Nokia losing sales because of Skype? We call shenanigans.

Business Insider is reporting that Skype is causing Microsoft and by extension Nokia problems in terms of sales of their Lumia line. The information comes from the shareholder meeting held yesterday in Finland but since it was not open to the public or recorded, there's a lot of second hand "reporting" going, some of it dubious.

Reportedly a question was raised about Skype from a shareholder. From BI:

"Nokia seems to be having a problem with the distribution channel due to Skype" asking how will Nokia deal with this problem. Elop answered "If the operator doesn't want us, it doesn't want us. We will appeal to them with other arguments. We have more to offer to them. It is a good point to start the discussion from Skype."

Both BI and an awfully written personal blog called 'Communities Dominates Brands' spin this as Nokia having problems selling Lumias because of carrier opposition to Skype.

While we have little doubt that carriers don't like Skype and are concerned about how Microsoft pushes it on them, it seems like flat out ignorance to claim this is why Nokia may be having trouble selling their Lumia line. 

As anyone on Windows Phone who has used Skype knows, it's far from a threat to carriers especially at its current stage. Let's go over the reasons why this story is dubious and reeks of shoddy reporting:

  • Skype on Windows Phone doesn't run in the background and can't receive calls
  • Skype is widely available on the much more ubiquitous iOS and Android platforms where it can run in the background
  • Tango Video Call is also now widely available on all platforms and can receive calls in the background on Windows Phone, making it more of a "threat" than Skype
  • Skype doesn't come pre-installed on any Windows Phone; Tango Video Call does
  • The carriers are gearing up for Skype by capping data and raising costs as voice-usage starts to decline

Certainly we can see carriers being concerned with how Microsoft integrates Skype into Windows Phone 8 but that seems like something that could be negotiated by the OEMs and carriers on a per-device level. Microsoft has been very, very good at working with carriers (and cable providers) on content delivery and not stepping on their toes. In fact it's a core reason why the Xbox 360 is doing so well as a general entertainment device over Google TV.

