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Nokia's CTO 'Quits'

12:10 PM -- Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) may be due some good news following a run of downbeat announcements, but the Finnish handset giant will have to wait a bit longer for that ray of sunshine. (See Nokia Boss Declares War on Android, Euronews: Nokia Dismisses Sale Rumor and Nokia Lowers Outlook, Shares Slump .)

The company's CTO Rich Green, who joined the firm's leadership team in February, has already jumped ship, reports Bloomberg. Nokia says he's taking some time off for personal reasons -- but the rumor mill says that's not right. (See Nokia's New Top Team.)

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat suggests Green quit over the decision to sideline the MeeGo operating system, a move that coincided with Nokia's decision to team up with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) for its mobile device operating system requirements. (See MWC 2011: Adios, MeeGo.)

Oh, Nokia -- where did it all go wrong? (Answers on the message boards, please...)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:02:28 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'

Just remember CTIAs prior to introduction if iphone, when Nokia was on top of the cellphone world.  I remember how arrogant these people were.  I remember they were talkign about their N95 phone as the next thing to sliced bread and they were encouraging everyone to write apps on that.   I remember their partnership wtih navteq and where.com was touted as the future of mobile communication.  I remember when the Nokia guy would speak everyone was listening and the topic was all about location based services and all of the APPS that will be written to address the need for all of these LBS stuff.  They even had a contest for it.  These idiots did not think of any other aps, games etc, other than their idiotic location based apps. I remember the idiot at Navteq told me ok you have an app, but where do you put POI, i asked him what the heck you mean by POI, this app does not have POIs.  They were all wondering what the heck? An app on a phone w/o POI? This was unheard of.   This is why Nokia failed--aside from the fact that N95 was a bulky and ugly phone.. 


 


 

motodc 12/5/2012 | 5:02:24 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'




For those who saw the writing on the wall (most everyone except people at Nokia) these changes needed to come years ago.


 


The question now is "will the people and culture at Nokia allow the company to shift quickly enough?". It looks like Rich Green wasn't able to do so (MeeGo, really!?!?).


 


Let's be honest, Nokia is in survival mode. Drastic measures need to be taken to get the company back on track. If this means they end up being a manufacturing arm for the Microsoft phone platform, is that a bad thing?


 


No, I don't think it is. At least this way, they will stay alive, which they honestly weren't going to do with their past platform and OS plans.


 


Elop is making the right choices for Nokia now. They aren't the popular, or easy ones (as shown in the market).


 


With any luck, Nokia will be as powerful a platform developer as HTC has become.  With a secure revenue base, they can then get back to innovating.




krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:02:23 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'

@motodc,


 




Elop is making the right changes?  Please explain how that is?  MeeGo is based upon Maemo and the biggest blunder was that Nokia didn't develop Maemo when they should have.  They had S90 which was Symbian based and they released it one ONE phone and then killed it.  S90 had a new UI and it was touch based.  it was very very good too.  They then merges S90 with S60 but the UI lived on through Maemo.  Nokia should have just concentrated on Maemo instead of merging S80 and S90 with S60.  They would be further ahead today if they did that.

 

If Elop is making the right decisions then explain this.  They are moving to a platform that will not see more than 10 million handsets sold this year and the future looks to be the same.  The consumer doesn’t want it; a lot of carriers have shunned it as well.  It is as loved as Vista is.  Even Microsoft says Manga will come with a new UI and that is the release consumers “want” and should wait for.  So out of the gate Microsoft has got it wrong and Phone 7 is new.  If they got it wrong once, what says they can get it right the second time?  They have been making the wrong choices with WM for years and never got it right!  Why should this be any different?

 

Sales figures for smartphones only.

 

Q1 2009:

Nokia 15 million and 41.2% of the market

Apple 4 million and 10.8% of the market

 

Q2 2009:

Nokia 18.5 million and 45% of the market

Apple 5.5 million and 13.3% of the market

 

Q3 2009:

Nokia 16 million and 49.3% of the market

Apple 7 million and 17.1% of the market

 

Q4 2009:

Nokia 20.8 million

Apple 7.4 million

 

In 2009 Apple shipped around 24 million where Nokia shipped around 70 million.

 

Q1 2010:

Nokia 24 million and 44.3% of the market

Apple 8.4 million and 19.4% of the market

 

Q2 2010:

Nokia 25 million and 41.2% of the market

Apple 8.7 million and 14.2% of the market

 

Q3 2010:

Nokia 29.4 million and 36.6% of the market

Apple 13.5 million and 16.7% of the maket

 

Q4 2010:

Nokia 28.3 million

Apple 14.1 million

 

In 2010 Apple shipped around 44.7 million and Nokia over 100 million.  So Apple saw a net increase of 20 million where Nokia saw a net increase of over 33 million.  Apple was not going to catch Nokia at that rate, net increase Nokia was pulling further away.  Market share, Apple was gaining where Nokia was losing.  The end result though, Nokia was selling MORE smartphones year over year and that is a key metric and much more important than market share!

