Nokia is burning cash too fast, facing further downgrades
0. phoneArena 18 May 2012, 08:40 posted on
Nokia had nearly 10 billion euro in cash reserves at the time when the iPhone hit the market in 2007. It was a turning point - since then, the number has dwindled…
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1. bubbadoes (Posts: 327; Member since: 03 May 2012)
If I had "Microsoft" backing me up, I would be blowing the cash also...This is the case here...Its not "Finlands" money--It's all Redmond, Washington's money experimenting on the wp7 platform-waiting for the os to take off
25. sunandks (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 May 2012)
and Redmond gets this money from Droid :)....
31. haseebzahid (Posts: 1826; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
Redmond gets money from every corner :P
28. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
Nokia vs Android vs Apple
No matter who wins, we all lose...
2. angelesmec (unregistered)
God Bless Nokia.. my ''Alma Mater''
22. hepresearch (unregistered)
Mine too... I hope they make it through okay, too, but I'm not holding my breath...
3. PimpStrong (Posts: 310; Member since: 25 Jul 2011)
At work, I see a lot of iPhones and even more Androids but never any Windows Phones and have never seen a Lumia 900 anywhere in public.
It's sad that they banked on such an unsuccessful platform.
12. andro. (Posts: 1947; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
ultimately as sad as it is for Nokia its their own fault,they picked an os that nobody's wants or would ever like. The n8 for a hypothetical example if running gingerbread or ice cream sandwich would have been a major seller.Now they have to compete with bada level sales.
15. djg71087 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Oct 2010)
"Nobody wants or would ever like" are some very strong words andro. WP7 does have some strong features already built into its software, as time goes on and WP8 rolls out, things "will" become more competative. It's clear your an android lover (and their is nothing wrong with that), but do not say stupid things.
20. -box- (Posts: 3786; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Ditto what djg said. I have a Lumia 900 and I find myself reaching for it probably 70-80% of the times I used to use my Android Sensation 4G. Only reason I'm still using the Sensation, honestly, are a few games I'm using and its excelent camera. Android is wonderful, it's just that the Lumia meets my needs, is faster at what I want it to do, gets much better reception, and also the novelty of having something newer and unique. I've been stopped several times in public asking about what phone I have that's blue, or those that have seen ads about the Lumia but haven't played with one, or were interested and want an owner's view on it.
29. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
Saying "stupid things" is better than doing "stupid things." And yet saying "stupid things" AND doing "stupid things," now THERE'S real talent! Stephen Elop.
38. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 966; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
Stephen Elop doesn't give a crap about nokia he's sleeping in bed with Microsoft while nokia is freezing in the storm outside next to the dead corpse of Meego and Symbian
4. Altair (Posts: 324; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Ahh another negative article from Victor. Looks like that unprofessional Apple troll has become "economy journalist" at Phonearena!
I've counted 27 negative articles about MS-Nokia recently. That guy doesn't know anything about objective point of view.
6. pongkie (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)
yeah what a surprise...
hes kinda obsessed in this kind of stuff. I feel bad for him such a bitter person
42. nando2do (Posts: 53; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)
yes i think the same way!
PHONEARENA make something you cant let people like this Victor writes against just one system because he doesnt like it..
make an option whether we can decide if is ethical or not.. or make an option to report it just like our comments..
articles can be offensive too..
5. TheRetroReplay (Posts: 245; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
It's only a matter of time, Microsoft is going to own Nokia. The evidence is screaming that Elop is purposely driving it into the ground so that Microsoft can buy it for pennies.
7. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Exactly. Flop did his best to make Nokia an easy catch for Microsoft
8. FoneAddict (Posts: 202; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Incredible! How long is Nokia prepared to hemorrhage money like this? They need to wake up and smell the coffee, Windows Phone is an utter failure, it's not too late to look at other platforms, because right now Windows Phone is looking like the real "burning platform" not Symbian.
9. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
you think that another transition to another platform/os will save them? No. WP is just starting to gain popularity. Every new platform started in this state. YOu can'y expect it to boom considering the fact that ANDROID together with samsung caught the heart of consumers as what nokia did before with its feature phones way before the emergence of smartphones.
