Helsingin Sanomat on Stephen Elop

| September 30, 2013 | 226 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.28.46

Quick heads up on this story at Helsingin Sanomat about Stephen Elop. It’s in Finnish and for some reason, won’t pass through a translator. Thankfully, jiipee provides a brief summary below.

It basically tells Elop’s story: what he did before, why he probably joined Nokia (was asked to) and what was his relation to the Board.

  • The story is that he is not Trojan, but was asked to join Nokia – I very much agree
  • Then it goes stating that Meego was not ready as a platform, only as a product (ie they could not ship enough devices). This is told eg. by Jo Harlow and I wouldn’t buy her opinion alone. Also, who thinks that WP7 was ready?
  • The article stated that the strategy work was open and thorough. Elop made the last call for WP and according to colleagues did not show personal preference towards WP. Board approved.
  • Nokia couldn’t have multi-OS strategy since they didn’t have enough software competence
  • Öistämö was supporting WP choice strongly. (We have heard nothing of him for ages)
  • Ollila got angry on Elop after his burning platform memo. In general Elop was doing a lot of stuff independently after joining, which caused frustration among the board. Later the co-operation improved.

What is the most surprising to me that eg. Jo Harlow was allowed to comment choosing between Android, WP and internal OSs. Afterall she should also be under NDA just like other Nokians.


Cheers jiipee for the tip!


Category: Nokia

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  • sri_tech

    In my opinion he did a great job with Lumias. Main problem is Nokia did not have enough cash in hand to survive longer at this stage especially after buying the Siemens stake.

    I am not really worried about selling out to Microsoft because Microsoft promised to not fire any employee and keep the offices in Finland. In fact they are opening a data center in Finland.

    My only problem is no Nokia brand on Lumia phones in future. I think Nokia did not want to give the brand. I find it odd because they are letting Microsoft to use NOKIA brand for feature phones and Asha phones.

    That is the only thing that hurt me because after it will be the same people and same divisions working in future.

    • jiipee

      “I am not really worried about selling out to Microsoft because Microsoft promised to not fire any employee and keep the offices in Finland. In fact they are opening a data center in Finland.”

      Microsoft promised not to fire any employees for now. If you look at their material on the deal, there is 600 million $ annual savings plan there.

      The data center is rather small one. The investment was in few hundred millions. At the same time they are investing 1,5 Billion in Netherlands:

      I wish that someone else makes a bid for Nokia and MS follows, so that Nokia corp gets the best possible deal. At this stage the sale to MS was the only feasible solution. The sad thing is that the was of ecosystem will probably get stronger and Nokia, who always pushed for standardization, is now dead in mobile.

      • Seems to make sense to build a large datacenter in the Netherlands with the AMS IX hub being about 50km away from the proposed location.

      • BTW, the proposed NL datacenter is a more advanced one with couplings with the nearby greenhouse industry. Sharing heat and electricity between the two (heat from data center to greenhouse and power from the greenhouse to the datacenter)

        Expect those technologies to cost quite a bundle more compared to a more normal datacenter. Not to say the Finnish one isn’t smaller though.

      • Aren’t bids by other parties forbidden? Nokia can’t go into negotiation with others without paying a hefty sum to MS is what I read a while back.

        • jiipee

          They can negotiate with others, if the other parties open the game. And Nokia has to reserve right to Microsoft to increase their offer. Nokia cannot actively contact others for a competing bid.

          • Ah yeah, that was it. Had it twisted up in my mind, thanks.

    • jiipee

      I just learned something new from JP Helminen.

      The Lumia margins have been disastrous:

      Nokia’s smartphone margin was 246 mEUR 2Q13. That included inventory correction of 20 mEUR = 226 mEUR. Cost of goods sold includes licences paid. Since the platform support payments are similar in nature as license costs, they are recognized under COGS ie they decrease COGS: 226 mEUR – 192 (platform support) = 34 mEUR ~ 3%.

      That is absolutely horrible margin level. They would have never become profitable with such margins and it is no wonder Nokia sold the business.

      • Random Random

        Still way better than the projected MeeGo sales.

        • zlutor

          any data source? seriously

  • GordonH

    “Ollila got angry on Elop after his burning platform memo. In general Elop was doing a lot of stuff independently after joining, which caused frustration among the board. Later the co-operation improved.”

    So this still stinks. Elop caused frustration to the board at Nokia, but caused smiles at MS.

    • jiipee

      Maybe the forthcoming book from Ollila clarifies some things. It should be out within weeks and he said that an extra chapter is included, which covers also the CEO choise and shift in strategy.

      • Of course Ollila will not admit that he knew that Elop is a trojan as he would be sued for billions of euros. But of course he knew all along what was going to happen when he chose Elop over Vanjoki.

        • Janne

          Of course that isn’t very likely.

          What makes that theory so unplausible is the fact that we’re discussing Jorma Ollila here.

          Really, Jorma Ollila. Anyone who knows anything about the inner workings at Nokia in the decade prior knows how Ollila felt about Microsoft. We’re talking about his legacy here, too.

          Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, Jorma Ollila’s follower Risto Siilasmaa isn’t really all that plausible either for such a theory. About the only way a Microsoft angle makes any sense is that Nokia felt they wanted to get rid of phones after OPK failed, but I don’t see that as very likely either.

          Nobody knew for sure what would happen when Elop started. That’s just nonsense. Even if Microsoft and Nokia had some aspirations one way or the other, all that was contingent on how Lumia fared on the market. Had Lumia fared better or worse, the image would be different for very obvious reasons.

          Of course, there are those who “know” WP is inherently unsellable and will be rejected by operators and the market. I think not.

          • That is why Ollila left shortly after he hired Elop. He knew exactly what was going to happen and didn’t want to be a part of it. And it’s a fact that WP is unsellable. Nokia have to virtually give them away at a huge loss to move a few millions. 🙂

            • Janne

              That’s your problem. You don’t know your facts.

              When Elop was chosen, Ollila actually extended his tenure as chairman for one year.

              Yes, Ollila stayed on longer because of Elop than he had announced before.

              That kind of puts your message into an awkward light.

              As for WP being unsellable? Luckily we’ll get to see if that’s so. I don’t agree it is unsellable.

              • Yeah it’s a very good legacy for Ollila now. They went from being the worlds biggest smartphone shop by far to number nine or something under Elop. Ollila should’ve left earlier but the current chairman seems to be bit better. It was a very clever move to start putting together Android prototypes forcing MS to make a bid for the whole lot. The fact remains that Nokia’s current phone unit is basically worthless and MS pay a lot more than it’s actually worth. Good for Nokia stockholders, bad for Nokia bloggers.

                • Janne

                  Ollila’s legacy is, of course, tarnished now.

                  But that makes it even harder to believe he would have done so intentionally. Why would have he stayed on for “one more year” to support the new strategy and administration? If he had known about a trojan play, let alone supported it, wouldn’t he have run away as early as possible to distance himself from it all? What would have been his upside in such a scenario, his motive?

                  This kind of stuff is what makes the theories so hard to find likely. Why would have Ollila and Siilasmaa supported a trojan? It just doesn’t make any sense. And both knew the risks with Microsoft, that’s a known fact. About the only “knowing” reason I could buy is Nokia wanted to get rid of phones after OPK’s failure, but even that I don’t find likely.

                  • It’s some kind of “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” scheme. If MS could have Nokia Ollila could go on and be the chairman of a big oil company or whatever. MS with friends were desparate enough to get Nokia on WP that they would support such a move. So far I’ve only seen Ollila admitting to that he was forced to sack OPK. IIRC he didn’t say by who though.

                    • Janne

                      Owner pressure to change CEOs is understandable, and certainly something that happens in major corporations in distress. Few points, however:

                      If Ollila had faced pressure to fire OPK and disagreed heavily with this, he would have not stayed on for an extra year. In all likelihood, he agreed OPK was not working out. It is also perfectly plausible he wanted his Nokia board legacy to be as someone who put in place a new management that would work out.

                      The theory that Ollila’s Shell position was contingent on Ollila supporting a Trojan play at Nokia suggests Ollila somehow desperately wanted the Shell position. It also dismisses the fact that Ollila became the head of Shell back in 2006, pre-dating even the iPhone. Are you suggesting the seeds of a Windows Phone trojan play were planted before the iPhone launched?

                      And what would be Ollila’s motivation to sabotage his international legacy at Nokia be… just to get or get to keep a board gig somewhere? He was and is a very wealthy man. He sits in many boards and would have had no trouble finding new employment opportunities would he so have wished. Why would he want to sabotage Nokia?

                    • I’ve never said that Ollila wanted to destroy Nokia, just that he was forced to hire Elop instead of Vanjoki. Vanjoki leaving the company the same day that Elop was hired is a bit suspicious don’t you think? Why on earth would Ollila hire Elop of all people? It just doesn’t make any sense.

              • GordonH

                “That’s your problem. You don’t know your facts.” = “I am saying this to appear smarter then you.”

