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Nokia Dethroned As Top Phone Maker By Samsung 134

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the elop-is-a-business-wizard dept.
SternisheFan writes "PCMag's Angela Moscaritolo writes: 'Samsung is expected to account for 29 percent of worldwide cell phone shipments, up from 21 percent in 2011, when it nabbed the No. 2 spot in the market. Meanwhile, Nokia's share this year will drop from 30 percent to 24 percent this year. Nokia had held the top spot in the mobile phone market since 1998.'" Not just highest sales of smartphones, but of all cell phones.
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Nokia Dethroned As Top Phone Maker By Samsung

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  • by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:07AM (#42336039) Homepage

    When they moved from generally useful "multi-tool" phones to relatively functionless whorephone candybars, courtesy of Microsoft-owned executive Mr. "Burning Platform" Elop, market share took a dive. In addition, salespeople couldn't even figure out how to sell them.

    That, and it didn't help that their "sold only in a Third World hellhole" N9 phone, which ran Meego Harmattan, has a better sales record than the Windows Phones that were "meant for the First World markets".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When they moved from generally useful "multi-tool" phones to relatively functionless whorephone candybars, courtesy of Microsoft-owned executive Mr. "Burning Platform" Elop, market share took a dive. In addition, salespeople couldn't even figure out how to sell them.

      That, and it didn't help that their "sold only in a Third World hellhole" N9 phone, which ran Meego Harmattan, has a better sales record than the Windows Phones that were "meant for the First World markets".

      Nokia was in free fall with accellerating market share loss, and lost 70% of their market value (!) in the 3 years leading up to hiring Elop and betting on Windows Phone. This is why the former CEO had to go. Elop and Windows Phone certainly hasn't changed the trend to the better for Nokia yet, but to put the blame for Nokias troubles squarely on Elop/WP and disregard the catastrophic trend of previous 3 years, is either uninformed or disingenious. Would betting on Android instead have done them any better?

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by tuppe666 (904118)

        Nokia was in free fall with accellerating market share loss, and lost 70% of their market value (!) in the 3 years leading up to hiring Elop and betting on Windows Phone.

        To put that is some kind of perspective Apple have just lost 25% of their market cap in 3 months; Elop taking a further 60% of Nokia's market cap in 2 years. I'm not really sure what your point is, but nothing changes from what he says, all that your pointing out is how much worse things went after Elop adopting a Microsoft strategy in absence of everything else.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by marcello_dl (667940)

        Nobody said that Nokia was in perfect shape before hiring Elop.
        I'd say that hiring him and not dumping it pronto after an ex microsoft employee proposes a microsoft centric strategy defines perfectly the sorry state of Nokia.

        They had the first real smartphones (after owning some android 4 and trying mtp and ftp to shuttle files around, I'd say the only real smartphones) and they were the best hardware manufacturers. If they screwed up there are two possible reasons:

        1- their board was made of fools (I never

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:48AM (#42336891)

        Market share:
        2007: 39%
        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/18/business/worldbusiness/18iht-nokia.4.7948524.html?_r=0
        2010: 36.6%
        http://www.sramanamitra.com/2010/05/05/nokias-market-share-declines/

        Market value:
        $115B in 2007, PE 11
        $50B in 2010, PE 12.95
        $15B now, PE - (loss)

        http://www.stock-analysis-on.net/NYSE/Company/Nokia-Corp/Valuation/Ratios#PE

        Zune.
        When he made that decision, the flaws in the thinking were pointed out then, it's not like he made a *good* decision at the time and somehow it turned out bad, Microsoft already had Windows phones out in the market, it already couldn't sell them. It had failed badly with Zune. It already had a search engine that wasn't winning against Google, it already had a maps system not winning against Google's maps.

        I mean, the guy made a bad decision, he was told it was bad, it was demonstrably bad, it turned out bad, and people defend his bad decision based on some imagined *badder* reality.