 

Q 1 2011 Nokia shipped 1% more smartphones than they did in Q1 2010.  So, Nokia once again increased sales.  Then Nokia announced WP7 and their sales have tumbled.

 

WP7 saw sales between 1.5 and 2 million for Q4 2010 and that was split among different manufacturers.  Nokia was 28.3 million for Symbian.  Q1 2011 say 1.6 million for WP7 where Nokia was over 24 million.

 

So WP7 is the RIGHT choice?  Nokia wants a piece of the roughly 7 million market per year?  They were selling three times that per quarter compared to what WP7 is averaging per year!  If WP7 is the correct choice, what was the wrong choice?




krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:02:22 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'



"It's possible it could have been one of the main mobile OSes today, but it's not. Is it possible to resurrect this? My suggestion to this is no. With Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian, I don't believe there is interest or appetite to have another Mobile OS."

 

This just shows the lack of vision why you have and why you think WP7 is a good idea.  WM/WP7 has very little market share.  You are also forgetting about Qt.  The whole point was to have Maemo and Symbian but the apps would run on either.  This is akin to what Apple did when they switched from PowerPC to Intel.  The apps stayed the same.  This allows the develop to write an app for Maemo/Symbian; they don’t need to write two.  So if a developer supported Symbian, they would support Maemo as well and vice versa.  Not only it is transparent to the developer but to the user as well.  They could use either and their existing apps would still work.  All the developer has to do is support Qt.

 

If you want to talk about second class, how about the iPhone?  It doesn’t run Java anything, doesn’t support Flash and say what you want, Steve will make sure the HTML5 br truly supported.  Why would Apple try to control every aspect of apps on it today and then allow any app to run on it if it supports HTML5?  See a contradiction there?  They want to make as much money as they can from their app store and HTML can cannibalize it.  Symbian supports Java as well as Flash.  So you have many apps available to you and don’t need an app store to use them.  Initially the iPhone was called a smartphone and it didn’t even have any apps for it.  Look at how poor the iPhone is at multitasking if you could even call it that.  I have been able to play a movie, access the Internet and have dozens of apps open and they ALL can be running, not put in a background not doing anything state like on the iPhone.  So if anything, the iPhone is second class as it is more like a single task device, not very smart at all.

 

Execution doesn’t matter; you need to listen to your customers.  The majority do not want a WP7 phone at all.  So Nokia is alienating their customer base.  How is that a wise move?  DO you listen to people who are not customers or those that are?  Sure you need to step outside the box to gain new customers at times, but not when you are selling at the volume they were at.  Who is behind it is irrelevant when the user base doesn’t want it.

 

If you took the numbers for Nokia and put Apple in front of them, Apple and others would be touting those numbers.  50% sales growth year over year (2010 compared to 2009) is pretty good wouldn’t you say?  Sure Apple at 91% is better, but it is not sustainable.




motodc 12/5/2012 | 5:02:22 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'




I can tell by the length of your post that you're passionate about this topic. That always makes for a good discussion, so thank you for your post! :)


 


From your post I read three areas where you contest the progress at Nokia:

<ol>
<li>They had the right technology in Maemo</li>
<li>Nokia's sales are huge today anyway, and</li>
<li>&nbsp;Win 7 isn't likely the best future platform to choose&nbsp;</li>
</ol>

&nbsp;


I hope I didn't leave anything out there! Here are my responses:


&nbsp;


1) Maemo may have been good technology, but there is no disagreement that today it's not a competitor (for obvious reasons). It's possible it could have been one of the main mobile OSes today, but it's not. Is it possible to resurrect this? My suggestion to this is no. With Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian, I don't believe there is interest or appetite to have another Mobile OS. Apps are driving this market space, so you also need an equal ramp-up in consumer uptake and developers for a smartphone OS to succeed.


&nbsp;


2) Yes, Nokia has a lot of sales today by the numbers, however these numbers also suggest that Symbian is a smartphone the equal of the others on that list. We could banter about the definition of a smartphone, but the fact is that most developers are developing on other platforms. While this doesn't take away from Symbian being a smartphone, it does relegate it to somewhat of a 2nd class smartphone. I understand Nokia's plans are to keep Symbian around, but it will very much move down-market. It may continue to count as a smartphone in market numbers, but unit sales don't tell the whole story. As Blockbuster now knows, sales today, don't mean sales tomorrow.


