How about we try to blame Stephen Elop the former CEO of Nokia for the things that went wrong during his tenure?

MY VERSIONS:

  • Elop failed to turn around Nokia’s profit share decline in mobile devices.” (This statement I’m fine with)
  • Elop failed to return Nokia’s declining share price to its previous levels.” (Fine with this too.)
  • Elop chose not to chase for the enterprise market being left by BlackBerry but went for consumer market instead.” (I’m fine with this also.)

Now for the sake of honesty I should mention that in many cases he did not do those decisions alone but as a CEO he accepted them nevertheless and can be held accountable.

OPTIONAL VERSION:

Now let’s assume you are Tomi Ahonen the consultant. Having stuff like this, how do you plan to take on Elop? Answer is: by blaming Stephen Elop for something he has not even done! Here comes from Tomi’s blog post two days ago:

Nokia before Elop made phones with larger screens than the iPhone. Elop? Refused larger screens, made smaller screens for his first Lumia and over-ruled his Nokia experts that consumers wanted larger screens, Nokia knew this, Nokia had been offering those before. No. Elop wanted the Lumia to be like the iPhone. Nokia had smartphones which had removable batteries – because in most markets where Nokia is strongest, electrical supply is not reliable. Elop wanted an iPhone clone so early Lumia didn’t have removable batteries, just like the iPhone. Avoiding Nokia strengths and going against the strongest partner with now weaknesses. So microSD cards? Nokia smartphones had always had removable memory cards until Elop came along, noticed that the iPhone doesn’t have those – so he removed that – staple – strength – of Nokia from the early Lumia. Then the best cameras of the business. Nokia had for YEARS been the best camera on any smartphone. Nokia was known for this. But Elop looked at what camera was on the iPhone and DOWNGRADED Nokia’s cameras on the top phones to the Lumia series.” [1]

Now that was lot of stupid. Considering the stuff available, why does he go to invent something that is not true and doesn’t even make sense?

DISPLAYS:

I’ve covered Tomi’s larger screen claim before but new thing here is older Nokia phones having larger screens than iPhone.

The iPhone of late 2011 (time of early Lumia launches) is iPhone 4 with iPhone 4S announced after first Lumias. Both iPhone 4 and 4S had 3.5″ display. I have no clue which previous Nokia phones Tomi refers to with “larger screens than the iPhone”, but proper candidates are N97, N900 and N8, all having 3.5″ displays. I’d love to hand Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo the credit for four inch display of the E7, but it was launched after Elop took lead and Tomi has already made it clear that any phone launched after Elop started as CEO is designed by Elop (more of that later). So where are those bigger displays? 9500 communicator from year 2004? With its 4.5″ display it would indeed exceed that of iPhone but due to the lack of touch screen, how is that relevant?
Then to early Lumias. First two launched were Lumia 800 and 710. They had 3.7″ displays, meaning they not only had a display larger than that of iPhone but also larger than those of previous Nokia products (and with higher pixel density).

Reality 1 – Tomi Ahonen 0

REPLACEABLE BATTERIES

The thing with replaceable batteries and early Lumias is nothing short of lying against faces of his readers. Lumia 710 has user replaceable battery. (Lumia 710 is the other of the two first Lumia phones and was announced alongside Lumia 800.) So does later launched Lumia 610. End of story.

Except that it is not the end of it as this gets further: Tomi has made it clear before that the lack of user replaceable battery in ANY Nokia product is because of Elop and Elop alone:

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.” [2]

To sum it up: Elop did standard Nokia two-model product launch where one of the phones has user replaceable battery and the other doesn’t. Just like Symbian^3 launch in 2010. (First Symbian^3 products were N8 and C7 of which only C7 had user replaceable battery.)

Nokia N8 was announced with its specifications April 2010 – 5 months before Elop took helm and therefore it is Elop’s fault. 😉

Reality 2 – Tomi Ahonen 0

MICROSD CARDS

For MicroSD cards Tomi finally has kind of a point – Windows Phone 7 did NOT support MicroSD cards.
EDIT:
Our loyals commenter CD-Host wrote a comment which I recommend to read (visit link) and explained that Windows Phone 7 indeed supported MicroSD cards but due to the encryption required the use of MicroSD cards between different devices was a mess and therefore manufacturers usually did not include MicroSD card slot (as per Microsoft recommendation).
My text above tried to oversimplify it. My apologies. On the other hand, the OS does not offer MicroSD card support that people would expect to get so I stick with the relevant:
END OF EDIT
Tomi often refers to the famous 101 reasons list (to “prove” how Microsoft is clueless on Mobile) and that list has lack of MicroSD card support…
…but this means lack of MicroSD cards in early Lumias is not fault of Elop, except for the part of choosing windows Phone 7 as the OS for Nokia devices. Elop did not “remove those” from early Lumia, in fact assuming the 101 reasonst list is valid he could not have even added them even if he wanted to! So as it was put in a (now deleted) comment to Tomi’s post:

Please, a bit of consistency. Either the WP7 OS does not support MicroSD cards (as stated in 101 faults list) or then it does but Elop refused them. You have to pick. You can’t have both.

Reality 3 – Tomi Ahonen 0

LAST (BUT NOT LEAST) – CAMERAS

Nokia has indeed had the best camera on any smartphone. Take as an example pre-Elop flagships N97 or N900 which both had 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lenses. The “camera phone” of the time – N86 – sported 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lenses. Flagship is “9” series, camera phone is “8” series.
At the time Elop enters the stage (and according to Tomi ruins N8 with non-replaceable battery) we have camera phone N8 with 12 megapixel camera and Xenon flash. Flagship would have been N9 with 8 megapixel camera (year 2010 prototypes are rumored to have had 12 megapixel sensor), but N9 got delayed by almost a year. And yes, they both come with Carl Zeiss lenses).
Post-Elop we have flagship products N9 and Lumia 900, both having 8 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss lenses. Camera phone is 808 PureView with whopping 41 megapixel camera. It’s sad that it was developed on top of Symbian, but what can Elop do about it? Product had been in the works for literal YEARS and Nokia ran two operating systems at the time, like it or not.
Even later in Elop era we have flagship Lumia 920 & 925 with 8.7 megapixel Carl Zeiss lenses and as a camera phone Lumia 1020 with 41 megapixel camera.

Flagships under Elop: from 5 mpix to 8 mpix to 8.7 mpix
Camera phones under Elop: from 8 mpix to 12 mpix to 41 mpix

Now how on earth this translates to “Elop DOWNGRADED Nokia’s cameras on the top phones to the Lumia series”?
That sentence has severe disconnection from reality.

Reality 4 – Tomi Ahonen 0

Once again, I have no clue why the man does this. Elop as CEO failed big time. One could write tonnes of text about that without resorting to fabrications.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/07/if-microsoft-could-just-do-one-thing-right-with-lumianokiawindows-on-smartphones.html

[2] 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

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