Why We Blame Nokia

| January 31, 2011 | 36 Replies

Hello folks! How are you all doing? I’ve just gotten back to Manchester after a long weekend in the Netherlands :p. I’ll leave it at – “it was awesome!”

Kudos to Andre and llaadd for keeping things ticking Thurs-Sat. Apologies for the lack of posting yesterday (30th Jan). My Bad – I did not manage to prepare a post in time before I left (unexpected clothes dryer issue on Thursday), and I didn’t really have access to Internet whilst I was away. N8 was a treat to use BTW. No bulky camera that’s great for day and night pics. Loved the battery life – heavy marathon use – helped on the long coach rides by Proporta’s mobile charger.

Anyway, I was reading this excellent article from “the-ultimate111” and was either going to condense it a little or ask permission to republish it. As things goes, it seems that 3 days ago, the-ultimate111 had already contacted us with the article for publishing (sorry we missed it!).

Being a Nokia blogger, though we like to discuss great and positive things Nokia are doing, we also like to highlight (e.g. via RANT) other things we have frustrations with that could (at least from our limited perspective) perhaps be approached a little better.  the-ultimate111 writes about some of the possible reasons why different folks might get these annoyed and blame Nokia.

So here it is. An updated version can be found here. As noted in his disclaimer at the end, “I want to show you how different social effects work in the case of Nokia and media attentions. I hope it will drive someone to responsible thinking and analysis, rather than expressing emotions.”

Why We Blame Nokia

Lately, each discussion of any Nokia related news becomes epic. It’s a battle, in which everyone needs to participate and show his knowledge, regardless of real mental abilities, ability to judge and actually work with information. Many of these commentators tend to show themselves as real world-class experts and think that their opinion is real vox populi.

Let’s try to understand how things are really going and why there is so much negative discussion about Nokia lately.

1. Nokia is a huge corporation and a very recognized brand, which can be compared to Coca-Cola in terms of global penetration. Practically there are no people in the world, who have access to cellular communication and are not aware of haven’t used Nokia products. It means that there is maximum people in the world, who have their opinion on Nokia products either it is positive or negative.

2. Nokia is с company, which almost ultimately controlled the world’s  cell phone market for  more than a decade. People tend to think of Nokia as an undisputed global leader, so any negative information about it, no matter of it’s nature or impact is perceived as a sign of the company’s decline, regardless of what is really happening.

3. Generally, people are not able to understand complicated process and see nuances. They don’t want to get into the details of events and don’t want to rank different factors according to their importance.

4. People are not able to understand that each success and failure have their temporal and relative dimensions. Many people tend to understand graphics showing up or showing down as a trend which will work forever, not realizing that it is always a temporal phenomenon.

5. People are not able to able to understand that any experience is reflecting a period of time, and can’t be used to judge a company or a product forever. For example, people tend to think, that their 3 years old experience with Nokia N95 is a good start to judge N8. It’s like judging iPhone from the experience from Apple Newton.

6. Geeks, always using their devices to the limit, leaders of internet development community were always against Symbian, and hence against Nokia, judging it’s devices as not suiting their needs. This trend has begun when Nokia had no mass production touchscreen phones.

7. People still can’t realize that such huge market as mobile phones with such great capacity, doesn’t give opportunity to any company to have solely 70 or just 40% of global market. It will be a great struggle with global leaders, but one company can’t hold the whole market oneself anymore.

8. People think that if the world share of Android is going straight ahead to Symbian, it necessary means Nokia’s failure . No one even tries to account that Android is not a cell phone maker, and Nokia still produces three times more smartphones, than its 3 closest competitors. It is still no company in the world which would be able to produce such volumes. Just think about it – Nokia manufactured 100.000. 000 smartphones in 2010. 5 mln of them were on Symbian^3. It’s not actually the sunset of the platform.

9. People don’t have an ability to produce discussion with difficult comparisons. It’s just simple bad vs good, black vs white, no details. And as it has been said, there is no time time-factor or price factor in their considerations. Example – at its launch, Nokia 5800 was much more a smartphone and was much cheaper, than Apple iPhone 2G. iPhone got rid of its kicks in a big period of time, and didn’t get multitasking afterall (Symbian had it since 2002), but peoples memory doesn’t hold this details. It’s just great experience versus bad experience. Nobody tends to compare cars with 2x difference in price, but somehow it’s possible in the world of smartphones.

