Yesterday I promised to show you new stuff from Tomi Ahonen. Here it comes:

Lumia 800, was originally a MeeGo handset, intended to be the lower-priced model where the N9 was the flagship.

This is just weird. Lumia 800 is – if we choose to believe Story of Nokia MeeGo – based on a variant of N9, aimed for CDMA networks. The main target was naturally Verizon, but other possible carriers would have been Sprint and China Telecom, same operator that carried Lumia 800C, the CDMA variant. It was supposed to be identical twin for identical price. At no point in no text has there been ANY “lower priced model” of N9 (save for Meltemi which was totally different OS). Even though Nokia has never gone public about it, all leaks and insider stories are fully aligned: MeeGo devices were: N9-00 (cancelled but as production line existed, shared to developers in limited quantities relabeled as N950), N9-01 (launched as N9) and “Lauta” (E7-like form factor variant of N9). This story of lower priced model Tomi has made up to downplay Lumia 800 as compared to N9.

Elop admitted his staff had lobbied for QWERTY variants for Lumia but Elop overruled them.


Even as his own designers argued vehemently that as much as 40% of Nokia customers buy QWERTY versions.

This all starts from a poll made by Nokia and actual number is 49%. That is a reader poll done in web blog. How that turns to “Elop admitting staff lobbying for QWERTY” or “his own designers arguing for QWERTY”, I have no clue. I don’t think Tomi has either. In contrast to results of that poll it is rather odd that while Nokia has had those QWERTY models available, they never accounted for 49% of the devices sold.
For validity of the poll (or lack of it) we have to remember that this is online one-click survey. Even if we choose to exclude possibility of robot-click-trolling, we have Nokia blog polling loyal fans of the manufacturer that had largest portfolio of QWERTY devices just few years ago. Do you think you get the same results from a blog focused around Galaxy S III?

Elop made naming decision (no more names for Nokia phones and units, rather all phones would only be numbers).

Well, let’s for the sake of argument assume Elop did that decision by himself and Nokia brand team or marketing had nothing to do with it. That new numbering scheme was announced 1st of August 2011. Lumia line (name and number) was revealed October 26th 2011. At that point it was:

  • Nokia XXX -> Symbian
  • Lumia XXX -> Windows Phone
  • Asha XXX -> Feature phone

Those 3 months must have been fatal to Nokia success. 😉

Nokia total US market smartphone sales – all essentially Lumia obviously, down 45% from Q4 to 400,000 units only.

(Do I need to remind you, that just before the Elop Effect, Nokia sold 2.6 million phones per quarter in the US market???)

That is interesting read, when Tomi himself has said that “Nokia’s Symbian had 1.6% of the US market in December 2010 (according to new sales market share stats by Kantar for Dec 2010).” [5] That equals to sales of 360 000 units in Q4 2010, which means that Nokia has actually INCREASED its sales in US. (By 40 000 units so let’s not celebrate yet).
2.6 million is all handsets (feature phones included) in North American continent, not just US. So 2.3 million of those fourth quarter 2010 North American continent sales either took place in Canada or were feature phones. That much for success story of Symbian.

massive promotion of Nokia Lumia with the world’s largest handset launch budget by Nokia, added by the biggest handset launch ever by AT&T, and added by even more billions from Microsoft

Let’s hear this from our loyal commenter CD-Host:
I thought carriers hated Lumia and would never support it? In any case this opposite story isn’t true either. AT&T is giving the Lumia really subsidies. AT&T has big posters in their stores about Lumia. AT&T continues to design their consumer mobile network specifically targeting iPhone. Their slogan for their network is “The only network that lets you talk and surf on iPhone 5” (this doesn’t work on CDMA/LTE) and “faster is better. Download 3x faster on AT&T’s LTE network on iPhone 5” (i.e. 3x faster than Verizon).
Lumia doesn’t get top billing now, much lest the biggest marketing push ever.
Thanks for comment, I was just too tired to do that explanation myself.

The Nokia ratings agencies all were very optimistic about Nokia’s future

Except that they put Nokia’s credit rating on a negative watch starting already in summer 2010, before Nokia’s market share crashed. One of the key points in Burning platform memo and one of the parts in that memo that Tomi did not disagree with. “Very optimistic“?

So Elop could have had his Finnish designers create the new Lumia series – and have award-winners like the N9 for example, but no, he went to America to novice designers to make iPhon-a-clones. By the time Nokia had released its first 9 Lumia devices, they were still all variants on exactly one theme – lets do an iPhone clone but with colorful packaging. Thats it.

Hmmm… I thought Ahtisaari’s design team was located in Finland? Didn’t the same team work on N9, Lumia 800, Lumia 900, etc.?
Anyway, these iPhone clones are the ones that Apple shows in Samsung trial as an example of phone that is NOT copying iPhone.
That’s right! Apple – the “we-will-sue-Google-for-copying-iOS” – anti-copy lawsuit company says so. How does that fit to Tomi’s view?

I have been loundly critical on this blog about those faults, explaining in deep detail why there is a loyal Nokia segment that wants

large screens, or removable batteries, or microSD slots,

Now we are seeing Elop gradually reversing those decisions.

That Nokia has finally ‘gone big’ in screens? That Nokia now offers Lumia models with removable batteries

(sorry for cutting, it was long rant and these are the highlights.)
Now WAT?!? MicroSD has been in about every Symbian phone during Elop’s tenure. Removable battery was also in e.g. Lumia 710, other of the two FIRST Lumias launched! Windows Phone 7 did not really support MicroSD so it is hard to blame Elop for WP7 Lumias not having it. 😉
As soon as OS made it possible, both features (removable battery & MicroSD) were in Lumia 820, once again other of the FIRST two WP8 Lumias. And in 620 and in 720 and in 625 and in 520 and…
Where did he get that “reversing decisions”? In that case he should fully credit E7 and N9 to Elop (as Tomi loves them both and neither has MicroSD or removable battery).

Nokia phones in 2010:
C5, C6, X6 – 3.2″ screen.
C7, N8 – 3.5″ screen.
in 2011:
Lumia 710, Lumia 800 – 3.7″ screen
N9 – 3.9″ screen
E7, X7 – 4″ screen
in 2012:
Lumia 610 – 3.7″screen
Lumia 510, 520 – 4″screen
Lumia 810, 820, 822, 900 – 4.3″screen
Lumia 920 – 4.5″screen

Largest display size available increased every year. Smallest available increased or stayed the same. Under Elop Nokia exactly STARTED to follow big screens trend!

He for example terminated a hard-won carrier contract with AT&T, to launch a Symbian based smartphone – after years of AT&T refusing to do so. Nokia’s sales teams in America were heroic. They had the signed contract. Elop cancelled the deal.

Oh those heroes! Three and a half years after CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo had said Nokia will gain America back “no matter what” they finally manage to get ONE high-end Symbian device to ONE US operator. And then their magnificent deal falls apart when AT&T cut the subsidies as it became apparent that X7 will be delayed from promised schedule. (Hence the cancellation of the deal that had become unprofitable.)
In contrast:
Lumias had not been available for even six months when Nokia already had Lumia 710 on T-Mobile and Lumia 900 on the very same AT&T. We have not yet seen three and a half years of Windows Phone and already there have been 3 on T-Mobile, 4 on AT&T, 2 on Verizon…
Which of the sales teams in America was the heroic one?

That’s about it for new stuff then. There were few other things that were so repeatedly mentioned by him that I will cover them as separate blog posts but tomorrow I want to do traditional Friday fun post and you get to read about Tomi and iPhone that he says he loves, yet does not own.