I noted that the news finally caught the Sage of Hong Kong:

Story that is quoting official Nokia account says Nokia smartphones will no longer feature Carl Zeiss optics. That is VERY disappointing. And article also suggests Pureview is not coming either.

–Tomi Ahonen, March 08, 2017 [1]

That is sad. Or not really – what is sad is Tomi taking so long before he finally accepted what I wrote in this blog half a year before his revelation:

I say the new phones come in year 2017 and will not have (as in “I’m confident on these not happening”):
– QWERTY keyboard
– HDMI output
– 40 (or 50) mpix camera (I say 20mpix is the maximum we could see)
– Xenon flash
– PureView branding
– Zeiss branding
– Nokia Z-Launcher

Also just as well they might not have:
– Waterfproofing
– Removable battery
– MicroSD slot

–Anonymous Ex-Nokian, August 30, 2016 [2]

I didn’t give any background on why I was saying something like that. The reason is that since Tomi reads my blog I didn’t want him to get too much help. But it’s been over half a year already so I’m now putting this all here for Tomi to read because it really doesn’t matter if he does a 180 degree turn once again, he has made a fool out of himself already.
So let’s unravel the backgrounds.

Pureview (and the megapixels)

If Tomi was not as stubborn as he is, he could have read the news already from 2014 stating that Microsoft owns the PureView trademark (alongside Clearblack, Lumia and few others) [3]. Since Microsoft has not abandoned the idea of making a “surface phone”, it was blinding obvious they’ll keep it.
50 megapixel camera? Why on earth? Everyone else is trying to get better pictures with 8 or 12 megapixel cameras and Tomi still lives in the world of the megapixel race?

Carl Zeiss

The Nokia/Zeiss co-operation originates from 2005. [4] I know that Tomi sounds like he was frozen in year 2007 and brought to this day but still it is rather odd he hasn’t taken the hint from Lumia 950 using Carl Zeiss lenses [5] – Microsoft holds whatever is remaining of the deal. New Nokia (HMD) could of course make their own deal but I was quite confident they won’t go through the trouble.

QWERTY keyboards (and HDMI output)

Reason I said these won’t come was very simple: Nokia R&D was already in year 2010 working on making the touch screen to feel like physical keyboard so that the physical keyboard can be dropped.
Because of the customization. If you make a QWERTY keyboard, you also have to make AZERTY, QWERTZ and so forth. And then come the non-English alphabets – Scandinavia alone needs Finnish/Swedish keyboard with Å, Ä and Ö; Danish/Norwegian keyboard with Å, Æ and Ø, Icelandic… List goes on.
This is a nightmare for product creation. There is no sense to make e.g. Icelandic version of a physical QWERTY phone if the assumption is that so few Icelandic versions will be sold that it does not cover the costs. But if you don’t sell in Iceland, France or some other market there will be angry reviews about “Nokia refusing to sell their communicator in Iceland”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
On touch screen this is no issue, you can always render the keys to a different layout and it has zero effect to cost of HW. This was the benefit brought to mobile by Apple and one of the reasons Apple could sell the same phone model on different markets. If Tomi would not be completely clueless on mobile phone product creation, he would know this. But Tomi has never been a part of any kind of product program, far less related to handsets so he is – well – clueless.
And still this – like HDMI output – could fairly simply be grasped by asking: “Who makes these nowadays?”
Samsung is the largest smartphone maker in the world, yet the only QWERTY keyboard phone I can think from Samsung portfolio is Samsung Stratosphere from year 2011. [6] Even if they had more fresh models (which I don’t know if they do), those are rarely seen in stores. BlackBerry Priv is a fresh and welcome exception to the rule but it has not been the money making machine BlackBerry hoped it would be. If physical QWERTY is such a must-have feature and – ehm – “hot trend“, why nobody makes those?
Similarly, HDMI output does not pay off nowadays. The use case and consumer demand are missing. Hence I said they won’t happen.


I took a bet here: Last update to Nokia Z-Launcher was from April 2016 [7] – that was enough of a hint for me. But it seems the Z-Launcher is pretty much dead.

Removeble battery (or better yet: the trends, for crying out loud!)

Everyone is making their phones slimmer, lighter and metallic/uniform body. What doesn’t fit to this trend is the removable battery (and neiter does xenon flash). Just by simple assumption that the Nokia/HMD will follow the trend I ruled those out.

Lucky call

Waterfproofing. I know Tomi thinks it’s the next best thing and – let’s face it – even Apple does that nowadays. I was just assuming that HMD will skip that from the first models as it is an extra cost in manufacturing. Most likely the next (flagship’ish) models from HMD will have it.

unlucky call

MicroSD slot. I should have thought this through. HMD will have to do the price race since they are in camp Android. Cutting down the internal storage space means you can make the end-users pay the bill-of-material for the memory when they buy the storage space as a memory card. I assumed that HMD would be after “The Apple experience” where MicroSD card does not fit to the picture. (Every single time I’ve had storage issues with my phones the reason has been a malfunctioned SD card. Premium experience breaks apart if you use MicroSD card and it gets a failure.)


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2017/03/china-india-usa-3-largest-phone-markets-vs-nokia-via-hmd-why-nokia-6-will-not-matter-in-usa-but-will.html

[2] https://dominiescommunicate.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/collection-of-tomi-ahonen-forecasts-on-nokia-branded-android-phones-for-future-years/#comment-6876

[3] http://geekongadgets.com/2014/06/16/microsoft-purchases-nokia-trademark-names-including-lumia-asha-pureview/

[4] http://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases/2005/04/27/nokia-and-carl-zeiss-join-forces-to-offer-enhanced-imaging-for-camera-phone-users

[5] https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/microsoft-lumia-950-camera-review

[6] http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i405_stratosphere-4262.php

[7] http://nokiamob.net/2017/01/19/nokia-z-launcher-remains-in-beta-no-updates-planned-right-now/