&nbsp;


3) This is probably one of the most contentious points about Nokia's forward-looking strategy. It polarizes everyone I've spoken to. My personal believe is that it was a good choice, although it still may not be successful (execution is the key). The other most logical choice would be Android, so let's look at the pros and cons:


&nbsp;


Android Pros (* = importance)

<ul>
<li>Wide adoption *</li>
<li>Developers ***</li>
<li>Integration with Google *</li>
<li>App Store *</li>
</ul>

&nbsp;


Android Cons (* = importance)

<ul>
<li>Differentiation (i.e. what's the difference? Motorola, Samsung, HTC... Nokia?) ****</li>
<li>Legal tangles *</li>
<li>Fragmentation (Nokia would have to spend more to make sure they somehow differentiate)**</li>
</ul>

&nbsp;


Windows Pros (* = importance)

<ul>
<li>Differentiation (They have an opportunity to create this market for MS)****</li>
<li>Developers (This is an important product for MS too, so Nokia will have access to resources) ****</li>
<li>Integration with Bing (possible Nav asset play) **</li>
</ul>

&nbsp;


Windows Cons (* = importance)

<ul>
<li>Lack of adoption (less of an issue with two far reaching corps behind it. Again execution will be important.)**</li>
<li>UI &amp; APIs (Windows is very different from both a user and developer perspective) **</li>
<li>App Store (Microsoft has experience with Xbox, so this shouldn't be an issues for long)**</li>
</ul>

Did I miss anything in the pros and cons???


&nbsp;


&nbsp;


With that laid out, I would suggest partnering with Microsoft, while risky, will probably pay off the most if Nokia is successful.


&nbsp;


As I've suggested, execution will be key to this success. If people stand in the way of that execution, I can see them being removed. I suspect that's what happened in this case.


&nbsp;


Now... I also suspect Elop has phones running Android behind locked doors already as a back-up plan... I would... :)




motodc 12/5/2012 | 5:02:20 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'

Your comments about Qt and iPhone's various abilities to support technology suggests that technology leadership equals market leadership. It just doesn't. There are many examples of this in history.


It comes down to pain versus gain. i.e. Combined benefits must outweigh combined drawbacks.


iPhone doesn't support flash, etc, and it's expensive, but something was sexy and sold the user on the iPhone, and until something more sexy comes along, or the pain of using an iPhone is too much, the user won't change.&nbsp;


This same phenomenon is why your point about transitioning customers is very valid. The issue again is pain versus perceived gain. Customers of Nokia may perceive changing to MW too painful. However, if customers are excited and motived, a change can be overcome. If the client base is not motivated by MW, then Nokia needs to find a way to make them motivated. -&gt; Execution on strategic decision


I do disagree that you always need to listen to your customers. I'll pull out the old Henry Ford quote out here, "If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would say a faster horse".


Customers are users, not mobile professionals. With few exceptions, they don't know what they want until it's put in front of them. They will like or dislike a product based on their perceived benefits or drawbacks by adopting/purchasing it. They also don't understand the concepts of CoGS, which is a necessary metric when calculating the viability of a product line.


I know sales numbers seem important, but truly they are only important if the net revenue per device is worth while, or when the number of units can affect market change in your favour.


Frankly Nokia products are expensive to make for the price point they sell at, and the market change they are affecting is developers leaving the platform for other OSes&nbsp;http://www.guardian.co.uk/tech...


Nokia has to do something to stay relevant and produce cost effective, competitive and compelling products. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is madness.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:02:17 PM
re: Nokia's CTO 'Quits'

There is just so much wrong with your logic.


&nbsp;