      • by peppepz (1311345)

        HTC did, and have had a similar nosedive as Nokia

        Actually, HTC bet on Windows Phone too, so your example works in both ways.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That is what happens when you don't have a driving vision behind your company...it, and the products it sells, stagnate. Elop's "vision" for Nokia was to become Microsoft's manufacturing puppet. Well, they succeeded in that. Unfortunately, Windows Phone SUCKS, and nothing Elop sells right now is competitive in the market. THAT is why they are failing. "Plan B"? Not allowed, sorry. No Symbian, no Android, no other alternative. Put all your eggs in one basket, and this is what happens, people! Even S

      • by penix1 (722987)

        Here is the part that gets me:

        Samsung is expected to

        "expected to" != "has done". Call me when they have succeeded.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Nokia had *increasing sales* of their Symbian smartphones and their smartphone unit was *profitable*. Yes, they were loosing market share because others entered the smartphone market but and this was not perfect, but it only turned into a catastropic trend because of this moronic windows phone descision. And most people new it at that time and said so. Let me say it more clearly for those who still don't get it: If you are profitable, you don't have to fire people, you don't have to close down factories, yo

      • Elop has most definitely changed the trend.
    • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:22AM (#42336155)
      And whenever I post on this subject I get modded to -1 by Nokia fanboys. But I have quite good karma, and I do have this thing about living in the real world. So.

      Look at RIM. They are trying to re-invent themselves with a QNX-based platform. In order to deliver that, they have basically abandoned their old platform to existing products and a new low-end phone to try to retain market share in places like Nigeria. Development on existing products has stopped. They know that they can only afford to do one OS and they must do it well.

      We've already read about the internal fighting in Nokia around Maemo/Meego. It is fairly obvious that the investment wasn't there to take it forward as a new platform to compete with the iOS/Android bandwagons. It falls into the category of things with good foundations that didn't get a chance and lost momentum, like webOS. (I have an N900, I have a Pre 2 and a Pre 3, I do know what I am writing about).

      Elop was right about the burning platform and he was between the Scylla of Android and the Charybdis of Microsoft. Regardless of where he came from, he could see that Taiwan and Korea were already ramping up Android and Nokia would be a me-too. Microsoft offered investment and a different offering. Basically, he knew that he would be screwed by Microsoft but he also knew he would be screwed by Samsung, HTC, LG, and even Asus. So what do you do in the circumstances? You cannot do both because having too many offerings - a long term Nokia failing - leads to excessive support and R&D costs, along with insufficient volume for a given product

      Elop isn't a saint, he is a CEO. I am pretty sure that in the same situation anyone who understands the industry, and business in general, would have made a similar decision. It might be of the order of "do I abandon ship in this shark infested water or do I keep pumping and hope I get to Tahiti", but it still looks like a rational decision.

      • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:46AM (#42336341)

        And whenever I post on this subject I get modded to -1 by Nokia fanboys.

        Nokia fanboys? +1 funny!

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Kupfernigk (1190345)
          No, they exist. They believe that Maemo/Meego was the One True way, and that it would have been successful but for Elop. In my view they don't really understand that ultimately it was under-resourced and too late. The N900, for instance, had a resistive touchscreen and a micro-USB that had a tendency to break off. I recommended them to my company and got the resulting flak, and I won't forget it. The N9 sold reasonably well but I suspect that Nokia could not have supported it alongside ramping up Windows Ph
          • I won't say MeeGo was "The One True Way", but it sure as hell was a very good platform to build stuff upon. Improved hardware and a few bug fixes would make it a killer platform, except for one tiny thing: its "ecosystem" as the buzzword went... That's the major obstacle in MeeGo's way, as it was back then.
            The point could be made that it was just as far along as Windows Phone (if not ahead), but Windows Phone would surely attract more developers than MeeGo, and Microsoft offered a truckload of cash (or howe

          • by dbIII (701233)

            had a resistive touchscreen

            It works well, the only downside is no multi-touch.

            a micro-USB that had a tendency to break off

            That was fixed long before my N900 was made, and it's a bit odd to still be whining about something from the initial version some YEARS after the final version was made.

          • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:20AM (#42345613) Homepage

            The N9 sold reasonably well but I suspect that Nokia could not have supported it alongside ramping up Windows Phone

            That just proves the Meego supporters' point. The problem was not the OS, it was the lack of commitment.

            and by then Android was a bandwagon that everyone was getting on to.

            But the other nice thing about Meego is that, being a Linux platform, you can run Android apps with a compatibility layer [openmobileww.com], so Nokia could have had a different platform while letting developers sell adapted Android apps on its store.

          • To address your USB port issue:

            If you still have a working USB port, reinforce it.
            If you still have the pads on it, the thing can be resoldered.
            If you don't have the regular pads on it, there is the option of rewiring through the debug pads.