                • Janne

                  No, not smarter. Just more knowledgeable on the topic at hand.

                  • GordonH

                    Janne Not smarter. Just more protective on the topic at hand.

                    • Janne

                      That’s your view of it and nothing I say could ever change that.

                      That said, how do you explain Ollila staying on for one more year if he knew about the Trojan? To make sure the Trojan gets hisjob done? What would have been Ollila’s motivation to ruin his legacy?

                    • Where is Ollila now? And who put him there?

                    • Janne

                      Heading Shell board?

                      But he was there already when he decided to leave Nokia’s board.

                      Are you now suggesting his position at Shell was threatened by institutional investors unless he complies with a Trojan scheme at Nokia?

                      Ollila is a very wealthy man. I think his legacy at Nokia likely matters to him much more than staying on at Shell.

                      This is the problem with conspiracy theories. You have to start, at some point, ignoring too many points and making far too wide leaps to keep the story making sense.

                      To me the idea of Jorma Ollila being in on a Trojan play doesn’t make sense.

              • tom

                “As for WP being unsellable? Luckily we’ll get to see if that’s so. I don’t agree it is unsellable.”

                So far, only Lumia 520/521 is selling at comparable price to dumb phones. It remains to be seen though what happens, whether WP can compete in real smart phone play.

                • Capedonut

                  The cheapest android phones are in fact already 50 % cheaper than the 520

  • All interesting stuff, but the most striking is the MeeGo not being ready part.

    I too believe it wasn’t ready as a platform. As a platform that could work across a multitude of devices, as a platform that could achieve traction both in the market and among developers/carriers/you name it. Yes, the N9 sold well, but that is by no means a good indication. That device was ‘the last true Nokia’ for many people hence it was bought emotionally by many.

    Anyway, WP too wasn’t ready for the market. Both as an OS and a platform. WP7 totally wasn’t and even WP7.5 wasn’t really despite many improvement. Heck, even WP8 is still lacking some very important parts to be a real viable alternative to iOS and Android. Some basic features like a proper back-up system or the much maligned lack of separate volume controls.

    There might be improvement coming with GDR3, Blue/8.1 or later iterations but from the info that is available right now it still isn’t bringing what it shoul; one upping the competition. MS has such powerful tools available to them, such good ideas they are just wasting. To name just one; the people hub. That can be so powerful if only they decided to make more if it than what it is now. It essentially hasn’t changed since WP7.5. The rooms feature? It kind of works, but it is something more useful to a small group and not the entirety of users on WP. Let apps integrate into the people hub, the messaging hub, etc. That would make WP a better alternative than what others are now.

    But I digress, this was about Elop and Nokia. Plain and simple? Burning platform memo was a bug no-no. MeeGo was too much of an investment for Nokia to carry it alone (despite Intel, Nokia would have to carry the load) WP wasn’t ready for prime time, MS fumbled spectacularly with development of it. In the end Nokia wouldn’t be able to retain the level of sales/income/profit/whatever they had pre-Elop with any scenario. That’s my take.

    • John

      That total fabrication that it couldn’t work across multiple device was just that, it amazes me that people still parrot that, it was debunked by one of Elop’s senior engineers shortly after he made the claim.

      And it’s a gross assumption to say that -Intel aside- Nokia would’ve been carrying it alone, they’d barely started the process of getting other contributors on board when the whole thing was ditched by Elop.
      LG (it may be another, my mem’s hazy now) was already dipping it’s toe, in time others may well have got involved, esp. after the Motorola acquisition later on.

      • Janne

        The reality isn’t at all as simple as Felipe Contreras made it out to be, though.

        Neither Elop or Contreras was completely right on what they said, and both were right and wrong in some senses, but even that isn’t the whole story on MeeGo.

        The MeeGo story is far more complicated. Some has been shared, much still remains. It could have worked, but to suggest it didn’t face major obstacles is just dishonest.

        What *I* think would have worked the best, is Nokia pushing Maemo full blast since 2005 into phones. But then again, even I can’t prove that would have worked. I just believe so.

        • John

          Oh plz, it was clear at the time that Elop was being intellectually dishonest, or his understanding on the matter was simply poor, in which case he shouldn’t have been commenting in that area in the way he did. Just have a look at the detailed discussion in that blog post of Felipe’s, it’s all there.

          And I wasn’t for a minute saying that’s the “whole story” & there was no further obstacles, you merely ‘suggested’ I was asserting that.

          • Janne

            Oh plz yourself.

            Of course Elop was intellectually dishonest at the time – simplifying things grossly for a good PR spiel. We have gone through that many times here.

            To think that’s the full story on MeeGo is just naive and ignores a whole host of other sources on the topic. I’m glad you agree on that part, though.

            My point: I don’t think Elop’s arguments against MeeGo, good or bad, are really telling of Nokia’s MeeGo decision. Many others inside Nokia were favoring going Android at this time. MeeGo was clearly worrying people.

            I think MeeGo could have worked, but just like WP and BB10, Nokia faced an uphill climb to create an ecosystem for it.

            • John

              Oh plz yourself infinity ;-P

              Many were many weren’t…
              There was several fundamental differences in regards to how the project would’ve operated, that “may” have made all the difference, comparing it to BBX/WP is hardly some kind of litmus test.

              • Janne

                Of course. Many things could have made a difference. As I said, I think MeeGo could have worked. I also think going Android could have worked.

                I think going Maemo since 2005 would have worked best, curbing Android and limiting Apple. Then again, we’ll never know.

                Anyway, by 2010, I think any new entrant faced an uphill climb for an ecosystem because iOS had been so established and Android was picking up steam super-fast (remember all but one Symbian partners dumping it in 2010 before Elop started).

                There was no Qt mobile ecosystem for Nokia yet, they had to build one. Old Symbian ecosystem was not Qt compatible and would not run on Symbian^4 either, it was basically a dead-end, even apps like the great Gravity facing oblivion.

                Nokia chose to build an ecosystem for WP instead, but still, build they had to. Same of BB10, same for Jolla, same for Tizen, same for Ubuntu. Without an ecosystem, as a smartphone, you are nothing these days.

                • John

                  all stuff I dont need to be “edumacated” on.
                  I still don’t think it completely dispels them being able to pull-it off.
                  (as they’d originally planned)
                  There’s just way too many unknowns & different variables involved.

                  • Janne

                    Just to be clear, my intent isn’t to educate you. I’ll leave such antics to Random Random. I don’t know what you know or don’t know, so that’s futile anyway.

                    But for you and others to understand where I’m coming from, I think I need to explain my views, my understandings and that’s what I tried to do above.

                    • John

                      +1 queue the drivel he drones on with, luckily I won’t be here to witness it.
                      I never subscribe to these articles any more, complete time sink, he clearly can afford it but most can’t.

                • tom

                  Still “Could have worked” isn’t it? It’s fun to watch you defend your favorite Elop and WP even after Nokia is dead(for all practical purpose). You can go on with your useless talk as much as you want(without any evidence), fact is Nokia is dead because of WP and Elop.

                  Anyway, keep defending your love for them.

                  • Janne

                    Elop? The teenage mutant hero CEO? Not even his wife seems to love that failure.

                    I do “love” Nokia, that is true. As a fan. As a Finn.

                    As for your view of me, you are simply mistaken.

                    I don’t buy the Trojan theory, true. I think WP will do OK, sure. I think Symbian needed to go.

                    Other than that, Elop was a failure. No ifs, buts or maybies.

                  • Random Random

                    You people have never cared to explain why MeeGo would have worked. Actually Noki did that but no one else.

                    What would have been the unit sales in 1st quarter?

                    What would have been the possible YoY growth?

                    • zlutor

                      nobody has real numbers – that’s an other nice subject of conteos why… 😉

                      my opinion(!) Nokia could have delivered at least the same amount of smartphones on MeeGo than on WP.

                      There is nothing in the ‘WP ecosystem’ that would make it any better than the one would be built on MeeGo…

                      Or is it?

                      But it is just plain speculation from my side – and a little fanboyism coming from my N9… 😉

                    • Random Random

                      Anyone can estimate the sales Q by Q.

                      However the problem with that is that the required growth rate is just too high. No one has been able to do 1000% growth YoY and that would have been a requirement for MeeGo to maintain Nokia’s unit sales and profits.

                      Something like this.

                      Q4 2011 1 million phones.
                      Q4 2012 10 million phones.
                      Q4 2013 100 million phones.

                      That Q4 2013 seems to be hard to believe?

                      Let’s start again.

                      Q4 2011 1 million phones.
                      Q4 2012 5 million phones.
                      Q4 2013 25 million phones.

                      Sounds better? But that’s still 500% YoY growth and even Apple didn’t get that.

                      Having just 200% YoY is a great performance and with that it would have looked like this.

                      Q4 2011 1 million phones.
                      Q4 2012 3 million phones.
                      Q4 2013 9 million phones.

