Former Nokia exec: Microsoft means death for the company

The partnership between Microsoft and Nokia in the mobile space? According to former Segmentation Manager of the Finnish giant Tomi Ahonen, in the end it will mean certain death for Nokia. The Lumia line of smartphones doesn’t sell and Windows Phone is actually losing market share, Ahonen says, basing his statements on the United Kingdom market data collected by British company Kantar Worldpanel.

The data seen by Ahonen depicts a bleak and very short-living future for the Microsoft-Nokia partnership. After the adoption of Windows Phone as its lead mobile platform, Nokia steadily lost market share in the UK: the combined share of Symbian and Maemo-based phones in September 2010 was 23.1%, one year later (just before the Lumia launch) was down to 6.7% and now (February 2012) Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones sold by Nokia equals to 4.6% of the UK market.

Ahonen says that even the unloved N9, the device based on the open source Linux-OS Meego (now known as Tizen), outsold the Lumia line with 1.5-2 million units sold worldwide (in the fourth quarter of 2011) compared to 600,000 WP phones sold during the same timeframe.

And it’s not that Nokia “somehow needed Microsoft to survive”, Ahonen says, because the Windows mobile ecosystem was dying a sudden death even before the partnership took off: “Microsoft was totally doomed and its ‘awesome’ Windows Phone operating system was doing a death-dance globally”, Ahonen states, “from a Microsoft Windows Mobile peak market share globally of over 12% just five years ago, to 5% in year 2010 when Windows Phone launched, to a paltry 1% for Q4 of 2011 (which includes Nokia Lumia sales)”.

“The Microsoft strategy for Nokia is a certain road to death”, the former Nokia exec states, “The Lumia smartphones will doom Nokia. The Windows Phone OS is never going to be the third ecosystem”. Nokia should abandon Microsoft as soon as possible and start a long road to recovery, Ahonen suggests, but first the Nokia CEO (and former head of Microsoft Business Division) Stephen Elop “must be fired”.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Rumor: New Windows 8 build screenshot shows new SKU?

Next Story

Microsoft files patent for monetizing TV remote actions

66 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

@korupt_one

Symbian never had a market share in the UK? Excuse me? Symbian was pretty much the ONLY smartphone operating system in the UK or anywhere else for many years. Anyone but anyone who had a smartphone had a Symbian device. You may not always have realised it because once upon a time SonyEricsson, Motorola and many other ALSO made Symbian based phones. Many Nokias were Symbian based and they sold many many millions of them.

One of the sad things is that Symbian was a BRITISH operating system which came from Epoc32 - an operating system created specifically for mobile devices - designed from the ground up to provide immense battery life and high reliability (protecting against many common programming mistakes with its strange descriptors, active objects, leaves and cleanup stack). The other operating systems left in this field are just cut down and hacked around desktop operating systems, this shows in their performance - especially around battery life.

There is really little point in speculating just yet, wait for Q1 2012 sales figures to see what the trends really are.

elop killed the company on feb 11, 2011 by his death speech "burning platform".

if he had just SHUT HIS MOUTH.. and move forward in silence with the microsoft/nokia launch AND aquired an Android deal/launch by 2012. Nokia would be on top of the world...

elop is a failure. nokia made a mistake and will not recover from this.

It is a very good partnership, Nokia makes high quality phones that are different to the rest of the pack and Microsoft have made an excellent mobile OS. What more could the consumer want???? and at the end of the day gives consumers another excellent choice in the mobile market.

Ive said this several times here that I think Nokia will eventually become WindowsPhone and I still think that's where this is headed. Nokia was smart to take Microsofts money. It allowed them to stay in business. RIM wont be so lucky.

when did this industry become so political? all these pro-apple, pro-google and pro-ms folks remind me of the democrats and the republicans. all these platforms serve the purpose well. beyond that is just personal opinions. all these companies are here to just make money. there is no reason for us to help them market their products and talk down the competitors, unless you are one of their employees...