            Worst case, there are more than a few of them around. Despite that, the N900 (and the Nokia smartphones in general) got one critical thing right - handling the request for a network connection. On Maemo, you get a box prompting you on what connection you want to use ri

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:48AM (#42336361)

        They know that they can only afford to do one OS and they must do it well.

        Lol. That must be why Samsung is doing so badly with at least 4 (in order of sales and popularity, Android, Bada, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8). Besides, your comparison is flawed. RIM didn't abandon all R&D to become dependent on a untrustworthy competitor, like Nokia did. RIM is pursuing an alternative, and which might work or not, but which doesn't put them in the dependence of a convicted monopolist.

        Regardless of where he came from, he could see that Taiwan and Korea were already ramping up Android and Nokia would be a me-too.

        So he picked the worst solution, even inferior than being a me-too, being a me-too with a OS nobody wants and tied to a partner/competitor that had already betrayed several other mobile companies (Sendo, anyone?).

        Elop isn't a saint, he is a CEO. I am pretty sure that in the same situation anyone who understands the industry, and business in general, would have made a similar decision. It might be of the order of "do I abandon ship in this shark infested water or do I keep pumping and hope I get to Tahiti", but it still looks like a rational decision.

        Sorry, but no. The only way that a decision of destroying completely a major platform (symbian), abandoning all R&D, choosing a platform that nobody wanted and that isn't customisable and prohibits most differentiating factors, could look like a rational decision was if Elop wasn't thinking in what was best for Nokia, but instead was acting in what was best for Microsoft and for the flop Windows Phone.

        If we were talking of a rational CEO, not only would he have abstained from the burning platform memo, where he destroyed symbian without having yet an alternative, but he would also have refused to put all eggs in one basket; or at least he would have prepared a plan B for when (as it happened) Microsoft would "osborne" his platform and/or start competing directly and/or started favouring a competitor. Two of these three situations have already happened. Since the only actions taken by Elop are more of the same, either he is not rational or he is not working with Nokia's best interests in mind.

        • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @04:25PM (#42339885) Homepage

          Thing is some people do want a Windows Phone.

          So you fail.

          Sure it's not 50% of the market and Nokia don't sell only Windows Phones yet but anyway.

          I'd also like a source for the claim someone made about how N9 sold better than the Windows Phones. Care to share some sales figures for N9 vs Lumia 920 for the first weeks?

        • You sound like you've never used Symbian. It never was really good, it just worked and you got used to its quirks. Then came Symbian 5th edition, which definitely competes with Windows ME for the worst OS ever - the phones weren't absolutely cutting-edge, but they got the job done. The software was absolutely atrocious and they let everyone who bought the original N97 behind, not even updating it to the 3.x software of the N97 mini. All while updating the 5800 XpressMusic on a fairly regular basis... 8 upda

      • ME too (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:06AM (#42336493)

        he could see that Taiwan and Korea were already ramping up Android and Nokia would be a me-too....You cannot do both because having too many offerings - a long term Nokia failing - leads to excessive support and R&D costs

        Skipping the waffle. You seem to not have been aware that HTC; Samsung; LG; Dell; ZTE; Alcatel; Fujitsu Toshiba; Acer all have offered windows phones. Its not tied to any one product....those look like Taiwan and Korea manufactures to me. Although the list is getting smaller [HTC looks likely to drop Windows phone] simply because of its massive failure....Oh and it has closed all its factories, and has moved production from Finland to China.

        Samsung [Then a quarter the size of Nokia...now Nokia 10th largest smartphone manufacture] Bada; Tizen; Windows ;) and Android, I belive they are kissing ass and taking no prisoners right now.

        Looks like an insane decision then however you try and spin it. The fact that is has proved to be stupid just shows how irrational it really was.

      • by goruka (1721094)

        anyone who understands the industry, and business in general, would have made a similar decision.

        I have only two simple points against your argument:

        1) When Nokia was king, they used Symbian like everyone else. They were known for the quality of their devices, not for the software it ran. When the rest of the industry was dumping Symbian for Android, and given Maemo/Meego was not ready yet, the natural choice would have been to go along.
        2) At this point, it is clear that, they are pumping out water and navigating towards Antarctica, so the strangeness of their situation is that their boat is freezi

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think people (mostly US consumers) miss a few very important points about Nokia. I'll put my hand up as a Nokia fanboy only because I have the 900 and threw the iPhone and HTC phones in the bin and I'm very happy with the Lumia, I can only imagine how much better the 920 is.