                      Now it starts to look familiar? The problem with WP was that it started too late. Just like MeeGo would have started too late.

                      But what if MeeGo had started selling in 2009?

                      Q4 2009 1 million phones.
                      Q4 2010 3 million phones.
                      Q4 2011 9 million phones.
                      Q4 2012 27 million phones.
                      Q4 2013 81 million phones.

                      That way Nokia could have almost maintained all the unit sales they had. Well. They would have had small decline in total sales in 2011 and 2012 but they would have started gaining in 2013.

                      Assuming that they could have maintained that very good 200% YoY growth.

                      Do you understand my point?

                    • GordonH

                      “Do you understand my point?”
                      Yes exactly the question you should be asking yourself..
                      Do you yourself understand your point?

                    • Random Random

                      I understand it.

                      Nokia started too late and my message illustrates that quite well.

                      If you don’t understand that, it makes you either stupid, fanboy or ignorant.


                      I was talking about understanding and not agreeing. There is a difference.

        • ‘What *I* think would have worked the best, is Nokia pushing Maemo full blast since 2005 into phones.’

          Pff, if only that would have happened. Good times.

          • Shaun

            I’d have to disagree with you both. Having owned an N900, N9 and played with the earlier internet tablets, with the exception of the N9, they were not mainstream consumer devices and that’s what Nokia needed. Much as I liked my N900, for most people, in comparison to an iPhone it was a chunky brick with an awful screen, crap battery life and a crashworthy OS that only geeks would love.

            The N9 polished off all the rough edges and was mainstream. Sure, it still had some rough edges but from a mainstream user’s point of view it was almost perfect. Nokia just needed to iterate for a year while bringing up MeeGo proper instead of the Harmattan hybrid. It’s still have landed before WP8 and they need not have spent a year re-writing apps that they already had written in Qt for Windows 7 and then 8.

            • Random Random

              How come was N9 perfect for the mainstream users?

              Where were the applications? How was N9 supposed to get more applications WP had by end of 2011 even if it was not cancelled?

              Where were the cloud services?

              What about full video support for the front camera? Sure, it could have been done but it was not done.

              It was not a full featured product and people praising it are always claiming that this and that could have been added. They fail to understand that Nokia just didn’t have time to add all that. Even not without killing MeeGo.

              It was missing almost all the nice features Google and Apple had. Sure, there was that unproven UI but that’s it.

              • jiipee

                Your claim on the UI does not seem plausible, or why has Nokia still pushed light Swipe UI on Asha?

                What comes to your other comments, I can relate to the app question. Alien Dalvik may not have been the perfect solution to that matter, but by applying it and Qt on Android (today official btw), they would have surpassed WP in an instant. Next you will say that there wouldnt have been any Qt applications. You may well be right, cant be sure. I dont know ebough how efficient Qt on Android is and how good the dev tools for Android are.

                That patht would have allowed them a smooth switch to Android, had the decided that Meego does not work and would have had (more) compatible apps. Or they could have taken WP as their core platform and keep Meego team of 200-500 people in a separate company (cost: 360 million per annum).

                Which cloud services do you mean? I have all that I need in my N9 that I need. Some more than WP eg Google contact sync. We dont know, what kind of deals Nokia had negotiated and were canceled after the strategy shift.

                • Random Random

                  Swipe on Asha was radically altered. It had those physical keys, you remember?

                  Qt applications for Android. That would require them to be run outside Dalvik.

                  Hard core users rarely use cloud services but normal people do want to get that option. Just check what you can do with iCloud.

                  • jiipee

                    Asha is not that different: AFAIK the button is ‘back’. In most N9 screens there is back button (which I would have dropped myself). Afaik, in some other Ashas the button is on screen.

                    If you look at this video, the guy on it mostly uses side swipe to exit an app. The change is not that radical as you suggest. We would need to interview Skillman on, why did they introduce the back button and whether it could have been just a small addition for Swipe.


                    “Qt applications for Android. That would require them to be run outside Dalvik. ”
                    And the problem is? If the apps are Nokia specific that could be in fact a benefit since they could run smoother. Im not sure if that is true, since I think I read from a Qt blog that they somehow use Dalvik with Qt. I could be wrong.

                    How are the cloud services with the market leader? I checked a couple of Icloud vids. Nothing there what is beyond Android or N9 capabilities – maybe the device location is different since I cant remember if that was offered with N9. I did locate my old Ericsson in a bar in Turku in Summer 2000, but could find the exact spot. Hence I believe that at least my operator can offer the service still. Ive got contacts synced to Gcontact, Outlook, Dynamics CRM on my N9. Just like calendar events. We share our pictures and some musics with my better half via Dropbox. Maybe I missed something?

                    • Random Random

                      It’s actually a huge change compared to the N9.

                      N9 was advertised as a device that didn’t have any buttons. Well, it had 3 but none on the front side. On Asha Nokia was eventually forces to add physical button(s) to the front side turning in effectively an altered iPhone clone. Just like pretty much any other phone seems to be what it comes to the touch display. A big screen and a home button to start with.

                      The change is really radical if you think about it because the difference is fundamental. No buttons or buttons.

                      The problem with not using Dalvik is that you should have different binaries for different processor architectures. That might prove tricky with the current applications stores for Android. Users shouldn’t care about that. With Dalvik code they don’t have to think about that and the applications will work on future platforms as long as Dalvik compatibility is maintained. With Qt binaries that wouldn’t be possible.

                      The cloud services are a big topic. Are you sure Nokia would have been able to sync everything like Apple does? Photos from a device to device, applications like Apple syncs apps? It took ages for Nokia to get even the basic re downloads working. When was that? They didn’t work that well in the end of 2010 while Apple had that already back in 2008.

              • krishna6233

                all meego needed was a push from Nokia’s side..
                how much money Nokia burned for wp??
                wp7 lumias suck ..wp8 is no better.
                all the burned money only was necessary to make meego a commercial success

                • swain

                  Forget about money…Nokia burned itself for Windows Flop.

                  • Random Random

                    More money would have been burned if Nokia had tried to succeed with MeeGo.

                    Developing MeeGo would have cost more.

                    WP cost less and the chance of success was as good as with MeeGo. Maybe even better.

                    • swain

                      MeeGo was much better than WP7.

                    • Random Random

                      Sure, and it would have cost so much more.

                      MeeGo was a new OS starting from zero. Assuming normal 100%-200% YoY growth and initial sales of one million units with good marketing, MeeGo would have gotten 2-4 million of unit sales in Q4 2012.

                      Not that much considering that the costs would have been very high.

                    • jiipee


                      What is your estimate for the “very high cost” in EUR?

                    • Random Random

                      How much would it cost to have a minimum of 4000 people working on that? Preferably 8000 if Nokia was supposed to create and maintain any modern services.

                      Those are pretty much the absolutely lowest possible numbers for Nokia.

                    • zlutor

                      In practice Jolla did it. Most probably their financial possibilities are quite limited. But they have poven it doable….

                      @RR: “MeeGo was a new OS starting from zero. Assuming normal 100%-200% YoY growth and initial sales of one million units with good marketing, MeeGo would have gotten 2-4 million of unit sales in Q4 2012.”

                      What about hyped Lumias?

                    • Random Random

                      Of course Lumia started also too late.


                      I actually deleted my comment about Jolla from that message.

                      Jolla is adding very little new and they are probably going to be just one more Android platform because the Android compatibility will kill most of the native development.

                      Jolla also is using 3rd party solutions for pretty much everything. Something that would have been quite impossible for Nokia back in 2011. Those services were really available at the time.

                    • jiipee

                      “How much would it cost to have a minimum of 4000 people working on that? Preferably 8000 if Nokia was supposed to create and maintain any modern services.”

                      That already shows that you are only trolling. Symbian had that 4000-5000 heads with the old model of too broad product offering.

                      Meego was about 1000 heads and that was the hedcount for building the system, less were needed to maintain and evolve.

                      Since you seem to know all of Jolla’s Sailfish, could share us the 3rd party solutions they are using. And why couldnt Nokia use the very same 3rd party tech? Since Elop was the sw tech guru and was hired to execute, he would have pushed fast go-to-market instead of in-house development? That it something Nokia did wrong all the time (why coulndt hey use the Trolltech mobile framework for instance and built 2 of their own). Jolla is still a good benchmark in getting Meego up and running as a platform: 1 million fixed costs a year.

                    • Random Random


                      Unfortunately no.

                      You have to remember that those estimations include the people Nokia would have needed for creating all those services and features the competition has.

                      Also, 1000 people didn’t include all the people involved with the Linux OS projects. Meltemi alone had lots of people. You can figure this out just by looking at the layoffs taking place after Nokia shutting down the Ulm operations.

                      But why that many people anyway?

                      The competition was way ahead of Nokia at the time. There was simply no time to catch up with a moderate sized team. The list of missing features was just too massive.