The notion that Android and iOS get a pass on Skype with the carriers but Nokia (and only Nokia) are being singled out seems ludicrous, especially since Windows Phone is a drop in the bucket compared to Apple and Google's systems right now. In other words, while Nokia may be having problems getting traction in the smartphone market with Windows Phone, we don't think it's because of Skype.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • More BS from people who have no clue but make big decisions.
  • Pone? Lol
  • As anyone on Windows Pone who has used Skype knows...
  • Just wait people .. WINDOWS PHONE 8 .. once skype is integrated they will all praise .. Just another day in Windows Phone land .. haha
  • Somebody get poned?
    Anyway, more and more i hear or read what elop says, the more i believe this dude is a derp...
    I have a 900 and i like it...IMO, the reason why they may be having issues with Lumia is because the specs are dated.  Doesn't matter if the OS needs dual core or not, but mobile phone is always going to be a spec war...Also, the OS is not mature and missing a lot of features and apps.  Put those things together, you get why there may be issues selling your phone.
    Hopefully windows Phone 8 will rectify all the problems.  Get a high powered spec phone, OS have all features and more, integrate well with PC/Tabs, get that $$ to them app developers....Dont care about draw something or words with friends, but going forward, if apps are released on iOS and android, it better come out same time  on WP8...
    Follow these instructions and thank me later...
    So instead of blaming Skype which is stupid, look in the mirror, you fugged up by being late in the game, a flagship lumia should of been ready in 2011...
  • Elop isn't even the one who brought up Skype. The article clearly says the question was brought up by a shareholder.
  • "Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told shareholders carriers are hesitant to sell the Nokia Lumia phones because Microsoft owns Skype, Tomi T Ahonen writes on his blog (via Asymco):"
    "Nonetheless, Elop clearly admits that there is a reseller problem relating explicitly to Skype. He furthermore admits, the Skype issue has resulted in some carriers actually refusing to carry Lumia." Whether he brought it up or not, he directly attributed Skype to be a reason that sales are tough...
  • That site you quote is complete FUD. Please don't cite it as evidence as he was not even there. Elop did not mention any such thing as you can't even quote him on that. That' sthe shoddy reporting I'm talking about.
  • Agreed. Moreover, much of this has to do with the rise of Windows Phone. IMO, Google doesn't want competition from anyone and is doing whatever to create mischief in the mobile space. Again, I have no specific proof of this. But I don't find them an honest company and don't trust them as a rule.
  • I knew as soon as that guy called the Lumia series a "student project' that it was a total hater FUD stie.
  • Um maybe you should read the article again.
  • I hate people like you. Microsoft developed WP 7.0 in record time, in about a year from initial start date(late 2009). Then they delivered Mango 8 months later(carriers delayed) with 500 new features. These software engineers in Redmond are working their ASSES off at a record pace, but that's not good enough for you.
  • I love my Windows Pone.
  • Exactly! The carriers should be more worried about Skype and other such services on iOS and Android! And isn't Google planning a rival to Skype? They may already have one, but I haven't followed it closely. With the amount of Android handsets out there, carriers should be more worried about that.
  • Are they speaking of sales abroad? Because all of the news in the US is good concerning Lumia sales. Lumia sales have impacted sales of both the Titan II & Samsung Focus S
  • I wouldnt stretch that far on the focus S, Focus S has been out since Q4 2011, in April, on the verge of EOL, nobody was buying those anymore
    Did lumia 900 impact Titan 2 sales?  perhaps, but really, the average person doesnt know the titan 2 is out or even exist.   The average person is getting an iphone or droid phone
  • this makes no sense , where are all these random rumors coming from^?? skype been arround for YEAR on Smartphones.. did the carriers JUST wake up? lol -Nokia losing cash cause of SKYPE.
    -Nokia being sued cause they dint grow fast enough? lol really?
    and the list GOES ON AND ON!!!! should become  com ..... I know we are not the source of the rumors but man this is getting ridicules...  
  • Well, we think it's our job to debunk FUD as much as report real news. It's not like Business Insider is some off-the-wall rag that nobody reads, they're a pretty major outlet. The least we can do is challenge their poorly researched articles.
  • well i enjoy that you guys clear it up , and you do a GOOD job at it to :) respect from me....
    in general im really getting tired of hearing all thes random rumors ( not just from nokia ) but all of WP. 
    but Rumors maker people talk, add hits to the site, and probably writes your pay-check ;) so its ok lol
  • I keep coming upon these "rumors" from reputable sites that are view by millions of people. These are not blog entries. I pulled this article from BI off the Yahoo site. Seems like it would be the responsibility of those who know better to refute articles like these.
    Thanks for clarifying.
  • I would have thought that carriers would be dropping the iPhone in droves according to this logic.
    iMessage, FaceTime, all good tools to get around paying a carrier anything for communication. What with FaceTime and iMessage being installed on Mac OSX as well in the soon to be released Mountain Leopard, an iOS/Mac OSX user could bypass making any actual paid for phone calls altogether.
  • I love my lumia 800 :)
  • All of this negative news about Nokia is making it a great time to buy their stock while its low because their future looks very bright in my opinion.
  • Agreed
  • +1 on that!
  • I bought my windows phone not because of skype.
  • There is a post on MyNokiaBlog from somone who went to the AGM meeting and clearly came away with a differnet take on things. He wrote about many topics including the question about Skype. Here is a snippet and a link to it.
    On Skype
    This is the part that prompted my to write my response, I can not for the life of me agree with the way Elop’s words were portrayed by CDB. Elop was indeed asked about whether or not carrier relations were being hurt by Microsoft buying Skype. And indeed, Elop did acknowledge that some carriers (he said especially those with a landline business) do not like Skype. But then he actually went on claiming, that this was an upside for Nokia, completely contrary to how CDB paints its picture