13. downphoenix (Posts: 2307; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
well Nokia should have either supported a popular platform like Android or at least not called it quits on Symbian and just say they are also supporting WP7. You know, the smart decisions that someone running a company to be successful would make, not the decision someone running a company preping it for acquisition and selloff like Elop is doing.
14. FoneAddict (Posts: 202; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
@downphoenix the more this drama plays out the more it looks like Microsoft's plan all along was to buy Nokia out especially when you consider Elops actions. I mean what boss makes disparaging remarks about his own products. If the Boss doesn't have trust in the products he sells how on earth does he expect consumers to have trust in Nokia?
26. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Symbian was already at the edge of the cliff when the BoD fired OPK and brought on Elop. The burning platform memo may have been news...but the reality was that Symbian was already on a negative trajectory. OPK simply masked the severity of the problem for at loeast 3 quarters by price cutting to support volume. He went to the price cutting trough so many times that the BoD fired his ass. Take a look at Nokia's avg selling price over the last years and it becomes painfully apparent that the previous strategy was driving a race to the bottom. With MSFT, Nokia is better able to focus, cut costs where it makes sustainable sense, and get a premium position in another big ecosystem bet.
17. FoneAddict (Posts: 202; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Yes I do. Nokia's hardware is proven, everyone who has used Nokia phones appreciate how well made they are. They have the in house expertise and why would you throw all that away for a company like Microsoft who have no real comparable experience in the mobile phone field and who's reputation for buggy windows software is well known.
The sad fact is Microsoft has a crap reputation in Europe, I don't know about the US but in Europe Microsoft isn't exactly synonymous for quality software. People simply don't trust Microsoft.
10. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 819; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)
Dear oh dear Nokia.
How the mighty have fallen.
16. hepresearch (unregistered)
Well, with Nokia CEO Jar-jar Binks at the helm, what did you all expect?
... just a cheeky reference to my earlier comments #87 and #88 at:
18. MicroNokia (Posts: 15; Member since: 18 May 2012)
Nokia will never worry as long as Microsoft is backing them!!!!
They both need each other....
21. hepresearch (unregistered)
Yes, they need each other... just a little too much...
19. himanshulumia (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 May 2012)
why you all are against nokia.nokia want support cheer them.
23. hepresearch (unregistered)
I'm not against Nokia at all... it's just hard to cheer for stupid...
24. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Nokia in the middle of a turnaround. It's eating into its cash reserves for sure, but also developing new revenue streams in parallel to offset the dramatic reduction in Symbian sales. IMHO, with its restructuring underway, greater leveraging of IP assets, and initial performance for the Lumia 900 in the US, things could easily turn around within the next three quarters. Frankly, if Nokia continues to execute well and to plan, it will return to cash flow accretive operations within the next 2 quarters. Let's see what these overly negative pundits have to say when WP8 arrives, to include Nokia's greater influence on the OS at that stage. My guess...they will get a convenient case of amnesia.
27. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Glass half full kind of thinking, but burning through most of their 10b euro reserves and losing that much money aside from being downgraded to junk on the S&P is no laughing matter. Them putting all their eggs in one basket was an elementary and stupid business decision, how did they expect the public to react to such a drastic change and basically cutting off their own OS and leaving millions hanging in the wind with nowhere to turn to but to similar OS's like Android. Nokia should have went with Android and WP7, they would have fared much better this was and with their portfolio of patents they could have a nice seat in the smartphone arena as they build some impressive devices.
Nokia reminds me of the old US auto makers, they we so haughty and thought that those japanese upstart automakers couldn't get their cars to sell here because of this supposed patriotism crap. People are finicky and will go where there is a deal and great value as well as longevity. Now look at the american auto industry, see where Nokia is probably heading. I wonder if Finland is supported solely by Nokia's stock, lol.