                      And why couldn’t Nokia use the same 3rd party services Jolla is using now? Simply because they didn’t exist in 2011.

                      We are talking about the decision made in early 2011, aren’t we?

            • Janne


              I’d have to disagree with you both. Having owned an N900, N9 and played with the earlier internet tablets, with the exception of the N9, they were not mainstream consumer devices and that’s what Nokia needed.

              Think bigger.

              What if, since 2005, Nokia would have put major effort into making Maemo a mainstream smartphone platform? How much faster would Maemo adapted to that than Symbian Series 60?

              • Random Random

                The question is if Nokia would have been able to deliver simple enough?

                • Janne

                  That is a good question.

                  I think yes.

                  • jiipee

                    yes they could have. Just look at Asha.

                    • Random Random

                      Very unlikely.

                      Asha was released only years after iPhone and the simple enough paradigm was introduced by Apple.

                      It’s extremely unlikely that Nokia would have been able to simplify Maemo enough. After all the Nokia way of designing user interfaces and devices was to add features.

                      Not making them extremely simple.

                    • Random Random

                      I don’t say it would have been impossible, but unlikely.

                      The Nokia way really was all about adding features and making them available for the user as soon as possible. It’s quite different from the Apple way of designing devices.

                    • Janne

                      Yes, Apple’s style was different.

                      But my point is: With Maemo on the base, Nokia could have evolved and responded to Apple’s way faster.

                      Symbian was hindering their adjustment to the new smartphone world. Maemo would have, I argue, made “getting simpler” possible faster.

                      Maemo phone in 2006 would not have been as simple as iPhone in 2007, but Maemo phones in 2008 would have already been a lot better in this scenario than N97 ever was in 2009.

                    • Random Random


                      This is true.

                    • jiipee

                      you should forget Iphone for a while and consentrate on the market leader, Android, which killed Nokia.

                      I wouldnt call that UX as simple.

                    • jiipee

                      Btw. if you look at the Dali UI, it seems that Nokia was able to do simple. Too simple.

                    • Random Random


                      Nokia was not able to deliver Dali.

                      That should be obvious. They didn’t ship it because they just couldn’t decide what to do.

                      No, instead of shipping it they started working on Swipe UI.

      • I’m not saying that it was not capable of working across multiple devices, I’m saying that it wasn’t ready to do so and based on development speed I didn’t expect it to be ready anywhere near fast enough. Aside from that, would a Nokia MeeGo based, probably Intel HW running, tablet gain any traction in a market dominated by iPads at the time?

        I’d say no, even Android tablets didn’t gain any traction back then. Also due to poor HW and poor SW though, but how would MeeGo been any different on a tablet? Especially if it were Intel based as plans were at the time.

        Regarding Nokia carrying it alone; if they barely started drafting others at the time Elop killed then they were too late. We’re talking late 2010 here, a time when Android was already a good force to be reckoned with. How would Nokia swoon others to join MeeGo? Especially since it was all still pretty much in a beta stage. Nokia’s N9 doesn’t count here as that was mostly proprietary Nokia SW.

        Lets assume Nokia did swoon a few like LG in late 2010, then we would see HW coming out only in mid 2011 on average. A time when the GS2 was already there along with some pretty powerful other Android handsets and even the iPhone 4/4s. That was some good competition to go up against.

        All in all, Android was already far too enticing (and free) for most OEMs. Couple that with the nasty taste Nokia gave most OEMs when they were in bed with them in the Symbian days.

        • John

          Kow do you “know” it was too late, that’s just the point, it’s all pointless speculation. And it’s likely 1st meego handsets wouldn’t have arrived till Q4 2012 best case scenario, but more likely Q3 2012 onwards, that was the whole point of harmattan.

          • John

            Kow = how

          • Well, how do you know it was not too late?

            I base what I say on what I’ve seen in the market at the time. The quick uptake of Android based devices, the opening of carrier exclusivity of the iPhone, the launch of the iPhone 4. And that was all in 2010. After that there were even more point indicating that there was a shift towards Android.

            I’ll admit that it is guesswork, but your ideas are largely the same. But what about the partners piece that I wrote? If Nokia were busy swooning OEMs in mid/late 2011, would you agree that devices would come to market mid 2012? Wouldn’t that have been a little on the late side when you think about what was available in the market at that time and how far along competing OS were?

            • John

              I don’t say it was def. not too late, it may look like that in the face of your knowing that it was.

              • Nah, I don’t know it was too late. I merely fear it would have been too late. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t preach facts, merely my thoughts at best.

                • Random Random

                  It doesn’t take genius to understand it was simply too late. Apple was the biggest (revenues) smartphone manufacturer already in late 2009.

                  Android became biggest in 2010 and then it was just too late for Nokia because of the momentum.

                  • DeepSpaceBar

                    they focused too much on Microsoft which was elop’s idea of slowing nokia’s progress for symbian and meego…they knew wp7 was shit but elop forced everyone to make windows a ‘priority’ when they had symbian and meego to work on…..

                    • Random Random

                      Elop actually was speeding up Symbian and MeeGo development.

                      It was horribly slow before Elop’s regime.

                  • GordonH

                    Definitely agree on WP8 being too late 😉

                    • Random Random

                      Yes it was. Just like MeeGo would have been.

        • John

          And it was never exclusively Intel & form-factors larger than phones, that’s another popular & complete myth. ARM was being treated just as importantly, just like Tizen today (which is quite diff. underlying tech but some similar org. structure & similar org/co’s involved). Plus it wasn’t gong to be licensed, it was to be free like Android.

          • jiipee

            Or perhaps even cheaper than Android, if Intel and Nokia had managed the patenting right and didnt charge extra for services like Google does.

    • John

      Even the most conservative road-maps had it being ready by no later than Q3 of 2012. Before that there would’ve been 1-2 more Harmattan devices, & then a raft of meego-proper devices from Nokia, Intel, Others. Where was WP in Q3/4 2012? Still pretty damn useless overall, even with the arrival of WP8.

      • John

        “probably” Others

      • Ha, yeah WP wasn’t much in Q2/3 either eventhough Mango was a massive update. Says more about the state 7.0 was in than anything else.

        As with anything that didn’t happen, we’re just guessing what could have, would have or should have happened. It’s just my personal opinion based on following Nokia for years that lead me to think what I do.

        That is why I’m saying that MeeGo probably wouldn’t have worked at that time. I’d alse be hard pressed to believe that the partner thing would have worked. The Harmattan thing could have done the trick, but that wasn’t the MeeGo the partners had access to, it was all (or mostly) Nokia only stuff. The whole thing that made the N9 (UI) was Nokia and not MeeGo. And I don’t think Nokia was prepared to donate that UI to partners, they never did such things in the Symbian days as they kept it all to themselves.

        All in all, I like these discussions, but the one unfortunate caveat is that we are all just guessing at what might have been.

        • John

          Well, it’s pure speculation that they would never have donated swipeux, for starters most of the libraries upon which is was built were outdated, so there would’ve been some initial work there. But it’s not unreasonable to assume that at least some major components of swipeUX would’ve been re-adapted eventually for the new UX (meegoce), which was still in prototyping stage & not even a faint reflection of what it would ultimately look like.

          • Yup, it is speculation based on what Nokia did with Symbian in the day they still had partners. But, as you already say; ‘But it’s not unreasonable to assume’ Yes, it isn’t unreasonable to assume, but it is still an assumption as is mine 🙂

            • John

              You fail to understand how meego the org. was structured compared to the old days if you think the same pattern of behaviour would’ve occurred. If it remained their primary strategy (or 1 of 2 perhaps) they would’ve had a vested interest in propelling it forward. Again, it’s not unreasonable to assume they would’ve used “at least some” elements of swipeux, they were in a VERY different position to the one they were in in the old days. They could no longer afford to remain in the ivory tower.

              • John

                And aside from that there’s the fact that harmattan was a big fail in many respect aside from the UX, it carried much of the legacy issues of maemo & then some other of it’s own unique nasties.
                MeeGo was about removing all that crud & taking only the best bits, still waiting on my prior post to be approved which already touched on that, but I’m out: #no_more_time-sinks

        • John

          There was also many issues with harmattan, everyone talks about the “amazing” UX, but there was a metric s**t ton of limitations that would’ve been far easier to navigate/rectify in the far more malleable & up-to-date meego/ce.

          • John

            please approve that comment….

    • Timple

      If you wait until a platform is “ready” it’s too late. The first iphone was woefully bereft of features.

      They should have gone ahead with Meego (they’d sunk so much into it already they may as well) and placed a side-bet on Android (or a compatible fork – if they could do a L800 in 9 months they could do an Android in the same time frame). If the market had ignored the N9 and bought the Android variant then fair enough. Meego is quietly withdrawn (like the N900 etc). Symbian should have been put on sustain and never dissed the way it was (I think the whole world is now unanimous on what a disastrous move the burning platform was).

      Nokia not having enough engineering talent at the time for the above strategy is a joke.

