Business phones

Nokia knocked off top spot in WE smartphone sales – ducks not lined up – IDC

look out for that cliff edge

In June 2008 I wrote that the writing was on the wall for Nokia. However in August of that year I got myself an E71 and saw that it was good. I note that by June of 2010 I was using a Nokia N97 which at the time I thought was the best phone I had ever had. Although it was targeted at consumers I couldn’t see why business users would not want it.

By November 2010 I had ditched the N97 for a HTC Desire HD. Symbian for Android. Old world for brave new world. Now the HTC is the best phone I ever had – this is a continuing saga.

According to IDC whilst Nokia remains #1 globally for smartphones in Western Europe the Finnish company has slipped into second place behind Samsung.

In a quarter that showed a 76% year on year growth for smartphone shipments Nokia suffered a 10% decline. Samsung grew only 5% and HTC a whopping 271%, admittedly from a much smaller base.

This isn’t really an “I told you so” post and of course it is about operating systems these days not handsets. It is however interesting to be able to read the historical blog posts and be both a spectator and participant in this game.

You would think there have been enough case studies on companies disappearing off the map having been left behind in technological revolutions for modern day participants to see problems coming a long way off. For Nokia the cliff edge is perilously close with only a fence built by Microsoft between them and oblivion (breaking up on the rocks/watery grave etc). Would you bet on the Microsoft fence?

PS the imagination is running riot here with a severe risk of winning an award for most clichés used in a blog post. I could also have used “one last window of opportunity” when describing the Nokia/Microsoft relationship.

Any further appropriate clichés left as comments will be appreciated. No prizes – just points 🙂

PPS header photo is something to do with having your ducks lined up (ok I know they are probably geese but it isn’t Christmas yet)

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

8 replies on “Nokia knocked off top spot in WE smartphone sales – ducks not lined up – IDC”

Nokia use to be the Bees Knees but they took far too long to update their UI and stay in the race. I actually thought that MeeGo looked very promising for them and a step in the right direction, while Microsoft was IMO the wrong bet. Windows Phone 7 is a functional but iPhone style closed platform with an ugly and inflexible UI and worse of all; it’s not backwards compatible with the hundreds of thousands of apps created for Windows Mobile 6.X.X and older.

IMO the only chance I can see for Nokia is if Microsoft allows them to put their own spin on the WP7 UI. It’s all about the software. If they just end up as a firm that resells Windows Phones then what good is that? The software is still crap next to Android’s flexibility and Apple’s sleek design.

Nokia has made a really stupid mistake in jumping into bed with Windows 7 rather than Android. To borrow the Nokia CEO’s metaphor, Nokia has jumped from one burning platform to another, from Symbian to Windows 7.

Application developers are loathed to create half a dozen versions of each app, one for each platform. So most apps will be written for Android, then ported to iOS. I can’t see Windows 7 or Blackbery or Symbian getting a look in, unless they run Android apps in a virtual machine. Clearly Blackberry realises this. That’s why its new PlayBook tablet runs re-packaged Android apps (see ).

Unfortunately for Nokia, it has let Microsoft’s $1bn dowry cloud its judgement.

It’s a bit of a shame, given that Nokia used to have the lead in smartphones, back before they were called smartphones. Anyone remember their revolutionary 1996 offering, the original Nokia Communicator aka Nokia’s ‘Brick’?

Karim – I once had one of the bricks. I gave it to my eldest child a few years back who after the initial thrill of having his first mobile phone treated it with contempt (it was already old tech by then) and stopped using it 🙂

It’s Jephson Park in Leamington Spa and I knew they weren’t ducks 🙂

All I also think Nokia should have gone Android but hey, their CEO is a Microsoft man. If he is wrong it could be his last project.

Thanks for the location. It’s on file at [] under “Leamington Spa Bridge” with an image from 2005. The gardens look to be gorgeous per the images at the link below. I noted the “probably geese” in your post but thought you might want confirmation.

P.S. [Rhetorical] How many people remember WECo (Ma Bell’s manufacturing arm) ? [/Rhetorical]

Fair enough Ted. I was quite impressed with Leamington Spa. The Davies heir is at Warwick University and is moving to a house just around the corner from that bridge for his second year.

I suggested to a builder that he might use them as house bricks but these days the scrap metal value is too high and they keep getting stolen 🙂

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