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Nokia Insider On Why It Failed and Why Apple Could Be Next

Soulskill posted 1 year,11 days | from the investment-in-waffle-technology-was-a-poor-choice dept.

Cellphones 420

An anonymous reader writes "The former chief designer of Nokia explains how the company's success and its corporate culture stopped it from taking risks and left it open to being beaten by Apple. He now sees the same warning signs emerging at Apple. Quoting: 'I look back and I think Nokia was just a very big company that started to maintain its position more than innovate for new opportunities. All of the opportunities were in front of them and Nokia was working on them, but the key word is a sense of urgency. While things were in play there was a real sense of saying "we will get to that eventually."' He worries Apple is now in a similar place: 'Nokia became more of a maintainer, more of an iterator, whereas innovation only comes in re-invention and Nokia waited too long to make the next big bold move ... that is now Apple’s challenge. Apple has arrived at a very safe place, it is responsible for something everybody loves, so it feels it has to keep it going.'" Oddly enough, this comes alongside news that a different former insider, Thomas Zilliacus (who was Nokia’s former Asia-Pacific CEO), has founded a company called "Newkia" in the wake of Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. His goal is to take on former Nokia engineers and set them to building phones again — this time, running Android.

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Fail (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773789)

Nope, Nokia wasn't defeated from the outside, it committed suicide.

Re:Fail (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773985)

Nope, Nokia wasn't defeated from the outside, it committed suicide.

I'm pretty sure you mean Microside.

Re:Fail (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773995)

Wrong, it didn't commit suicide it was just stubborn until it suffered unto its last. Nokia was defeated just like cart and horse industry was defeated by the car industry, the times changed and Nokia didn't.

I see this argument is all relative. If Apple doesn't fill the next innovation gap after some unsuspecting company brings out the next "big thing" it could very well suffer as a result but that doesn't mean it will happen today, tomorrow or even for within the next decade.

So the question can it happen to Apple? yeah why not. It's hardly a prediction, it has happened before to them in the past. However, in present day it's Microsoft turn to suffer this time around.

Re:Fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774071)

Nokia took risks. They took the wrong risks too late. They were defeated by Microsoft, not Apple.

Re:Fail (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774037)

Well like a lot of failures in the tech industry they get stuck on the idea.
We are #1 at this so lets keep it up, Getting into something new will end up taking market share on what #1 makes.
They play it safe and then they will slowly die.

Nokia was the #1 phone maker, because they made good phones for a decent price.
Apple Came along with the iPhone and said. Hey you non-Business users, Check this out, a Smart Phone for you! and look at all these cool features you guys can get for a few hundred dollars more.

Apple took the risk, they could have failed, but they ended up making people to want to pay more for a smarter phone. This gave Apple a 2 year head start. The other phone makers who were trying to compete with Nokia, stopped that plan and started to compete with Apple. So in a few years Samsung, Motorola, etc... Caught up with help of Google's Android OS, which while was originally made for something else, but could quickly be modified to do what Apple does. During this Time Nokia was Happy to be #1 Phone maker, and even some growth as their competitors seem to stop competing with them. Then public opinion fully switched, normal phones seemed very outdated. So Nokia started loosing.

To try to catch up, they figured giving Microsoft OS a try might be enough to make them different enough to stand out. But Microsoft has its own image problem, and lack of apps, didn't work out right.

There are a lot of companies who make similar mistakes they are #1 so they are afraid of not being #1 anymore so they don't change to match demand.

Other examples (And yes there are other factors such as not getting good support from MS for the changes.):
Staying as a DOS application for too long:
Word Perfect, Lotus 123, DBase, FoxPro, Boreland Compilers

Staying stuck on a platform:
Many OS's such as different Unix systems, VMS...
 

Nokia's fall stems from their 'bold' move (5, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774353)

As often happens in businesses that have 'missed the boat' on a marketplace change, a new leader comes in an decides to shake things up. By definition, they know little about the company's history and relative strengths - they just see the weaknesses and feel that change is what they were hired for. And naturally, lacking some vital info, the tendency is to 'go with the Microsoft playbook' and reap the glory when Microsoft is proven right. And with Elop's past history with Microsoft, that approach was a given.

Except that Microsoft's playbook itself is in 'missed the boat' territory, and those 'bold and brilliant' managers that play that game don't seem to have figured that out. And of course, the money guys on the boards are completely clueless, so the game goes on.

There was no reason Nokia couldn't have succeeded with Android. Their strengths are in hardware, industrial design and a large, relatively loyal customer base. That customer base is currently providing what little success Nokia's having with their Lumia line - and it took the low end versions of that line to do it. I.e., those customers didn't want Windows Phone - they wanted a cheap, attractive Nokia phone. They could have had that two years earlier with Android, and they could've done it without fighting the battle of the missing apps. In short, they could've been the Samsung of Europe. They could've even done it while testing the waters with Windows Phones.

But you don't get to be touted in the business press as 'bold and brilliant' by hedging your bets. And you don't get to be rehired by Microsoft and short-listed for the CEO slot without that 'bet the shop on MS' attitude.

Re:Fail (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774373)

Borland is still around! They had a booth at a convention I recently attended.

Re:Fail (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774055)

Nope, Nokia wasn't defeated from the outside, it committed suicide.

Sadly not far from the truth.

While we're on the topic of tasteless analogies I'd like to compare Elop to the airline captain who entered the cockpit a minute after his copilot has stalled the plane while they were descending through 15,000 feet towards the rapidly approaching ocean surface.

Who knows though, I guess Elop and Microsoft could still have conspired to continue the descent so that MS could get Nokia's top minds and their factories and other assets for cheap.

Re:Fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774391)

All this Elp trojan story is just pathetic.

He was not assigned to Nokia by Microsoft. He was hired by Nokia board of directors. The WP strategy was also taken by the same board of directors (same as every major decision in big companies).

The Nokia sales to MS was discussed between Balmer and Nokia's chairman and Elop was not the person in charge. The board of directors in Nokia had almost 50 meetings for the decision (according to the press).

