Ex-Nokia exec Tomi Ahonen explains the Microsoft Nokia mess

Douglas Soltys

August 14, 2014 4:20pm

Three weeks after Microsoft announced it would be laying off 18,000 employees, the story still remains as one of the biggest of 2014. But a spotty quarterly report and a round of podcast debate still doesn’t fully explain why Microsoft would lay off 70% of a company it paid $7.2 billion for less than a year ago.

We asked Tomi Ahonen, a renowned mobile analyst, and former Nokia executive, to unpack the chain of events leading up to the layoffs, as well as his projections for Microsoft’s mobile hopes for the rest of 2014.

First, this was obviously done under Ballmer. Nadella has re-examined all of MIcrosoft’s current business and strategy, and has clearly different views from what Ballmer had thought. This is one area where Nadella’s view of the Nokia handset business in 2014, seen from the inside as the new owner, with all its warts, is different from what Ballmer thought back in late 2012 and early 2013 when the first discussions started about the purchase and Nokia was the desirable object Ballmer and Bill Gates had been wanting to have for a decade…

Some more detail: when Microsoft and Nokia first negotiated about the sale of the handset unit to Microsoft in early Spring 2013, the offer Microsoft made was so undesirable to Nokia, Nokia walked away from the negotiations. Then Nokia rushed the X Series on Android project onto prototype stage (late Spring 2013) by probably altering a few preliminary Asha and Lumia projects onto the Android OS, and when those were leaked, Microsoft rushed in with an improved offer so that the two parties could negotiate a deal.

Now the reality hits. Nadella took over, and saw what a wreck Elop brought with him as the remains of Nokia.

Microsoft’s desire and its ‘deep’ understanding of Nokia was based on Nokia’s performance in 2012. Microsoft would think that whatever lesser performance Elop had at Nokia in 2013 was because of resources diverted to the urgent secret project for Project X on Android. So while Nokia reported declining sales and market share all through 2013, Microsoft – i.e., Ballmer – could rather easily look past that, thinking that what he was buying was the Nokia that existed in 2012, and if Microsoft took ownership of the handset business and discarded the nonsense, with full Microsoft marketing muscle etc., they could soon resurrect the troubled handset business back to where it was around 2012. Note that in 2012 Nokia’s smartphone business was the 3rd largest in the world behind Samsung and Apple, and had 5% market share for the year. Plus Nokia’s dumbphone business was still huge, out of all phones sold (dumb and smart) Nokia had close to 20% market share globally.

Stephen Elop Satya Nadella Microsoft

Now the reality hits. When Nadella took over, and saw what a wreck Elop brought with him as the remains of Nokia, and the horrid profitability (i.e., huge losses) that the handset unit was generating – even with Microsoft’s massive marketing support of one quarter million dollars per quarter – he understood that this was damaged beyond repair. Then, while owning Nokia handsets unit for 3 weeks, Nadella saw the first actual performance data and that the basic phones – dumbphones, feature phones, Asha touch-screen internet phones, and X Series Android phones – combined, saw a collapse of 29% of their unit sales in just three weeks. No doubt the CEO called around to a few of Nokia’s large handset partner-distributors like China Mobile, Vodafone, Telefonica, etc., and discovered that they didn’t like Microsoft and would continue to damage any handset business by Microsoft.

The damage to the Lumia, i.e. Windows Phone, unit had been completed, and the last 2% or 3% of the market that Nokia held at the end of 2013 is the level that Microsoft can do without carrier support. But on the dumbphones side, Nokia held 15% market share last year, when Nokia still was independent of Microsoft and those dumbphones didn’t use Windows software. Now that they are no longer Nokia phones, they are Microsoft phones, the carriers have imposed the same choke-hold on the dumbphone business as they did to the Nokia smartphone business. The carriers can drive that too into approximately the 3% range, and for Microsoft there is no use continuing the dumbphones business as that does not in any way support the Windows environment.