Where is simple off-line Outlook contact synchronization which was needed by many business customers? Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5 billion! nearly ONE YEAR ago and Windows Phone Marketplace search still don't list Skype. WP7 is a complete disaster. Windows 8 is heading into same abyss - complete ignorance of customers. It looks like Microsoft WP7 and W8 team became too arrogant, lives in some PR bubble and never listen to the customers until disaster is obvious and imminent.

EJocys said,
Windows Phone Marketplace search still don't list Skype. .

really I have Skype on my WP7 its beta but I have it and from the marketplace. I own 4 android phones, 2 WP7, iphone , iPad, and 2 Toshiba thrives (honeycomb 3.2)
Wp7 is by far the most responsive and quickest of all of them. I love my Thrives with their Full HDMI and USB ports, but i hate that the android market doesn't fully support it with apps that work on it (requires sideloading to get it on the device). Also I get freaking annoyed by Android's this or what not is not responding wait or close. (oh in case someone doesn't believe I do I will try to take photos of them all in a pile)

this seems like a whole lot of bull**** from an ex employee, WP7 market share has been slowly increasing in the UK since it was introduced, Symbian never really had a huge market share in the UK to begin with. Right now windows phone is the 4th ecosystem in the UK which is not a bad thing for such a young OS. Slowly in the markets that have WP7 devices the market share is increasing. Please remember that marketshare varies from country to country and even ios and android suffer badly in some countries. Finland WP has a nearly 5% market share. Worldwde right now android is the 3rd ecosystem, ios the 2nd and 1st is symbian

Symbian and Meego had to compete with the wide range of emerging Android devices and offered little to no advantage. Their platforms would die whether Nokia wanted them to or not. A company-wide shift was the only option, and guess which software company was willing to bankroll it?

You might say, "well, WP7 sucks." Yes, WP7 does kinda suck, but WP8 in conjunction with Win8 has A LOT of potential. Nokia will be leading the charge on that frontier. This was a long term strategy. It doesn't really matter if they're doing worse right now since all the pieces haven't come into place yet.

I'm sort of getting bored of these 'ex' executives saying Nokia's going to die because of Microsoft.

*yawn

Former exec for a reason. Nokia will be fine and better off than it would with Meego.
There's tons of hype for Lumia 900 here in Canada, and it's making Android and iPhone users actually consider switching.

When Windows 8 if finalized and released, I'm sure it'll help sales greatly as Windows Phone 8 will use the Win 8's backend. Everything will be seamlessly integrated.

At this point I can't see a future for Nokia unless it adopts a multi OS strategy. Throwing all their eggs in the Microsoft basket is financial suicide.

Just look at their UK marketshare, and it's not getting any better people. As soon as Microsoft's subsidies stop, Nokia won't be able to maintain current operations.

Maybe the the iOS lovers and android hound dogs will see the light when WP gets dual core support and starts crucifying the competition (its fast enough as it is now but for dual core lovers WP will smash the competition apart on a level that no one can argue with).

Of course by the time dual core WP are released android will have quad core phones most likely but 1, no phone needs quad core processor really (quad gpu core and gpu accelerated apps would be good), and 2 it will probably have really poor quad core support and run no where near as efficiently as it should do.

Exec prolly just gutted hes not on the WP rocket to success hahahaha.

I think Nokia made the right move, there are too many players in the android market and they would just be a number, but right now they are 80% the WP market, and I do think that they are starting to move forward, market share is slowly moving up in some countries, they are going to start marketing in the US and I'm sure sales will be good if not great, and they are releasing many phones go give users choice, all the things MS needed to sell phones.
if you look at sprint and Verizon they still have one windows phone and I believe Nokia is going to change that, now with that said. its going to take a very long time. I predict they will hit %10 market share by the end of this year and Not until the end of the year... the following year I think you will see Samsung and HTC finally start pushing WP like nokia and that will change the world of WIndows Phone, It is very true that you need to get the phone in peoples hands because its really simple and easy to use .. along with the Speed..
Mark

Nokia was complacent, stagnant and completely asleep at the wheel in the face of the smartphone revolution long before MS stepped into the picture. This seems like some attempt at shifting the blame. But in reality, both companies are complete underdogs in the modern ecosystem and their only real hope is to huddle together for warmth.