Re:Fail (2)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774407)

They were pushed. Number one market share in every sub-segment of the phone market when Elop came on board. A stuffed cat would have made a better CEO since the fall was due to choices instead of no choice at all.

Re:Fail (5, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774409)

Symbian hemorrhaged marketshare for Nokia in 2009 and 2010 before Elop took over the company. Nokia had four options:

1. Keep trying to update Symbian to be competitive. They were already working hard on that, and it wasn't stopping their decline.

2. Put Maemo into production, or later Meego. This would have been a late new entry to the mobile market, and like the other late new entries it would have been fighting an uphill battle against iOS, Android, and their respective app stores. Windows Phone, for all that it's attached to Microsoft, was guaranteed to get tons of applications because Microsoft would build them in-house even if no other company would. Nokia didn't have that kind of developer resources available. WebOS went nowhere. Blackberry 10 couldn't save them. I'd love to see Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch take the world by storm, but I'll be shocked if most of us even remember they existed in five years.

3. Switch to Android, and become yet another Android also-ran with Huawei, HTC, LG, ZTE, and Motorola all fighting for sunlight behind Samsung's shadow. Nokia had some of the best designers in the business, but they would have been late to the game fighting other vendors for consumer attention. And they wouldn't even save much money, because Microsoft would have hit them with the same lawsuit it's used to extort patent fees from all of the other Android manufacturers.

4. Switch to Windows Phone, get a big cash infusion from Microsoft, come along for the ride for free any time Microsoft advertises Windows Phone, and differentiate yourself in the market while getting a genuinely well done mobile operating system. ( Even if you dislike and distrust Microsoft - and I do - the reviews of Windows Phone, unlike Windows 8, have been uniformly positive. )

As far as I can tell that's four different paths into oblivion. The one they took might have been faster than the others, but I don't see any way they could have survived much longer regardless. Anything Nokia was going to do in order to save itself needed to be started at least three years before Elop took over the company. He took the captain's chair on a sinking ship.

Re:Fail (1)

DarkVader (121278) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774065)

And it was obvious to anyone watching that it would happen. I mean, a Microsoft phone? Everybody HATED their phone OS, and as soon as alternatives became viable (iPhone, Android) people ran screaming, never to return. Throw in that their new phone OS was even worse than their old one, and it was a forgone conclusion.

Throw in that Nokia made some of the worst dumbphones on the US market, phones that had a reputation for being cheap but having horrible audio quality, which is pretty much fatal for a phone where audio is the only feature, and they were doomed.

Re:Fail (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774187)

Horrible audio? That's not Nokia. The one thing every Nokia I've seen has is impeccable call quality.

Re:Fail (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774277)

Semantics. He pretty much blames the company for not having the guts to actually pursue new technology and remaining stagnant. That sounds like an elephant just stopped on train tracks to me. Was it really killed by the train, or was hanging out on the tracks a suicide attempt?

Re:Fail (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774413)

Yeah, because a Microsoft guy was not sent in to destroy it from the inside so they could buy it later at a drastically reduced value.

Everyone knew what they guy was up to, and the Board at Nokia had a lot to profit from it's demise.

Failure is relative (5, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773797)

Getting Balmer to cough up 7B for this iterator didn't seem like failure if you ask me. Not to mention they still keep some IP to themselves.

Re:Failure is relative (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773847)

There may or may not be some upset investors(if they managed to get in during some peak value period they may have managed to lose some money even at Microsoft's fairly sweetheart valuation); but I suspect that the real difference is that there are people who judge 'success' and 'failure' by "how much can I offload it on the next chump for?" and those who judge success and failure by "What were we doing and creating?".

Microsoft's willingness to buy them out of what appeared to be a pretty hairy situation saved the day for team bean-counter; but I suspect that team engineer is wondering 'How did we go from being fucking Nokia to being eaten by a software company?'

Re:Failure is relative (5, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773917)

Microsoft's willingness to buy them out of what appeared to be a pretty hairy situation saved the day for team bean-counter; but I suspect that team engineer is wondering 'How did we go from being fucking Nokia to being eaten by a software company?'

No doubt. Or you could be team engineer at Blackberry wondering "How the fuck did we put ourselves up for sale with no buyers?"

Re:Failure is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773855)

Depends on whether your goal is to make money or do something cool. Both are so hard that it is impossible to realistically plan on being one of the few that do and stay that way for long.

Re:Failure is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773883)

Getting Balmer to cough up 7B for this iterator didn't seem like failure if you ask me.

It does if you consider that it was worth twice as much in 2010 before Elop stepped in to devalue the company for sale to his Dark Lord.

$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773909)

Getting Balmer to cough up 7B for this iterator didn't seem like failure if you ask me.

When Nokia's market cap was $245 Billion circa 10 years ago and as high as $150 Billion as recently as 2007 then that counts as a HUGE failure.

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774085)

trololol market cap. not remotely a measure of value

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774223)

trololol market cap. not remotely a measure of value

What do you mean, like Facebook isn't worth 104 billion USD??

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774237)

Except by those that buy companies.

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774263)

so how about the time when the handset division actually had a 5 Billion or more/year profit? pretty sure you'd have to pay more than 7 to buy it..

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774411)

$5 billion profit, maybe reasonably worth 30-50 bil$, not $245b

Re:$245 Billion becoming $7 Billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774417)

Since market cap is such a terrible way to define value, why don't you make yourself a quick fortune on the stockmarket? It should be easy with your amazing insight into what a "measure of value" really is.

Things are worth what somebody else is willing to pay for them. Market cap reflects the FINANCIAL worth of a company very well. If you are talking about the moral worth or spiritual worth of a mobile phone company ... well, I don't know what to tell you.

Feel free to mod me down for expressing an unpopular opinion.

