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Nokia Shareholder Meeting - That the Future is Far Worse than we Thought (communities-dominate.blogs.com)
27 points by kevinwmerritt on May 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Tomi (the author of communities-dominate) is kind of like MG Siegler - he writes as a blind Nokia fan, with no hint of awareness that what he is saying has more to do with fandom than proper commentary.

In MG's case at least it is about a company that is relevant. Tomi was amusing back in 2008-10 when he would grasp at anything that "conclusively showed" how much better Nokia was than the iPhone, and later Android.

There was a period in 2009 (I think it was) when you could almost see the cognitive dissonance happening every time he wrote something.

Now, of course, he grasps at a broad conspiracy theory involving Nokia CEO Elop being somehow motivated to deliberately destroy Nokia for Microsoft.

I'm aware that many dislike Elop (and there may be many good reasons), but I'm still in awe of his "burning platform" memo[1].

He lays out the horrible situation they are in: pressured from the top of the market by Android+Apple and at the low end by a huge wave of asian cell phone makers.

Compare his very clear eyed approach to the ongoing and incoherent messages coming out of RIM.

[1] - http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/08/nokia-ceo-stephen-elop-ra...

Having followed Tomi, and judged by myself, Elop's memo was a killing coup on Nokia, rather than a saving hand. S Elop could not manage properly a transition to a new platform/s and his main decision to switch to Microsoft's again and again unproven/failed platform can be judged ridiculous by a 10 years old child, even, namely Ms platform was sunk already multiple times (here speaks a Windows developer, aka me), HTC/LG/Samsung were already producing the phones, MS's stragegic misalignment with Nokia etc etc etc.

I'm not really disagreeing with you. I'm not particularly bullish on the Nokia+MS partnership, etc.

What I'm objecting to is more the framing and context of the criticism. I think it's a hard case to make that Nokia was doing gangbusters and that since Elop came in that it's suddenly unexpectedly not doing well.

in 2008 nokia was a far superior phone. in europe anyway. they really seem to have had no impact in the usa. my nokias back then had nice useable keyboards, decent cameras that shot video, cameras with flashes. been able to write code on the os in python, and incredible battery life. a good selection of apps.

but phones they made in 2008 suggested problems to me (only supporting 8gb memory, bad design decisions for connectors) and by early-mid 2009 they had caused enough people to ditch nokia for android that the writing was on the wall.

i bought a iphone 3g on prepay and it was meh till ios 3 came along. the people who asked about the iphone i could show them the device and even loan it to them. after using it for a few days none of them wanted it at 1/3 of it's price. battery life was appalling after using nokias till that point. many hated the touchscreen for typing sms as it was slower and less accurate. accidently tapping the weather or any other internet app caused the device to suck data costing money on the prepay device.

so when the 3gs came out and apple blocked googles voip app i bought an android device. have been on android since. but i still have an ancient nokia e61 as emergency backup. last used a few weeks ago when in hospital and got seperated from my chargers. used the e61 which had last been charged last year and had been switched off since then for 3 days no problem.

Yea, the whole point is that Nokia excelled at hardware, could not catch the software side of smartphone wave and jumpled from a burning platform to a sunk ship.

First time I read this lunatic. I am not quite sure how reasonable his opinions are (Skype is avaible on other platforms and not hurting them), but it is entertaining. I have to look what he is writing about the iPhone 2010.

Attacking Elop, either as a mole for Microsoft or a good old fashioned incompetent CEO, is pretty popular when talking about Nokia. However, I think he's justified his actions pretty well, and that switching to Windows Phone is a big gamble, but not an unreasonable one. I think their decision to immediately drop Meego was questionable, but I can understand why they did it.

Before my current android phone, I used Nokia phones for about 5 years. The Nokia phones had great hardware and a good low-level stack, but higher level stack needed a lot of work. If I never use another symbian device, it will be too soon.

I think you have to consider how competitive MeeGo would have been against Android / iOS (probably not very - though not for technical reasons) and look at the situation at RIM. RIM kept their own OS, and has suffered for it. I think Nokia put out the Lumia phones to stay reasonably current, which they did, and now they need to release a real "Nokia Windows Phone," that differentiates them.

