Tag: Lumia

Lumia has gone the way of the Dodo

dodoIt is starting to look like the end is near for Microsoft’s Lumia handsets and it is about to go the way of the dodo.

Microsoft’s UK store ran out of stock of all its Windows 10 Mobile devices and now its US store sold all its unlocked models. It would appear that Microsoft Store is no longer selling any of the company’s Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile handsets in the US.

The writing has been on the wall for a while now. Microsoft launched the Lumia 650 and it was widely said to be the last in the company’s Lumia line. In August, Microsoft removed all mention of Windows handsets from its US store homepage, relegating ‘Windows phone’ to a dropdown menu instead.

In the US the AT&T-locked Lumia 950 was the only one left and it was available only in white. Now, that model has sold out too, leaving none of the company’s Lumia handsets available to buy on its store.

The Windows phones page on the Microsoft Store lists thirteen products, but eight of these are “out of stock.”

  • Acer Liquid Jade Primo Bundle
  • AT&T – Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
  • AT&T – Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 650 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
  • Verizon – Microsoft Lumia 735

There are still a few available:

  • Acer Liquid M330 – $79.99 (usually $99)
  • BLU Win HD LTE $149
  • BLU Win JR LTE $99
  • HP Elite x3 Bundle $799
  • HP Elite x3 + Lap Dock Bundle $1,298

You can continue to buy Lumia handsets from other retailers but word on the street is that these options are becoming increasingly limited. Best Buy has run out completely.

Vole is supposed to be dusting off its’Surface phone’ – which may provide a full Windows 10 OS, and support for 32-bit x86 desktop apps. We will not see its like until the end of the year at the earliest.


Nokia shoots itself in both pheet

Ailing phone company Nokia – now a subsidiary of Microsoft – appears to have looked in the mirror and seen a distorted image of reality after it launched a $500 tablet in Abu Dhabi.

The tablet, named the Lumia 2520, has a 10 inch screen and runs Windows RT. It also includes LTE, if that’s anywhere near you yet.

At the same conference, Nokia-Microsoft introduced three cheap handsets and two absolutely “phabless” phones. The Lumia 1520 and 1320 also run Windows software, with the former set to cost a staggering $750.

Stephen Elop, the former head of Nokia and tipped by some to take over from Steve Ballmer at Vole, came out with a platitude of some size when he said that the Lumia portfolio is growing.  When we say growing, perhaps he meant going, it was hard to hear the din  from this distance.

Presumably Elop has heard of something called the bill of materials….

Nokia Lumia sales up but not by enough

Nokia handset sales fell short of analyst expectations in its second quarter results, prompting fears that Windows Phone may not have been the right choice for the company.

Nokia shipped 7.4 million Lumia smartphones in Q2 – up 32 percent compared to the first quarter, not to be sniffed at. But analyst estimations in a Reuters poll were at 8.1 million units.

The Group had gross cash of €9.5 billion by the end of the quarter and net cash of €4.1 billion. Nokia Siemens Networks contributed gross and net cash of €2.5 billion and €1.4 billion respectively.

NSN drove profitability for the fourth consecutive quarter, with the company ending with an operating margin of 5.3 percent. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement the company’s recent decision to buy out Siemens‘ 50 percent stake in NSN should “create value for Nokia shareholders”.

Feature phone shipments dropped to 53.7 million, a decline of four percent.  

Ex Microsoft man Stephen Elop was brought in to Nokia to inject some Redmond wisdom. Other Nokia executives at the time, aware its own operating system, Symbian, was faltering, considered Android as an option but ultimately went with Windows Phone.

Since, the company has put out a series of well received Lumia phones and splashed serious money on marketing. But Windows Phone as an operating system has lacked the app ecosystem and cool factor required to win over consumers. It was always up against tough competition: iOS established itself as an early leader and Google responded by making Android available to any company interested in mobile. Microsoft was late to the party and compared to its rivals it had just not seduced enough developers to make the OS appealing.

There is little incentive for iPhone or Android users to make the jump to Windows. Existing customers risk losing their personal investments in their current OS of choice, including cash purchases. Nokia’s big hope was to scoop up a large number of first-time smartphone buyers, but many are opting for cheap Android devices instead.

Nevertheless, Elop noted Lumia sales were at their highest in any quarter so far, and predicts more success in the third quarter.

“We expect that our new Lumia products will drive a significant part of our smart devices revenue,” Elop said.

Nokia back from the dead

Former rubber boot maker Nokia is likely to report that it has come back from the dead.

The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street are expecting to hear some good news from Nokia when it announces its results in the first quarter any day now.

This is all thanks to rising Lumia smartphone sales and a turnaround at its equipment venture Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Nokia has recently launched the Lumia handsets in China where consumers have been increasingly turning from regular phones to smartphones.

Reuters expects quarterly shipments of 5.6 million Lumia handsets, up from 4.4 million in the fourth quarter.

The company’s underlying loss, which excludes special items, is shrinking.

This is expected to take some pressure off CEO Stephen Elop, who was hired in 2010 to lead a turnaround at Nokia.

He made a controversial decision to switch to the untried Windows software.