Link Baiting This? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773811)

A guy discusses how Nokia totally drops the ball and then link baits it by adding Apple? And, let's be very serious here - there is no similarity between Apple now and Nokia before their fall - Apple is still releasing innovative products with several new innovations obviously on the very immediate horizon). While they may not reinvent an entire market every year, they are most certainly not sitting on their hands doing nothing. Nokia, by contrast, fell from grace because they didn't change at all when the market around them underwent a massive shift in direction. Anyone who thinks Apple would succumb to a similar failure is either INCREDIBLY anti-Apple and wants to hate on them any chance they get or they are completely out of touch with reality.

Or they are adding "Apple" to a blog post to link bait.

Re:Link Baiting This? (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773915)

It happened to Apple once already -- the founders forced out, and bean counters making cuts and skipping investment in new stuff. It works, for awhile, and profits even increase, but eventually they start lagging behind. By that time, the first few bean counter CEOs have ridden off into the sunset with millions in reward for doing a "good job" on the profits.

Re:Link Baiting This? (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774197)

Yes the bean counters can come in. But Apple's R&D has been exploding over the last 3 years. Investment is growing substantially faster than sales. Far from skimping Apple is allowing investment to damage the bottom line because they want to invest in the future.

Re:Link Baiting This? (5, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773963)

Nokia came out with an internet tablet back in 2005. I have one sitting on my desk right now. The problem with Nokia wasn't innovation, nor is innovation Apple's strength. What (the consumer part of) Nokia lacked was a understanding of how to market products other than normal phones. Add to that, it was *too* engineering focused - case in point, Symbian was difficult to code for, but battery life was excellent due to the design of the OS. Add to that Symbian was too entrenched.

Nokia had a good plan - they wanted to develop the OS from their tablets into a modern smartphone OS (Maemo/Meego), while at the same time, develop Qt so that developers have a good API and dev environment to code in. This code could then be portable across Symbian, Meego and desktop OSes.

If Nokia was able to fully execute this plan, I doubt that they would be in a worse position than they would be now. Microsoft saw this as a threat (and opportunity to find a reliable HW partner as WP7 was driving the major manufactures away) and nipped it in the bud.

Re:Link Baiting This? (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774049)

What Nokia lacked was a understanding of how to market products other than normal phones.

Nokia lacked an understanding of products other than normal phones, period. To them, a smart phone was a regular phone with PDA functions bolted on, and it showed in the design of their products. The reverse is more accurate: a smart phone is a PDA that happens to have the ability to make calls. Their mobile OS looked interesting but I think their strength is in hardware; and I would have loved to see a Nokia Android phone.

Re:Link Baiting This? (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774235)

Microsoft saw this as a threat (and opportunity to find a reliable HW partner as WP7 was driving the major manufactures away) and nipped it in the bud.

That's not what happened. When Elop came on board he discovered there 4 models with MeeGo planned all the way through 2014. Moreover the divisions had resolved issues in contradictory ways. MeeGo as a platform for converting Symbian and a modern OS were in conflict. Arguably the N9 was as good as it was, because once it was a terminal project the Symbian didn't care and didn't interfere.

Nokia approached Microsoft after Google turned them down on any kind of exclusive feature set.

Re:Link Baiting This? (0, Flamebait)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774025)

Apple's phones have persistent drawbacks that they have maintained over 5 generations now:
  • proprietary as opposed to standard electrical inferfaces
  • designed to sync through iTunes only
  • lousy contacts and calendar syncing with commonly used products (e.g. Outlook and Google)
  • excessive control of what applications can be put on your phone
  • clumsy UI without much customizability
  • DRM

Re:Link Baiting This? (1, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774271)

Apple's phones have persistent drawbacks that they have maintained over 5 generations now:

1. To charge an iPhone, you take an iPhone charging cable and plug it into any old USB charger. Fits into a Samsung USB charger without any problems.
2. iPhone does cloud backup and syncing without any problems. No need for any computer with iTunes anywhere near it.
3. Contacts and calendar syncing with commonly used products (Contacts and calendar on the Mac) works great.
4. Control of what applications can be put on your phone is counted as a positive by the majority of users.
5. I haven't seen any users calling the iOS user interface "clumsy", and "not much customisability" is seen as a positive by the majority of users.

Re:Link Baiting This? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774283)

1) The current connector is a huge improvement over the previous one - it's much easier to put in, is a very solid, positive connector that doesn't wiggle loose, and is better than standard USB cables because it doesn't matter which way around you insert it.

2) My iPhone hasn't been connected to my computer in months. Everything syncs through iCloud now. Try to keep up.
3) There are many easy ways to get Calendar on the Mac to sync with either of those products, and thus to the iPhone through iCloud.

4) Curation of the garden is a good thing. Keeps the weeds out (mostly).

5) Clumsy UI? You mean, the UI that Android vendors copy slavishly?

6) DRM on what, exactly? There isn't any DRM on the music, and I am perfectly able to watch and listen to DRM free content of any variety on my phone. There are LOTS of apps for that, even in the "excessively controled" application environment in the iPhone.

Nothing you said of the iPhone's failings is true.

Re:Link Baiting This? (0)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774393)

Unfortunately, people tend not to care about those:
      Stuff that was left over from their iPods could be reused.
      Few people actually understand just how awful iTunes is and thus don't spread the message that it was an absolute requirement.
            Fortunately, it's no longer an absolute requirement.
      Again, once they realize just how badly that works, they're too busy with inconsequential stuff to care.
      Excessive isn't the word I'd use... Protectionist seems more appropriate.
      Skeuomorphic interfaces were too popular until recently. Extra stuff is tacked on to existing stuff - much like Symbian did things back in the day.
            Tacking on extra stuff instead of reorganizing it makes people more comfortable. That's my experience with Symbian.
      By the time people realize that, it's too late - if they care.

It's natural (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773819)

Imagine a game where you can choose between two options:
A - Try to move up: 1/5 you move up. 4/5 times you go down.
B - Try to stay: 3/5 you stay. 2/5 you move down.

In such a game, to place yourself in front, a good strategy is to try to move up until you reach a certain point where you're the first and then stay there, forcing everyone else to risk moving up.

