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Nokia CEO Blames Salesmen For Windows Phone Struggles 435

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-the-case-of-chicken-v-egg dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Steven Elop of Nokia has placed some of the blame for the struggles of Windows Phone on mobile phone shops — for not pushing it. As The Register points out, sales staff 'want their commission,' and tend to only show phones they think might sell. Exact details of Windows Phone sales numbers are being covered up by both Microsoft and Nokia, who refuse to state specifics; sales figures to operators are stated at one million, but the majority of those seem to be unsold to consumers, and neither Microsoft nor Nokia will give numbers on activations. The best available numbers seem to be maximum Lumia sales estimates from Tomi Ahonen, a former Nokia Executive and the only analyst to correctly predict Nokia's market share fall for the end of 2011. Nokia's Lumia sold around 600,000 phones in 2011 (again, including the large portion in warehouses). One of the worst signs for WP8 is that Nokia's N9 — despite being crippled without marketing, and often selling at full price compared to the almost fully subsidized Lumia phones — is selling better than Nokia's Windows phones, with 1.5M or more phones reaching end users. Interestingly, if the Nokia N9 had been available in all markets, it might have sold almost 5M units and pushed Nokia into profitability."
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Nokia CEO Blames Salesmen For Windows Phone Struggles

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:10PM (#38870047)

    Then maybe you should fire your marketing department, because clearly you are trying to convert the wrong people.

    • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:22PM (#38870239)

      The phones don't sell because they run WP7.

      The phones run WP7 because Nokia sold its remaining soul to MSFT.

      Nokia sold its remaining soul to MSFT in exchange for continued existence.

      Prolonging the inevitable doesn't make it any less inevitable.

      • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:29PM (#38870331)

        The phones don't sell because they run WP7.

        Pretty much. I gave up on any Microsoft-based phone long ago. My last handset (HTC XV6800) was running WinMo 6.0 and it was such a piece of shit. I had to reboot the damn thing multiple times a day due to freezes and shit...

        Never again...

        • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:41PM (#38870501) Homepage Journal
          To be fair, and just in case you didn't know, WinPhone 7 is very, very heavily rewritten from the WinMo days of yore. (Not that I'd ever voluntarily touch one myself.)
          • by turgid (580780) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:47PM (#38870569) Journal

            very heavily rewritten

            A whole load of new bugs to deal with!

            • by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:09PM (#38870875) Homepage

              very heavily rewritten

              A whole load of new bugs to deal with!

              ...and that's not just a joke.

              I have a friend that bought a WP7 phone (she used to have an iphone, and loved it, but got a little tired of seeing the same thing every day and wanted to try something new) 'cause it seemed very slick and flashy in the store—only to find out it's insanely buggy / flaky / ill-designed in everyday use. She updates the software regularly and has actually had the hardware replaced multiple times, but things never seem to really improve.

              She's not sure whether she'll go back to iphone or try some android thing next, but she's adamant that she's never getting another winphone...

              • by DogDude (805747) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:20PM (#38871035) Homepage
                Well, to counter your anecdotal evidence with more anecdotal evidence, I haven't found any bugs or weirdness with my Windows Phone.
              • by caywen (942955) on Monday January 30, 2012 @08:35PM (#38871897)

                This just isn't accurate. It's not insanely buggy nor flaky, and so I'd like to know what your friend was seeing. I've switched from iOS to WinPhone 7.5 with an HTC Titan about 2 months ago, and I've found a couple of bugs:
                1. The disappearing keyboard bug. This is sporadic, and easily worked around (by just refocusing the address bar), and is slated to be fixed soon.
                2. Some web pages don't render quite as well as iOS Safari and Android web browsers. But this is pretty rare.
                3. Music Hub needs some navigation work, certainly.

                Aside from these issues, I've found it to be rather bug free, quite fast, and usable. I wouldn't at all characterize it as "insanely buggy" or "flaky" and I recommend it highly. Yeah, go ahead and accuse me of being paid my MS and what not. This is purely my point of view.

              • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Monday January 30, 2012 @11:28PM (#38873437) Homepage

                Are you sure that's a Windows Phone?

                I ask because, as far as updates go, there hasn't been that many (nor a need for any).

                I bought my HTC Titan in mid-November, which came loaded with 7.5. There hasn't been any OS updates since then.

                Sure, a few apps have updated themselves here and there -- mostly games -- but nothing serious.