30. hepresearch (unregistered)
I don't know what will happen for sure, obviously, but I would say that if Nokia survives the next 6 months they will have been quite lucky. I have not yet seen anything executed well in this "transition"... the things that couldn't be made to go wrong just didn't go wrong... Nokia can't help but make solid designs with premium materials, but they have had plenty of unnecessary and contrived issues with Lumia handset secondary firmware, such as screen firmware issues and connection problems with the Lumia 900, and battery management firmware on the Lumia 800 among other things. The Lumia 710, on the other hand, seems to have turned out fabulous... but then again, Nokia made sure that this well-made device got the lowest specs and features available, and then got stuck on T-Mobile alone. Beyond that, does anyone really not see the fact that Elop is playing anti-cheerleader on just as many occassions as he is pretending to cheerlead? When something happens, like the Nokia Lumia 900 issues, Elop is quick to criticize the device and "Nokia designers" (they are the best in the industry, and Elop blames them?) while re-iterating that it is all Nokia's fault and can never be the fault of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform... he also loves to scare us by reminding us that Symbian is still the "burning platform" in its death-throes, when I personally love Symbian, and if Symbian devices were still being made in earnest they would still be outselling Nokia's new Lumia's hands-down even now... but no... nine-months in advance of Windows Phone readiness at Nokia, Elop just dropped Symbian and Meego, and the last of those got released with the promise that they would be cool but not supported! Corporate suicide, I say! Corporate suicide...
33. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
First off- I loves me some hepresearch sightings!!! How are ya doing, Big Dawg??
As usual, I am stuck in the middle here. I am reading the usual "Microsoft is going to buy Nokia" comments, "Elop is driving down on pupose", and all the usual comments every time a bad Nokia post comes out. (And there is no shortage of them on Phone Arena, anymore. Although I think Windows Phones the OS gets a fair treatment, I think Nokia and Microsoft gets bashed fairly often.)
First off, let me give my standard answers here to the Microsoft will buy Nokia things:
WARNING: SNOWGATOR IS GOING TO RAMBLE ....
1) Not sure why everyone thinks they would need to buy Nokia, or be better off if they did. Sure, they oversee the XBOX hardware and the Zune when that was going, so MAYBE they could go way big scale and be okay. But Nokia's production is a whole different ballgame. Right now, Nokia is shifting back to what they do best- hardware, and Microsoft is able to stick to what they do best- software. Way easier.
2) Even if Microsoft needs to dump truckloads of money to keep Nokia afloat, how much money would it take for MS to get their OS to all the parts of the world Nokia is already a name in? They get the Nokia name all across the world with WP on every handset, which would have taken them many more years and many more billions to do with the Manufacturers they had prior to Nokia all in on Android. This is way more cost effective.
3) It is not like Google buying Motorola. Android was already so many companies cash cow, that Google is out nothing for getting the patents they needed to protect their OS. What was Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and all the others going to do, bail on the largest OS in the world that is also FREE? If MS buys Nokia, all these other companies would bail, as WP is not their bread and butter. MS wants these manufacturers, and also wants to push their OS to Tablets by these same manufacturers, which I think is really the bigger prize for MS. Practice on phones, get it right, move on to Tablets and dominate that market. That is how they built their empire, by pushing software to HP, Dell, Compaq and a dozen other computer companies.
4) Stephan Elop interviewed for this job, and within months Symbian was dead. Does everyone REALLY think the board who hired him didn't agree with the decision going in?
Secondly, I am not even debating the stupid decision to gut Symbian, especially with all the die-hard users. If you just did one line of new Symbian devices while you launched WP, Nokia could sell Diversity to the world. You keep your core audience happy, while you build your WP portfolio. This transition did not have to be this painful....
