness. Nokia has a unique strength – its scale. Nokia has the biggest phone manufacturing capacity (they even own the world’s biggest mobile phone handset factory, which is in China) and the most powerful global sourcing capacity and distribution network. Nokia should make many variants of its products, using ‘platforms’. So for example the E-Series which is oriented to employee phones as enterprise/corporate phones. Like the Blackberry, Nokia is finding E-Series phones also used by the youth because they are so good at SMS text messaging. Now, the dumb thing is to insist on one model and force the youth to use a ‘business’ phone, while simultaneously not modifying that phone for consumer/youth needs (that the business user will not value, and his/her employer probably will not even want).” [8]

So Lumia line of 2011 ruined Nokia portfolio decisions from 2009? Way to go, Tomi.
This item is blaming Elop/current BoD for decisions done before them.

Reason 8 – fails on apps and app store. Nokia’s Ovi was the world’s second most used app store just a year ago. That was replaced with Windows Phone, at best the 8th ‘best’ ecosystem today, which still a year later has less than half the number of apps as Nokia currently still has on Ovi and Symbian. Whatever you thought of Ovi and Symbian ‘failing’ in apps, it is far worse on Windows Phone.” [7]

Well, it was able to catch up. And really, compared to Ovi store I see no way any store would do worse. The “most used” description of Ovi Store comes from installed base of hundreds of millions of Nokia phones using Ovi store, not from store being better.
Counting as second valid reason. Low app offering makes sense and is tied to Windows Phone strategy. But the WP Marketplace itself is not an issue.

Reason 9 – the OS is deficient.
The Windows Phone OS can seem exciting when first seen with its ‘Tiles’ but on short usage it reveals how limited and unfinished it is. The tech reviews after using Windows Phone (and Lumia) are quite consistent that Windows Phone is not yet ready for prime time. It may become so in the future, but its not yet nearly competitive with advanced OS platforms out there.
” [7]

Totally agree with. This is the “101 reasons list” put into one sentence. Windows Phone is downgrade to Symbian what comes to amount of features. Let’s count this as third item to make sense and be related to Windows Phone strategy.

Reason 10 – regressing on features and services.
Where Nokia smartphones tended not to be the coolest and sexiest in recent years, at least Nokia was always known for stuffing every conceivable tech feature onto its flagship phones. The joke was, that to see what will be on the next iPhone model, just look at a 3 year old Nokia flagship. The Lumia is the first time ever, that Nokia has regressed in its features, severely. Not just pruning unnecessary tech ‘bloat’ but literally going back in tech, to specs that were normal on Nokia phones a year, two, even three years ago. That guarantees that any current owners of Nokia will find the Lumia a severe disappointment.
” [7]

Ummm… Tomi, you just listed that as reason 9, remember? The one I agreed?
Oh, you added some concrete examples? Let’s hear them:

There are many application developer issues that are not supported – like the hottest area right now, Augmented Reality. Nokia’s past flagship phones have proudly done AR, but not these Lumias.” [7]

And how is that “not supported”? How does a Nokia flagship “proudly do AR”? Nokia city lens does not count?

And there is no support for NFC.” [7]

Lumia 610 has NFC enabled version.

Does this phone have LTE.” [7]

Lumia 900 has LTE. No other Nokia phones have it than Lumias.

The Lumia 800 doesn’t support video calling” [7]

Considering it does not have second camera, it would be rather silly to do video calls? Lumia 900 has camera and does support them – as much as N9.

The Lumia doesn’t have FM radio, Nokia added it gosh, years ago, about 2005. Many rivals have FM Radio today.” [7]

So do Lumias. Every one of them. Ever planned to use one, Tomi?

The Lumia 800 doesn’t have a QR code reader installed. Nokia put it on its flagship first in 2006 on the N93. Most rival smartphones have QR code readers.” [7]

And all Windows Phone devices come with QR code reader, it’s integrated to search feature. And of course there are few dozen apps to do it. Please Tomi use a Windows Phone already!!!

And the Lumia 800 doesn’t offer a replacable battery. Nokia has started on that dumb path already earlier under Elop with the N8 being the first Nokia smartphone that didn’t let users replace the battery.” [7]

This is not first time Tomi gives Elop the credit of N8 non-replaceable battery. I wonder how Elop did that since he came to Nokia just weeks before N8 hit the stores and after N8 was already announced.
Copy item of previous one. And with lots of falsified data.

Reason 11 – rejected by business/enterprise customers.
I also discuss the enterprise/corporate side of the smartphone business. That market seems a great opportunity due to Microsoft Windows OS and Office Suite integration with Nokia smartphones. Except that this is nothing new. Nokia and Microsoft had done full Office Suite integration years ago and it helped Nokia and Microsoft sell… zero more smarpthones into the enterprise space.
” [7]

Wait, what? Office did not help to increase Symbian sales so it’s now because of Lumia line? (Yes, that’s the base line of his detailed explanation, except for this):

Why is every Blackberry and every Nokia E-Series carrying a full QWERTY keyboard? That is what enterprise/business customers want. Why is Lumia not offering a QWERTY variant!” [7]

Fourth time we come back to QWERTY.
This is not problem with Windows Phone strategy, as Office integration would have been just as much indifferent in other OS’es (according to Tomi) and QWERTY was passed 3 times already. If this is reason why Nokia will fail, Nokia would fail with MeeGo or Symbian too.

Reason 12 – poisoned carrier relationships with Nokia.
The handset industry is different from the PC industry or home electronics, in that the carriers/operators decide which phone succeeds and which fails (witness the short-lived Microsoft Kin). Nokia used to have the platinum-standard carrier relationships a year ago. Those were burned by the CEO last year. Today Nokia’s carrier relationships are the worst they have ever been.

Reason 13 – poisoned carrier relationships with Microsoft.
But even worse, is that Microsoft never used to have good carrier relationships. And yet, with Windows Phone, Microsoft’s own departed exec admits Microsoft has been making those carrier relationships worse. So Nokia Lumia trades the best carrier relationships to bad ones, and then partners with the company with the worst relationships – that has been making them only worse last year.” [7]

…and when Nokia lost almost third of its market share before new strategy, there was no problem with operator/carrier support?
These two are just repetition and I have covered operator boycott quite long time ago, try here.
These two items are based on questionable or fouled-up data at best.

There. We have now seen 13… Ummm… 3 reasons why Lumia will fail if you ask from Tomi Ahonen. I do agree even three reasons is three reasons too much, but he could have just as well shorten the list. No reason to push for 13.


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/04/these-steps-or-nokia-is-no-more-the-way-back-to-profits-and-growth.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/the-i-wish-i-had-known-this-list-about-101-things-wrong-with-windows-phone-smartphones-like-nokia-lu.html

[3] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/07/why-did-ballmer-throw-nokia-now-under-the-bus-lets-dig-windows-phone-lumia-insights-from-kantar-stat.html

[4] 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

[5] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/08/open-letter-to-nokia-shareholders.html

[6] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/09/failure-version-2-nokia-lumia-relaunch-with-windows-phone-8-is-also-a-total-dud.html

[7] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/01/the-real-top-14-reasons-why-nokia-lumia-and-windows-phone-will-fail-not-just-in-usa-but-across-plane.html

[8] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2011/01/return-of-the-jedi-nokia-can-be-saved-here-is-the-how.html