        Aside from my personal likes about the phone if you look at the impacts it has made in Europe further it's reliance on Microsoft has and will pose to increase NOK (which has jumped from 1.70 to 4.20 in the past few months) and I'll tel

      • Great Hardware (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PCK (4192) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:26AM (#42336703) Homepage

        Just saying that going with Android makes Nokia another "me too" company totally discounts that Noka phones are always beautifully designed and very robust.

        The last two nokia phones I've had have terrible software problems but I could not fault the hardware. Where as my experience with HTC phones one had a joystick that broke and my current HD2 has had the USB power connector fail on me.

        If they had gone with Android they could have easily competed with Samsung and had a good percentage of the Android smartphone market. The problem is Elop somehow managed to convince people that with Windows Mobile he could restore past glory and be like Apple. Sure they now have nearly have 100% of the Windows Mobile market, but whats that at the moment? 1% of smartphones?

        The thing is Elop does n't understand the industry, he came from Microsoft. He's a Microsoft man, the question at the time should have been something like this "We have two available OS options, one has a proven record of being something customers want and the other has failed pretty badly up to now." . Which one would you go with? Sure you will have to compete with Samsung with the same OS, but they're now competing with Apple, Samsung and everyone else with a different OS and failing badly.

        Regardless, it's a moot point now but I don't recall anyone at the time saying this was going to end well for Nokia.

        • by tbird81 (946205)

          The last two nokia phones I've had have terrible software problems but I could not fault the hardware.

          Same actually. I got a C5-00 because I still want a phone with a good old-fashioned form factor, but still have GPS, internet etc.

          Problem is, that after about two months of use I am unable to send text messages, because "the memory is full". Despite having a near-empty 1GB card attached, and trying my hardest to get it to store messages here. But even deleting all the saved messages only fixes this for a day, until you've got nothing left to delete.

          It also seems quite sluggish. I'd rather have a simpler loo

      • by Echemus (49002)

        One of the key factors that tipped the decision to go with Microsoft is that is was popular with the Network Operators. They, like Nokia, feared the increasing influence Google was having over the mobile phone market. Android was becoming a household name. They were excited by the idea that Nokia would bring out Windows Phone devices. I suspect the deals to supply the North American Operators would have been impossible if Nokia had gone with Android.

        I am sure Nokia probably could have made Meego work, espec

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:45AM (#42336869)

        Dead. Dead dead dead dead dead.
        Nokia is dead. They're just still staggering around from a fatal wound, much like RIM. It's only a matter of time for both. They're both pushing failed platforms.

        RIM died by the sin of arrogance and by MBA. (My personal theory is that RIM execs fancied themselves infallible business gods, fired all the useless 'cost center' developers and replaced them with boot licking middle managers. Yeah, this is inflammatory but ask any ex-rim employee and they'll probably say I'm actually understating the problem)

        Nokia had a chance to remake themselves. It was obvious that they had to ditch their old development practices that led so many dead end OSs. There are a whole lot of very detailed write-ups about the various things that went on in Nokia. Long story short: Death by feature creep, death by one piece of software doing too many things for too many people.

        Anyway, just as Nokia could have been poised for their greatest victory.. Microsoft happened. They could have been the BEST andriod phone maker. They could have put out devices that made apple, samsung, and HTC look like flimsy unusable garbage. But no. They bought the lies. The hired that hatchet man. Their flagship device was obsolete before it was released, and nobody wants windows phones anyway.

        RIP Nokia.
        RI- No, fuck you RIM. Burn in hell. Burn in hell and may a tapdance stage be erected on your grave. (Former BES admin here)

      • by ultranova (717540)

        And whenever I post on this subject I get modded to -1 by Nokia fanboys.

        Does Nokia have any fans left? Sure, Microsoft fanboys might like Nokia by proxy, but is there anyone who's specifically interested in Nokia phones? Is Nokia a brand anymore, rather than just another Microsoft reseller?

        There's ups and downs for any company, but Elop has ensured that Nokia will never again be anything to choose on anything but price, thus it won't recover.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        And all of that would be very insightful if Nokia's market share hadn't still been rising at the point when Elop told Nokia to grab its ankles and grit its teeth.