      • Yeah this was the strategy they’ve been working on for more than two years when Elop killed it. Ballmer and his henchman have completely destroyed Nokia’s handset unit and we can only hope for that Nokia will continue with Sailfish in the future.

        • John

          Err no, they were not working on Android BEFORE Elop came along. Around the time he started is when they could’ve made those changes, although I would’ve picked WP as the side-bet, at least for starters.

          • I was only talking about Symbian and Meego with Qt which they’ve been working on for more than two years when Elop killed it. Android of course should’ve been chosen over WP but that’s another story.

          • Random Random


            They were working on Android even before Elop started to work for Nokia. Elop didn’t kill Android development but wanted to continue it as a side project.

            Was it a massive project? No.

            • John

              Source? And legit/verifiable plz.

              • Random Random

                You were supposed to stop talking.

                John says:
                September 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

                And, this is where I make my exit: #no_more_time-sinks

      • John

        +1 Although I always favoured a side-bet with WP…
        Not the largely “all our way or no other way” that MS dictated they take. There however should’ve been a clause where-by they could get out earlier if MS wasn’t delivering well enough.

      • Yeah, I would have liked to see them go at it as a sort of side project. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind if they kept making Symbian devices as long as they weren’t S60 based.

        Although they shouldn’t work with so many platforms as you suggest. Just do WP and MeeGo/Harmatten and nothing more. If one of those underperforms drop it and pick Android.

        Supporting 3 fundamentally different OS’ would have created to great costs for Nokia IMHO.

    • jiipee

      “All interesting stuff, but the most striking is the MeeGo not being ready part.”

      That comment was from Jo Harlow and is quite controversial:

      I agree mostly with you. I still find that eg establishing separate company for Meego with some 200-400 emplyess and Peter Skillman would have been a good option alongside external OS.

      An interesting point from Juha-Pekka Helminen (ex-Nokian, strategy) is that the management lacked transparency on Meego: “Regardless how it looked inside MeeGo it didnt look clear frm outside. Remember who was leading MeeGo then.” & “True & agreed. But it is all about convincing mgmt & making them to understand. Looked different frm outside” And it seems that they didnt bother to find out properly (see Felipe Contrares blog)

      • Maybe MeeGo could have done it, OS wise it was good enough to be a contender at least. Where I was more afraid of is the rest of it. To name just one thing that is increasingly more popular, cloud storage. Would Nokia have been able to build a good platform of their own?

        Yes, they could have relied on some deal with Dropbox like HTC, but could they have a similar service to SkyDrive that works across multiple devices (not with ease all the time though) Could Nokia build a platform that would sync up properly with what people have on their desktops/laptops like MS is doing now? Could Nokia provide a proper backup structure for phones like Apple has (the MS WP solution just sucks right now)

        I’m not saying Nokia was incapable of doing it, but Nokia’s history did paint a bleak picture when it comes to good supporting software. Most OVI services were a good idea but sucked when used. Although I must admit I haven’t been the biggest user of said services, so I might be wrong here.

        • Shaun

          “could they have a similar service to SkyDrive that works across multiple devices”

          Nokia used to have not one but two cloud file sharing platforms. Ovi Files & Ovi Share. Both were by acquisition. Files was particularly good as not only did it do Dropbox style storage and sync, it also did ‘Back to Your Mac’ style remote file access if the file wasn’t stored online. It’s a pity Nokia killed it. I can only presume the team behind it ‘cashed out’ when they got the chance.

          And if that wasn’t enough, F-Secure, whose chairman is one Risto Siilasmaa, does online storage and is currently launching ‘Younited’.

          The problem with the Ovi services was that Nokia bought in 5, 6, 7 or so different services from other companies all with staff spread around the world with differing server technology, backend and front end all managed by Tero Ojanperä who The Register described as a ‘Space Cadet’.

          • jiipee

            😉 What Ive heard, Ojanperä was a mess.

        • jiipee

          Good points. Btw I enjoy your way of reasoning and argumentation.

          “To name just one thing that is increasingly more popular, cloud storage. Would Nokia have been able to build a good platform of their own? ”
          Im not sure if the could or should. I used to think that Amazon would have been a good partner i that sense, but someone here claimed that Nokia tried and failed. Dont know about Yahoo’s capabilities in general, but they would have been potential partner material. They already hosted Nokia’s email service afaik. As you said, Dropbox, would have been a good primary solution. It works well for me and is simple.

          You should also note, that WP would have died, had Nokia adopted it. It is not absolutely out of the question that MS would have offered some of their services. Or they couldnt have blocked them fearing the EU authorities with whom they already have had trouble with.

          I didnt really know about that much of Ovi services such as contant symc before they closed it. The desktop cliens were always horrible and I will never understand how the Boston guys were capable of creating such mess.

  • Janne

    By the way, Helsingin Sanomat magazine player clever there in the headline:

    “Mies, joka teki myyjän työn”

    Translates to “Man who did the salesman’s job”.

    However in Finnish that is only one letter’s difference to

    “Mies, joka teki myyrän työn”

    Translates to “Man who did the mole’s job”.

    • I’ve have a feeling you’re beginning to see the light.

      • Janne

        That Helsingin Sanomat is a politically motivated greenist leftist propaganda machine?

        Yes, I have seen that light a long time ago.

        Your point? 😉

        • Only joking. But tabloids should be very careful about what they write about what’s going on at Nokia because this is not just the usual “who is sleeping with who” gossip. A paper outright accusing Elop of being a trojan could be sued for A LOT of money …

      • krishna6233


    • DeepSpaceBar

      see that so they knew something wrong was going on in Nokia after elop came… And by the way…. Go watch ‘the inside job’ matt damon is the explains.. Basically how big corporations give ‘bonuses’ to ceo despite their financial issues and it’s out of pure corruption why it happened and as well ‘made’ to look like an accident or gradually happen…. It’s all planned to happen by monopolies

      • Janne

        No, it’s just Helsingin Sanomat being clever and playing on popular theories. If they actually *knew* something, it would be a scoop of major proportions and they’d run with it big time.

        The trojan theory is unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely.

        Arguing it here is pointless, though. People believe what they want to believe.

        • DeepSpaceBar

          don’t be ignorant man,elop knew what he was doing they all knew what they where doing

          ^something to think about and it’s sad cause it’s 100% true nokia was set up for destruction by the americans

          • Hahahaha, that Hitler video is just hilarious. 🙂

            • Janne

              On that note… on Germany, predicting the future and PR(opaganda)… read sometimes Nazi propaganda minister’s Joseph Göbbels’ “blog” from early 1945:


              It is interesting to see with the benefit of hindsight what he gets right, what he gets wrong. Sometimes even in lunacy and propaganda there are seeds of truth. Then again, major misconceptions too.

              Göbbels is just one person in a long line of people whom wasn’t hurt by what he didn’t know, but was hurt by what he knew but just wasn’t true.

              Don’t think you know, when you possibly can’t know for sure. Anyone with an agenda can have truths in their story, compelling truths even, but that doesn’t mean that’s the whole truth and nothing but.

              • DeepSpaceBar

                you have to understand this Usa is a corporation and not a country..they work on capitalism and corporatism …they want to number one in the world at EVERYTHING….they want you to go to them for everything….big brother much :/… Nokia the number 1 for smartphones and feature phones since 1996 ….. And small a country…how was this possible… UsA got jealous and killed them.. End of story.., cause if wasn’t like that why is it that only 3 monopolies exist in tech..and only can’progress’ with those software…proprietary much… Equals control….microsoft wasn’t in the game… So they killed Nokia knowing android would take over if nokia was damaged hard enough..and it happened with the right people….two OS that look similar wasn’t gonna happen…symbian and android look and function very alike and google has money… So what does that tell you in all :/

  • Random Random


    This was pretty much the same I have been telling.

    MeeGo was not ready as a platform and they just didn’t have competent enough people.

    It’s also interesting how some people just don’t understand how big issue it was that MeeGo was not going to be compatible with the current Symbian applications.

    • GordonH

      The first Meego device N9 was released a few months before the first Nokia WP7.5 devices. The interesting part is MS wasn’t yet ready with their proper WP8 devices until an year later.
      Dumping Meego for a weak WinCE OS gave bad vibes across the technical community. Any talented developer knew that it was a wrong technically move. Hell even MS dumped WinCE to go for WinNT (WP8).

      • Random Random


        N9 was just a product. Not a real platform. Even as a product it was not a mature enough. It was lacking lots of features and it had poor application support.

        It would have taken lots of more to establish it as a platform.

        Just as I have told you.

        • DeepSpaceBar

          they are called updates for a reason :/elop didn’t with symbian and meego why he killed them instead of updating them…. Business men only know how to sell just like ‘steve jobs’ he didn’t know shit it was ‘steve waznak’ that created apple steve was the saleman…. And to make it worse where elop came from

        • sbw44

          At least Engadget which at a time was heavily against Nokia preferred MeeGo over Mango! and actually did a stunning review of the N9. No platform or not the whole tech world was in awe when Nokia released the N9!