There's a limited amount of people with a limited amount of money. It's not important how far ahead you are but whether you're the first one.

Assume the strategy is good and accept the times you move down as natural and only push when you're behind. Don't judge the strategy for the times where you move down.

Re:It's natural (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773885)

There's a limited amount of people with a limited amount of money.

When you're the size of Apple, it is no longer important to focus on it that way, but rather on the rate at which people spend money. It is a closed system, after all. (Unless you're in the habit of burning money?)

Re:It's natural (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773999)

When you're the size of Apple, it is no longer important to focus on it that way, but rather on the rate at which people spend money. It is a closed system, after all. (Unless you're in the habit of burning money?)

no, but the govt is in the habit of printing money, so the pot always grows. also you have countries that are becoming more prosperous and want the iShinys, so their money comes in as well. The pie is always growing!

Re:It's natural (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774089)

So you're just emphasizing my point that the economics of scarcity does not apply here. Thanks for that.

Re:It's natural (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774141)

What's insightful about this?

Re:It's natural (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774161)

Bullshit. You need to continue innovating or you're going to die.

Game theory model [Re:It's natural] (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774419)

Imagine a game where you can choose between two options:
A - Try to move up: 1/5 you move up. 4/5 times you go down.
B - Try to stay: 3/5 you stay. 2/5 you move down.

In such a game, to place yourself in front, a good strategy is to try to move up until you reach a certain point where you're the first and then stay there, forcing everyone else to risk moving up.

If the "up" and "down" motions are equal in magnitude, then you lose 0.6 per turn in strategy A, and 0.4 per turn in strategy B. Clearly strategy "A" is the optimum one to maximize your return: to place yourself in front you chose strategy A, and gain the front position because every player who doesn't goes down faster than you do.

There's a limited amount of people with a limited amount of money. It's not important how far ahead you are but whether you're the first one.

OK, now it gets more interesting. Say that there are N players, only one can win, and you want to optimize the chance of winning after K moves. Now everybody is sliding down, but you can take a gamble on strategy A. It's a losing bet, on the average, but if you're already losing, the incremental cost is zero. So you take strategy A if and only if you're behind.

The limited amount of money changes the game slightly: now there is an absorbing boundary condition at the bottom-- e.g., you go bankrupt (and thus can take no more moves) when you hit a score of, say, -10. (Of course, the game is set so everybody goes bankrupt if you play long enough, so this is only interesting if the game stops after K plays.) This penalized risk taking even more, and pushes you toward strategy B, holding back, and letting all the people fighting for first with Strategy A go bankrupt.

Tuppe666 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773821)

Trollolol Apple. Sheeple. Can't Innovate. Evil. Walled Garden. Apple. lolol. Apple. Made in China.

GOOGLE! GOOOOGLE!!! goooglE! GoogLe! chromebookdonoevil GOOOogLE! Made in USA.

Robert Rankin

Innovation? (4, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773827)

"take on former Nokia engineers and set them to building phones again — this time, running Android"

Nokia needed to innovate, and an example of this is to build the same phone everyone else is? Good luck with that.

Re:Innovation? (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773867)

Better to make something you can sell than something that there is no market for.

What Nokia should have done was stayed the course with the N900 and beyond. They could have made that work, it should not have been hard to even support Android apks and its third party markets like the Amazon app store. Instead they got in bed with MS and ended up with a fatal disease.

Re:Innovation? (5, Funny)

c (8461) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773951)

Instead they got in bed with MS and ended up with a fatal disease.

More like they got pregnant, had a severely disabled child, and their only sane option is the marry the father.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774077)

And/or run for Vice President.

Re:Innovation? (2)

kurt555gs (309278) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773987)

I am/was a Maemo fan. The N9 could have been the next "iPhone". I think that was what M$ was afraid of. The reason for their war to destroy Nokia.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774325)

I am/was a Maemo fan. The N9 could have been the next "iPhone". I think that was what M$ was afraid of. The reason for their war to destroy Nokia.

Nokia smartphone marketshare (and stock) was plummeting like a rock before Elop came onboard. This is why the former CEO was fired. They completely missed the importance of the app ecosystem, and N9 would not have been able to change that even if it was the best thing since sliced bread. People today expect their phone to have not only many apps, but specific must-have apps (including being supported from all the local sources and services you care about, publications, stores, service providers, traffic services, etc. If not all of these are providing apps for your phone it's a non-option).

Would betting on Android instead have made a difference? Maybe, but it is interesting that HTC was i almost same situation and choice as Nokia, and choose to bet on Android, and are still tanking like hell.

Re:Innovation? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774421)

Maemo/MeeGo was destroyed by internal fighting and disagreements. ArsTechnica had an interesting article about that a few months ago.
Unfortunately, the N9 destroyed itself by being late and not being properly optimized. Poor developer support was the final straw.

Re:Innovation? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774211)

Instead they got in bed with MS and ended up with a fecal disease.

FTFY!

Re:Innovation? (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774357)

"Better to make something you can sell than something that there is no market for."

How do we know they can sell it?

Samsung has the mid-range market sewn up. Sony and a few others have the fancy-phone versions. A host of Chinese companies have the low end.

I'm happy to be surprised, but let me express my scepticism that this entirely new company can find any niche to operate within.

Re:Innovation? (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773869)

Android isn't a phone - it's an Operating System. You can innovate (blergh, I hate that word) at the hardware level, while using the industry standard to stay competitive in software. Especially if, as with Nokia, your strength has historically been with hardware rather than software.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Walterk (124748) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774123)

This. The Nokias I've owned before have all been great pieces of hardware. It's likely that if they launched an Android phone it would sell well. In fact, if they only put Android on one of their Lumia 925s, I'd be very tempted to ditch my Nexus 4.

Re:Innovation? (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773889)

Nokia did not need to innovate. They needed to apply their hardware engineers to creating an Android phone, and their software engineers to making a nice Android release for it. Who wouldn't like a hot-shit Android phone with the indestructability of a Nokia?