                And, although it's just my own experience, so far using the phone has been fantastic. It's frozen once on my that I can remember, during a game. It's never rebooted or hung besides that. It's super-fast, very easy to use, and whenever I show it to people they are jealous.

        • by Bedouin X (254404) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:44PM (#38870547) Homepage

          For what it's worth, I had Windows Mobile 5, 6, and 6.5 phones. The non-touch Blackberry-style phones (e.g Moto Q) were decent but the touch phones were a buggy unstable mess in no small part due to the crapware that came pre-installed on many though I'm sure the OS design was the primary culprit.

          After being convinced to go to Android and an EVO 4g, I had a chance to use a WP7 phone in the store and was pleasantly surprised. You can't really understand how interesting WP7 is until it's in your hands. I have owned the WP7 Phone (HTC Arrive) since last April and the thing has locked up on me exactly once, and it recovered about about 20 seconds (disclaimer: I don't install a ton of apps on my phone). It is a completely different experience. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but it is light years ahead of Windows Mobile and, in several ways that matter to me, ahead of Android and iOS.

          • by teg (97890) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:04PM (#38870805) Homepage

            [...] I have owned the WP7 Phone (HTC Arrive) since last April [...] (disclaimer: I don't install a ton of apps on my phone).

            No need to say the same thing twice ;)

            On a slightly more serious note: App selection is one of most important aspects on a smart phone today, and Windows Phone is nowhere near the quantity and quality of iPhone and Android in this area.

            • by Bedouin X (254404) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:16PM (#38870963) Homepage

              According to this article [blogs.com] posted elsewhere on this thread, messaging and camera are by far the most important aspects.

              As for quality and quantity, fart apps on Android and iPhone are like text editors once were on SourceForge. There is a lot of padding in those app totals. All of the apps that I've ever cared to use are on Windows Phone, but like I said I'm probably in the lame demographic when it comes to app demand. Things like a synchronized calendar with Exchange, Google Apps, and Facebook are what float my boat and that is built in.

          • You can't really understand how interesting WP7 is until it's in your hands.

            I've used one reasonably extensively and came to the opposite conclusion. Care to explain what you found interesting about it?

      • by V!NCENT (1105021) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:42PM (#38870525)

        Have you seen the sales figures? While it's true that Nokia loses marketshare percentage doesn't mean it is losing sales. On the contrary: iPhone and Android have just been outpacing Symbian devices in an exponentialy growing market (not only just of smartphones, but also developping countries).

        Not just that; sales have been going up in Q4 of 2011 compared to Q3 of 2011.

        And also; Nokia Belle (Symbian^3 Belle) is now the most advance smartphone OS on the planet. If you think I'm kidding, just look at this shit:
        -Qt4.7.4;
        -All UI features of Android and iOS combined and added upon;
        -NFC;
        -USB-host;
        -Mini-HDMI;
        -Running on monsterglas with Amoled and ClearBlack devices;
        -Running on the phone with still the best camera to date: Better than iPhone4S;
        -Media Centre;
        -Microsoft mobile version of OneNote, Powerpoint viewer, Sharepoint and the rest of that stuff;
        -Official Exchange compatibility;
        -Swap (never ever out of RAM with these 250MB+16GB flash storage devices);
        -HTMLv5 browser + mobile Adobe Flash;
        -Facebook and Twitter VPN;
        -VoIP (not an app; incorporated into the OS!);
        -Build in internet Radio;
        -Nokia offline Maps;
        -Et-freacking-cetera.

        The OVI store has more downloads per day than Apple's and Android's Appstore/Market. Symbian smartphones webbrowser agents are turning up higher in numbers than Android and iOS combined and growing still.

        Also about 75% of the worlds 3G network is Nokia-Siemens.

        You know what Nokia did to Microsoft? "Lol give us money and software", so then later they can drop it again, just like they did with European Union donations for open sourcing Symbian, to later close it again. Nokia demanded Qt software on WP7, and right now Nokia is improving upon the N9 UI and working on a long-taking Symbian replacement, based on Linux.

        Who's fucking who?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:47PM (#38870565)

          Not just that; sales have been going up in Q4 of 2011 compared to Q3 of 2011.

          Wow. I wonder if anything happens in Q4 that involves people buying stuff. If we could figure that out then it could be a major breakthrough in marketing.

        • by Jerry Atrick (2461566) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:52PM (#38870647)

          How do you propose Nokia will do anything now most of the engineers were either sacked, walked or were transferred out of Nokia along with the IP?