The reason Microsoft had to buy all of Nokia’s handset business, not just the smarthpone business, was that Asha had outsold Lumia for the duration that the two product lines co-existed at Nokia. Yes the featurephone business of ‘real Nokia’ outsold the ‘advanced’ Windows Phone based Lumia. So, if Microsoft had only bought the Lumia smartphones business, it would then have had to fight head-on against Nokia’s own Asha line that Elop had been trying to call ‘smartphones’ for several quarters. Microsoft could not allow that, as it would have been very embarrassing in the market and a clear indication of how badly Lumia and Windows Phone were being received. But now that Microsoft owns Asha and other Nokia basic phones, they have no use for that business. They will shut it down. So most of the layoffs are happening not in the Lumia Windows Phone smartphone business, but at the dumbphones side of ex-Nokia (and of course the X Series is being terminated).

Nokia X smartphone

With the severe cuts at the handset business, there is less R&D, there is less volume and scale, there is less ability to support the retail channel, to secure low-cost component deals with bulk discounts, etc. These will drive up Microsoft’s ex-Nokia handset business costs while not improving revenues. The cuts will limit marketing, which in a highly competitive global handset industry will damage sales almost instantly – as we saw with BlackBerry in a similar situation and will now see with Microsoft throughout 2014. The performance of this unit will continue to suffer until the effects of the disruption of half the staff being eliminated is done. This will take at least half a year. Meanwhile, as revenues shrink and Nokia’s top-end Lumia products are not finding any traction – all the Lumia growth is in the bottom of the price range – the unit will continue to struggle to find profits and likely the smartphone unit at Microsoft will continue to be unprofitable thorough the end of this year. If so, Elop will be replaced and Nadella will give the hardware business for some other, more competent, Microsoft employee to run. That will still not restore the handset business to profitability, and with totally negligent market share lingering around 2% or 3% for a year more after that, Nadella will start to feel the pressure to shut down the failed handset unit. More layoffs will come before that happens.

Tomi Ahonen writes regularly about the mobile industry at his personal blog, Communities Dominate Brands. He has written extensively about the death of Nokia.

  • Accophox

    Welp. That’s interesting. And not completely unexpected either…

    • http://www.untether.tv/ Douglas tr0n Soltys

      Hi Accophox! What specifically are you referring to by not unexpected?

    • Accophox

      That Nokia’s operating in 4 different spaces was hurting itself – Asha, Android, Feature phone, Windows Phone. Especially Asha/Android/Windows Phone. While Asha and Android were geared towards the low-end spectrum, they also competed with the low-end Windows Phone offerings too – which isn’t something you really want to have happen.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Nokia X Android was the only commercial success of Nokia, but it was barely made available in few markets, as Microsoft does not want to show off that doing Android is the only way forward not just for Nokia but for Microsoft.

    • Jane McEntegart

      Except Nokia X wasn’t Nokia “doing Android,” it was Nokia creating a Windows Phone-flavoured experience that had access to Android apps.

      Nokia said that the whole OS was supposed to act as a stepping stone to get the budget Android users onto the Windows Phone platform. The idea was that when those users eventually went to upgrade to higher end devices, all their stuff would already be on Microsoft/WP services so they’d be less likely to go back to Android.

      I would have loved to have seen Nokia make Android devices, because I love Nokia hardware. Such a shame it will probably never happen. :'(

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Nokia X is full Android, running only Android apps. Those “things they said” are just ways for them to justify the project. Basically forces within Nokia had Android in the works for a while and they pulled the trigger just at the time the Microsoft acquisition was pretty much confirmed, a desperate attempt at getting Nokia to do the right thing. Just proves how terribly poorly managed Nokia has always been, especially towards the end.

    • schultzycom

      You are partly correct, The “Android” apps could work, however the Nokia X phones did not have access to the Google Play network, locking out all the apps, unless the developers moved them to the Nokia X store.

    • silver_arrow

      Fun fact. If you go visit Microsoft in their visitor center they have a display with a load of Windows Phones with a Windows Phone sign above it full of Lumia’s and a Nokia X

    • DaSmuggla

      A lumia 1020 running android would have been awesome. Sadly it’s just a dream now.

    • It’s Me

      Nokia X was a commercial success?

