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Nokia's earnings disappoint as it struggles to combat Apple's iPhone

post #1 of 164
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Finnish cellphone maker Nokia conceded this week that it faces "tough" competition in the high-end smartphone realm, as its disappointing quarterly earnings were a stark contrast from yet another blockbuster quarter for Apple and the iPhone.

Nokia this week revealed that earned 349 million euros, or $465 million, in the first quarter of 2010. Though that was an increase from the 122 million euros earned a year prior, it was also short of estimates expected by analysts due to lower-than-expected mobile device sales.

According to the Financial Times, Nokia conceded that its best handsets are struggling to compete in the high-end market. The company said the average selling price of its phones dropped to 62 euros, down from 66 euros. Smartphones prices saw a large drop, down from 190 euros a year ago to 155 euros in the first quarter of calendar 2010.

"We continue to face tough competition with respect to the high end of our mobile device portfolio," Nokia Chief Exeuctive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said

Nokia is still the overall worldwide market leader in both smartphones and total cell phones, but it has lost significant ground since Apple entered the market in 2007. Those losses are widely believed to have inspired Nokia to sue Apple over the alleged use of 10 patented wireless standards in the iPhone.

Apple responded to Nokia with its own lawsuit, accusing the Finnish company of infringing on 13 iPhone-related patents. The battle of the two smartphone giants is expected to drag out for years, with both companies looking for a court hearing to be held in 2012. The U.S. International Trade Commission -- the group with which the complaints were filed -- has agreed to look into both Nokia's and Apple's complaints against the other.

Nokia's earnings reveal this week is in sharp contrast to Apple's own record-setting second fiscal quarter of 2010. On Tuesday, Apple announced its highest-ever quarterly iPhone sales at 8.75 million, topping the previous holiday quarter, based on strong international growth of the handset. The strong iPhone sales propelled Apple to a nearly 90 percent increase in profits, exceeding analyst expectations and pushing the company's stock price to new heights.
post #2 of 164
A floundering also-ran. Good luck to them.
post #3 of 164
Apple is doomed...

Had to beat that other dude to the punch!
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post #4 of 164
Innovate or die.
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post #5 of 164
I feel badly for the company -- it was such a world-beater at one point.

Nokia is increasingly living in a bubble.

They just don't seem to get it, or if they do, have no clue as to what to do.
post #6 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Apple is doomed...

Had to beat that other dude to the punch!

Doesn't count, since you forgot the
post #7 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"We continue to face tough competition with respect to the high end of our mobile device portfolio," Nokia Chief Exeuctive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said


They certainly do. Between Android's feature dominance and Apple's loyal fans, Nokia is not in a good spot right now.

They have great products. And in most of the world, they own the markets. But the markets are changing, and they need to step up efforts to rebuild their lead.
post #8 of 164
i love the design, but i'll hold onto my 3gs until the 4g network has been rolled out.
[and hopefully i'll be getting my next iPhone with a verizon contract, too]

Oflife: i bet you think these designs are inspired...

post #9 of 164
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Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Doesn't count, since you forgot the

/doh!
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post #10 of 164
It's marketshare vs profit share and just like Mac vs PC Apple is in the right business!
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post #11 of 164
Nokia should have stayed with their Series 40 low end phones. Symbian, Series 60, N-Gage (1, 2 and 3), Ovi Store... So many big mistakes...
post #12 of 164
There is bugger all they can do except jump on the Android bandwagon. Quicker they except this the better.
post #13 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

Oflife: i bet you think these designs are inspired...

<abominations snipped>

Thanks - I was trying to find examples of some of Nokia's past transgressions, and those two images fit the bill.

Now if someone can dig up the interview with their arrogant CEO from a half year ago or so...
post #14 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I feel badly for the company -- it was such a world-beater at one point.

Nokia is increasingly living in a bubble.

They just don't seem to get it, or if they do, have no clue as to what to do.

The main thing about Apple that I like is that they're always looking to the future and not holding on to the past. Not only is Symbian trash but previews of their next-gen OS is trash. I'd buy Palm for WebOS if I was them.

Another thing Nokia has to learn (from Apple) is not to throw a thousand features into a phone just for a talking point. Make sure the features you introduce actually work well, if not the best in class. Less is more.

Oh yeah. Get a proper hardware designer.
post #15 of 164
It's amazing, completely amazing, that the mobile phone companies did so little innovation for SO LONG. They were practically printing money, yet every time I got a phone it was more confusing, uglier, with smaller icons, buttons and this and that stuck on it. I could take a picture, but it took a week to figure out how to email it, and I had to pay a separate fee for the privilege. (not to mention the HORRIBLE state of trying to download anything)

My brother had a blackberry, and I thought it was the ugliest industrial design since The Gremlin. But it was at least functional, in a stylus, little plastic keyboard sort of way.

I had no idea there was a better way to do the phone thing, and when Apple did announce and show the iPhone - obviously I wasn't the only person blown away.