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773899)

Apparently he was offended that the WinPhones weren't sufficiently virus-laden.

"I worked with Microsoft because they have the best track history of being attacked by viruses! But these things, no one attacks them, how am I supposed to work with that? Screw this, I'm going Android, I hear they're getting lots of nasty infections."

Re:Innovation? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774057)

"take on former Nokia engineers and set them to building phones again — this time, running Android"

Nokia needed to innovate, and an example of this is to build the same phone everyone else is? Good luck with that.

It would get them in the mindset of building phones with modern hardware. A separate arm of the company could work on building a new OS with new software capabilities and they could run it when it's ready on their phones. Make it interable with Android apps and if possible also iPhone apps.

Re:Innovation? (0)

nine-times (778537) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774079)

Also, was Nokia ever really 'innovative'? I don't really remember that.

Re:Innovation? (2, Informative)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774201)

Really? In 2002 my Nokia 7650 had a colour screen, a camera, installable applications and games, MMS support, mobile web browser. This was a full 5 years before the iPhone even came out.

Nokia was a key player in most things we take for granted on modern phones.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774405)

In 2002 my Nokia 7650 had a shitty colour screen, a shitty camera, shitty installable applications and games, shitty MMS support, shitty mobile web browser.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Innovation? (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774111)

No, people want Nokia hardware, with Android software.

Even Lumia's with Android would've been a hot seller compared to how they did with Windows 8.

Samsung demonstrated what a complete and utter fallacy it was to for companies like Nokia and RIM not to use Android with the argument "you can't differentiate in the Android ecosystem", quite obviously Samsung proved you can very much differentiate pretty much on hardware alone.

Well maybe that's not entirely accurate, I suppose yes you can't differentiate in the Android market if your CEO is a complete and utter incompetent muppet like Elop, but the point is you can easily differentiate in the Android market.

Nokia didn't even have an excuse, there was precedent, Symbian was on a lot of non-Nokia devices also but Nokia was the top phone manufacturer precisely because it's devices stood out amongst the rest.

Personally right now I find the Android hardware market very underwhelming, it's all dull and very similar - wide, tall, thin, and some form of grey, white, or blue. There's so much scope for a new provider to produce something that stands out amongst the crowd and takes Samsung's crown and again, as Samsung has proven, there's plenty of profit to be made too.

You can perfectly well use Android and still innovate.

Newkia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773859)

My sister got a newkia after her old car was totalled. Personally I wouldn't be caught dead driving one.

Re: Newkia (1)

vuo (156163) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774051)

Why such a stupid Finglish name, I wonder too. Univ student humor magazine Tamppi suggested LempÃÃlà Mobile Phones in 2000. But seriously, there is Westend ICT. Karamalmi or Keilaniemi would be obvious choices, but the guy's name, Zilliacus, is cool too.

Re: Newkia (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774231)

Perhaps you're biased because it's your language, but to anybody outside Finland, Karamalmi or Keilaniemi sound much more stupid than "Newkia".

Regardless the name, the bigger problem they have is basing their hardware on engineers that no longer have access to the patents they've used for many years. Whatever made Nokia phones good, has to be reinvented.

Hey Obama loving douchebags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773875)

Aside from bombing Syria and ruining our economy the chocolate Jesus is now attacking single mothers for not paying enough taxes.

Why do you fucktards vote Democrat again?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893004579055224175110910.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_business

Fuck you fuckity fucktard fucks.

Re:Hey Obama loving douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774333)

To be fair, the Republicans would have just gone and bombed Syria already.

Consequences be damned.

Like Russia vowing to help Syria if they're attacked.
Or most of our embassies being attacked in the middle east.

Re:Hey Obama loving douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774389)

"To be fair, the Republicans would have just gone and bombed Syria already."

Bullshit. The only idiots suppporting this are RINO dickwads, progresives and shit for brains morons like you slashdot Obama loving shitbirds.

Go fuck yourself.

Valid Criticism (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773907)

"...the key word is a sense of urgency."

Apple's development pace has always been glacial, but since 2012 it seems to have slowed even more. Samsung's new watch shows what can go wrong when you rush a product, but there is a happy medium between those two extremes. I'm hopeful Apple's recent comatose posture stems more from management shuffle than a fundamental limitation on capability or worse, a deliberate choice.

Re:Valid Criticism (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774359)

Like the iPod in 2001
iPhone in 2007
iPad in 2010

New laptops every other year.
New desktops every other year.

How has it slowed since 2012? They only release new categories of devices every few years. God forbid they don't break ground every year.

Or release total shitstains like the Galaxy Gear.

Trick #2... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773921)

Apple, under Jobs, definitely didn't suffer from a risk-averse willingness to uncreative iteration (How many more incremental generations of the bestselling-product-ever iPod Mini could they have squeezed out when Jobs basically said 'Hard drives make me sick, fuck the Mini and go build me a Nano, I don't care if it actually reduces storage capacity until you get to the higher-end model a generation later."? However, Apple also (mostly, the 'why not make the shuffle a featureless rectangle for no reason, even though we had a version that was only slightly larger and incorporated the iconic control-wheel design?' was not a clever move) had the virtue of having a good idea waiting in the wings when they exercised their willingness to take an already-successful product out and shoot it.

That's possibly the even trickier part: there are very strong incentives to be a conservative, risk-averse, iterator when you are on top, so people tend to do so; but there's also a well-developed literature on 'just sitting around and milking your cash cow is how you get eaten by hungry upstarts'. Trouble is, unless you actually have lots of good ideas, like those hungry upstarts just outside the gates, staring at you, doing some cargo-cult management and killing random cash cows won't actually save you, just reduce the amount of delicious cash-milk you get to collect before you die.

You don't want conservatism to crib-death the upstart ideas that could genuinely save you from succumbing to old age and laziness; but you also want to be careful to recognize that, if you are in fact ossified and uncreative, that milking the situation for all it's worth and then cashing out gracefully beats the hell out of increasingly desperate flailing as you bleed out.