This is Zune all over again. I see a lot of Microsoft users on Neowin trying hard to help campaign a certain product that isn't going to live up to the hype. I still stand correct on my stance about Nokia and WP OS.

Enron said,
Nokia will be fine.

As a Microsoft subsidiary? Because the way things are going, Nokia will be nothing more than the manufacturing arm of Microsoft.

i thought nokia is starting produce some windows 8 tablet?? if nokia can't even survive the windows phone product and how the hell recently they even considering a tablet? doesn't make sense at all..either this prediction is patently false.

Hmm, I don't know. I hear positive comments on the Lumia around here, and while it's not a game changer for any company, I think this is basically how good Nokia can expect things to go right now. A software company like Microsoft turning to back them is however you want to twist it a pretty good situation for a company that have been in crisis.

Symbian supporter who didn't have a place in the company because they upgraded the company to WP7, so he is upset and trying to make the company look bad?

I tried Nokia Lumia windows phone and thought the experience is a whole lot better than Symbian...Nokia made a right decision to go with WP7

MeeGo is good but unfortunately Nokia is unable to create an ecosystem

just give Windows Phone time as the platform is not yet matured...the future is more brighter compared to Symbian

FYI: I'm an ex Symbian users (for about 3 years)

I can't help but feel sorry for this guy. Its clear that he is nursing some deep grudge. This is evident when he says, "Elop must be fired."
To Mr. Ahonen: so, what do you want? Should we go back to the ancient Symbian which guys like YOU messed up with slow n poor updates and in a short time, it was light years behind other OSes or Meego - no apps, no dev interest n a device which was DOA? On top of that, an unusable Ovi suite of services that I am sure you yourself never used, n u thrust it on us users? Atleast Mr. Elop is doing things in earnest; finally the slow n bureaucratic Nokia of d past seems 2 b history. Last but not d least, I love my Lumia 710; as an ardent Nokia 'fan', it can't get better.
Nokia's past is full of harsh struggles n ultimate victory. I would like 2 believe it will be repeated in d 21st century.

Umm wasn't the Lumia only released in December? So of course it sold less when it was only around for 1/3 of the time the N9 was selling for.
And even then, they weren't being sold in the same locations....apples and oranges

well what do you expect? either nokia sells lots of win morbid phones, which seems freaking unlikely, or microsoft intends to weaken nokia so that it can gobble it whole. it's a win win for microsoft.

Denis - Yeah those (N9's) sold well in the UK for only one reason, you got em free with a contract from everywhere. T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2. Hell carphonewarehouse gave em away free + a TV for bundle on a contract.

Denis W said,
Kind of embarrassing (if true) with the N9s selling better than the Lumias.

I think there is some truth behind it. The n9 did sell more devices, but I don't know the numbers for either the meego device nor the Lumia 800. But you have to take this "fact" with the context. The n9 was available in a lot of markets immediately after announcement. The Lumia was only available in less than 10 countries or something? I'm totally making that "10 countries" up, but my point is that the Lumia was not released worldwide while the n9 was.

If both devices were released worldwide and the n9 still outsold the Lumia, THEN Nokia has a problem

Denis W said,
Kind of embarrassing (if true) with the N9s selling better than the Lumias.

"Sold", not necessarily "selling". And why shouldn't it? It was a reasonably compelling device. It was broadly available and it was thoroughly marketed. If you didn't make yourself actively aware that the N9 was a one-off, you'd never know it was a technological dead end. And even if you did, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it.

It almost doesn't matter if the N9 sells more. I think what Elop realized coming from Microsoft is that the phones in a way will be come irrelevant without an ecosystem to back it up. There are only two companies out there right now that are masters at doing this. Microsoft and Google. Apple is just barely getting into this right now.