36. hepresearch (unregistered)
Well, I would not debate the idea that this plan was accepted just prior to Elop's arrival... they would not have hired Elop without agreeing to it at some point. But, my point is that someone had to sell them on this idea, and perhaps even helped Nokia into their situation just so the idea could be sold to them. I don't care what anyone else says... there was a LOT of life left in Symbian, and it is the fault of management after 2007 that they did not harness that life the way they could have or should have. S60 5th Edition, for example, was a HUGE mistake of monumental proportions. Symbian^3/Anna/Belle have turned out much better, but if they had allowed developers to release a product more like these instead of hurrying to release 5th Edition as a stop-gap measure, they would have spared themselves a lot of pain and loss, and S60 3rd Edition would have had a truly worthy immediate successor. Nokia developers were capable, especially if some goofball like me could do the crazy things I did with Symbian, but management made sure that they had to work with one eye blinded and one arm behind their backs. And, of course, the rumor leaks with excessive promises of amazing stuff followed by actual releases that gave the appearance of truth to the rumors, yet still turned out to be underwhelming, were not kind to Nokia or their fan-base.
A lot of things could have been done so much better. A lot of things were caused to go wrong in the worst ways possible. Management definitely dropped the ball, and now many employees have paid the price by being laid off, many shareholders have paid the price by seeing their holdings shrink by 70%+ since February 2011, and many loyal customers have paid the price by bearing the brunt of the disappointment.
Either way, good to see you too, snowgator! I love reading me a good ramble from time to time...
41. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
I really can't argue with one word you said above. Actually, I wouldn't anyways as I have played with one Symbian device in my life, the low end E73 which hardly is a good device to judge the OS on.
Nokia needed to reinvent itself, no question. It did NOT have to gut itself.
My main point was I just don't see Microsoft wanting the cell phone hardware headache. They are not a primary cell phone OS company. Like I said- everything they are doing seems to be to go after the Tablet market. They are serious about the cell phone market, don't get me wrong. Just not enough to want the complications of a global hardware presence of Nokia. But they need Nokia, so they will do what they can to help them be a success.
43. hepresearch (unregistered)
Yeah, the E73 was nothing but an E71x re-do 2 years later for T-Mobile, and the E71 was nothing more than a smaller and thinner E61i re-do with a higher-density camera module. Best Nokia I ever had was an E75, which came out same time as the E71, but was appreciably different in form-factor and offered the new FP2 version of S60 3rd... but then again, S60 3rd was already starting to show its long-in-the-teeth look in 2008 with the N96 debacle, which failed to replace the ever-glorious, irreplaceable and epic N95. Either way, they just can't seem to make 'em like they used to...
Nokia 9300, with Series 80 2nd Edition, is still my all-time personal favorite, though... nothing apart from the 9500 or the E90 could ever match that mini-laptop-reminiscent keyboard. It was so nice and spacious for a mobile device that it was almost practically comfortable. And the form-factor was so different at the time that it was quite easy to use for regular phone calls, and yet also quite stunning to whip that thing open in the office or among friends...
As for Microsoft... I totally agree with you that Microsoft has absolutely no need for the hardware end of the business. However, from the beginning I have warned that Nokia is still worth it's weight in gold to them... not for their hardware manufacturing, but for a different target altogether. I have theorized that Microsoft wants Nokia for their IP. It explains why Nokia has been herded down such a dismal road of unnecessary disappointment since the Elopocalypse (and even before that... even before Elop came on board), and also why, every time their stock starts to rebound, a way is found to reveal another tidbit of semi-bad news to scare investors and temporarily depress the value again until more serious bad news can be arranged for. Microsoft wants to buy Nokia for only dimes on the dollar if they can, even if only for their patents and intellectual property holdings, and with market capitalization below $11 billion (even though corporate assets, liquid investments, and cash-on-hand are conservatively valued easily at $33 billion) Microsoft's chances of getting a real steal of a last-minute deal are improving. Microsoft will then be able to stand on their own feet in attacking Google's patents, and securing themselves powerful bargaining chips exchangeable for rights to Apple's more lucrative and exclusive patents.
Notice that Microsoft is holding up Motorola stuff lately (perhaps hoping to delay and make Google suffer for trying to acquire Motorola), while Apple is focusing on the likes of Samsung and HTC? Even so, what odd-couple hasn't bothered one another yet? Apple and Microsoft! And they are united against Google above all else lately... I smell an odd-ball alliance forming, if it isn't already silently in place...
44. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
First off, Hep- I am stealing "Elopocalypse", and intend to give you no credit at all. About spit out coffee laughing... :-D
Yes, your idea of Microsoft wanting the IP of Nokia, and everyone else's worst case thoughts of Microsoft, is not that crazy. MS is cut-throat in the world of buisness (who isn't at this level??) and they have the money. I guess time will tell. Somehow, Nokia will have to flop at WP8 or the buy-out will have to happen this summer. As I do not think Microsoft will tank their OS on purpose, I'd say it has to happen before September.
The war with Motorola is a different story. This started before Google bought them. They were the only Android maker not willing to liscence the patents MS owns that Android uses. That is why such Moto devices like the Flipside are included.
Which brings us to .... Apple and Microsoft.... TOGETHER???
Hep, put down the flask....
Apple is a way bigger problem for MS in it's buisness ventures than Google, which is all about ad revenue(Google VS Bing accepted). I could buy the Green Robot and a Ninja Live Tile teaming up against the Bitten Fruit long before the other way around.....
45. hepresearch (unregistered)
Haha... well, I can't take all the credit for "Elopocalypse" either, so no worries!
On the Microsoft Nokia-buyout idea, that is exactly why I've been saying it has to happen soon, no later than in the next 6 months.
On the Microsoft-Motorola battle... it just seems a little too convenient that it is coming to fruition now, just as Motorola's buyout by Google is being questioned and held up, and hence Google is not getting immediate access to Moto's patent portfolio... I mean, you realize that the technique is for the strong position-holders (Microsoft/Apple in this case) to cannibalize the weakest position-holders first (Motorola/Nokia/RIM) in a way that blocks the closest immediate competitors (Samsung/Sony/HTC/Google/LG) from getting the spoils? It also just happens that Motorola and Nokia are going to be major IP prizes to whoever gets them first, so it is in Microsoft's best interest to acquire Nokia very soon, while focusing their disgruntlements with Motorola now in order to keep the Google Motorola acquisition in limbo for as long as possible... meanwhile, Apple is tangling with HTC and Samsung. Sony is also getting a pass lately, which seems strange to me, and seems to put them in toward the Microsoft/Apple camp in a round-about way.
Apple and Microsoft may eventually go after each other, but for now it is actually in their mutual best interest to prey upon their weaker foes together while leaving each other alone until they have no one else to eat alive. I would love to put the flask down... but that is difficult to do after accidentally super-glue-ing it to my hand last year...
32. roguecroce (Posts: 7; Member since: 13 May 2012)
I think that for the European (Western) market Nokia must withdraw Symbian Series40. The OS is not going to help Nokia gain any sales from customers who have a better mobile infrastructure which, perhaps the 'emerging market' countries don't yet possess. I'm not arguing for crappy phones for third world countries, I just saying that Nokia won't win any friends in Western European markets with the new Asha series. Most of the phones, apart from suffering from Series40, don't even have 3G, let alone Wifi! Surely something has gone wrong somewhere in Nokia's retail structure, if they think that the same model that work in emerging markets, will work in established markets. If a phone is being marketed as a communication device enabling its user to keep in touch with those around them, it’s surely a mistake if their device can’t stream flash video content and has to spend hours – if that user has the spare space on their phone & a data plan – to wait and download any video content uploaded by friends or relations on youtube or other websites that use flash. The very minimum that is now expected by users in the UK is 3G and full flash support. I understand that price is important but at £39.99 here in the UK, plus the usual added £10.00 top-up voucher, I don't think that the Asha 201 can get away without 3G, even for that price.
34. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Interesting. I love it when someone posts observations on markets I do not know a ton about. Thanks, roguecroce!!
48. roguecroce (Posts: 7; Member since: 13 May 2012)
Thanks, I've decided that it's more a Symbian S40 issue. I think that it was a mistake to release models of mobiles with this creaky old OS in Western European markets already overflowing with models from other manufacturer’s with better & smarter toys.