For sabotage "In Your Face" one should rot in jail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773925)

Revenue declining but still profitable company
Here comes MS man and immediately company is burning to the ground. Thousands of people as a result lose jobs (including Finland)

Do they have any police in Finland. Such a blatant and hostile takeover and not a single person is in chains.

iPhones are just too expensive (3, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773937)

I'm due for a phone upgrade soon, and I'm currently looking at whatever mid-range Android phone is the best value for money.

I have a good job, but I'm simply not willing to spend 40GBP a month on an iPhone (plus 200 upfront costs) when a 20 a month Android phone will let me make calls and check Facebook just as well.

If the iPhone 5C exists and is competitively priced, then maybe Apple will get back in the game, but at the moment, they're stumbling in the smartphone market.

Re:iPhones are just too expensive (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773961)

If you can't afford to buy it upfront, just get a dumbphone and save your money.

Re:iPhones are just too expensive (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774119)

I have a good job, but I'm simply not willing to spend 40GBP a month on an iPhone (plus 200 upfront costs) when a 20 a month Android phone will let me make calls and check Facebook just as well.

You can get an iPhone for £20 a month with no upfront payment. At least that's what they display in the shop windows. Not top of the range, but that Android phone you mention isn't top of the range either.

The Innovators Dilemna (1)

Virtucon (127420) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773969)

All companies can become complacent based on past success and fail to acknowledge new technologies or a shifting customer base or anticipate future needs. This is further complicated by new technologies that change the business model. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator's_Dilemma [wikipedia.org] . It introduced me to the concept of the S curve in terms of the innovation life cycle and it has great examples of how disruptive innovation [wikipedia.org] can negatively affect a business that's at the top of their game when they fail to adapt to the change.

There's a lot of companies that were once industry leaders such as Sears that were models of management and efficiency but they're now husks of what they once were. Nokia fits that pattern as would Microsoft because of their lack of either not fully embracing new technologies or being a trailing influence in others that negatively impact their PC based core.

Re:The Innovators Dilemna (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774275)

It introduced me to the concept of the S curve in terms of the innovation life cycle and it has great examples of how disruptive innovation [wikipedia.org] can negatively affect a business that's at the top of their game when they fail to adapt to the change.

That's what I always liked about Google. They were constantly trying to do the disruptive innovation themselves; trying to replace their cash cows instead of just improving them. Recently it seems Google has dropped this culture though, so it's inevitable they'll be replaced themselves.

Apple should fail for its NSA back doors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44773977)

All the US companies that put in back doors for its NSA should be boycotted internationally.

Everybody loves? Not quite. (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,11 days | (#44773979)

"Apple has arrived at a very safe place, it is responsible for something everybody loves, so it feels it has to keep it going."

Not quite. Apple is responsible for something many people love. Not me. I much prefer the features of Android to the point that I wouldn't consider an iPhone. iOS is an inferior product for functionality (specifically, customizability of the user interface) and it doesn't play well with non-Apple software and has excessively restrictive controls on what the user can do with their device. I have other issues with Google (their data use policies). There's room in my mind and wallet for a new player with better for the customer data use policies and an Android-like feature set.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774043)

...but Apple is responsible for the Android you know and love. (Personally, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, given Google's involvement, but each to their own). If it weren't for Apple you'd be using a Blackberry rip-off instead.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774121)

Apple stole their iphone design from Sony, proved in the court of law by Apple's own evidence and having Sony blueprints. Apple's iOS is based on BSD with an very dumb UI, nothing new there, it's kiosk level functionality and existed for decades. Apple's store is nothing more than a copy of a BSD or Linux distro's repository which have been around since the mid 90s.

So what exactly did Apple create when their entire product line is just repackaging existing products, software and off the shelf components made by other companies. Even the Mac is just a crippled PC clone these days.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774193)

You must be a blast at parties. Do you groom the neckbeard first?

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774209)

Fair enough statement.... but oddly enough, as long as I've been into computers and I.T.? I still vastly prefer my iPhone to any of the Android devices I've tried using in its place.

To address your points specifically?

Customization of the UI is something I don't necessarily consider "inferior", simply because what's provided doesn't allow as much modification. The REAL question is how much you like what they give you initially. (To use the way popular "car analogy" on Slashdot once again? With very FEW exceptions, vehicle dashboards are not user-configurable at all. Many accepted standards have been kept to, such as placing a speedometer someplace more or less directly above the steering column, and placing a fuel gauge just to the left of it. Several items like a tachometer are absent or present, depending on the particular vehicle's design, but you'll always find an odometer in about the same place, turn signal indicator arrows done a similar way, etc. etc. This arrangement works quite well, and most people don't feel a pressing need to rearrange it. If you asked most drivers about preferences for the dash, they'd talk mainly about the styling details ... whether they preferred chrome rings around the gauges, or if they liked the gauge needles to be white instead of red.) That's how I view the iPhone. You can still pick custom "wallpapers" to change up the look a bit, and you have control over arrangement of the icons on multiple screens. Without jailbreaking and using unsupported hacks, no ... you can't "go crazy" with it, radically changing the UI. But that also means businesses writing instructions for configuring the phones can safely write them ONE time, based on a single sample iPhone, and the instructions will make sense for pretty much all iPhone users. It means someone who mastered his/her iPhone can easily share knowledge with any other iPhone user. So the ONLY valid benefit I see to all the customizing possible on Android is if you really dislike what Apple has done with iOS and find the UI unworkable/frustrating enough that you need a totally different design. Again, fine if that's you. But iOS works great for many millions of satisfied users every day.

Not quite sure what "non Apple software" you're upset the iPhone "won't play well" with? It supports the latest Bluetooth connectivity standards, so in that regard, links up with all manner of non-Apple branded devices just fine. Yes, it's designed around Apple's iTunes as the preferred "central management hub" for placing media on it. But 3rd. party alternatives exist too, including programs that will let you download music FROM your iPhone to save onto a computer, instead of Apple's default "one way" setup where content only syncs TO the phone. Overall, I find I use smartphones as essentially "stand alone" devices anyway, once I have them initially configured. There's only so much outside software it needs to work with?