Denis W said,
Kind of embarrassing (if true) with the N9s selling better than the Lumias.

This is based in estimates.

Of cause I won't be surprise if it's true.

The N9 has been selling for the whole Q4. The Lumia just went in sale in the latter half of Q4.

subcld said,
former nokia exec for a reason

the reason why he come forward and commented is because he is a former exec!! No current exec will come forward and say a statement like this... There is a difference... he speaks the truth...

still1 said,

the reason why he come forward and commented is because he is a former exec!! No current exec will come forward and say a statement like this... There is a difference... he speaks the truth...

he speak nothing but crap more users want better hardware specifications more than what available on windows phone if Nokia 900 had the same spec as N9 then im sure it will get more than N9
Nokia moving the correct direction to the one ecosystem

subcld said,

he speak nothing but crap more users want better hardware specifications more than what available on windows phone if Nokia 900 had the same spec as N9 then im sure it will get more than N9
Nokia moving the correct direction to the one ecosystem

The only move Nokia has made correctly is the 1bn from Microsoft...
The exec points looks to you because u dont want to hear the truth.. and truth sometime is harsh.. he knows better than u and me and he was a Senior exec.

still1 said,

The only move Nokia has made correctly is the 1bn from Microsoft...
The exec points looks to you because u dont want to hear the truth.. and truth sometime is harsh.. he knows better than u and me and he was a Senior exec.

senior exec who failed to keep his job

subcld said,

senior exec who failed to keep his job

do senior exec only get fired? he can resigned and joined another company..
its not like senior exec dont jump company at all.. this shows ur ignorance.

RedFlow said,
I firmly believe when Windows 8 rolls out there will be many many reasons to have a Windows Phone.

still no reason... windows 8 is windows OS and wp7 is a phone OS,
when windows 7 and wp7 rolled out was there a reason?

RedFlow said,
I firmly believe when Windows 8 rolls out there will be many many reasons to have a Windows Phone.

What are some of those reasons?

Not taking a stab at your comment, however I just don't see the full logic there.

I have a Mac and an iPhone, and although the two compliment each other, it's only a very small part of the user experience.

kizzaaa said,

What are some of those reasons?

Not taking a stab at your comment, however I just don't see the full logic there.

I have a Mac and an iPhone, and although the two compliment each other, it's only a very small part of the user experience.

Microsoft is known for a good collaboration between their products... I also bought the Lumia 800 to get ready with the metroUI and to benefit the features we will see with WP8+Win8. Don't know what it is now, but I'm sure that there will be some.

DDXT said,

Microsoft is known for a good collaboration between their products... I also bought the Lumia 800 to get ready with the metroUI and to benefit the features we will see with WP8+Win8. Don't know what it is now, but I'm sure that there will be some.

Name some examples where Microsoft is known for good collaboration.

DDXT said,
I also bought the Lumia 800 to get ready with the metroUI and to benefit the features we will see with WP8+Win8.

You bought a phone, purely to get you used to an upcoming OS's interface? **** me, that's the dumbest thing I've heard in a few years...

n_K said,

You bought a phone, purely to get you used to an upcoming OS's interface? **** me, that's the dumbest thing I've heard in a few years...

I agree, I mean, he hasn't even bought it to call, text etc!

UndergroundWire said,

Name some examples where Microsoft is known for good collaboration.

XBox/WMC = I use my PC to stream movies to my XBox
Win8+Xbox compaion = I can see what's going on with XBox, view titles, achievements and perhaps more in the future.
Office365 = Create/Edit documents in the cloud and from my phone
WP7 Xbox companion = Control XBox via phone

Those are just the recent ones I've experimented with. Although I've been doing WMC for a while.

laserfloyd said,

XBox/WMC = I use my PC to stream movies to my XBox
Win8+Xbox compaion = I can see what's going on with XBox, view titles, achievements and perhaps more in the future.
Office365 = Create/Edit documents in the cloud and from my phone
WP7 Xbox companion = Control XBox via phone

Those are just the recent ones I've experimented with. Although I've been doing WMC for a while.