        Elop surrendered from a position of strength. To continue the Greek analogy, he had an army with which to hold Thermopylae, and yet still chose to throw down his spear be a minion of Xerxes.

    • That, and it didn't help that their "sold only in a Third World hellhole" N9 phone, which ran Meego Harmattan, has a better sales record than the Windows Phones that were "meant for the First World markets".

      Danemark is a "third world helhole"?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe it was Nokia making stupid decisions, not a Microsoft conspiracy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The first post in a thread is about Microsoft? Clearly the post must be a paid shill and this site is overrun with astroturfers.

      Oh wait... you mean it's a CRITICAL post about MS? Well then clearly it's a legit post full of insight!

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Oh Please! What did you want him to do? jump into the bloodbath that is Android and get slaughtered? Look at the numbers, Samsung and HTC are the only ones making squat in that market, the rest are bleeding to death and its obvious its gonna be a race to the bottom when it comes to Android, hell you have Walmart offering $50 Android smartphones with their prepaid plans so there is just no money there.

      Basically they should have brought in somebody to clean house 5 years earlier, by the time the board got off

      • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @12:46PM (#42337389)

        Samsung and HTC are the only ones making squat in that market,

        Actually in context of this article, LG and Acer have dropped windows and are now profitable. HTC looks to becoming a Windows only vendor. Sony [Larger than HTC] gains in Android...are offsetting its Windows PC losses. LG is profitable again after dropping Windows. Lenovo; Huawei [also Larger than HTC], ZTE and Lenovo have made massive gains in marketshare....Nokia is now tenth behind all these manufactures. All this in a GROWING market :)

        They make massive profits...not as high a margin as Apple, but then that recently lost 25% of its market cap simply because nobody believes that could continue.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          But if you honestly can't see what is gonna happen then you are blind, its X86 all over again. What happened to cause the race to the bottom? They were ALL running the same OS so nobody gave a shit about brand, it all came down to price. next thing you know each company is trying to undercut the other guy and the bottom plunged right out of the market. Know how much Dell or HP makes on their entry level systems now? $8, that's it, just $8 lousy bucks.

          Look up the reports from the Hong Kong expo and see for

          • What happened to cause the race to the bottom?

            Race to the bottom is simply good old capitalism "compete on price". Its used here to justify Apples excessive product mark-ups [higher than every other company]. Which has worked out very "profitable" in markets where it had first mover advantage, elsewhere no so much, but the market is maturing, and Apple cannot continue gouging its customers. This is just normal product cycle behaviour.

            The reality is though price is just one way of competing, people rarely buy cheapest, In this market we can see the more

  • Nokia's share will continue to drop for a while longer. Probably until they rethink their strategy and start producing Android phones. Windows Phone is a dead end.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Drop? Nokia shares are more than $4 from $1.63 in July.

      Yes, making Android phones worked for HTC. LOL

      • Yeah...don't forget to mention that they were at $6 in January.
      • Drop? Nokia shares are more than $4 from $1.63 in July.

        ...and Down from $9 look forward to your dead cat bounce RIM is having one too :). Ironically HTC which rose to prominence on the back of Android is dumping Microsoft, because unlike Android will not support its high-definition phones.

      • by AvitarX (172628)

        Share as in Market Share, not shares as in Share Price.

  • I still mostly like Nokia hardware, except for some minor quibbles. Unfortunately it got itself hitched to one platform. The current CEO should get voted out. http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/nokias-elop-hints-more-lumia-windows-phones-verizon/2012-12-18 [fiercewireless.com]
    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      I still mostly like Nokia hardware, except for some minor quibbles. Unfortunately it got itself hitched to one platform. The current CEO should get voted out.

      http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/nokias-elop-hints-more-lumia-windows-phones-verizon/2012-12-18 [fiercewireless.com]

      Its half off-topic, but I was watching cnbc "Ballmer another Mcicrosoft Fail" http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000136311&play=1 [cnbc.com] and interesting right at the end it Ed Maguire says "ther have been discussions of stephen elop as a successor. ". I spat me coffee.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        I still mostly like Nokia hardware, except for some minor quibbles. Unfortunately it got itself hitched to one platform. The current CEO should get voted out.

        http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/nokias-elop-hints-more-lumia-windows-phones-verizon/2012-12-18 [fiercewireless.com]

        Its half off-topic, but I was watching cnbc "Ballmer another Mcicrosoft Fail" http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000136311&play=1 [cnbc.com] and interesting right at the end it Ed Maguire says "ther have been discussions of stephen elop as a successor. ". I spat me coffee.