          Nokia were up shit creek bereft of paddles before MS infiltrated them, with engineers incapable of finishing any of their new OS projects. MS and WP7 just took away the boat as well and put concrete boots on the company.

          • by V!NCENT (1105021)

            Symbian is now on contract with a billion-worth-company that has Symbian in its grap for at least untill 2017. Qt is now community managed. Yes Microsoft can make a proprietary form of what they bought in terms of code then, but the improved stuff is GPL'ed and Microsoft can't kill it.

            Meanwhile the other OS isn't cut off at all and it is needed for the Asian and African market to keep Nokia floating and Microsoft can't kill Nokia because then they would kill their mobile phone efforts.

          • by Pecisk (688001) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @05:16AM (#38875019)

            "Nokia were up shit creek bereft of paddles before MS infiltrated them, with engineers incapable of finishing any of their new OS projects."

            I would challenge that notion. Lot of feedback from internals indicates that this time management was that who blow it. Reasons where numerous, but mostly Nokia legal's deep distrust with open source and Linux per se. As far as I remember biggest problem was to provide closed DRM based system within Linux system (that wouldn't be so easy to override). As Nokia legals has always have been overzealous pro-IP, this isn't really a surprise. They could easily release normal working Maemo system year and half ago. I mean, that OS and stack were battle tested on N770 and N800/N810. But legal fears and trying to introduce half-backed DRM solution when world strictly moved away for them killed any hope for Maemo.

            It also explains why Nokia management fell into Microsoft arms in nanoseconds. Unfortunately, they are made for each other.

        • by j35ter (895427) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:53PM (#38870663)
          Hope you're right. I am not a Nokia fanboy ... actually, I never really liked Nokia, but it would be a shame to see a corrupt CEO bringing down one of the most innovative companies in the TelCo market.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Hognoxious (631665)

          an exponentialy growing market

          You literally have shit for brains.

      • by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:53PM (#38870649) Journal

        Prolonging the inevitable doesn't make it any less inevitable.

        That's not actually true. Even just breaking even means that you don't have to lay off employees with important skills and knowledge, and watch them go work for competitors. It means buying yourself some time for R&D to catch up. It means time for a competitor or two to make a mistake. People forget how many years Apple struggled with "inevitable" bankruptcy, that as recently as 2003 you could've had a share of AAPL for $7.

        • iPhone was introduced in 2007. They've had 5 years to catch up.

          They're not going to catch up with hardware R&D this late in the game. They don't control the entire stack (software+market are owned by Microsoft) and hardware features are in many ways secondary - it's a glass screen encased in plastic or aluminum.

          Comparing Apple of 2003 to Nokia of today is insane. Apple was on solid footing by 2000 with a diverse portfolio of products that actually generated revenue for the company.

          In short, Nokia is dea

      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        Not really true. Other than the geeks that know exactly what Android phone they want, or the apple fans that just want iPhones, and the extremely rare teen that wants a BlackBerry because that's what their friends have and they want to BBM with them, most people leave carrier stores with the phone that the salesman pushed down their throats, and that tends to be Android phones because the carrier gets more profit per unit with those, as they dont pay as high of a subsidy as they do with iPhones or even with

  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:11PM (#38870053)
    then they'd love us. Or hate us. Which ever, we'd have more money.
  • True stories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:11PM (#38870055)

    People have been so fed of this that made a site with horror stories listed on a map.

    http://wptattletale.com/retail-locations [wptattletale.com]

    People who even walk in looking for Windows Phones are steered towards Android phones.

    • Re:True stories (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:19PM (#38870193)

      MS marketing dept. have been so fed of this that they made a site....

      FTFY

    • Re:True stories (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ahabswhale (1189519) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:26PM (#38870281)

      This actually happened to me this last weekend when I went to the T-Mobile booth in the mall and asked about the Lumia 710 and was strongly encouraged to look the other way. They did relent and show me the phone (which they said was charging because the battery was fully drained but when they handed it to me, it was fully charged) but I had to be persistent.

    • Re:True stories (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:32PM (#38870371)

      People who even walk in looking for Windows Phones are steered towards Android phones.