      Given the bloodbath that is the Android market for all OEMs except Samsung, I wonder whenever I read people say, if only Nokia (or BB) had gone with Android. Seems like it is more likely this would have accelerated the demise. Choice in the market is good. We don’t need more whitebox Android vendors, IMO.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      That’s actually BS, all Android vendors are selling gangbusters and have always done so since the beginning. Lenovo selling 5 million Android devices per month, Huawei selling 7 million Android devices per month, Xiaomi sells something like 5 million Android devices per month only in China, LG probably also sells over 5 million Android devices per month, so does Sony probably also. Saying that Android makers aren’t selling anything just because Samsung sells a giant 30 million Android devices per month (1 million per day!) is kind of ridiculous. Android is a giant giant giant market and everyone making Android is making giant profits on doing so.

    • It’s Me

      I’m sorry, but are you drunk? I never said they weren’t selling. Obviously they are selling more than any other platform. The problem is one of viability. Chasing marketshare at the expense of profits has resulted in all Android vendors bleeding oceans of red ink, except samsung. Granted, a few seem to have finally started slowing or eve stopping these losses but only after massive reductions in staffing at some of them.

      You are simply and seriously kidding yourself if you claim any of them, except Samsung, are making giant profits. Most of them are losing money and the rest are barely hanging on. Xiaomi is a relative new comer and has seen some success selling at cut rate prices but how profitable they’ve been remains to be seen. Certainly other OEMs have sold at much higher prices and not been able turn a profit.

      Google “android vendors profits” to get even a small clue about who is making money with android. Yeah, Nokia could have focused on android years ago and been out of business years faster.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Sony is a pretty big brand right? 90% of their profits comes from selling Android. LG pretty much looses money everywhere except in their massively proffitable Android business. You wanna talk about how Android represents over 90% of Huawei device profits totally eclipsing all other income this giant company has. How about Xiaomi, they exist only because of Android to actually overtake Samsung sales in China all the while generating Billions of dollars to their shareholders. Lenovo already makes more money on Android than on all of their x86 business combined, and Lenovo is the biggest x86 laptop maker in the world! I can go on and on, Android is funding pretty much a thousand other smaller companies, Android is also the main profit and revenue growth for pretty much 95% of China’s consumer electronics industry which includes literally thousands of manufacturers, design houses, suppliers, ALL are making ALL of their revenues and profits through their ANDROID business. But hey, you are welcome to continue drinking the BS coolaid of BS Apple-fanboy bloggers who keep saying the BS about Android being a revenue/profit disaster.

    • It’s Me

      Sony’s smartphone division has lost money for over 3 years. Nice example. Thanks for proving my point.

      Huawei and Xiaomi sell their handsets at razor thin margins in order to chase marketshare. Lenovo took over a huge money loser with moto and there is no sign they’ve turned that around.

      Delusional or dishonest your rant is based on no facts other than marketshare. Here’s a clue for the clueless: marketshare does not mean profits. Never has.

      Stop posting when you are drunk or high. Makes you write the dumbest things.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      You’re the deluded one. Sony is funding their whole friggen company, including Sony Playstation, Sony 4K, Sony cameras, EVERYTHING Sony is funded with Sony’s massive Android profits for years now. Including also that Sony captured and integrated the whole of friggen Sony Ericsson and as every company uses creative financial reporting to show or hide their massive Android success from competitors for now. Lenovo makes more money selling ARM Android devices than their whole x86 Windows department even as Lenovo has yet to sell all their Android stuff worldwide. Huawei is making Billions of dollars of profits on Android and it’s funding the whole of of Huawei Devices. Xiaomi was basically a kickstarter type of startup and is now valued at more than $10 Billion thanks to Android. There are about millions of engineers and people getting their full good salaries paid because of Android throughout thousands of companies not only in Asia. Not to mention chip makers Qualcomm, MediaTek, Rockchip, Allwinner combined are making Billions of dollars per year on Android and are driving innovation in technology way way way faster than the industry would have done without Android.

    • It’s Me

      I see now you are just lying.