        When that happens, then maybe it really will be the year of the linux on the desktop!

        • by tuppe666 (904118)

          When that happens, then maybe it really will be the year of the linux on the desktop!

          Don't you mean Windows on the Tablet/Phone.

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            When that happens, then maybe it really will be the year of the linux on the desktop!

            Don't you mean Windows on the Tablet/Phone.

            No, Elop has already screwed up the phone for Nokia, if he were in charge of Microsoft, he would just screw up the remaining strongholds, dwindling as they are. It is pretty obvious that Microsoft is betting on tablets, but in the process of releasing Windows 8, they appear to be abandoning desktops. That leaves an opportunity for somebody else in the desktop market. Unless Apple is going to release OS X for non Apple hardware, it might as well be linux. Granted, the future desktop market will be smaller

            • Ignoring the fact that Gates is very much still a force in Microsoft. I have never seen "Linux on The desktop" used by anyone who uses Linux on the Desktop, because the "implied massive market share" it needs was/is never a problem, because of its open source nature.

              As for it being another opportunity for Linux to grab market share. Linux continues to grow market share albeit slowly, and this was set to continue anyway, but it already has Steam; Diminishing importance of Office on its side.

              but as I said my

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:11AM (#42336061)

    Really it's a changing demographic that Nokia hasn't kept up with. They sold lots of 'dumbphones' and 'feature phones' in an era now, where consumers want smartphones. They were late to the game, and as a result their behemoth status doesn't help them.

    That said, I have a Lumia 920 and really, really like it. OS aside, it takes amazingly good pictures and I can beat a person to death with it and not have to worry about whether it works afterwards. Those also, were my requirements for buying a phone... good camera and durable. I have kids, kind of a necessity.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can pretend Symbian phones are 'feature' phones, they aren't, they're full smartphones. They had the top slot for smart phones until Elop took over. Just not in the US. He was supposed to deliver their US market, instead he took away their world market, sacked the OS side, signed up to Microsoft for a short term wad of cash, destroyed Symbian by announcing its future planned death.

      Yet they could just make Android phones and its a booming market they're familiar with. So why don't they? Elop won't let th

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        "You can pretend Symbian phones are 'feature' phones, they aren't, they're full smartphones"

        A smartphone these days means touchscreen , not just the ability to install apps. You've been able to do that on feature phones for at least 10 years.

        • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:29AM (#42336737)

          "You can pretend Symbian phones are 'feature' phones, they aren't, they're full smartphones"

          A smartphone these days means touchscreen , not just the ability to install apps. You've been able to do that on feature phones for at least 10 years.

          You are ware that Symbian not only was full touch-screen, but they outsold iPhones 2-1 before Elop's Memo. A quick look http://smartphones.techcrunch.com/d/z/Symbian [techcrunch.com]

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Symbiam was a piece of $hit of OS. Absolutely the worse OS every coming out in the last 20 years.

            "In house" almost C++, fscked up API, stitched together (shell scripts, calling batch files, calling Perl scripts, calling Java, calling patched up cygwin GCC toolchain) development environment, piss poor documentation.

            That, and the fugliness of the smart phones Nokia spitted out in the last 12 years. El Cheapo plastic, UGLY design, coupled with the fscked up OS described above.

            They deserve to die, and so is Nok

            • by tuppe666 (904118)

              Symbiam was a piece of $hit of OS. Absolutely the worse OS every coming out in the last 20 years.

              ...and Ironically still outsells Windows Phone 2.3% to 2%

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by plover (150551)

        Bull. The "burning memo" was an honest assessment of Nokia's relevance: they weren't, and they knew it. A loyal but small group of people liked Symbian OS, but no one else cared about it, and Nokia knew they had *nothing* of lasting value going in the smartphone market. They knew exactly what their cash cow was: it was the ordinary mobile phones that they sold by the millions. The trick is that when people are buying non-smartphones, they're making the decision based on price above all else. Those cus

        • by PRMan (959735) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:57PM (#42338599)

          A Chinese foundry started making cheap chipsets available that enabled any factory in Shenzhen to crank out an adequate phone for about $20 per copy. Since Nokia's phones cost them about $50 to make, it was obvious to them that their cash cow was going to stop producing. Doesn't matter who the CEO is, Nokia was facing a long steep slope downward.

