When I started this blog, I promised to also cover other things than just blog of Tomi Ahonen.
And I did go through the 101 reasons why not to buy Windows Phone, as well as 7 million Lumias sold. Now there was something in Seeking Alpha that needed my attention – a post from Reza H. Namavar:

When Stephen Elop took the reins of Nokia (NOK), the company was flying high, contrary to what Americans may think. The company had 60% market share in smartphones, was selling over half a billion phones, and had potentially the next best thing in its pipeline.” [1]

Right. Let’s see:
Nokia’s Market shares (in Smartphones) 2010:

Q2 2010 | 39%
Q3 2010 | 33% | -15%
Q4 2010 | 28% | -15%

Source: Tomi Ahonen (Average of estimations of several analyst houses)

Q1 figure is missing, it would be around lines of Q2. So definitely far from 60%, unless someone wants to assume Nokia lost over one third of its market share between Q1 and Q2 (just to make sure everybody followed: it did not).
How about “Was selling over half a billion phones“? That’s easy to check too (except that for period of time would that be – I assume a year). Now I assume that was all phones, not just smartphones:

Nokia quarterly device sales in units (smartphones in braces)Ā [2]

2010 Q1  107.8M  (21.5M)
2010 Q2  111.1M  (24.0M)
2010 Q3  110.4M  (26.5M)
2010 Q4  123.7M  (28.3M)
Total:   453.0M (100.3M)

So 453 million. Not over half a billion phones in 2010 either. Marginal addition of 11% and it would have been barely above it. One rarely sees double-digit percentage mistakes when publicly available unit sales of a company are reported.
(But I guess that with 60% market share that could have been true.)

That is exactly where Nokia was on April 22, 2010, when Stephen Elop came to the show.” [1]

I kind of understood the will to lie about everything else but where did this come from? Nokia announced new CEO September 10th 2010 and Elop took charge September 21st 2010. [3]
(At this point I started to suspect this guy just may not be up to task with his writings.)

At first, I thought Nokia’s woes were the result of poor products and a company that was slow to the uptake on a number of industry-wide trends. It was only after reading Tomi Ahonen’s article on the “19 Reasons Stephen Elop Must Go” that I realized how wrong I was. Nokia, in fact, was the innovator, and it was Stephen Elop that destroyed it.” [1]

…right. Starts to explain lots of things. Especially invalid numbers. How unfortunate that he was on right track to begin with.

Tomi Ahonen, a former executive at Nokia (prior to its woes) and currently a telecom consultant, is a prolific writer and I highly recommend you also read his article (much of what I say comes from his writings). His words confirmed many things about Nokia that I knew and many that I didn’t and I will explain the most horrifying things that Stephen Elop has done since he took office. The more I read about this, the more it truly saddens me how badly one man can make a company fall so hard.” [1]

It truly saddens me people buy the fouled up data Tomi produces. And how they assume one man can magically hypnotize whole board of directors to his will. It’s rather pointless to go through full post, but the main plot is:

  • Elop killed Symbian, MeeGo and Meltemi
    Well, he did. And I have gone through that strategy and reasons behind it before. Read here.
    There is also excellent article made from interviews of previous Nokia employees. [4] I also have made a post about it here.
  • Elop pissed off carriers (towards which Nokia had excellent relations beforehand).
    Right. I wonder where those relations were at end of 2009 (and full 2010) when Nokia needed to sell its handsets in discount just to get them to shops. Tomi Ahonen reported it himself. Read here.
  • The Lumia line of smartphones has highest return rate for any Nokia smartphone.
    I hate how this comes up every now and then. But I’m very willing to take any one credible source showing how e.g. N97 had lower return rates than Lumia devices. I recommend you read my post about this here. I have also explained what it would actually mean to have highest return rate for any Nokia smartphone.
  • Therefore Elop needs to be fired.
    Sure… Take a cup of tea and relax, will you?

The whole post is basically a copy of Tomi’s “Sun Tzu post”. Sad thing to read. I wondered the motivation of the writer until this came up:

Additional disclosure: Reza Handley-Namavar is the CEO of Dream Mobile which competes with Nokia in several of its markets.” [1]

Really? What else is said about the author?

Reza has 8 years of investing experience. His primary expertise is investing in consumer and technology stocks with a bent towards affordable growth and well-managed companies. He is founder of Dream Mobile a company developing affordable smartphones in the African market.” [1]

I suppose that’s it, then. I pity Reza for spending so much time on that text, but am not surprised that Tomi shared the link in Twitter so eagerly. And Tomi: considering the amount of mistakes in this text and using you as source, I wouldn’t touch such a text with a ten foot pole in fear of losing my credibility.


While I was doing my response to the post, there emerged another post in Seeking Alpha. It is basically a post against the original one. [5] I appreciate it, I feel all the work towards bringing down the FUD is good, but I need to calm down the author of that one too:

When high-end smart phones came in the market, many people thought they were the “rich men’s toys.” Nokia could continue to build low-end phones and make small profit on them until they become completely obsolete, or the company could move on to high-end phones.” [5]

Actually Nokia did not miss high-end smartphones. Nokia sold the most expensive devices on the market. Communicators practically formed their own price category. But what Nokia DID miss was Touch UI.

Now before we get to huge rant about it, I did not say touch screens. Nokia had touch screen phone before iPhone and multiple touch screen products years before Elop came into picture. But Out of those N900 was the first one to actually have Touch UI. Others before that were not designed to be used primarily with touch. (I do know about Nokia 7710. But even Nokia 7710 had arrow keys to scroll the lists. WTF?!?)
iPhone was designed from the beginning to be used by touch screen. So was Android.
Nokia 5800 was first “post-iPhone” touchscreen device and in practice it was just non-touch Symbian with a touch display.
Want to open a message?
Press menu key. Tap on “messages” icon to highlight it. Tap “options” and tap “open” (Alternatively you could double-tap Messages icon). Same for opening inbox. And message from that Inbox.
Why so complicated?
Because non-touch products needed item to be highlighted before it could be opened. Therefore 5800 inherited the same UI.

N900 and N8 were first phones to have UI designed touch-first. It’s very sad it took so long for Nokia to realize that unlike bluetooth or WiFi, you cannot just “glue in” touch interface.

That was a small slip and understandable. That aside I really recommend to read post from Jacob (direct link here). He makes really good point about the “Trojan Horse from Microsoft” part. šŸ˜‰


[1] http://seekingalpha.com/article/916271-how-stephen-elop-destroyed-nokia

[2] Nokia reports

[3] http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/about-us/governance/leadership/chairman-stephen-elop/

[4] http://taskumuro.com/artikkelit/the-story-of-nokia-meego

[5] http://seekingalpha.com/article/919041-steve-elop-is-killing-nokia-i-don-t-think-so