      From androidcentral 3 weeks ago:

      As for the manufacturer’s Xperia smartphone business, things aren’t looking any better, as Sony has posted a loss of 2.7billion yen ($26 million) for the quarter. As a result, the manufacturer slashed its sales forecast for this year from a projected 50 million to 43 million units. Even after a significant consumer interest in devices like the Xperia Z2, Sony has not managed to turn a profit from the mobile unit, citing a waning demand for smartphones as the main cause for the less than stellar sales.

      Dude, if you have to make things up, it just makes you a loser. Pathetic.

      The one thing you are right about is sony is a good example of an android vendor.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      I’m not making anything up, you’re just too slow to understand what it means to acquire and integrate a company Sony Ericsson into Sony, it’s a multi-year project at Sony Mobile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Mobile_Communications and you obviously know nothing of creative financial reporting. Supposedly loosing $26 Million on selling over 10 million smartphones at a revenue probably above $3 Billion is just pathetic to even think of this as relevant. Sony buys many of the components from itself at whichever price they want to buy at, the displays, the camera systems, a lot of the electronics, batteries and etc etc which they then can also sell to many other. Overall Android finances the massively money-loosing Sony HDTV and 4K TV enterprises, Android even finances Playstation and a lot more of the things Sony can still do only thanks to Android.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      I’m not making anything up, you’re just too slow to understand what it means to acquire and integrate a company Sony Ericsson into Sony, it’s a multi-yrear project moving R&D investments around Europe to Japan at Sony Mobile and you obviously know nothing of creative financial reporting (which Apple is the biggest faker there is). Supposedly loosing $26 Million on selling over 10 million smartphones in a quarter at a revenue probably above $3 Billion (if $300 revenue per smartphone) it is just pathetic to even think of this as relevant to any argument against Android. Sony buys many of the components in the tens of millions of Android smartphones they sell from itself at whichever price they want to buy at, the displays, the camera systems, a lot of the electronics, batteries and etc etc which they then can also sell to many other. Overall Android finances the massively money-loosing Sony HDTV and 4K TV enterprises, Android even finances Playstation and a lot more of the things Sony can still do only thanks to Android.

    • It’s Me

      That’s right boy, now change your story. Get caught lying that Sony is making tons of money (or any) selling android phone, switch to another story. Keep trying. It’s almost cute to watch you squirm.

      Pathetic. We can be done. There is no point trying to have an intelligent conversation with a dim witted, dishonest child. Good luck in life child.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Just go back to your jobless life in Finland, looser. Sony Display, Sony Device, every friggen department of Sony is NOW FUNDED BY THEIR MASSIVE ANDROID SUCCESS. Sony is in the top-5 Smartphone makers worldiwde only thanks to Android. Had they done the frug-up of those stupid finns at Nokia, the whole of Sony would have been dead by now.

    • It’s Me

      You have an interesting definition of success. Losing millions for years. Laying off thousands of employees. Bleeding in red ink.

      It’s like a Hollywood movie really.

      You’re a joke. Wiggle, wiggle.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      My bad, go back to your fragged jobless collapsed moronic Blackberry country of yours. Loosers giving lessons on marketing. You’re the joke. Sony has been laying off a bunch of people because their previous strategies were all failures, that is, until they did the right thing and they invested all they could into Android and every dollar Sony invested in Android, they made back 2 or 3 times, at least. That is the magic of Android. The only mistake Sony did, was to not invest even more in Android. They should have made several Nexus by now, Sony should have based Playstations on Android by now. Sony should have used Android for streaming and p2p’ing 4K content to their 4K TVs by now.

    • It’s Me

      Chill dude, sounds like you’re about to have a stroke :D

      Nokia should have hired you to run their business. Maybe they’d be doing as well as sony. “The magic of Android”. LOL Get a grip kid.

      Dishonest and dim witted. Amazing.

    • marorun1982

      No offense but Nokia would had more success on android.
      I dont say its would had saved them far from it but at least they would had a chance..

