<UPDATE>
Nice point from comments, China Mobile may indeed have exclusive on 920T, but China Unicom has announced 920 (without T):
http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwinp.cn%2Fportalthread-109332-1-1.html
(Extra bonus for Peter L using Microsoft translator. Now there is 0% chance anyone will ever believe M$ is not paying me for this. LOL)
</UPDATE>

Just for starters I have to say that no, I’m not “off from the pause” with this blog. I decided to spend some time for this now but just the time spent in twitter this week tells me the decision to put blog on pause was correct one. It’s just that I don’t want to miss this.

So to the news: China Mobile is going to sell Lumia 920T, the Windows Phone made by Nokia. Why this is of interest, I’ll explain soon but let me tell short background of the happenings so far:

When Nokia decided to switch from Symbian/MeeGo to Windows Phone, Tomi Ahonen started to focus his hatred towards Microsoft to Nokia, Windows Phone and current CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop. In the works he has been making up quite interesting stories with no connection to reality and why he believes those lies won’t come back to him I have no clue.
In July 2012 he claimed that Nokia 801T – a Symbian phone – is in fact a remake of Lumia 800 – the Windows Phone device. Those phones have different SoC, different body structure, different OS, different display… Only thing they share seems to be the Nokia logo. (For more details, read here.)

Now Tomi is aware of TD-SCDMA network technology used by only China Mobile (the largest mobile operator on this planet when measured by subscriber count) and I can only assume that he was in fact aware that there is no TD-SCDMA compatible SoC for Windows Phone 7 and that he expected it to take same over a year timespan (counting from launch of Windows Phone 8) before Nokia could make a Windows Phone device to TD-SCDMA network.
That would explain why he so continuously stated that China Mobile is boycotting Nokia and “refusing to take any Lumia devices”.

Well, Nokia made a device among the very first Windows Phone devices they roll out (the 920T) and even though the actual sales start seems to be unannounced, it has been said to be available for order by the end of the year. (Let’s assume Nokia aims for Chinese New Year.)
As it effectively renders the whole boycott theory invalid, this has been a tough cookie for Tomi Ahonen. As long as there was no official announcement, Tomi has been neglecting all news about Lumia 920T coming to China Mobile and deleting any comments about it from his blog. (For more full list of ways Tomi has been trying to deny the inevitable, see here.)

As said, there has now been official announcement of Lumia 920T coming to China Mobile. We have reached a point where Tomi cannot deny it anymore and I have been waiting for him to somehow explain it. After people pushing him several times in Twitter he finally tweets about it:

Tomi_920T_tweet_1[1]
Please note, it’s not good thing to start with top model when you get to sell through a new operator. Tell Apple to start with iPhone4 or 3GS when they get to China Mobile (where they do not have devices available still). And remind Samsung to start new markets with something else than Galaxy S III, it’s a bad idea to sell the top model. Oh yes, no mention of network technology difference. To his definition it’s the same device as in everywhere else in the world.

But next Tomi will explain us why China Mobile is suddenly selling a Nokia Lumia device even though they have been so actively boycotting Nokia and refusing to take any Lumia devices (if asked from Tomi):

Tomi_920T_tweet_2[2]
Oh! It was done by throwing money to China Mobile! Hmm… When Li Yue (President of China Mobile) talked about Lumia 920T deal, he said:

Our close cooperation with Nokia is a key contributor to the success of China’s TD industry, and will further enhance the rapidly growing TD ecosystem. We are excited about this important next step in our partnership, and we look forward to creating an even more vibrant TD industry together.” [3]

For the whole Windows Phone part we probably should mention that HTC is bringing their own devices to China Mobile too, multiple of those. (There we should say Nokia could have done better by introducing “820T”, “620T” or alike, but I think Tomi’s silence about HTC is also quite revealing.)
Now what I find most interesting is that this same President of China Mobile has explained lack of iPhone from their portfolio with this:

technology is not a problem, [it’s] mainly about business model and benefit-sharing issues” [4]

Let’s try to get this straight:

  • According to Tomi Ahonen there was so fierce objection of Microsoft, Windows Phone and Nokia that China Mobile refused to take any Lumia devices to their offering.
  • And according to Tomi the technology is not a problem (for iPhone5 we heard Li Yue say the same thing and there should be a chipset available for iPhone5, unlike for Windows Phone 7.)
  • Also according to Tomi it is enough just to “throw money at China Mobile” to get your device for sale.

How come Apple could not throw enough money in? Or on the other hand, where did HTC pull more money than Apple?
(I know, Apple did not want to throw money in and Nokia+MS+HTC did. For all the nice talk there Li Yue is just paid to say so, blahblah…)
Okay, conspiracy theories are nice and sell well but when reality hits your face, it would be time to admit the FUD. Seriously.

Unfortunately, Tomi Ahonen was not done here. Remember his unrealistic claim that China Mobile made Nokia to re-engineer Lumia 800 to a Symbian phone? According to Tomi Symbian was winning and China Mobile loved it before Elop threw it out of the window. This has been his message since July. Tomi mentioned that too (it was the very next Tweet in the series):

Tomi_920T_tweet_3[5]

Now THIS. I like that we get it all in same tweet: “76% market share in China before Elop threw the world’s biggest smartphone Market away.” Now of course we should remember that Q1 2011 results would still be unaffected by Windows Phone strategy, but I’ll skip that and stick with 2010 results. Tomi has said in the past:

In 2010 Canalys reported Nokia’s market share of Chinese smartphones was a staggering 77%. Note, China is the world’s largest smartphone market too, far bigger than the USA and growing far faster.” [6]

And it’s true, we have readings from Canalys [7] and they indeed say the same. So is it true what Tomi says?
Of course not.
Canalys readings are dated after second quarter 2010. Since Tomi constantly refers to Q4 2010 as the true indication of Nokia’s success, we probably should check where was Nokia’s market share in china end of 2010. After half-a-year running full steam ahead with Symbian (that China Mobile wants more than Windows Phone according to Tomi) Nokia probably had still roughly the 77%?

Perhaps… …76% like in Tomi’s tweet?

WRONG.

Nokia’s market share in end of 2010 was 56%. [8] In six months Nokia lost 27% of the market they had. No strategy changes, no Elop upsetting operators with Windows Phone, nothing like that. 3 out of 10 customers that previously would have bought Nokia chose something else.

Now I’m not saying Windows Phone will take Nokia back to that. Hopefully there won’t be a single manufacturer that gains 77% market share in China. It would be too devastating monopoly and bad for consumers (us) who actually use the devices. But Symbian was no longer in 77% (or 76%) market share when year 2011 started, nor would it have gotten there again.

Tomi Ahonen is just trolling the world – again.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/277034235611717634

[2] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/277034354532835328

[3] http://press.nokia.com/2012/12/05/nokia-partners-with-china-mobile-to-launch-the-lumia-920t-the-first-td-scdma-windows-phone/

[4] http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/12/05/china-mobiles-li-yue-on-iphone-5-td-scdma-is-not-a-problem-its-about-business-model-and-benefit-sharing/

[5] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/277034593914335232

[6] 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

[7] http://www.gsmarena.com/smartphone_market_grows_in_q2_2010_android_steams_ahead-news-1854.php

[8] http://www.cellular-news.com/story/47656.php

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