          • Random Random

            Sure, but N9 was just one product.

            It was not a platform.

            Even as a product it was an incomplete one. Missing lots of features and it didn’t have that many applications.

            Even if it was not cancelled, there wouldn’t have been enough applications. WP didn’t have enough of those and there was no way MeeGo would have had more applications than WP had.

            In early 2011 there was only a handful of mobile Qt applications. There should have been hundreds of thousands by the end of 2011.

            Where was those applications supposed to come from?

            • DeepSpaceBar

              Qt on meego…… And have you seen the amount of apps devs made on meego using Qt :/

              • Sailfish’ success will be the ultimate proof that all pro Elop pundits have been wrong all along. And Jolla have fifty employees or something. Nokia get a lot of cash from the sale to MS so hopefully they will continue with Sailfish after all the current WP crap is gone.

                • Random Random

                  Assuming that Sailfish succeeds on mass markets?

                  That’s the old story.

                  Sailfish succeeding would prove that MeeGo would have succeeded but Sailfish failing would prove nothing.

                  Sounds like double standards.

                  • jiipee

                    “Sailfish succeeding would prove that MeeGo would have succeeded but Sailfish failing would prove nothing”
                    You should change that:
                    “Sailfish succeeding would prove that MeeGo would have succeeded but Sailfish failing in terms of usability and fleibility could prove that Meego wouldnt have worked”

                    If you try to analyze the situation from business POV, you would understand, why the statement is quite accurate and not double standards. Its quite a different thing to try uto enter heavily competed mass market with
                    – a unknown brand
                    – limited resources
                    – need to create and manage a completely new team
                    – setup supply channels and sourcing in general
                    – negotiate sales channel deals
                    – create marketing from scratch

                    If you are not able to count to factors in, I need to chance my opinion that you hve some intelligence in your head.

                    • Random Random

                      I was referring to the same claim made about BB.

              • Random Random

                There were too few applications made with Qt for MeeGo.

                There should have been hundreds of thousands by the end of 2011 but that was just not going to happen.

                • GordonH

                  Now go ahead and announce WP8 dead on arrival. Lets see the amount of apps increase and that is just not going to happen.

                  • Random Random

                    Sure, but how was MeeGo supposed to get 200 000 applications even without killing it?

                    • GordonH

                      Yes yes and even more. If you have any insight into the large Linux community.
                      The point is Elop and MS knew Meego would sell better then Lumia and hence it was stabbed and stabbed and stabbed at the back and then stabbed in front.

                    • Random Random

                      I asked about how and you failed to answer.

                      How was Nokia supposed to get 200 000 mobile applications for it? Not old Linux ports but applications designed for the mobile devices.

                      That was just not going to happen.

                    • GordonH

                      “I asked about how and you failed to answer.”

                      I wasn’t talking about Linux application ports.
                      Now try and understand the Linux community and development fanbase.

            • v.s.i

              As much as I like to disagree with him, R. R. is right especially when put into perspective. Maybe Harmattan would have had a head start but overall, 2 years later, which OS was going to have the advantage of infrastructure and financial backing up?

              For example, we know that WP’s going to have a voice assistant like Android or iOS (possibly even better) that can tap into Bing’s knowledge repository (Satori). Would Nokia have been capable of building a program like this (even taking into account a potential license to Satori)? What about the other cloud services like Skydrive, Office, or even a decently-looking Store? Did they have the money or expertise for these things?

              If a Maemo strategy had been pursued in 2005, these problems may have been partially resolved or even completely avoided, as Nokia would have loads of cash and would be able to license or partner with service or content providers. Successful examples:
              > maps – 2008 NAVTEQ acquisition, to fruitful results (independence of GMaps and extensive licensing) and
              > music – unknown timeframe but predating 2010 under the name ‘Comes with Music’ (compelling alternative to XBox music and other similar offers)

              Plus with WP there already is integration with Windows and XBox, set to become even tighter next year (Cortana, store unification).

              In fact I’ll go a step further and say that by 2009 Maemo as a platform had already been set up for failure because of Symbian. Because even as a fan, when things are clear and facts speak for themselves there should be no reason not to accept reality.

    • John

      And, this is where I make my exit: #no_more_time-sinks

    • DeepSpaceBar

      um that’s why Qt was created to have the same app on all 3 platforms….. :/ and now google is picking up where nokia got slapped by Microsoft with Qt… Alot of apps are gonna get compressed and released faster cause of Qt :/

      • Random Random


        Unfortunately Qt for mobile didn’t work well enough and there really wasn’t that many Qt applications for Symbian. It was just too little too late.

        Nokia’s Qt strategy had clearly failed.

        Google is currently using Dalvik as the way to achieve cross platform compatibility. Not Qt.

        • Wasn’t the N8 Nokia’s first Qt powered phone? And it sold really well when it was released in 2010 Q4. IIRC Nokia said they sold more N8s than they could produce! And that was even before Belle which made Symbian a lot better. Elop then of course went ahead and killed it. Already in late 2010 Nokia said in their Q3 report that a new strategy was going to be announced “early next year”. The Qt strategy was killed by the trojan already in late 2010 and was then made official in feb/2011. So how can anyone possibly argue that the Qt strategy had failed when it never got a chance on the market?

          • Random Random

            Even while N8 had Qt, there was very few Qt applications for the platform. That’s pretty good evidence pointing out that Qt had failed.

            When Apple launched the App Store they got over 7000 apps in 3 months. The same can’t be said about Qt and N8. Qt powered Symbian was just not going to make it.

            Not even close.

            It was a failure.

            • The Qt powered N8 sold more than Nokia could produce in 2010 Q4 so I’d say that it was doing just fine. The trojan of course had to kill it fast and replace it with the much worse WP7.

              • Random Random

                In that case Nokia was doomed no matter what.

                Even Apple managed to build more devices and they don’t even have factories.

                If Nokia was not capable, with all the factories they had, of ordering enough phones like N8, they just had no future. End of the story.

                Then again Symbian3 sold puny 5 million in Q4 2010 and they started shipping already back in Q3 2010.

                They had only few models but so did Apple. There is no excuse for Nokia getting that low sales if the company was supposed to have viable products.

                • You don’t think selling 5 million N8 in 2010 Q4 was good? And making good money in the process. For being the first Qt powered device and not having that many apps, not counting S60, I’d say that number is TOTALLY AWESOME. And it could only go up from there with Anna, Belle, Carla and so forth.

                  • Random Random

                    Selling that few Symbian3 devices was a definite failure. Nokia was selling more than one Symbian3 phones while Apple practically had one phone with slight alterations.

                    Why didn’t Nokia get Qt applications? Apple got 7000 apps in the first 3 moths since App Store started. Why didn’t Nokia get more applications?

                    They really got very low profits compared to recent years and compared to Apple. How were they supposed to improve those profits when the profits just shrunk with the release of Symbian3?

                    What would have guaranteed the profits wouldn’t have been shrinking with the release of Anna and Belle? The same thing happened with Symbian3.

                    • Nokia was making huge profits with the N8 in 2010 Q4! For christ the phone cost a small fortune! On the older S60 devices I do agree that Nokia wasn’t making that much profits. They was being phased out though and was later replaced with full touch models like the 500 and 700 which would’ve sold a lot if they hadn’t been killed before they were released.

                    • Random Random

                      Just check how much Apple made profits. That’s huge.

                      Nokia’s profits used to be 2500 million for D&S and they just couldn’t maintain that. They just failed.

                      Why didn’t they were able to manufacture and sell more N8 phones if even Apple was able to sell more iPhones without owning factories?

                    • How the heck should I know why Nokia didn’t manage to produce more than 5 million N8 in 2010 Q4! I know though that the N8 was very expensive and thus generated huge profits for Nokia. The older S60 devices were crappy though and needed to be replaced as fast as possible with Qt powered devices.

                    • Random Random

                      Actually N8 wasn’t very expensive.

                      Apple’s iPhone was much more expensive and it had much more unit sales.

                      Then again, Symbian 3 sold only 5 million and you don’t even wonder why they had that miserable sales compared to iPhone?

                      If you don’t know why that low sales, how would you know that Nokia was going to do any better in the future?

        • DeepSpaceBar

          and wasn’t that cause of what elop did with Nokia….go look on n8fanclub and see all the Qt ported games that where considered ‘HD’ now all broken on symbian belle which means they where paid to damage symbian…..EA made a shit load of games for symbian specially when the N8 came out…

    • Shaun


      no wait, you’re seriously serious about compatibility with Symbian being important?

      If that was the case, where is the compatibility with Symbian in Windows Phone? Heck, where’s the compatibility in WP8 for WP7 apps never mind Symbian.

      Really “Random Random”, you don’t half spew a load of s** some times. *

      * no wait, most of the time.