      With windows on smartphone and crappy app ( even if there is many of em now.. many where never updated and are light year in the back if we compare with Android and ios conterpart )

    • Lion5

      Don’t call Canada a “moronic” country just because Blackberry is in dire straights and you are embroiled in a time-wasting argument with someone who appears to be an iPhone fanboy (or simply a Samsung hater). BTW, learn how to spell “loosers” before you attempt to diss an entire nation due to you being proven wrong on an online comment board. Loser.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Sorry I don’t want to say Canada is moronic, I look forward to visiting it some time. Canada sounds cool, but Canadians should be totally ashamed at how pathetic Blackberry management has completely destroyed their company nearly as stupidly as Nokia did. For sure Android has destroyed companies, that’s for sure it did, just not any of the companies who embraced Android fully as soon as it was available, Android has destroyed all the stupid companies who thought they should try to compete with a free and open source Linux based Smartphone OS.

    • Lion5

      Sorry for calling you out like that. I also accept your apology. I am not ashamed of Blackberry as I never cared for them. They never put out a product which enticed me to want to buy. Canada can still take pride in our many other accomplishments. You are certainly welcome to visit anytime.

      I still believe that had Nokia embraced Android in the beginning, they would still be here today. If anything, they would be the number 1 OEM.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Blackberry would also still be number 1 at least perhaps from enterprise angle if they had just simply at least tried to release Android versions of their Blackberries starting just 2-3 years ago. It’s just plain shooting themselves in the head to have management who believe so strongly that it is good for a device maker to not embrace free and open source software when it is there. At least you take it and you use it and you see if it sells, that would cost them nothing! Yet they did not do it! It’s frugged up internal insane politics it’s sad for the IT development of whole countries and in Nokia’s case it’s even sad for Europe. Citizen should be ashamed and infuriated to the extreme to make sure this kind of complete insanity never happens again to completely self-destroy industries so rapidly.

    • GoogTwitFace

      Blackberry was purposefully killed by World governments because of it’s encryption capabilities.

      Blackberry’s fall can be traced back to the London riots during which the rioters used Blackberries that the police could not crack the encryption on.

      You really have made yourself look bad in this conversation.

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      CIA/NSA always had backdoor into BB encrypt, other Governments were pissed at that, but that didn’t kill BB, the stupidness of BB not porting BBM sooner onto Android and them not even trying to use Android on their hardware killed them.

    • It’s Me

      Nothing to do with being an iPhone fanboy. I like Apple but I also like Android and google.

      What I dislike is dishonesty. And more than that, I dislike willful ignorance. Nicolas was displaying both. To claim most android vendors have been having problems is wrong and the facts demonstrate that. But Nicolas prefers to stick his herald in the sand and just say “no, they are all making billions cuz they sell so many phones.” That’s ignorant. To continue even after he’s been corrected is dishonest.

    • marorun1982

      in fact the number of android OEM making money outweight the number who loose money.

      Most of the OEM who loose money are the one trying to sell phone 600$ + when they worth max 400$

      Chinese OEM understood thats and this is why they are eating at samsung market share and samsung had a terrible year this year..

      Not sure if its was 58 or 69% less profit than last year?
      I dont stand by those number as i am not 100% sure but just look on the web and you will see they are loosing big time!

    • marorun1982

      What i find funny is you only attack what he said about Sony..

      no matter how wrong he may be about thats part he is right about the rest of it..

    • marorun1982

      He is wrong about Sony i agree wth you.

      Still he give very valid point about the chinese OEM.

    • marorun1982

      lol.

      All i has to say is bigger margin not always better.
      Samsung starting to loose a lots of market share ( and revenue and profit as well) because of all those Chinese OEM.

      I also agree with them as current bigger OEM just sell phone way too high same as Apple do.

    • marorun1982

      I dont agree with It’s me but on thats one he is right Sony is a bad example..

      As much as i agree thats Android is very profitable to many chinese OEM i cannot agree with everything you said as your information are invalid.. sorry.

    • marorun1982

      Beside the obvious oem : HTC , Samsung , LG and such can you bring proof thats chinese oem had to do this?

      Xiaomi had a 15% profit per phone sold at end of 2013 and they sold even more this year.

      Chinese OEM pay employee less and as they are right where its made well they are pretty nimble like many other chinese oem.