      Had personal experience with this one. I went in to AT&T to see the new HTC Titan when it came out. Asked to see it by name and without skipping a beat he directs me to the Samsung Galaxy (II? I can't remember what it was). Now I can only assume what happens when someone goes in and asks "I'm interested in a smartphone, this is what I do, this is what I need, what do you have"... probably shows them right to an Android phone.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Simple reason for that.
      There are no really good high end WP7 phones for sale in the US.
      The best one right now is probably the Nokia Lumia 710 from TMobile.
      Verizon has spent a lot of money on the whole Droid campaign and has the Droid Razor, Droid Razor Maxx, and the new Galaxy Nexus not to mention the iPhone 4s.
      Sprint Has the Epic Touch and iPhone 4s.
      AT&T has lived on the iPhone line for so long and now has several Android phones.
      So only TMobile has anything really new and let's face it. They all know A

    • Re:True stories (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Strudelkugel (594414) on Monday January 30, 2012 @09:53PM (#38872717)

      People who even walk in looking for Windows Phones are steered towards Android phones.

      I will recount my experience: I wanted to by a WP7 handset during the promotion Microsoft ran last year. I set up an appointment at the store to buy the phone. Get to the store and find out they are out of stock. Store people call around and find one left at a store a few blocks away, so I put that one on hold. Go to the other store to get the phone, and the sales rep suggests I should get an iPhone or Android handset instead.

      I tell him I want the WP7 phone because I like the development environment for it. That still isn't good enough, so he asks if I am sure. I then ask him what he knows about WP7. Has he ever used it? No. I ask what he knows about WP7. He said he knew nothing about it, he was just more familiar with iPhone and Android.

      After I finally convince the guy that I really did want the WP7 phone I had put on hold at the store, he activates it. Turns out he didn't really activate it, he bricked it. Obviously I should have checked it while in the store, but I never had a problem before. I took the phone to another store the next day to have it reset after spending an hour with customer support to try a manual activation which failed. Clearly the rep had no training for the phone. I have a hard time believing a typical consumer would put up with half of the hassle I did before they would say: "Give me an iPhone, this one doesn't work." It seems to me that Microsoft has totally dropped the ball with the sales force at the carriers. They should not be pushing the phone until the store reps are comfortable with it and show at least a little enthusiasm for the device. Microsoft should spend some of the marketing money flying reps to Hawaii or Vail or Jamaica or wherever sales rep paradise might be.

      As for WP7, I do like what Microsoft has done in general. There are still rough edges here and there, but I would guess they will be addressed in future phone releases. The voice translation is amazingly good, and the Bing music recognition feature works really well. Turn by Turn navigation works well, too. I have not had any problems with crashes or the disappearing keyboard. The active tiles are nice, and a lot better than the icon infestation of iOS. I think it is at least equal to iOS and Android in terms of utility. But for me, the big selling point is not the phone, but rather Visual Studio and Expression Blend, which make app development much nicer that the pain of XCode. I haven't done much with Android, but colleagues who are developing for it tell me they would prefer to use Visual Studio, and that the fragmentation of Android really is a problem from a QA perspective.

  • I invented my own mobile device. It is fully awesome. I blame its lack of success on the fact that no-one would agree to manufacture it.
  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:13PM (#38870097)
    Have a marginal product that you can't sell? Blame it on anybody other than the designers/manufacturers. Let's ignore the fact that Microsoft wrote the specs for the phone as well as the operating system, let's ignore that the phone is locked up tighter than a 14 year old Mormon virgin, let's ignore the fact that there's been practically no marketting and advertising for this brick. It's the salesmen's fault, pure and simple.
    • by zlogic (892404) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:23PM (#38870251) Homepage

      let's ignore the fact that there's been practically no marketting and advertising for this brick

      Technically, Nokia Lumia isn't yet on sale in the US. And in Europe, Limua phones are heavily promoted - in my area ads for these phones are everywhere, on TV, billboards, radio and mobile phone stores. This is sad because even with this insane amount of promotion they're still having trouble selling the thing.

      • by cptdondo (59460) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:14PM (#38870947) Journal

        T-Mobile has has the Lumia on sale since the turn of the year or so....

        What's interesting is that *all* the "review" comments for the Lumia are glowing, all praise the technical features, and all seem to be quite well informed about the features and have correct spelling and grammar. While the review comments on the LG and other phones are more typical bitching and griping about how the phone quit working because the screen broke when the user dropped it....

        The mind reels.

        • by 21mhz (443080)

          What's interesting is that *all* the "review" comments for the Lumia are glowing, all praise the technical features, and all seem to be quite well informed about the features and have correct spelling and grammar. While the review comments on the LG and other phones are more typical bitching and griping about how the phone quit working because the screen broke when the user dropped it....