          Or they could have started making high-end Android phones. They are a well-known brand name. Few people would have batted an eye buying a Nokia for $199 when HTC was $99 or Nokia for $99 when HTC was free with contract. Nokia=indestructible quality in most people's eyes and if they just hired the right design studio, they were all set to compete with Samsung and Apple on the big stage, leaving the middle and lower tiers to the LGs and HTCs of the world.

          • by plover (150551)

            Sure, they could have thrown in with Android. They still could, if they can kick Microsoft to the curb. They could probably even retask the people who were working on Symbian to improve on Android instead.

            But just maybe they want to be the top-tier market differentiator like they were in the pre-smartphone era, and they may see the opportunity to be top dog in the Windows market as better than being an also-ran in the Android market. It's not like the Windows phone OS is completely horseshit like the old

      • by dbIII (701233)
        It's probably time for the government over there to call in the police and investigate the board for taking bribes or having heads full of Columbian marching powder.
      • by Ost99 (101831)

        There's lots of definitions of "smartphone"
        I know of none that includes Symbian.
        By the pre-iPhone definition, iPhones didn't become smartphones until iOS 4.

        The pre-iPhone requirements where roughly:
        * Full feature email client
        * Browser
        * Multitasking
        * Modem capabilities
        * Applications

        After iPhone they became:
        * Full feature email client
        * Browser
        * Touchscreen
        * Applications
        * Responsive

    • They sold lots of 'dumbphones' and 'feature phones

      Actually prior to Elops memo Nokia was making the transition tio smartphones faster than its competitors. In smartphones it was twice the size of Apple...and four times the size of Samsung...and GROWING. Nokia had problems this was not one of then, and its one ironically Android seems the best tool at solving.

    • You can basically beat a person to death with any phone if you are capable to do it with an N920. You won't have to worry about the phone working afterwards. In case you weren't informed, the phone became a murder weapon and it will be confiscated regardless of it's functionality. I would suggest you use a less expensive piece of electronics to bludgeon someone senseless, it's less of a financial loss that way.
    • That said, I have a Lumia 920 and really, really like it. OS aside, it takes amazingly good pictures and I can beat a person to death with it and not have to worry about whether it works afterwards. Those also, were my requirements for buying a phone... good camera and durable. I have kids, kind of a necessity.

      Note to self: when I have kids, it will become necessary to buy electronic devices durable enough to beat them to death. :)

  • ...is it's a slow death spiral of constant consumer disappointments and unmet expectations... with no obvious competitor to steal from.

    • by bogaboga (793279)

      The bigger problem in my opinion is to have to face the fact that any movement has to be in one direction - DOWN!! And that's when people notice.

      • by pep939 (1957678)
        Just wait for war to break out in Korea, Samsung will be facing down pretty quickly!
    • ...is it's a slow death spiral of constant consumer disappointments and unmet expectations... with no obvious competitor to steal from.

      I'm not really seeing that from Google right now, who are rather bullish right now. HAve they announced they are selling 1.5 million a day yet ?? Or Samsung who are too busy printing money :)

  • Sammy Mobes is on the move. Since I read that phrase on /. I can't get it out of my head.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#42336261)

    They became #1 and got complacent and lazy with only half hearted efforts to push and market anything that wasn't a feature phone and with half finished OS's running on them. They could have been Samsung if they weren't too busy counting their money when Apple brought out the iPhone and had pulled their fingers out and produced a serious competitor.

    • If they weren't too busy counting their money when Apple brought out the iPhone and had pulled their fingers out and produced a serious competitor.

      They had a strategy it was Meamo [and QT] and it was ready years before the iPhone, but they abandoned it for Microsoft which worked out really really badly.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:38AM (#42336811)

      They became #1 and got complacent and lazy with only half hearted efforts to push and market anything that wasn't a feature phone and with half finished OS's running on them. They could have been Samsung if they weren't too busy counting their money when Apple brought out the iPhone and had pulled their fingers out and produced a serious competitor.