      Your biased view of the world is amazing as usual.
      Why would all these OEM ( not talking abou the obvious one! ) still be making load of android handset if they only loose money?

      Maybe Samsung , LG and such have others departement ( TV ect ) so they can operate at a loose but OEM like Xiaomi or Alcatel onetouch ( not to be mixed with Alcatel Leucent as both are fully separate company as alcatel onetouch was fully buyed by a hongkong company )

      But all the others are only or mostly in mobile space.
      IF android would not bring them easy money they would not use it.

    • marorun1982

      Also its good to note thats Samsung profit and market share are slowly going the other way ( down )
      To the profit of the others android OEM.

      The Marketing sheep starting to wake up!
      I am selling load of HTC ( at least 3 time more than samsung ) and even more alcatel lately.

      The chinese OEM are selling more and more android every year and they are very profitable buisness.

      Its samsung thats getting less and less profitable because of too big marketing expenditure and the fact ppl slowly starting to understand how all this work.

      Its the same as Apple in many way ( Samsung do love copying )

    • http://www.about.me/michael.borody Swizzlerz

      how was it a success if it barely sold in many markets?

    • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

      Where Microsoft let Nokia sell the Nokia X, it was 10x more popular than Nokia Windows Phone. But of course this was so shameful for Microsoft that they didn’t want anyone to know, they tried to kill Nokia X sales as soon as possible each time.

    • http://www.about.me/michael.borody Swizzlerz

      Link?

  • Ocean

    Just…wow. I immediately thought Elop was a bad idea when Nokia hired him. Said as much too.

  • beyond

    Attention Mobile Syrup, the text is not rendering correctly, so a word just gets cut off at the end of a line and continues on the next. (using the latest version of IE here on Win 8.1)

    • Dave Evans

      And it needs to be black. It is hard to read.

    • mobilesyrup

      Thanks Dave. Yes, we will be changing up the font colour, making it darker. — Ian

    • Dave Evans

      Nice to see the quick replies and eyes open to everyone’s suggestions. :)

    • mobilesyrup

      Yep – we are fixing this up. Thanks! — Ian

  • http://mellowie.wordpress.com/ Mellowie

    Great read. Sadly, can see it becoming a reality in some aspects but can’t see MS just shutting down the entire phone division

  • David Blouin

    A fired nokia exécutives who write about the coming death of nokia, how original…

  • Mythos88

    I cannot believe you’re quoting Tomi Ahonen. The guy is unhinged and babbles like a lunatic about conspiracies. And his predictions have been wildly off ever since he left Nokia. He hates Microsoft and Nokia beyond all reason. I cannot believe Mobile Syrup would quote this i***t let alone do a feature on his beliefs! For your next story maybe you can get Charles Manson’s opinion on Android.

    • Accophox

      It’s not like what he said was without merit though – you’re talking about a handset manufacturer that was supposed to help push Microsoft’s smartphone market share. But that’s failed to materialize in a pretty big way. A ~30% loss in market share y/y is not good, especially when Nokia accounts for a majority of WP smartphones manufactured and sold.

    • Mythos88

      It did push Windows Phone’s market share. Windows Phone is nothing in Canada but there is great big world out there aside from Canada. Windows Phone has respectable market share in many markets most notably Europe and outsells iPhone in about 25 markets. A monkey could have predicted a continuing erosion of marketshare loss in dumbphones but Ahonen is acting like it is news.

    • Accophox

      The takeover didn’t happen until the 3rd quarter of 2013, but since then, the smartphone hardware division of Microsoft (“Nokia”) hasn’t managed to deliver big results. Comparing Q2 2013/2014 on Microsoft, their *global* market share was estimated to *dip* by 1.1% (3.8% 2013Q2 to 2.7% 2014Q2), and the number of devices shipped between those two periods dropped by about 1M devices (8.9M 2013Q2 to 8M 2014Q2). Numbers are sourced from Strategy Analytics.

      I think the numbers speak for themselves. Bringing Nokia under Microsoft has not resulted in increasing sales of WP devices/increasing WP market share.