People are not excited about WP7 at all and never will be. &nbsp;Microsoft has a LONG history in the mobile world and none of it good. &nbsp;You have WM that has been stagnant for years and they hang-on to their measly 4% market share while the volume of shipments constantly go up. &nbsp;Microsoft didn't see how volume shipment increases from 2009 to 2010. &nbsp;WM is outselling WP7; that really says something. &nbsp;The real problem that you have with Microsoft anything, they use it to push THEIR products. &nbsp;IE is a joke and they allowed poor HTML coding to be accepted. &nbsp;Even their own development products couldn't code a page correctly to industry standards. &nbsp;They used their desktop dominance to push their own version of Java. &nbsp;They also try to push silverlight even though the platforms it runs on is only Windows and OS X. &nbsp;96% of the smart phones can't use it and Linux cannot use it. &nbsp;Web developers have finally acknowledged that using what the users have is better than what Microsoft says to use. &nbsp;Since Microsoft doesn't want to ship things that compete with .Net, Silverlight, DirectC, ActiveX, etc., the users are not interested as the Microsoft platforms are too limited. &nbsp;The sales of Nokia handsets have faltered and the customer base has been very vocal about their displeasure in the Microsoft deal. &nbsp;You can say what you want, but Elop is just handing Nokia over to Microsoft. &nbsp;Maybe we should look at Danger. &nbsp;Microsoft owns them and they did nothing but kill the customer base. &nbsp;Want to know what Microsoft did with Danger? &nbsp;The Kin came out of it and we all know hoe well that went over. &nbsp;Where is the Kin today? &nbsp;Imagine having that for a phone? &nbsp;Guess what, Microsoft has even admitted that they screwed up on WP7. &nbsp;Microsoft will dump it quicker than Steve Balmer can blow-up. &nbsp;WM was never reliable either. &nbsp;Too many people won't even touch a phone that says Microsoft or Windows on it. &nbsp;Execution doesn't matter when past history says it is garbage.


&nbsp;


You still fail to realize the advantages of Qt, developers do not need to worry about the underlying platform like they currently do. &nbsp;The same app will run on Maemo, MeeGo and Symbian^3. &nbsp;If Nokia made changes down the road, they would be transparent to the developer and the user. &nbsp;That is a HUGE advantage over not being backwards compatible. &nbsp;Sure changes to Qt will occur, but so will the SDK, so developers will always keep pace and it isn't a total departure from the past.


&nbsp;


When you are the big fish, you listen to your customers. &nbsp;When you are the small fish you listen to non-customers as you want their business. &nbsp;This is a fairly simple concept that you have an issue grasping. &nbsp;If you alienate your large customer base, you surely will gain new customers but lose more than you just gained. &nbsp;When BMW bought RR, they asked the customers what they wanted; they didn't ask non-customers. &nbsp;Sure they probably added features trying to entice new customers, but you don't want to lose the customer base that currently pays the bills.


&nbsp;


If Nokia hardware was so expensive, why did they sell MORE than any other manufacturer? &nbsp;What other phone supports all five major 3G bands? &nbsp;The N8, E7, C6-01, etc. all can work pretty much anywhere in the world at 3G speeds; where are the other manufacturers?


&nbsp;


As fr customers not being mobile professionals. &nbsp;You are wrong here again. &nbsp;Take a look OUTSIDE of the US and you will see that Nokia quite well there. &nbsp;Phones are sold differently than they are here in the US. &nbsp;Nokia has had issues with getting carriers to sell the phones as they were more expensive but also built better. &nbsp;If you take the US out of the picture, the iPhone would be dead by now. &nbsp;So the users in the US buy phone differently than they do elsewhere. &nbsp;The time will come when the the US will change how phones are sold and the carrier is more or less, out of it. &nbsp;Nokia had an issue because the Asian firms would do whatever it took to get a phone deal and would modify the firmware to whatever the carrier wanted. &nbsp;This is good for the carrier but bad for the consumer, but it also provided a low price point where the customer could get a cheap or free phone. &nbsp;If customers wanted WP7, how come they are not buying it? &nbsp;WM has more market share. &nbsp;The reality is, WP7 is a failure. &nbsp;It was rushed out the door and a lot of things left out of it. &nbsp;Even MS says that if they had more time, they could have done more.


&nbsp;


Nokia has yet to actually follow through with a plan. &nbsp;They kept changing mid-course and all that did was push things even further out. &nbsp;Developers have to stop, view what needs to change and then start back up again. &nbsp;This is not a quick process and actually makes things worse.


&nbsp;


If Microsoft is the answer, than it was a dumb question. &nbsp;If selling over 100 million smartphones and over 400 million total phones in 2010 is not staying relevant, than I don't know what is. &nbsp;Apple could only wish to sell 100 million a year and see a net increase of over 33 million in a year. &nbsp;If Apple went from 70 million to over 100 million, the analysts would be saying how strong the sales are. &nbsp;Why is Nokia being treated differently? &nbsp;The answer is, analysts just wanted a change as they think results would be better. &nbsp;Give Android a few years and the mess will only get bigger and more fragmentation will occur.


&nbsp;


Oh, not only can Maemo run MeeGo apps (thanks to Qt) but also Android apps as well. &nbsp;Nokia gives the user choices where Apple and Microsoft limit. &nbsp;Want root access, not a problem on Maemo/MeeGo, just download the "app" from Nokia and it is yours.

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