    • Pathetic

      why make the effort if Meego was already dead? remember the words of the wise Trojan Horse? if Nokia would have bet on Meego would have done the same thing that they did with windows phone (marketing, burn large amounts of money, develop applications) Why Nokia did not succeed? the difference is that windows phone is a disaster and an undesirable system, all Nokia fans waiting for Meego, everyone
      had high expectations, and Nokia achieved the goal, Meego was the revolution of industry
      the N9 in less than a year received three major updates, how many has received windows phone 8? and all useless updates.
      the fat Jo Harlow said that Meego was not ready I wonder, windows phone 8 is ready?

      windows phone is 5 years or more in the market and is in the same beta state wtf?

      • Random Random

        There were only few million Nokia fans waiting for MeeGo.

        The high end was already gone and lots of people who had bought Symbian 3 phones were extremely unhappy with them. Symbian 3 was crap compared to the modern smartphones and it was mostly destroying Nokia’s reputation.

        The low end users? The millions of them? Those meeGo devices were jut too expensive for them.

        What about Meltemi? That would have been cheaper.

        Meltemi was just taking too long. It was not ready in 2012 and it would have taken at least into late 2012 or early 2013 to ship first Meltemi devices. The firs Meltemi devices were planned to be priced around 200 and at that time Android was already killing that price range.

        There was just no more time for Nokia to develop MeeGo and Meltemi.

        It was too late.

        Unfortunately Nokia failed.

        • GordonH

          @RandoRandom you do believe whatever you are saying? Or lying and twisting facts to protect Elop is first priority?

          • Random Random

            Sure I believe.

            It’s easy when I don’t spread lies.

            You were not even trying to prove me wrong. Of course it would have been impossible.

            But then again all you have are those claims.

            • GordonH

              “You were not even trying to prove me wrong.”

              Your repeated lies and long typing doesn’t prove your correctness.
              You a replying and twisting arguments to every comment. Certainly this is getting to feel like you are here to protect Elop and MS.

              • Janne

                Well, to be fair, that’s all you and dss too. Just repeat the same lines about Elop and WP.

                This place stopped being a discussion a long ago. Which *is* sad.

                Compliments to jiipee for attempting a discussion, attempting to really get into the sources and under the skin of Nokia so to speak – to understand instead of preach. Commendable under the circumstances. Appreciated.

                • GordonH

                  “under the skin of Nokia .”

                  MS got under Nokia’s skin using Elop and WP.

      • v.s.i

        Same beta state? Disaster? You can check its growth for the last quarters yourself, as well as Nokia’s improving Lumia sales. Sure, it’s not a rampant success. Running Android would probably improve those numbers, too, but as it stands today, it’s nothing to scoff at. #IChooseToSpinFactsMyOwnWay

        • DeepSpaceBar

          lol 7.0,7.5,7.8 1000% beta bro they even made commercials about it….don’t be dumb

          • v.s.i

            Sure, I remember that campaign pretty well. It was more than 1 year ago. Times have changed. Your point?

  • Capedonut

    The article seems plausible to me. Elop is a guy who gets things done, but not necessary a great strategist . Android was in my opinion dismissed on too loose grounds. the article doesn’t give us more insight into this

  • swain

    Elop couldn’t help Nokia. He couldn’t help Nokia to survive as he was too busy in helping others.
    First, he killed Symbian and gave Google a boost to grow the Android ecosystem exponentially as most of the symbian users moved to android.
    Then he killed meego and helped Samsung in getting a partner like Intel to build it’s own OS.
    Then he adopted WP and helped Microsoft in keeping it’s smartphone OS dreams alive.
    Such a great personality.

    • Random Random

      Are you serious about Elop killing Symbian?

      How was this collapse supposed to be stopped?

      Please tell me the reason for the stop of the decline of the market share?

      • swain

        The market share was dropping but not due to the performance of symbian. It’s because others were growing in faster rate. If you check the sales figures, symbian sales growth was still positive until elop came and altered the fortune of WP at the cost of Nokia.

        • Random Random

          Sure, and care to explain how Nokia was supposed to stop the decline of Symbian’s ASP? It was down approximately 16% YoY.

          How was Nokia supposed to have more revenue in H1 2011?

          • Why would they need more money as they were heavily profitable in 2010 Q4? Symbian sales climbed to a whopping 28 million units in 2010 Q4. For the whole year 2010 Symbian sales climbed more than 30%! And that was even before Belle.

            • Random Random

              Because their profits were shrinking that there was nothing to stop that from happening.

              Besides, Nokia was no longer heavily profitable in Q4 2010. Compare the company to Apple and it was only slightly profitable compared to Apple.

              Nokia had puny revenues in Q4 2010. They desperately needed more revenues.

              Please explain how they were supposed to get more revenues?

              • As I said Symbian sales were rising and heavily profitable.

                “The demand for the N8 exceeded Nokia’s ability to supply it. The Symbian^3 products, in general, drive people to use Nokia’s Ovi services.”

                Both Symbian sales and Ovi store downloads were climbing heavily. But of course Ollila had hired a trojan and everything was killed feb/11 and replaced by WP7.

                • Random Random

                  No, they barely made 600 million in profits in Q4 2010. That was puny.

                  So, please explain how they were supposed to make profits grow instead of shrinking?

                  Did you know that Nokia made only a fraction of the profits they used to make?

                  Please explain how they were supposed to make more profits?

                  • With Anna, Belle and so forth the sky was the limit. Selling 28 million Symbian units in 2010 Q4 with S60 and the not so good pre Anna is just insane! The dumbphone unit should’ve been killed slowly though and replaced with cheap full touch Symbian devices like the 500. That would’ve boosted Ovi store downloads even more. And on the high-end they should’ve used Meego and possibly Android or even WP if MS paid good meoney for it. But the trojan of course did the exact opposite and the rest is history.

                    • Random Random


                      Symbian3 was supposed to turn the trend but it miserably failed. ASP dropped 16% YoY and profits were collapsing. Barely 600 millions! Puny!

                      Having only 600 millions for profits pretty much proves that Ovi was a failure. They couldn’t make more profits with all those downloads. Why?

                      Why would have Anna and Belle changed the trend when Symbian3 failed to do that? The promise was that Symbian3 was going to change the trend.

                    • 600 million euros in profits must be MUCH better than the huge losses they’ve been making after elopocalypse! But I guess math never was your best subject in school. And this was even before Symbian started to get really good with Belle.

                    • Janne


                      That’s really the problem with discussions like this.

                      Some believe Symbian was fine and it would have continued to be.

                      Others believe it was not fine and its trend was destructive.

                      No wonder we don’t see eye to eye about the conclusions, because we don’t agree on the premise at all.

                    • Random Random

                      600 millions was crap compared to the profits Nokia used to have.

                      And the trend was down. The profits just collapsed with the release of Symbian3.

                      That same thing was going to happen with Anna and Belle because people only bough low end Symbian phones.

                      The high end sales were a failure in Q4 2010 because only a puny 5 million was sold.

                    • You consider selling 5 million N8 in 2010 Q4 a big failure? The phone cost a small fortune for christ sake and generated HUGE profits. Looks quite like the opposite of a big failure to me …

                    • Random Random

                      It cost much less than iPhone and sold less. Nokia was failing while Apple was winning. And Android.

                    • GordonH

                      “600 millions was crap compared to the profits Nokia used to have. ”
                      If Nokia need more profit then all that needed to be done was downsize the $1 billion budget on R&D. I would have choosen to fire those costly and useless over numbered Nokia management and executives.

                    • Random Random

                      Downsizing the R&D was done and even that was not enough because the profits were declining and there were nothing to stop that from happening.

                    • GordonH

                      Nope ….downsizing R&D was done after dumping both symbian and Meego.
                      Infact the cost of $1 billion on R&D was used cited often as a major reason for killing Symbian.

                  • AIKON

                    600 million profits was so “puny” that you think it’s ok to discard this profit in return for huge loss?

                    • Random Random

                      No, the profits were just collapsing. In the old days Nokia used to make over 2500 millions with D&S and now with Symbian3 they made considerably less.

                      Please explain how they were supposed to stop that decline of profits when even Symbian3 was not able to do that?

                      It wasn’t like making profit was impossible. Apple was really profitable at the time and people still claim Nokia had more unit sales.

                      So, why were Apple’s profits climbing up while Nokia’s profits were collapsing while they had more unit sales?

                      I have an answer.

                      Symbian 3 was a total failure failing to stop the decline of the profits.

                    • Symbian^3 only got one quarter on the market before being killed and it generated HUGE profits with the N8! The older S60 devices didn’t generate much profits though but they were being replaced with the totally awesome Qt powered Belle. IIRC the 808 was “best in show” at MVC. Not that bad for a product that was standing on a burning platform.

                    • Random Random

                      N8 failed miserably against the iPhone. And of course against Android.

                      It was also a failure because it was not able to stop the decline of Nokia’s market share.