    • Mythos88

      I didn’t realize you were talking about Q2–yes no significant product launches and the uncertainty of the takeover made for a bad quarter but not as bad any many expected and WP lost less marketshare than iOS and Blackberry. But it way too early to judge the Microsoft purchase yet and the takeover of Nokia was also defensive but I guess that point is lost on Ahonen. There are a several new OEMs’s launching WP products in the upcoming quarter and a possible flagship device in the HTC M8 is imminent so things should pick up this quarter.

    • marorun1982

      Android probably beat both of them in even more number of market :P

    • dahauns

      Yeah, he seems a bit unhinged, and his constant nerdrage since elops takeover can be embarrassing to read sometimes.
      But nevertheless: His predictions about Nokia and WP during the last few years were more accurate than most others, and they were one of the few which encompass a comprehensive international view.

    • Mythos88

      Actually his predictions were way off all along. He had Nokia going bankrupt years ago. His Lumia sales predictions were always a fraction of every other analyst and he was always wrong. He once predicted near the end of a quarter that only 800,000 Lumias were sold but a few weeks later Nokia reported 7.7 million Lumia’s sold for the quarter. Some of the ramblings on his blog have been downright bizarre.

    • dahauns

      Huh? Where do you get that about bankruptcy years ago? He never said that. And I don’t know where you get that 800k number – his sales predictions were closer to the truth than every other analyst. Remember Gartner and IDC? “Windows Phone will be Number 2 by 2015″ – now THAT’s bizarre: http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/02/gartner-idc-windows-phone-to-steal-second-place-from-ios-by-2015/

    • Mythos88

      From his blog. He made all kinds of outlandish predictions couched in bizarre rants.

    • marorun1982

      Yeah he would say ( Android going to kill all the competition like i killed them all! ) lol

  • rgl168

    If Nadella shuts down the phone unit as Ahonen says, you can pretty much kiss Windows Phone goodbye. I have not any new WP devices being launched from any vendors other than Nokia.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Windows Phone is not going anywhere… trust me. Microsoft’s plan is to make Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox run Windows. Not different operating systems. They are so close to this that they would be stupid to just halt. One OS would kill a lot of costs and increase their margins on phones. Apps will have so much exposure on different platforms that managing them would be a breeze for developers.

    • As Bu

      … except nobody wants Windows on a phone or Tablet or an “app ecosystem” on Windows. Microsoft is making the mistake here that they always have. People DO NOT LIKE WINDOWS, they feel forced to use it on PCs because the programs they run require it, but they don’t WANT to use it. Microsoft had been making smartphones for a while, but as Windows phones, people avoided them like the plague. Once real alternatives were released with Android and iPhone, people started caring.

    • Marc Palumbo

      People are not avoiding Windows at all. Your about 7 years too late man. That excuse is no longer valid. People are not buying Windows Phones because there is barely and advertisement out there. There is very little exposure. If people actually started to care, they would educate themselves about the products they buy… not go after The Galaxy phones or the iPhones. If people were smart, they would stop buying iphones repeatedly every year and actually do research about having the best smartphone etc. etc…

      Just stop using an excuse of 7 years ago. That is all!

    • Lion5

      Barely an advertisement? I have seen just as may ads for Windows Phones as I have for any other OEM besides Apple and Samsung. I was thoroughly annoyed by that campaign they had at Union station playing that lame song over and over while we waited for trains. The facts are that people just don’t care for Windows Phones. I would choose a Galaxy, HTC, LG, or even iPhone before choosing an exciting tile-based Windows Phone. I tried and did not like. I guess that’s just me.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Every billboard I see when I walk around are either for the iPhone or the Galaxy phone/tablets. No Windows Phones. I have been an owner of a BB, Android, and now fr the longest time, Windows Phone. I don’t see myself leaving Windows Phone any time soon, and that’s because I researched and I looked into it. I’ve even made myself to be a Microsoft developer because of it. People aren’t educated enough. They think Windows Phone runs on Windows XP and has a ton of viruses, but are completely satisfied running Android on a Galaxy phone where a lot of uses get spam apps.