      Actually, that is called the "fat cat" syndrome and many leaders in their field go through it, particularly tech fields. When companies worry more about protecting their existing profits and product lines instead of innovating, others can come up and knock them off their perch. Happened with IBM, Microsoft, now it looks like Apple might be going through it, plus a myriad of other companies. It isn't just for tech companies, either. The US auto industry went through it in the 60s and 70s and now play second fiddle to Honda and Toyota.

      To remain a leader in a field, one has to continually lead. To use an american football analogy, once you sit back in a prevent defense, you might protect against the big play, but you enable your competitors to chip away at you until they no longer need a big play, just a short play.

      Fat cats either have to go on a diet and become lean, like IBM did, or they simply starve and die, like most others do.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by swb (14022)

        What innovators are knocking Apple off their perch?

        Based on iPhone 5 sales and iPad Mini sales, Apple doesn't seem to be hurting per se.

        I think they've made some mistakes recently -- Maps isn't what it should have been (but is less bad than the media hype) and I think the Lightning connector introduction was handled very poorly (3 months after iPhone 5 was released, there are very few accessories available that use it).

        Philosophically, I disagree with some of the constraints placed on it (no removable stor

        • by Anonymous Coward

          "Lead" involves more than just sales.

          Microsoft still makes a lot of sales.

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          What innovators are knocking Apple off their perch?

          Based on iPhone 5 sales and iPad Mini sales, Apple doesn't seem to be hurting per se.

          I think they've made some mistakes recently -- Maps isn't what it should have been (but is less bad than the media hype) and I think the Lightning connector introduction was handled very poorly (3 months after iPhone 5 was released, there are very few accessories available that use it).

          Philosophically, I disagree with some of the constraints placed on it (no removable storage, no bluetooth mouse support) and design goals (ie, thinner and lighter seems valued over battery capacity).

          But it's hard to call Samsung an "innovator" knocking Apple off their perch -- the OS they get from Google, and their hardware isn't obviously superior to Apple's (without getting into an argument as to whether phone screen size is a technology or a design). They mainly are a big company, capable of integrating top-line technologies vs. coming up with any kind of innovation.

          The iPhone 5 is not innovative. It has some different features, but nobody is going to claim that the iPhone 5 is going to change how people do anything. Same thing for the iPad mini. It is just a small iPad to compete against Android which has/had a lock on the 7" tablet market. The iPod was innovative. The iPhone was innovative. The iPad was innovate. But unless Apple keeps innovating, they will just be another tech company among a number of tech companies.

          Nobody said Samsung was being innovative, e

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @10:37AM (#42336283)

    Latest news from Nokia is that they are in talks to make Windows RT Tablets, the flailing Windows tablet. I think it's pretty clear who Elop represents at this point and it ain't Nokia.

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/19/nokia-windows-rt-tablet-hints/

    So they could, right away built a competitive Android phone, just like every little player is doing, only they can make decent hardware still (well until Elop sells that side to Microsoft for a handful of magic beans, which I think is a given at this point), and Nokia still has its marketing. So they could still turn this Elop mess around.

    But not with Elop in charge.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Yeah, Nokia does (did?) make quality hardware. I only wish they would create an android Handset. I owned a small Nokia phone and that thing had awesome GPS reception. I've had a few other phones and the GPS on all others but the Nokia was completely worthless. Plus the Nokia had their own maps built in with freely downloadable maps. I mean, Google maps is nice and all, but I don't want to be constantly downloading stuff just to view the maps. Nokia could have been a relevant player if they had abandoned
  • by sproketboy (608031) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:17AM (#42336603)

    With all the talk about WinRT, Android and IOS - worth noting....

  • Well that took a lot longer than expected.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @12:30PM (#42337267)

    Being #1 isn't some birthright bestowed upon you by God. Once you start taking it for granted and your customers for granted, it's over.

  • In Related News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @01:19PM (#42337673) Homepage Journal

    Nokia has been the #1 phone manufacturer. Huh. I must get too much of my news from Slashdot.

    (my first phone was a TDMA Nokia and it was a beast - practically unbreakable with good speakers and microphone; how I miss the quality of those days).

  • by porjo (964384)
    I recently had some Finnish people staying with me and when I mentioned Nokia to them they look rather depressed. Nokia was at one time a real source of pride for the nation and now....well it's just a bit embarrassing. I cheered them up by talking about Linus Torvalds instead :)
  • In 5th or 6th place, just ahead of 'all other'.

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