  • This is a great post, and has definitely garnered lots of replies.  The author of that entry, Janne, has very balanced, well reasoned, non-emotional posts when he posts on that site.
    Great summary.
  • Respect to windows phone team. I love my smartphone (omnia7) Perfect phone for me.
  • Business Insider also said yesterday that Media Center was dead...when in fact, it was merely moved to an upgrade package. I suspect BI is either riding the typical anti-Microsoft train or just has that bad of reporting.
  • Be careful with taking Business Insider as a serious source of news. They're known for having often poorly written articles, poorly sourced material, and terrible writers that sensationlaize more than actually investigate. Just read a few of their posts, a majority of them are hyperbole babble just to gain advertisement views.
  • Actually, I think the major problem is that they're NOT known for shoddy reporting by the vast majority of their audience... They are almost always one of the first sites that pop up when I Bing or Google tech news, and so tons of people are reading their stuff and taking it at face value.
  • Skype technology is different to Tango. skype is a peer to peer voice technology and tango is a server based voice ip. The limitatiion is  not skype but  window phone os itself. skype has been sing the same technology for the past donkey years .. it wasn't designed for mobile. 
    windows 8 will solve all
  • FOOLS!!! =P
  • It's easy to say Skype is the reason Carriers are capping data plans etc. But that's been the default in New Zealand for at least a decade. Even with ISPs, Unlimited data plans were either non existent or very rare until the last few years.
    I'm not sure an uncapped mobile data plan has ever existed in NZ. (FYI: A lumia 800 on their cheapest 2 year contract is $800NZD, you et it free if you sign up to their $170NZD per month contract) I Love my Lumia 710 :)
  • yes man I know exactly what U mean, its crazy how much plans cost over here in NZ on telecom im on $20nzd per month and I only get 200mb of data and the phones are soo expensive!!
  • I moved to Aus :p Here i'm on $30AUD a month and i get 500MB, and some call and texts plan i don't fuly understand. I'd order phones from Aus, it's cheaper.
  • I'm in Aus on a $40/mo plan with 1.5gig/mo..
  • This is dangerous for Nokia and Microsoft. Not because it may be true, but because of 1 brand with not the best brand recognition and one company that is hated by shareholders. Add to that all other competitors, Google (with great brand recognition), Apple and developers.
    And before people start raving on me on the MSFT brand, no im not a rocket scientist, but it feels like there is non needed.
    I been looking as a MSFT fan on my environment and the name Microsoft shivers peoples bones, techies or no-techies. The products of the past have stained the name. Some of it are uncalled for, some are not. But people have a way of looking at products, and that is what determine the successes, god or bad product. Windows 7 is one of the best products MSFT made...but it was to late. All the young people are using all but Windows PC's... and if they are, its only because they cant afford a Apple product. Hype, look, style is what Microsoft missed and are fixing now with the "8" product line, but are they on time? Is it to late? I hope its not, and i will continue to use and BUY there products (how many here have paid for Windows OS on there PC?). But it may be to little to late becuse there are still gaps in there products. Don't belive me?
    Xbox, Zune, Windows Phone, Office, Windows, i love it, but why are it only half baked, with no consistency? If you live in US all is well, but not in other countrys. There is no consistency in the MSFT products. I dont like Apple but when it does somthing ot does so all over. You can buy music on iTunes almost ever where in the world....i will not bother to continue.
    If you cant see the problems above i think your giving the victory too Google and Apple.
  • ...and with consistency i don't only mean product support or graphics.. I am also talking product functions ( Was a lot more text to be written, but there is a limit on words apperently :-)
  • I would have to disagree with that. I work in the tech industry and granted most people i know have iPhone or iPod/iPad but when it comes to a computer, i know like 1 person who doesn't have a windows PC. As long as they do this right, they have a real chance to turn things around with windows 8
  • Good comment, bad grammar haha. I do understand what you are talking about, which is why I think that the best thing MSFT can do for itself is to hide its name. So many people who own an Xbox don't even realize that it's a MSFT product, and love it. There are also tons of gamers out there who will not even waste their time buying a mac... Everytime someone starts to lag-out on StarCraft2, there are always comments along the lines of, "get off your Mac!" etc... Does anyone else think MSFT should just call WP8 "Apollo?" I think it has an excellent ring to it... Very futuristic sounding to me. Unifying is important, but branding can save them. Hell, for the longest time, I had no clue that Google created Android.
  • They create a brand name Apollo, but then what happens when the next version after Apollo is released? They should stick with it how it is. With the launch of Windows 8, the name Windows Phone 8 will be a very powerful thing, as long as we see a lot more integration. Especially with games etc.