      Soon enough, Android will get this wonderful stigma and Windows Phone will come to the rescue.

  • SeanH

    What a waste of an iconic, historic manufacturer. Enough said!

    • Lion5

      It’s a real shame. Throughout the 1990s, Nokia was my favorite OEM. I was sad when they first made the deal with the devil.

  • Ratawn

    When I bought my Lumia WP, I was all in for the ecosystem, and I still am. But reading this sends chills down my spine as I begin to wonder if MS will give this work in progress the time it so greatly deserves. Considering that MS is fighting an uphill battle, it’s going to take some time to put systems into place. Also, a lot of cash and people power. I hope that WP has a future. Using the OS for the last 2 years come November, I have grown to appreciate the differences to the other major OS’s. I actually like the current systems put in place by both MS and Nokia. I do understand that there are a lot of things missing, but knowing that these shortcomings are being developed gave me great confidence that this ecosystem had/has potential!

    Am I going to loose sleep over the fact that if MS does decide to shut down its attempts at a mobile OS I’ll need to buy into an existing ecosystem? No, it’s just a piece of technology and I have no shares in MS. But it would be a damn shame, especially with the progress already made. (Clearly I don’t mean progress in profit or market share, but more so for the customer buying into the budding infant ecosystem that is Windows Phone).

  • disqusmy

    There is a mistake. The marketing in dollar amount in article says:” a quarter million, ” it should be a quarter billion. one million is nothing to Microsoft in a quarter..

  • Lioneer

    Hope you didn’t pay him for this fairy tale. Reads like a conspiracy theory.

  • Ken K.

    Elop, best trojan but terrible CEO/executive for Nokia and now M$. Nokia should have went Android. Just look at Motorola: its 2014 Q2 smartphone shipments more than doubled that of 2013 Q2.

  • uywin

    lol Elop looks like a fat lawn gnome

    • GoogTwitFace

      So.

      Nadella looks like a Marin homosexual.

  • John Miguel Lopes Vieira

    I’m still of the belief that Elop was put in as a “Trojan Horse” to eventually sell the company to Microsoft.

    Nokia had excellent hardware and excellent software in Meego (it was still growing, seeing one device does not make it the be all end all).

    Elop decided to kill that to run Windows Phone. Big mistake, clearly.

    They managed to kill Nokia hardware business. The SMARTEST thing Nokia did at that point was sell off the money losing division to Microsoft.

    Their best bet is to now apply their technologies in other ways, maybe back Jolla or another manufacturer.

    Personally, if I could get Lumia hardware with Android, or a new Meego phone, it wouldn’t even be a question.

    I dream of an alternate reality where Meego did hit mass market, and while it probably wouldn’t have crazy market share, it would be another beautiful OS with quality Nokia hardware.

    Right now that spot is filled by Blackberry, which, I love, but has horrible brand value.

    I miss real Nokia phones :(

    On the other hand, if you can stand Windows phone. The 520 is an excellent device and totally recommended.

  • jin choung

    “negligible”. not “negligent”.

  • BB71

    It is not surprising in the least that Stephen Elop destroyed what was left of Nokia. I don’t think they stood a chance with such a narrow minded vision for their future. Like Blackberry, it was hard to watch the decline of such a super power in the mobile industry. I have owned and love many Nokia devices over the years but for some reason just can’t seem to marry my love for their handsets with a WP operating system.

  • Entegy

    Pretty sad Tomi Ahonen has shown up here. When you have an entire blog debunking your lies, you only ever source yourself, and delete comments questioning your methods, you’re not an expert, you’re a hack.

    http://dominiescommunicate.wordpress.com/

    I hope to never see him on this site again.

  • http://www.about.me/michael.borody Swizzlerz

    times change. Just one mans option. I remember reading Gates himself came back for a day job at Microsoft to help Nadela. How long did that last? Got to wonder how many choices he has made towards things?

  • AnanthanMurthan

    Microsoft (Elop) has successfully killed Nokia. Unfortunately, Nokia Board members were so dump/corrupt that they allowed Elop to kill Meego phones, allowed Elop to go exclusively with a flop Windows Phone OS.