Just to play devil's advocate here:

I can stream from my PC to a PS3
Android OS + Google TV = Streamlined with the media play store
Apple TV + iOS = Streamlined with the media app store
I can create edit documents from Google Docs
I can control Apple TV via phone. I can control Google TV via Phone

So your reasons are purely subjective then?

n_K said,

You bought a phone, purely to get you used to an upcoming OS's interface? **** me, that's the dumbest thing I've heard in a few years...

I agree.

I think most of the intergration mentioned is the just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, those mentioned are pretty typical but split amongst several different products that don't work together. I think they plan to integrate with everything, including iOS, OS X and Android.
Also, MS integration of it's products with enterprise will be something no one can match.

RedFlow said,
I firmly believe when Windows 8 rolls out there will be many many reasons to have a Windows Phone.

You do know the only thing they'll have in common is a small amount of shared kernel code right?

simplezz said,
You do know the only thing they'll have in common is a small amount of shared kernel code right?
And UI. Which is a pretty major thing, tbh.

simplezz said,

You do know the only thing they'll have in common is a small amount of shared kernel code right?

I have an iPhone and an Android Phone. I'm not running out to buy a Mac or Chromebook. AFTER ALL I AM NOT AN IDIOT!

What is he on? Crack?

Since when doesn't Lumina sell well? Its the best selling phone for Nokia in a while. So if it doesn't top Android sales in the first six months it means it's doomed? No wonder he get fired.

Crack is bad bad bad for You Ahonen.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
What is he on? Crack?

Since when doesn't Lumina sell well? Its the best selling phone for Nokia in a while. So if it doesn't top Android sales in the first six months it means it's doomed? No wonder he get fired.

Crack is bad bad bad for You Ahonen.

LOL I think you are the one on crack. They buried millions, fired all their workforce and bet on a dead platform. Even the hardware is not up to current standards...

Nokia used to be a competitor who produced their own mobile OS and now all they do is sell Windows products, they're already dead and a lot of good Norwegian programmers lost their jobs because of Microsoft.

JAB Creations said,
Nokia used to be a competitor who produced their own mobile OS and now all they do is sell Windows products, they're already dead and a lot of good Norwegian programmers lost their jobs because of Microsoft.

If they had stick to meego the entire company would have gone under...and all Norwegian programmers lost their jobs because of Nokia....

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
What is he on? Crack?

If the N9, which is admitted a nice phone, is outselling the Lumia globally, it does raise questions about the current Nokia Windows Phone strategy, and perhaps that Nokia scraped Meego prematurely.
alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Since when doesn't Lumina sell well? Its the best selling phone for Nokia in a while.

The sales numbers aren't enough to stem the tide of Symbian marketshare decline, which was the whole point of switching to WP in the first place. Nokia might be able to claw back a couple of percentage points here or there, but it's never going to restore Nokia close to their former glory.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

So if it doesn't top Android sales in the first six months it means it's doomed? No wonder he get fired.

I think it's more likely Nokia shareholders will sue Elop for destroying the company.
alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Crack is bad bad bad for You Ahonen.

I think a former Nokia executive is better placed to know what's going on

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
What is he on? Crack?

Since when doesn't Lumina sell well? Its the best selling phone for Nokia in a while. So if it doesn't top Android sales in the first six months it means it's doomed? No wonder he get fired.

Crack is bad bad bad for You Ahonen.


The Nokia Lumia wasn't on sale until the latter half of Q4.

I am not sure how that can be compare Nokia N9 which has been available all through Q4.

DaveBG said,

LOL I think you are the one on crack. They buried millions, fired all their workforce and bet on a dead platform. Even the hardware is not up to current standards...

You would have preferred they go out of business or at the very least bankruptcy? That was where they were headed. The worlds economy does not sit still for companys afraid to change, it eats them alive. Adapt or die.