          Meaning that WP users tend to be well educated, know what they want, and have the sense to write about things that matter? Or, maybe, it's all a giant marketing operation, which also explains the absence of drooling idiots and fanbois who come out of the woodwork whenever Android is discussed.

        • by Mannfred (2543170) <mannfred@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @03:31AM (#38874629)

          Agreed. On certain business-oriented Finnish web sites I've noticed an odd pattern of posters who claim the Lumia phones are 'the best phone ever' and who attack any negative commenters on WP7 as "liars" etc. The pattern reeks very much of a deliberate marketing campaign either by Nokia's marketing department or desperate stock holders trying to cash out before the wheels come off. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar was happening on English language web sites as well.

          I've had an HTC WP7 from the company for almost 6 months now and esp after the 7.5 Mango update the phone has felt reliable (reliable enough where this is now the phone I trust to wake me up in the mornings) and the device feels quite responsive. The things which I don't like about the phone is a) the demented interface design which expects you to reorient the phone between landscape and portrait when navigating from one menu to another and b) the phone is lacking in apps which I'd personally find useful/interesting. The free apps tend to be ad-filled garbage and the paid apps are overpriced IMO - but I appreciate that my Nokia N900-based expectation of getting useful/interesting apps for cheap/free is part of any problem Nokia may face in trying to convince iPhone/Android devs to target the WP7 platform.

  • Estimate numbers? (Score:4, Informative)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:14PM (#38870111)

    tend to only show phones they think might sell

    They must have more business sense than Elop? We'll see who's still in business next year, ye olde cellphone shoppe or Nokia. I... would bet on the cellphone shop.

    Exact details of Windows Phone sales numbers are being covered up by both Microsoft and Nokia, who refuse to state specifics

    Must be extremely bad if its coverup time. Even the Zune figures weren't kept this well buried. Aren't there stats from "popular" apps like the facebook app or angry birds where you can assume 75% of owners have those 3rd party apps, therefore if they have 750K sales of AB or FB on the MS app store or whatever, they would probably therefore have about 1M phones out in the wild?

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:16PM (#38870141) Homepage

    "Steven Elop of Nokia has placed some of the blame for the struggles of Windows Phone on mobile phone shops â" for not pushing it. As The Register points out, sales staff 'want their commission,' and tend to only show phones they think might sell

    Those salespersons know something about those phones that "burning platform" Elop does not. WP7 on Nokia does not sell.

    Interestingly, if the Nokia N9 had been available in all markets, it might have sold almost 5M units and pushed Nokia into profitability."

    Truer words not said.

    Only Schettino of the Costa Concordia could have done worse.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:26PM (#38870297)

      Interestingly, if the Nokia N9 had been available in all markets, it might have sold almost 5M units and pushed Nokia into profitability."

      Truer words not said.

      I noticed last week in a big electronics store in Germany, that N9s were now on sale there. Originally, they were not sold here . . . but Amazon Germany sold imports from Austria. It will be interesting to see if this starts to spread to other markets.

      I'm sure the Austrian sales force made their quota for N9s.

  • In breaking news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:21PM (#38870223)

    Salesmen sell things that people want to buy. Full story at 11.

    • In other news, The Pope found to be Catholic. "I've always known I was Catholic since I was a child" declared the Pontiff in Rome. Also, bears found to defecate in the woods. "After a 5 year study, we came to the conclusion that bears did not leave the forest to 'take care of business'" declared Professor Gzint of the Wildlife Study Society.

  • by cribera (2560179) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:21PM (#38870225)
    Meego project had huge potential, but you went for the quick bucks.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:23PM (#38870247) Journal

    The dutch wanna-be tech site tweakers.net ran this figure a day or two ago... and you had fanboy after fanboy proudly proclaiming that 1 million sales to vendors showed just how this was the end of Android and iPhone and the full victory of MS and Windows Phone 7... ignoring quite easily that Android has 700.000 activations a DAY and that the latest iPhone does something like 4 million in a weekend.

    MS market share on the mobile market has always been and continues to be laughable but being outsold by a Linux phone that has no marketting and isn't available in the west? That is just beyond sad, it might even be time for shareholders to start questioning if Nokia is upholding its duty as a publicly traded company to maximize shareholder value.

    Missing from this story is that MS is funding Nokia for quite a lot of money, I believe it came down to about 150 or so dollars per sold MS phone IS they actually sold 1 million (185 million subsidy).