Some cynics say that it’s too early to sound the all-clear. Nokia’s cash position has fallen to 3.7 billion from 4.4 billion three months earlier.

Investors also point out that the smartphone industry’s top two players, Samsung and Apple, show little signs of ceding market share.

But analysts on average expect Lumia shipments to pick up to over seven million units next quarter. If it does not increase then the doubts about Nokia’s future will return. 

It costs $450 to sell a $49 Nokia

An analyst has worked out that it costs Nokia and AT&T $450 to sell every $49 Windows Lumia 900 phone.

AT&T has backed the move to sell the the Lumia 900 by spending a lot of cash on advertising the beast.

Ad Age estimates that it spent $150 million on advertising and Nokia also spent $25 million on Lumias for AT&T employees.

Writing in his bog,  Horace Dediu suggested that all that cash has resulted in a sales figure of 330,000 Lumias sold in the United States. So if you take this number, divide by the marketing budget you discover that Nokia and AT&T are spending about $450 to make you buy a $49 Lumia 900.

Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu  thinks that only three million Nokia WP devices will ship this year, based on sales of 1.1 to 1.4 million so far worldwide.

He thinks that Phone 7 has insignificant traction and Windows Phone 8 is likely a 2013 story only.

Until recently a Lumia 900 sold for $99 this meant that AT&T managed to get 30 million of its marketing costs back. But over the weekend AT&T slashed the $99 to $49 which means that it will hardly get any return on its marketing budget. 

Nokia heaping piles of cash onto Espoo's biggest bonfire

The cocaine nose-jobs of Wall Street are worried that Nokia is burning through its cash faster than an under-the-weather Italian in a shoe shop in the Via Corsa.

Analysts are asking serious questions about the struggling Finnish phone maker’s ability to stabilise its finances. According to Reuters, the cost of Nokia’s debt appears to be following the same model as Greece.

The company could even be at risk of defaulting on its debt and having to issue its own currency if it fails to slow the burning of its cash.

Nokia has eroded its cash pile by €2.1 billion ($2.7 billion) which means it will have no money in a couple of years, unless it wins the lottery.It could burn through almost 2 billion more in just three quarters.

Societe General credit analyst Juliano Torii warned that Nokia will have some difficulty paying its shorter-term 2014 bond.

In 2007, the company had 10 billion in cash on hand and has two bond issues outstanding, 1.25 billion euros of 5.5 percent bonds maturing in 2014 and 500 million of 6.75 percent notes due in 2019.

The bonds are rated as junk by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s.

A Nokia spokesperson admitted that improving its cash flow was an important goal.

At the same time its flagship Lumia, while receiving positive reviews, hasn’t demonstrated it can really compete against Android or the iPhone

Ex CEO: Nokia was doomed years ago

Nokia knew that it was on its way out nearly a decade ago if it did not do something to sort out its software problems.

Jorma Ollila, who was Nokia’s CEO between 1992 and 2006, told YLE that the telco’s weaknesses were known then.

He said that Nokia’s problems began with the weakness of its software platform capabilities and the fact that it was not a European power.

It was decided that this weakness should become a company strength instead, but Nokia just could not build the software it needed. Instead it focused on making feature phones.

Ollila said one of the older employees told him about his vision for the future of mobile and the man got it spot on.

The older employee said that the feature phone guys were responsible for keeping Nokia alive.

What will happen is that if anyone comes up with a good idea or deviates from the idea that the company should worship the “dumb phone guys”, it will be ignored or put to work on a project that’ll never leave the planning stage.

Ollila added that it broke his heart that Nokia was filled with talented people who were incredibly mismanaged.

He said all of his former colleagues had left the company because they didn’t want to be aboard a sinking ship. 

Ye Booke of Nok Nok Nokia on Heaven's Door


And it came to pass that Nokia’s new King Risto Siilasmaa did call forth his shareholders and subjects to explain unto them his new turnaround strategy. For he had heard on the grape vine that his shareholders were wrath for the price of Nokia shares had gone unto the depths of the deepest sea, yea even deeper than Leviathan could swim if he were wearing an aqualung patented by Jacques Cousteau. The shareholders did complain that they had lost patience with Nokia’s efforts to catch up in the smartphone. Hath we not been conquered by the dedicated followers of Apple, and the minions of Google hath conquered us also. Is it not written that the only reason we hath not been conquered by RIM is because they can’t get the conkers? But King Siilasmaa did call on his followers to hold fast to the faith of their new alliance with King Ballmer. “Hath he not given us the miracle of the Lumia, which is a shiny toy which neither looks unto the iPhone, nor unto the Android,” said King Siilasmaa. “Yeah,” said the shareholders, “So it is a product that no one wants.” King Siilasmaa said unto them that he was confident that Nokia had the right team, right strategy and the right products on the market to get it through this period of tribulation. But the shareholders thought that he had a bunch of right Charlies, trying to flog the wrong products with a cunning plan which worketh not. “Hath we seen more organisation running around the farmyard with its head cut off? Is there not more intelligent things lying on their back at the bottom of ponds?” King Siilasmaa admitted that sales of Nokia’s new smartphone range were slower than Abraham taking his son up the mountain to sacrifice to YHWH, and meanwhile Symbian sales had dried up faster than dew on the beach of the Dead Sea. His grand viziar Stephen Elop said that it was harder than he expected to break through but this was the territory of the virgin and perhaps he should have expected more resistance. While Nokia had been conquered by Samsung Electronics he feared not, for if the share price fell low enough, his chum King Ballmer would buy the company and all would be well again. Yea, and the Fetch and Standard & Poor’s cut Nokia’s credit rating to “sewer in the last toilet in hell”, given its bleak outlook.