                      What would have been the reason stopping the collapse of Nokia’s profits? D&S did make over 2500 million in one quarter back in the days.

                    • Nokia sold 5 million N8 in 2010 Q4 and generated a huge profit. Yes Symbian marketshare was declining because the market was flooded with cheap Androids. Cheap Androids did kill Nokia’s earlier insane profits and that time will never come back. Symbian with Qt and Ovi store would’ve been doing just fine on the low/mid-end though and would’ve continued to generate profits for many years to come. The trojan changed all that and since then Nokia have instead burned a lot of money in the process of pushing WP only.

                    • Random Random

                      Why? You just said Android was killing Nokia’s sales already.

                      Why wasn’t that going to continue with Symbian?

                  • DeepSpaceBar

                    and didn’t WP made a difference except lose their company…if Elop didn’t send Symbian all over the place they would of had time to really work on it like they’ve shown….. NOkia Future Concept and Nokia Air …….. I think that was the New UI for Carla or Donna …as in the REAL UI since FP2 has some Layers added specially in texting and menu…so much still can be added to Symbian….but Elop limited it for the sake of Android and since Micorosoft,Google and Apple all work together they had to do this….CAPITALISM

                    • Random Random


                      The Symbian coders and designers wanted to have some money for their work and Nokia failed to make money with Symbian.

                      It was no longer something people wanted to buy because Android was so much better.

                      Improving the OS without profits is just not possible.

                      Yes, and Symbian’s profits were declining.

                      D&S made in 2010 only a fraction of the profits they used to make. Q4 2010 was a total failure.

                • GordonH

                  “As I said Symbian sales were rising and heavily profitable.”

                  A big +1.

                  • Janne

                    This really is the problem why people can’t see eye to eye on this.

                    The perception on the state of Symbian in 2010 vary wildly amongst the “camps”.

                    I can see that if you really believe in your heart of hearts that Symbian was fine in 2010, it really is easy to believe Elop was a Trojan and WP killed a healthy business.

                    You don’t have to agree, but think for a moment: What if you would believe, like us, that Symbian was not healthy, was in fact collapsing fast and hard… How would the picture in your head change? What conclusions would you take from there?

                    This is a good thing to remember on both sides of the argument. When others see the premise so differently, it is very hard to make any progress in discussing the conclusions.

                    Our entire world view is different as far as this discussion is concerned.

                    And that changes everything.

                • capedonut

                  from comment section : “CEO basically said, that they can only sell Symbian in markets where the competition has not yet moved in – i.e. people buying on lack of choice or familiarity.”

  • dss

    He isn’t strictly a “Trojan” .. he is just very closely affiliated with Microsoft, to the point where everything that happened to Nokia after he came on board makes perfect sense.

    He ditched all current platforms, avoided Android, and chose the one OS Microsoft makes. Then they sold off the devices/services to that same company. Now he is re-joining the parent company.

    No matter how you spin it, this is what happened..

    • swain

      He is still a Trojan. I never had a perfect example after Troy. After so many years I found another example. Please don’t destroy it.

    • Random Random

      Have you ever even considered the another option?

      What if Android was just too strong?

      • jiipee

        Since this blog post was about Elop and OS choise, you are saying that Elop made the wrong choise and should have went with Android?

        • Random Random

          Android was not an option for Elop.

          Nokia had been badmouthing it too much at the time. The other reason was that Nokia wanted special privileges to alter Android and Google was not going to allow that while maintaining the access to Google Play.

          Only tablets have succeeded globally without Google Play.

          Android would be an option now but at that time, no.

          It’s a completely another matter if Nokia had agreed to capitulate and become just an Android OEM. However, how was Nokia supposed to market that for the shareholders and for the customers?

          What would have you said if they killed everything but Android development and started to work as an OEM?

          • Are you talking about the same shareholders that were dumping Nokia stock like crazy in the same moment Elop announced the WP only strategy?

            • Random Random


              What would have happened if Nokia had announced that they will focus only on Android?

              A collapse.

              • But if the stockholders wanted to continue with the Qt strategy why did they go with WP only? It just doesn’t make any sense. And no, I don’t think that the Nokia stock would’ve tanked even one cent if they would’ve gone with Android.

                • Random Random

                  They didn’t want to go with Qt.

                  They didn’t vote for that.

                  Nokia as an Android OEM? Sure. Another HTC.

                • dss

                  No, it makes no sense at all.

                  Just look at the situation from Microsoft’s perspective for a second, pre 2011.

                  You want to break into the mobile market, it didn’t happen before because of that silly thing called Symbian, and Nokia’s choice to pick it over your own offering, Windows CE. It process, Nokia dragged the other two big OEM along with them.

                  FF 10 years, and you your old friend Linux ruling the mobile market, and yet again.. all the important OEMs are using it instead of your offering, except one.. which is Nokia.

                  But unfortunately Nokia is also developing their own Linux OS, and that old pain in the ass Symbian is still there.. so .. what are you left with ?


                  HTC.. ?

                  No, you seize the opportunity and grab Nokia while they are figuring out what to do with themselves.

                  • Random Random

                    Going MeeGo would have been like this.

                    Having just 200% YoY is a great performance and with that it would have looked like this.

                    Q4 2011 1 million phones.
                    Q4 2012 3 million phones.
                    Q4 2013 9 million phones.

                    Not too much and 200% YoY is just about the best possible performance Nokia would have been able to get.

                    Would you have been happy with Nokia shipping 9 million MeeGo phones in Q3 2013?

              • jiipee

                Why? The tech press would have hoorayed to the choise and the sales channeld would have preferred to sell Nokia Android devices with all the apps and superior durability and pureview in 2012.

                • Janne

                  Here’s what would have happened: An Android monopoly cemented.

                  We don’t want monopolies or duopolies ever again. Didn’t the desktop history teach anyone anything?

                • Random Random

                  Why would have people bough Android devices from Nokia instead of Samsung?

                  After all Nokia was known shipping those low quality phones powered by Symbian. Why risking it when you could have bought Samsung instead?

  • BTW, is it true that Elop has already been fired? I just read a comment about a finnish professor saying that on TA’s blog.

    “I base this on what professor Seppo Ikäheimo from Aalto University said in the YLE’s “A-studio: Talk” show this week. He said that after reading the public information about the original and revised CEO contract he cannot see any reason that the selling of Nokia’s feature and smartphone business would trigger the change of control clauses in the contracts. He says the only reason for paying Elop, based on the contracts, is that Nokia has some somehow breached the contracts. And I think the breach is that Nokia fired Elop.”

    If true I’m beginning to like Nokia’s new chairman more and more. 🙂 First he starts making Android prototypes and then he fires Elop and sells the worthless phone division for big money … and keeping the Nokia brand in the process. I’m still hoping that Nokia will make a fast comeback in the smartphone market.

    • Janne

      I think, for all intents and purposes, yes the Nokia board did fire Elop as CEO.

      • Yeah I guess his job is done and he can go back to where he came from.

        • Janne

          …or that the board thinks he failed.

          Well, I think he failed.

          I know some others believe Elop succeeded. I don’t.

          • swain

            He definitely not failed . As a matter of fact, his goals are fully achieved. So he is a very successful man.

        • dss

          I did he did a marvelous job..

          • Janne

            I know. You’re a bit of an Elop lover-boy.

    • Random Random


      Nokia started pushing Android more and during the Elop era.

      I have understood that Android was the “plan b” for Maemo and that process started in mid 2009 at the same time when Nokia started evaluating MeeGo as an alternative for Maemo.


      Not really a “plan b” in conventional way, but it was (apparently) something they started to evaluate at the same time.

      • Jack

        Sure, sure, we’ve seen you make that claim several time here & provide 0 substituted & fully verifiable evidence.

        • Jack

          substituted = substantiated

  • Whatever

    Oh my God, I swear this Janne is getting on my nerves…

    • Janne

      Sorry about that, then.

      It isn’t my intent.

      • dss

        I like you you Janne. You seem like a very positive, bur rather naïve person.. in this case anyway 🙂

        • GordonH

          He thinks he’s more knowledgeable on so many subjects.

          • Janne

            I wouldn’t presume to know more about everything. But I do know more about Nokia’s history than many here. It often shows how late some people actually came into the Nokia fold here, very late in my view.

        • Janne

          I’ll take the compliment. 🙂

          As for naive, I don’t think so. I’ve been boiled in enough of broth to know what to believe and especially what not to believe in. Anyone knowing me knows I’m no fan of Microsoft. I just dislike monopolies in general even more than Microsoft in particular. No, I don’t want an Android monopoly to last.

          Just because one doesn’t subscribe to the Trojan theory does not one naive make. Besides, I don’t think even that is impossible, I just find it unlikely. Calling someone naive is a cop-out and a bit of an ad hominem. It would be like me calling you delusional for your beliefs, trying to diminish the opponent without offering any supporting argumentation.

          Waiting for the books!

  • DeepSpaceBar

    what elop is a a DAMN MOLE