    Some MS fanboys already admit that 7 and 7.5 are already duds but surely 8 will be the lucky numbers (actually a far higher version number but who can keep track when failure comes so fast and reliable) but without any real claims.

    The sad part is that MS doing so badly isn't helping the market any, competion is good for the customer and right now there just isn't any from MS.

    Elop should just be fired by the shareholders, how can you claim with a straight face that your phone doesn't sell through the fault of the shops when the phone you won't put in the shops outsells it by a gigantic margin?

    If any Nokia shares are still in private hands, I would be highly suprised if this story won't have a tail (shares owned by MS and MS friends don't count of course).

    • by DogDude (805747)
      I just bought a windows 7 Phone and it works just fine. There are more than enough "apps" for it, but I don't really care since I got mine for Outlook/Exchange, and not for playing games. I really don't care how many they sell.
    • by rsborg (111459)

      Elop should just be fired by the shareholders

      If the shareholders are really going to fire Elop, they should first fire the Board that hand-selected him.

      Perhaps the shareholders that did "get it" decided to leave in droves and never come back [1]... voting with your (lack of) participation is sometimes the most powerful message you can send.

      [1] https://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYSE:NOK [google.com]

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Android is FREE. Phone makers are free to customize it and do whatever they want with it, they just have the replace the Google apps with something else and call it something other than Android (like droid for example). Who needs a dozen different solutions when you have one that anyone can take and customize? Windows Phone isn't needed and IMO will likely never take off.

      The salesmen don't sell it because it's got a huge return rate (more than half come back), and Nokia has no one to blame but the Board of

  • by DannyTUK (2469406) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:24PM (#38870263)
    Elop has shown his ignorance in the way mobile phones are sold (at least in the UK). The pressure on sales staff is incredible to make the numbers. They cannot afford to put all of their efforts into selling a lame duck. And the public are all buying iPhones, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. The WP7 Nokia Lumia are not generating much if any interest in the buying public. So the sales staff are going to focus on all and anything that will fly off the shelf, and WP7, no matter how much smoke Elop blow up our arses about how good it is (it isn't) will make a blind bit of difference. Nice try Nokia. Now do the right thing, swallow your pride and put Android on the N8 and be prepared to be hit with a tsunami of orders.
  • by kirkb (158552) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:26PM (#38870295) Homepage

    Blaming WP7's failures on every mobile phone salesperson all over the world is a cop-out.

    Remember Windows Mobile? It powered several nice smartphones, especially models from HTC. Those sold very very well up until the iPhone took over. Did salesmen require bribes to sell those?

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Actually, there is some quite compelling argument for this issue. Since long before Nokia started selling WP7, it's been extremely widely reported by customers [wptattletale.com] that even when they walk into a store and specifically ask for a WP7 device, the salespeople refuse to show it or sell it. Yes, you read that right - the salespeople actively refused to sell the customer a product that the customer asked for by name.

      The most common reason, apparently, is actually the same Windows Mobile you mention. Compared to moder

  • by Qwavel (733416) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:27PM (#38870315)

    From what I've seen of the reviews, WP is a pretty good OS, and the Lumia phones are being sold at pretty competitive prices with lots of marketing behind them. So, now MS and Nokia are fishing around for explanations for why they aren't selling to consumers.

    The answer is the MS brand. After years of pushing crap on users, using nasty and anti-consumer tactics to fight their competitors, and trying to harm the Internet, MS is a tarnished consumer brand - surprise, surprise.

    Obviously, I think this is fair, but I also think it is fair that consumers and the industry re-evaulate brands. MS has been much better behaved in recent years (e.g. they are trying to win the browser wars by making their browser better) so maybe they deserve a second chance?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's alot of stuff, brand being one of them. Tomi Ahonen has a really detailed analysis of lumia's failure, much of which is abandoning Nokia's way of doing things and alot of it is about wp being utter crap and Elop handling things catastrophically.

      The real Top 13 reasons why Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone will fail, not just in USA but across planet [blogs.com]

      It's worth reading.

    • by icebraining (1313345) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:48PM (#38870585) Homepage

      MS has been much better behaved in recent years

      Suing TomTom over ridiculous patents is not better behavior, especially since the only reason to use the technology in the first place is to interact with their OS and its ill-gained market dominance.