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774233)

yeah -- and I for one stick to Apple becauseI have no need to waste time fucking about with my phone's UI and the fact that most vendors lock you to a specific OS release, leaving it up to the user to go about figuring out how to get in and update the OS by themselves.

So hey -- you might get a big stiffy for all that "hands on uber-geekness", I for one just want a smart phone that works well, gets regular OS updates and where I don't have to suspect each and every app of being a trojan.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (1)

div_2n (525075) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774243)

There is someone trying to be that third player -- Canonical.

Lots of people have recently taken on more negative views of them because Upstart, Mir, Unity and also the Amazon stuff. Should they succeed, there's no reason to think you couldn't mod the crap out of an Ubuntu phone or slap on your own distro unless the heavy lifting is done via blobs I guess.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774265)

Clearly he doesn't _mean_ 'everybody loves', but he has to be suitably deferential to what Apple has achieved in order to score funds from people who admire Apple so much they want to beat it.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774297)

Not me.

Everyone who counts loves Apple.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (1)

kasperd (592156) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774383)

There's room in my mind and wallet for a new player with better for the customer data use policies and an Android-like feature set.

I agree with that. I think the way to achieve this is to fork Android and distribute it without so many Google apps installed by default. The challenge is, what you are going to replace those apps with.

The customers still need to be able to download applications onto their phone, including those well known Google apps, to the extent they want those apps. I think Google Play is by far the largest app store for Android, so it would make sense to still have Google Play installed by default for those customers who want to download applications through that.

That leaves one question open, to which I don't know the answer. Can you use the Google Play appstore on an Android phone without needing low level services throughout the system, which communicates with Google?

I'd also like to see a bit more openness by default. Though Android is open compared to some other phone platforms, Android appears quite closed compared to other Linux distributions. If you buy a piece of hardware, you should have access to a root shell on it by default, no exceptions.

I'd also like to see users get more control over installed applications. First of all the set of permissions an app gets shouldn't automatically be whatever the developer decides to ask for. The user need to be able to decide for themselves, what they will permit an app to do. Ideally this is done in a way where the permission can be faked such that it is impossible to write an app which fails in case of the absence of a permission. For example if the app wants network access, but the user doesn't want to grant it, the app might not be able to tell the difference between lack permission or lack of coverage. Or if an app wants to send SMS messages, the user could be promted with a question where they can decide what happens to the SMS, for example send it, store it, or discard it.

Another important feature is the ability to downgrade an app. Getting updates that fixes bugs is great. New features are usually also nice. But occasionally updates introduce new bugs or simply change the app in ways that serves the interests of the developer but not the user. In such circumstances the user should be able to downgrade. Without the ability to downgrade at will, every update implies the risk of never being able to use that app the way you used to. This risk means keeping all your software updated is no longer a sound piece of advice.

Those two features could perhaps be done at a layer below the app store. If they could, then installing multiple app stores on the phone by default would make a lot of sense.

Re:Everybody loves? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774415)

LOL

"specifically, customizability of the user interface"

If that's your best defense of a superior product, perhaps you might see that most people don't want to fuck around with the user interface and just want a good one that works consistently & reliably. iOS isn't perfect, but it's more consistent & reliable than any Android skin.

Or they just want cheap. Until they see that there's a reason it's cheap.

Truly? (3, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774001)

To summarize: if you're not selling the next big thing in the next product cycle - no matter how big you are, and Apple is literally the biggest - then you will face certain doom.

Frankly that sounds like all kinds of ridiculous. I don't particularly like Apple, but I don't sense any sort of stagnation, they have a fairy wide portfolio of products, and have they committed any serious foibles in recent history. They could afford not coming up with the next two big things and still not suffer mightily. Some might point at Microsoft, Nokia and Blackberry as cautionary tales of not innovating. To which I would respond: Microsoft's current ills can be largely attributed not to not innovating, but to half-assed innovation at the expense of its core businesses (while if it had stayed boring it wouldn't presently be undergoing so much restructuring); Nokia was and is largely a phone maker which did not diversify enough when it had a chance while also making a wrong bet on the future of phones, while Blackberry, ah... Blackberry is a monkey in the time of chimpanzees.

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774199)

In mid-2006 Apple appeared to be in much the same position they are now. A number of years previously they had introduced a product (ipod) that revolutionized its market then spent the years tweaking the form factor, case materials, adding colors and incrementally improving features (playback of video).

Then came rumors that they had been working on another new product. And in 2007 they redefined another market with the iPhone. It took even less time for them to introduce the ipad. So just because Apple has spent the last six years tweaking the form factors, improving the screens and adding colors to the iPhone is no reason to conclude that their behavior demonstrates they have stopped looking to truly new products.

Whether they will succeed at reshaping the "wearables" or TV markets is a separate question, but the data to dismiss them as stagnant just isn't there.

Nokia != disruptive (0)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774093)

IMHO, the secret to Apple's success is disruptive technologies and products. From the Apple II (and Visicalc), to the Mac, to the iMac (in a way), to the iPod and iTunes, to the iPhone, possibly to the iPad. These products all were designed to throw a wrench into the hulking giant business models. Nokia never had any of that. That said, Apple needs to keep trying to disrupt the "way things have always been done" and at the same time they need to keep copycats from ripping off their ideas. I'm just wondering if the whole notion of the iWatch is a brilliant misdirection to tie up Samsung and send them down a path Apple has no intention of pursuing.

It was Nokia's short-sighted fault (5, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774109)

The beginning of the end for Nokia happened around 2004, when UMTS arrived in Europe, and Nokia made an intentional business decision to not support EDGE, and to basically walk away from CDMA as well (even though at that point, probably half the phones sold by Verizon and Sprint were Nokia, as well as the majority of high-end phones sold by AT&T and T-Mobile).