Nokia on the ropes after credit rating downgraded to 'junk'

Nokia has been given a stark warning over its future financial position after it received a severe kicking from credit ratings firm Fitch.

Fitch has downgraded the Finnish phone maker’s rating to ‘junk’, dropping BBB- to BB+, as the company becomes less viable for investment than your average Eurozone nation.

In order to avoid further negative action, Nokia needs to start performing quickly.  Following some concern from other credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s last week, this is not something Fitch is particularly hopeful of.

The mobile firm needs to “stabilise revenues” and start generating cash if it is to be considered for an upgrade any time soon, a statement read.

However, the ratings agency said that “given the potential headwinds facing the company” it is not convinced that this will happen in the next 18 months.

Indeed the firm is being buffeted from various angles as its business receives stiff competition from both its high end Lumia smartphone range, and its lower end models.

CEO Stephen Elop had hoped that the Lumia would be able to turn around the fortunes of the ailing company, aided by a marriage of convenience with Microsoft.   

Of course, as Nokia’s recent results show, this has not exactly gone to plan.   In fact Stephen Elop’s “burning platform” is turning into a sinking ship as it struggles to flog its smartphones in a highly competitive market.

Despite some initial optimism for the link up with Windows, it appears the decision may have fallen flat as mobile operators claimed Android might have been a better fit.

Even in emerging markets such as India, a stronghold for Nokia in the past, the phone maker is seeing its profits eroded as vendors producing cheap Android handsets make life difficult at the lower end too.

Such is the dire picture for Nokia that Fitch paints, even a partial success with its Lumia range is not likely to be enough to make up for losses throughout the rest of its business.

Nokia has a built up a sizeable pile of cash over the years, from sales of rubber boots right through to the flagship 3210.  Its results showed it had around €4.9 billion in the bank. 

But unless the firm returns to its winning ways soon, then that fortune will quickly dwindle.

Nokia teeters on the edge with abysmal results

Nokia has announced its financial results, and they are pretty grim for the Finnish phone maker.

Operating losses for the first quarter totalled a massive €1.34 billion ($1.76 billion) as the firm took a battering from its competitors.

This compares with an operating profit of €439 million ($576 million) in the same period last year as the “burning platform” CEO Steven Elop took over threatens to sizzle to a crisp.  

Revenues were also down 29 percent to €7.39 billion ($9.7 billion) amid rumours of a staff cull.

Earlier in the week investors were warned to stay away with its rating lowered to one above “junk” by Moody’s Investors services.

“We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly,” Elop said in a statement upon announcement of the results. 

Elop cited “greater than expected competitive challenges” for seeing the phonemaker dip into a large loss.

Despite the decent reception of the Lumia devices, some reception hiccups aside, it seems that there is still a long way to go if Nokia is to keep fighting.

The firm still claims to have €4 billion of net cash on its balance sheet, but with a few more performances like this it will be back to making rubber boots for the Finnish firm.

Part of the problem has also been the attack on its low end phone business.  Nokia has always performed well in India, for example, but it is in emerging markets like this that Nokia has faced a stiff challenge from cheaper Android handsets.

Elop says the firm will focus efforts in the “low-end of smartphones and feature phone assets to drive improved business results and conserve cash”.  This will mean continuing to renew its Series 40 offerings which have proved popular.

At the high end, the firm is struggling to differentiate itself despite ad campaigns trying to highlight how one shiny touchscreen phone can be different from another. Customers are repeatedly leaning towards Android and iOS rather than Windows.

If it does not manage to solve its conundrum soon, the promise of a powerful Nokia / Windows partnership could soon be at an end.

According to uSwitch mobile expert Ernest Doku, Nokia will have to move fast to avoid disaster.

“This massive net loss proves Nokia’s illustrious past as a top mobile manufacturer counts for nothing on the cutthroat smartphone scene,” he told TechEye.

“The Finnish firm’s great white hopes, the new flagship Lumia 900 and Lumia 710, are slick and well-made and the Windows Phone platform performs on a par with the best Android devices. But whether or not these will improve Nokia’s performance going forward remains to be seen.”

He reckons that putting all of its eggs in one basket is not helping its survival prospects.

“You do get the sense that Nokia has pinned all its hopes on one flagship phone, and if you’re not Apple that’s risky game play. This is something Samsung has recognised, hitting the market with its fleet of Galaxy handsets,” he said.

In the low end segment Nokia is also in trouble.

“Nokia’s Asha phones are popular in developing markets but this is fast becoming just as competitive as the high-end smartphone scene in the developed world,” Doku said.