    • by DingerX (847589) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:30PM (#38871169) Journal
      Microsoft has never been a "cool brand". The last time anyone got excited about Microsoft's entry into hardware was when they provided BASIC for the Amiga (and maybe the Atari ST). For most non-tech people, Windows on a phone evokes images of something complicated that you swear at, fear intrusions from, and get the nerd-in-law to fix. For tech people, it calls up a bloated mass of interruption and failure that grows at cancerous rates until planned obsolescence makes it unusable six months from now.

      So WP could be the coolest, slickest thing on the planet, but the Microsoft AND Windows branding is just lethal. I mean, an outstanding Windows product has always been praised by "Well, it's not as bad as the last version", clear back to the birth of the brand thirty years ago.

      I still use my 2007 N800.
  • by halfaperson (1885704) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:39PM (#38870463) Homepage

    I sold audio equipment for a couple of years and one of the first things I got to learn was to always give the customer TWO options. Unless the customer seemed unhappy with both choices, introducing a third option would only make the buying decision harder often resulting in a "need to go home and think about it"-response. This of course combined with lazy salespersons who doesn't feel they need to learn anything more than they absolutely need to close a deal.

    This isn't exactly news to people in sales. Anyone trying to enter as a "third option" will have an extemely tough time trying to break through in the market, even if their product is better in many aspects.

    (And as with any golden "rule of thumb" within sales, there is of course a shitload of exceptions, but I doubt the smartphone market is one of them)

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:48PM (#38870583) Homepage
    Windows sucks. Face it most people had a bad experience with Windows even if it's their own fault. It's also something their company uses so a lot of people associate their distaste of work with Windows. Combine that with the fact it doesn't look that cool and offers nothing all the other phones have and you have to question why anyone would want one.
  • by Flavio (12072) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:49PM (#38870593) Homepage

    I bought one for myself, another as a gift and I'm thinking of buying two for my parents.

    It has seamless Skype and SIP integration, so you can type in a number and choose which service to use from a drop-down box, all from the standard interface. Messaging is all integrated, with SMS, Google Talk, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc. The UI looks great and is very smooth. The phone runs Linux on a 1 GHz processor, with 1 GB of RAM, so you can do a lot with it, with true multitasking and a lot of features. Application development is really nice, since it's all based on Qt. And you can imagine how neat it is to run Linux on a phone, and use apt-get to install stuff.

    I have no problem with Nokia making Windows phones. It's nice OS, even if it's lacking apps (in particular, no Skype and no SIP stack). But cancelling Meego was madness from a business perspective. Elop killed an amazing product, and what is in my opinion the best mobile OS out there, for both consumers and developers.

  • MS's marketing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tbird81 (946205) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:52PM (#38870635)

    Not about the phone, I've never heard of it. But in NZ they're advertising the Windows 7 OS. The TV ads are absolutely terrible.

    One is a father and son both on laptops, the son gets dad to help with division on his computer(which you'd expect to be easy on a computer [wolframalpha.com]), and the son goes onto his dad's laptop. He then groovies up his powerpoint presentation with noise, wallpaper, and 3D extruded text and graphs.

    Compare this to the elegant and elitist Mac ads. They make you think that one becomes stylish and cool with lots of good-looking friends of all races with perfect smiles. This is proper marketing. Mac is much better at it than MS.

  • Market saturation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DemonGenius (2247652) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:06PM (#38870829)
    The market is already saturated with locked-in, walled garden type smartphones. Microsoft isn't offering anything that other manufacturers aren't already. Most people aren't going to want to buy a WP7 device if they can get an established Android phone or iPhone at the same price.
  • by Tamran (1424955) on Monday January 30, 2012 @08:04PM (#38871601)

    Essentially, it's a spin on the phrase: "A poor workman that blames his tools"

  • Negative brand? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday January 30, 2012 @08:35PM (#38871899) Journal

    I have a feeling that Microsoft have been mistaken branding everything they do "Windows something". People generally run Windows not because they like Windows (they curse it, generally) but because they have to have it to run the apps they want.

    If that driver isn't there, people run a mile from anything branded Windows, because they see Windows as dull and a source of discomfort from their experience on the PC. Android and iOS don't have that baggage. Also, there will be a lot of negative baggage from memories of the old Winmo devices. Non-technical people don't realise that Windows Phone 7 is actually a different platform, they see the name "Windows", and remember what WinMo and WinCE (pronounced wince) was like. Also you'll get the folks who see "Ah, Windows, therefore it'll run suchandsuch an app for my PC too", then find that Windows Phone is actually completely different to Windows on the PC and is incompatible, and get disapointed.