As a result, their phones became useless paperweights in the US as far as anybody who ever used data was concerned. EDGE wasn't exactly "high speed", but compared to GPRS, EDGE is just "annoyingly slow" compared to "uselessly slow". Circa 2005-2008, EDGE was the best that existed in most of the US anyway... T-Mobile hadn't even started deploying HSPA yet, and AT&T's HSPA data existed in maybe two dozen cities.

Nokia presumably wrote off the US market because, in terms of total unit sales, it was roughly equal to Portugal or Switzerland. What they overlooked was the importance of mindshare... half the world's tech blogs and web sites are American, and as far as anyone in America was concerned, by ~2007 Nokia had effectively ceased to exist. At best, they were a company that used to be popular, and now just made throw-away low-end phones sold to people in remote African villages.

Other companies learned their lesson. Today, companies like Sony-Ericsson are working as hard as they can to break their Qualcomm addiction(*), and make a point of getting their phones into the hands of American reviewers who live in cities where T-Mobile has good HSPA+ coverage.

(*) Qualcomm insists on licensing LTE radio firmware to carriers rather than manufacturers, which means it's basically impossible for a manufacturer to sell phones capable of using LTE on AT&T or T-Mobile without the active involvement of AT&T or T-Mobile, and de-facto impossible to sell a phone built with a Qualcomm LTE chipset that's carrier-agnostic and capable of doing LTE on both AT&T and T-Mobile.

It's technically possible to use a separate non-Qualcomm chipset (like Beceem's) for LTE, but the price premium is fairly stiff (about $100, by the time the phone gets to retail stores). That's why companies like Sony-Ericsson (who desperately want to break the stranglehold American carriers have over the American phone market as gatekeepers with economic -- or in the case of Verizon & Sprint, real -- veto power) have eagerly embraced chipsets like the Renesas MP5232 and MP6530, which will enable them to make phones capable of doing LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile, and break the "LTE Lock-In" AT&T in particular has been working overtime to exploit as a way of making their nominally-GSM network into one that's as de-facto proprietary as Verizon's.

Sell (1)

101percent (589072) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774129)

Is selling your company for billions of dollars considered failure? I'd love to cash out at 1% of that and enjoy the rest of my life.

We'll see... (1, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774225)

Nokia's decline began over a decade ago. It started when they got focused on phones as a fashion accessory you're supposed to replace every 6 months. The wanted to be the Swatch Watch of phones, a comparison I recall hearing at the time. While others were envisioning of smartphones Nokia was banking on phones turning into a disposable commodity. This was less evident in the US because they were already losing a foothold here. But I was overseas and Nokia was releasing some truly wacky designs; one of the more ridiculous implementations being the Nokia 7380.

So when they finally realized they were losing ground they finally jumped into the smartphone space. Except that they embraced technological dead ends in Symbian and Meego. I'm not suggesting that they're bad OS's at all, but Nokia simply didn't have the resources to make them a viable competitor to Android or iOS. And honestly, I don't think Nokia has ever really had the capability to create a proper OS experience anyway. Their mobile software interfaces have always been incredibly clunky, something that wasn't evident back when all they offered was a keypad and calculator-style display.

Now here comes this guy who's big idea is to create an Android also-ran. There's already a massive amount of competition for Android, what makes this guy think he's implementation is going to make any sort of impact. You've got the market leader in Samsung. Second to them is HTC, who's continued success seems largely dependent on whether they're able to produce a popular phone but generally continue losing money. Then you've got the multitude of other companies, the more prominent of those being LG, Sony and Xiaomi. But here comes this guy offering what many others already offer in the form of a company that's Nokia, but not really. It's ironic that he's talking about risks given his business model.

Still wrong, no matter how often it's said (5, Interesting)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774291)

Okay, listen. I know it's popular to bang the 'Apple is failing to Innovate' drum, but it's STILL NOT TRUE.

The problem is that people are compressing the last decade of work into a much smaller space than it deserves. Apple doesn't release huge, blockbuster game-changing products every year. Not even every couple of years. It's MANY years between cycles. The time between the iPod and the iPhone was a long time. The iTunes music store was its own special story. Yeah, the iPhone has sort of settled into a pattern, but it's still a very good phone.

People are looking to Apple to change the PHONE industry again, and they probably won't. They changed the music player industry ONCE, and iterated on that until it wasn't relevant anymore. Apple will continue to make a good phone--even a GREAT phone--but they probably won't ever really be the industry leader again.

Apple will find a new market to disrupt. It's easier than trying to disrupt the market you're entrenched in. Is the next thing a watch? Maybe iWatch refers to a TV (that would be a big surprise, wouldn't it--it's the sort of misdirection that I would expect from them). In all likelihood, it's something that people won't be able to predict, just like the iPhone was.

Stop asking Apple to a) really, truly innovate faster than they have before; and b) ask them to innovate in a space that they're already making money in. That's not the way they've ever worked.

All the good engineers left already (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44774293)

they are in Jolla, helping bring back meego with sailfish OS.

Communicators (1)

BenjyD (316700) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774343)

Nokia went with devices like the Communicator, which opened out to give a big screen for web browsing with a computer style keyboard, with much of their pre-iPhone touch screen developments still on the drawing board when Apple pounced.

That makes it sound like Nokia's Communicator only failed because it missed the "next big thing'" of touchscreen. The real reason they failed was because they were awful phones. Even without the touchscreen iPhone around to compare to, they were terrible. Slow, buggy, poor UI, heavy, bad hardware design.

Nokia may have lacked courage and vision, but they also lacked technical ability.

Summary is missing what we can see from here (2)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,11 days | (#44774381)

The summary is missing what we can see from the outside - Nokia had plenty of "skunk works" projects going on which could be seen from the outside even if the former chief designer wants to pretend they could not be seen from the inside. I'm hoping that it's misquoting him and he's not just trying to sweep under the carpet that he starved some successful projects that spawned products which sold well on nothing but word of mouth.
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