Maybe they can't do it and they'll go under, but I think a lot of the criticism is sour grapes from people who dislike Microsoft or liked Nokia's old phone OS'es.

Here is a different perspective from another attendee: http://mynokiablog.com/2012/05/04/mnb-reader-generated-fact-...

I must say I am a little disappointed that rants like these are now on HN front page.

my 2-cents: I actually think Nokia could be on the up. Most companies like this have a problem with their departments lacking communication, or lack guardians that ensure each aspect is unified and works properly - and Nokia may never have this; however if they stick to the platform and strive for better quality on delivery and innovation it could work out alright.

I thought Nokia were going to bite the dust, but then I remembered consumers are fickle... if Nokia release something that looks sexy, and works well, they will be back oki. As long as they keep symbian going for the low-fi robust cheap phone market (that is still at large).

Also I really appreciate the insight on Tomi from nl... thanks!

> consumers are fickle... if Nokia release something that looks sexy,and works well, they will be back

I kind of agree with you but the Lumia 800 is a really good device on all sides but I coudln't find it in the color I wanted. Nobody cared at the shops and I was a weirdo to them for shopping a device they don't believe in..

Mine was the opposite experience. I had played with WP7 and I thought that it was a fantastic OS and would look and work great on a great phone. Nokia always used to make fantastic phones so I was looking forward to the Lumia, but quite frankly it just looks like a brick.

There's a certain sleekness to it, and given how annoying it can be to develop for Android and iOS I think they could win over a load of developers who like .NET and C#, but to me it feels like Nokia failed Microsoft, and quite rightly they'll suffer the consequences.

If Nokia release a phone that looks amazing and is fully-featured I can see them snagging back some market share, especially when Windows 8 ties in with mobile. Additionally, if they can create a great phone with a low price tag they could land the cheap smartphone market. A good Windows phone would probably beat the cheap Android phones with ease. Ideally, Nokia would have initially taken this financial hit before these horrible figures came through.

Speaking as former Nokia employee (they bought my employer in April 2010, I bailed at the end of this January), I think all the discussion about Nokia’s strategy is missing a very big factor in Nokia’s decline. Their corporate culture is deeply, deeply dysfunctional: my pet name for them is “The Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic”. I think (judging from some of the internal propaganda we received while I was there) that some people in upper management understand that there is this problem, but you can’t take a company of 100,000 people who were hired and trained and promoted to thrive in one kind of environment and then, two years later, have them adapted to another.

I admit I didn't make it through reading the article, but I disagree with how he sees the CEO talking about wanting retail reps to sell the phone as a bad sign. Every single phone OEM that sells in the US wants that very badly. In fact, I'd be scared for any company that didn't constantly try to improve it even if they were currently first or second at it. You constantly see OEM's run contests, hardware giveaways, bonuses for selling one or x amount of a device, training sessions, etc. - all sorts of goodies - for the retail reps. That's just how most phones are sold in the US. Google selling the Nexus One from www.google.com/phone didn't work out because they didn't get this, so Nokia is already at least off to a running start if they realize where the battle to get sales is at.

I use to work in a retail setting selling cell phones. I can tell you that there are sales people that will boycott some brands. However, at the end of the day these sales people just want to make their commission. Usually sales associates will sell the brands that offer the best bonus for selling their phones.

If RIM is offering double commission for their phones then the sales person will sell anything with the name RIM on it. It's really easy as that.

No doubt is Nokia in trouble. And having followed the smartphone embryo that was Nokia 770 (with Maemo) I wonder why they were so late to really embrace this path. When they did, it was too late. What really happened in Nokia between 2005 and 2008?

> What really happened in Nokia between 2005 and 2008?


Nokia can always embrace Android and become another Samsung. They seem to have lost the opportunity to build a solid alternative with the Symbian/Maemo/Meego/Win8 mess. Maybe a Maemo with Android Apks support could save them?

what a terribly written article which almost lead me to a [Certain Road to Death]

Ugh, not this rambling guy again with his highly opinionated and biased crud.

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