10. General reader can’t recognize the fact that one product is not able to satisfy everyone on basis of price, quality or services. One, even most successful product can’t be the single one on the whole planet. There will be always some alternatives. Talking of iPhone, it has reached his limit – it is huge 15%, but there are 85% of customers who need something else.

11. US is a dominant media source and it thinks of itself as a virtual center of the world, always praising its own opinion. It’s also true about mobile tech media, which is controlled by American geek community – so everything related to Nokia and Symbian is never shown in positive way.

12. General tech blog commentator and general customer are people from two different worlds, which never meet. And they have completely different opinion on Nokia and Symbian. Geeks use their devices to perform unique and specific tasks, considering everything not capable to run them as a nonsense. General customer buys a cell phone as a set of qualities and capabilities in which OS is not always on the first or second place. So it comes the difference – Nokia has a bad coverage with geek media, but sells more smartphones that three closest competitors combined.

13. It is almost a custom on the internet to use unfair arguments like Symbian is outdated. Almost everyone making such comments haven’t seen Symbian^3 alive or haven’t used it for more than 5 minutes. Also nobody wants to take into account that Android is based on Linux kernel which is almost 20 years old, MacOS came out in 1982, and Windows 1.0 in 1985. The Windows interface used by everyone nowadays was invented by Xerox in mid-1970 and haven’t seen any significant and fundamental changes.

14. Tech blogs and their general followers don’t want to understand a simple thing – it is much easier, cheaper and more effective to change virtual keyboard, browser and the widget homescreen than replacing their entire operating system, which is still has the leading share. And it can be and will be done with the actual set of produced devices!

15. Everyone fail to understand, that swapping Symbian for Android won’t benefit Nokia – it will lead to a complete loss of its services, its RND and a huge loyal community. It will lead to a complete loss of independence and initiative for the company. A rejection of its own operating systems will mean a transition to the category of companies which will not set any trends forever, complete dependency from Google and their plans and very mediocre financial results. Also it must be taken into account, that Nokia can’t just throw their 300.000.000 community and go for Android geeks – it means that they will have to maintain Symbian and it’s services for quite a long time.

16. There is a clear trend to speak only of Nokia’s shortcomings, keeping silence about any positive facts. In particular, have you ever seen somewhere in US tech blogs any positive info about Nokia’s services, especially about Ovi Store? Just look how fast it’s growing – it has reached 4 mlns downloads a day or 1.5 bln a year. Just two months ago it was less than 3 mln or 1 bln a year. Certainly, the figure of 30.000 apps is not that what blogs want us to be impressed about. But they were quite optimistic about Google Market reaching this goal a little while ago. The huge demand in Ovi Store will meet its offer – it is a basic economy.

Is this every and each reason, why Nokia keeps bashed over the net? No, but this set of basic factors describing Nokia’s perception . Is Nokia a holy saint? 1000% that it is not, but there no companies without shortcomings and failures.

Nokia once made a big mistake by cutting powerful SOCs out of their 5800 generation of devices – it was the main cause, why they couldn’t deliver fancy and attractive interfaces to their touch devices. But it doesn’t mean that they can’t – look at N900’s interface.

Was Nokia sleeping when iPhone came? No, they were accounting on a conservative vision of the market, and it is normal for a big company. Nobody could predict such a strong success at the time of its launch. If you recall, after the release of the iPhone, everyone kept skeptic face, talking about a niche product. It was hard to understand, how a device, with virtually no innovation could drive the market.  Its simplicity and elegance in perception of a well-organized community was able to set trend for the whole generation of devices, but it couldn’t be adequately predicted.

Disclaimer: I don’t want to insult anyone with this post, I am not calling anyone primitive oк impose my point of view. I want to show you how different social effects work in the case of Nokia and media attentions. I hope it will drive someone to responsible thinking and analysis, rather than expressing emotions.

In addition to links/news, if you have your own thoughts/articles you’d like published on, feel free to email us at (Which might still be experiencing forwarding issues, i.e. I’m the only one getting to them – will sort tomo, right now as you can guess, I am absolutely shattered)


Category: Nokia, Rant

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]