    Note that Apple didn't call the iPhone OS "OSX", even though they share a codebase - it got called something completely different, thus avoiding confusion and avoid having disappointed nontechnical people who think their Mac software can run on their iPhone or iPad.

    In short, I think Microsoft should have invented a different name that's not Windows for their phones to break all the negative associations people have with Windows (dull, something I use only for work, etc.). But then again, we've seen Microsoft try to be cool in the past and it was painful to watch (Zune).

    • by jcupitt65 (68879)

      Non-technical people don't realise that Windows Phone 7 is actually a different platform, they see the name "Windows", and remember what WinMo and WinCE (pronounced wince) was like.

      Actually, wp7 is based on wince 6.5. To make wp7 you start with winmo, remove all the GUI stuff, port silverlight, and build a new gui in that. MS were short on time and couldn't make a whole new phone. By reusing as much of winmo as they could (kernel plus drivers plus some userland stuff) they were able to get to market sooner.

  • by RanceJustice (2028040) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @11:13AM (#38877317)

    So, Elop, MS's installed "Service Pack" for Nokia is trying to deflect blame for their ho-hum OS onto someone else? Nothing new. I've only used Windows Phone in demo settings and I've been underwhelmed enough; its trying to be iOS in terms of "experience" and popularity but doesn't want to totally let go of the customization of Android. It seems like everything Windows Phone is doing, someone else is doing better unless you're just totally enamored with Microsoft products. I can see when Windows 8 gets here there will be a lot more convergence between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

    That said, I'm as pissed as any here about MS cash infusion and installed puppet diverting or just plain firing so many good Linux and QT developers while calling for an end to Maemo and MeeGo development. My old N900 here sits beside me and it probably doesn't have much life left. When I purchased it, I was looking forward to Harmattan and MeeGo to be installed upon it, followed by my next phone being one of a handful of high-end MeeGo devices. Maemo5 was to be the last "Geeks Only" OS, and that Harmattan/MeeGo would break triumphantly into the public view, with the kind of polish, UI and features that the iOS user could love, without compromising the Linux-loving hacker from adding his favorite repositories and apt-getting what was needed, or freely developing software for the thing without having to beg for a dev kit and agree to capitulate to giving censor rights to a major corporation. From what we see regarding the N9, this was certainly on target - it doesn't surprise me that people are going out of their way to find one despite Nokia's attempt to hide them in the mud, so to speak. Now, imagine if this happened a few years back as it would have done so without MS meddling in Nokia's affairs, and I'm guessing that MeeGo (7 or 8) by now could easily be one of the major, well known mobile operating systems, where it is just second nature to develop your app for iOS, Android, and MeeGo. I have to admit that the lack of "normal" apps affected me with the N900 - when MMORPGs made their mobile authenticators, they didn't consider porting them to Maemo platforms. However, it was looking that MeeGo would have no problem running Android applications, especially at the beginning of its presence before it was popular enough for big-name application developers to add MeeGo to its list of must-launch-upon mobile OSes. Especially considering that there were already working variants of Alien Dalvik that allowed you to run Android apps on a Maemo/MeeGo phone as close to native as they run on their their own, MeeGo could likely be one of the dominant OSes around.

    Microsoft's cash flow gives them the ability to basically throw money at a sinking ship if it is in their best interest to do so to sink other, more vulnerable ships. They can afford to subsidize every Windows Phone sold if it means killing MeeGo and putting the world's biggest phone manufacturer under their thumb while, (as they may have planned) trying to get Windows Phones to market cheaper than everyone else. Unfortunately, people just aren't excited enough about Windows Phone which seems to be "meh" in every way so they're not taking the bait. While I'll never buy a Windows Phone just because of what they did to MeeGo, they're finding that even Joe Mobile doesn't want their product. I'm guessing that in time, if they can't manage to bring out some killer new feature with Win8 and WinPhone8 on the magnitude of "Your Phone is now an Xbox360 ! Install to disk on your home console and its uploaded to the Live Cloud, so you can play on your Windows Phone 8! Supports built in connections for 4 X360 controllers and voice with or without headset! Phone camera is Kinect-compliant on every WinPhone 8! Want to play on the big screen? Just use the included HDMI cable! All for free with your XLive subscription!", they'll probably fade into the ether as Windows Mobile did; likely even faster because they don't have an entrenched PDA and business phone community.

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