35. hepresearch (unregistered)
Even for offering 3G compatibility, the Asha series phones are quite expensive. The Asha 302 and 303, in particular, are both more expensive than many more capable, yet less expensive, Android handsets. Yeah, they offer premium design and materials, but if you are buying a non-Vertu feature phone why would you want to spend more than you would for a more capable Android device?
49. roguecroce (Posts: 7; Member since: 13 May 2012)
I think that in the UK people have grown up with Nokia. Most of the my countries mobile phone owners have owned at least one Nokia in their mobile lives. Nokia don't make badly put together phones, the reason why they aren't No.1 in the world anymore is more down to badly running & old OS systems which, Nokia have persisted in releasing and what’s even worse re-releasing. Who now wants to own a Symbian S40 run mobile phone in the Western European market? Nokia have only just killed of Symbian S30 for God’s sake!
51. hepresearch (unregistered)
Well, if you think about it, Series 40 started out as a Java-based replacement for the proprietary Series 30, offering a lot more power and compatibility. Series 40 was perhaps the most powerful feature phone OS in the industry for quite a while, but it suffered the drawback of being complex. Since then, other proprietary, Java-based, and BREW-based systems have become just as powerful without adding the complexity that hampers Series 40, and thus Series 40 is meeting its end billed as a pseudo-smart OS... they are maxing-out the power, but not doing anything about the complexity... thus the reason we have 1GHz processors in the latest Nokia feature phones, and yet despite the confusion the fact remains that Series 40 is still entirely Java-based, and not Symbian-based at all. Indeed, S40 has about lived out every bit of life it could ever possibly have had to give, and more...
53. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
Well at least Elop didn't entirely fail.
I give FULL CREDIT to Elop for SUCCESSFULLY killing SYMBIAN.
37. sonisoe (Posts: 326; Member since: 06 May 2009)
it was incomprehensible why elop chose wp over android... nokia couldve been ruling android or smartphone in general if they'd gone w/ android...only then, they can play around w/ wp...
46. Whateverman (Posts: 3196; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Crowded or not, many people (including me) would have loved to see a Nokia flavored Droid. Their hardware is second to no one, all they needed was some winning software. But I guess Elop thinks it's better to let Nokia die, than to allow Google and Android to save it. I don't want to se Nokia die, but it's not looking very good for them right now.
47. hepresearch (unregistered)
Elop or someone at Nokia decided that "unique" is what sells these days... it was what got me into Nokia since they had a very wide variety of uniquely-styled smart devices running Symbian last decade... but let's face it: "unique" doesn't sell anymore. Look at Apple! Also, WP is more difficult to make "unique" than Android is, so what in the world were they thinking, anyway? android may have already been crowded, but for at least a little while they could have capitalized on the low cost of development while still harnessing the huge boom in popularity of Android... and they could have made phones right away after the Elopocalypse instead of having to wait so many months for WP-Nokia readiness. WP made no sense at all for Nokia, no matter which way they spun it.
50. wp74ver (banned) (Posts: 62; Member since: 10 May 2012)
Nokia no worries ,you working with micro$oft ,and they want you to promote wp7 and do good ,and last time I checked they were sitting on 60 billions cash lol is all good ... Once window 8 PC and tables come out and the new Xbox ppl will notice wp8 everywhere.
52. hepresearch (unregistered)
Microsoft has become the new IBM... their phone OS is not doing too well, but their tablets and PC's will continue to be a staple of business customers into the future even as Android and iOS take over the majority of consumer electronics from the iPad and iPhone to the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy S...
The average consumer is starting to figure out that they never needed the full power of a PC in the first place, and that a mobile device and/or tablet generally fills their most urgent original needs these days.
55. hepresearch (unregistered)
Very sad, but likely to be true very very soon...
The iPhone changed the paradigm... the Symbian Foundation and Nokia management failed to manage Symbian properly, and "rested on their laurels"... and with the "final solution" decided, Elop sealed the deal. Now, while Elop and management get bonus kick-backs and big kudos, Nokia, its shareholders, its employees, and its fans, will pay the price.