But exactly what were all these giant mobile phone companies that had massive tech groups, and R&D budgets doing, other than counting money??? They did next to nothing to develop a useful design that married the various technologies.

If you were associated with those companies, and in an area of technical responsibility or product design you really shouldn't be allowed to work in a tech based industry again...OK that's a little harsh, but it took a computer company with NO CELL PHONE experience to kick this industry in the butt. And now, what is the form everyone is taking? And the elements present? I went to a store and tried out some Android phones the other day, believing they were as good as an iPhone after reading about them.

They aren't. I don't care WHAT the system is running or what tech. specs they have, they feel pretty shoddy and the user interface feels glued together. I'm not spreading hate on Android here, I'm just saying they have a lot of catching up to do, just like Nokia.I hope Android improves and the handsets improve, but given the state of the manufacturers Google better just make their own phones from top to bottom if they want to match the quality of an iPhone.
post #16 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

There is bugger all they can do except jump on the Android bandwagon. Quicker they except this the better.

I was surprised to hear that they developed a new OS. I don't think there is much room for a new phone OS right now.

I wouldn't be surprised if they released a few cool Android phones. But I don't think that would be their main strategy.

I just bought my kid a Nokia Surge to replace his lost iPhone. It is what he wanted, given that he texts all day and all night. It is what his friends all have.

Dunno if there is lots of money to be made in the midrange market or not, but if Nokia wants to compete at the top end, they need to do something major.
post #17 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

The main thing about Apple that I like is that they're always looking to the future and not holding on to the past. Not only is Symbian trash but previews of their next-gen OS is trash. I'd buy Palm for WebOS if I was them.

Another thing Nokia has to learn (from Apple) is not to throw a thousand features into a phone just for a talking point. Make sure the features you introduce actually work well, if not the best in class. Less is more.

Oh yeah. Get a proper hardware designer.

You've hit the nail on the head here. Jobs said in the mid-90's:

"If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it's worth and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago."

Now, I appreciate Macintosh has in fact made a remarkable comeback, but this mindset is what's keeping Apple at the top. It doesn't matter what you've done or what you are doing, what matters is what you are going to do.
post #18 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

They certainly do. Between Android's feature dominance...

Only in your Apple hating wet dreams. All of your previous posts prove the point.
post #19 of 164
A 40% jump in profits isn't exactly the end of the world. Apple's figures are spectacular but Nokia is outperforming the industry average.

I'm also confused as to why so it's fashionable, especially in the US, to hate on Nokia. I agree that they've got a lot of problems but I don't understand the hatred and vitriol. Did they sleep with your mother? It's Iceland, not Finland, that's the naughty Nordic country at the moment.

From what I've seen of Symbian^3, the UI is behind the iPhone but catching up. It's certainly a big improvement over S60 5th edition. The most important change is the development tools though. No longer will application developers have to learn the quirks of Symbian C++ as Symbian^3 uses the thoroughly modern (and multi-platform) Qt framework. I can't wait to try it, personally.

EDIT: Looking at Nokia's smartphone sales, they increased to 21.5mil from 20.1mil Q4 2009 (+3%) and 13.7mil Q1 2009 (+57%). I know the price dropped but doing better in Q1 than Q4 is impressive.
post #20 of 164
Anyone who thinks Nokia used to be crap forever doesn't know anything. Or else has only been in the US, where customers had to deal with locked-down crappy LG/Samsung phones while the rest of the world was enjoying great (at the time) Nokia phones. However, they forgot what made their stuff great (really really simple to use. The Nokia 3210 family ushered a new generation of simplicity in phones in the mid-late 90's with their single button interface).

Nokia's biggest issue (and the biggest change in paradigm, which yes, was ushered in by Apple) was that phones aren't about HW anymore. They are all about the SW. And I dont think Nokia has the SW capability to compete in this new generation.

They really need to buy Palm, before more of their engineers jump that sinking ship.
post #21 of 164
They should spend last reserves of their cash on buying Palm. That could keep them afloat for few more years.
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post #22 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

Oflife: i bet you think these designs are inspired...
[/IMG]

OMG, are those real ... as in reached market?
post #23 of 164
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Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

They should spend last reserves of their cash on buying Palm. That could keep them afloat for few more years.

what good would it do for them to acquire palm?
post #24 of 164
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Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

They should spend last reserves of their cash on buying Palm. That could keep them afloat for few more years.

I hear Bono would certainly be EXTREMELY grateful..
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post #25 of 164
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Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

what good would it do for them to acquire palm?

Nokia makes great HW (as in quality, and pricing). Their biggest problem is they don't have good SW to go with their HW.

And yes, those disgusting designs did make it to market. But those were probably a few of the many 100s of phones they created. That is kinda important when you are in pretty much every country in the world, and are catering to local markets with different demands. Which is why Nokia is still so huge all over the world (except US, where they never became big because the carriers never allowed them in).
post #26 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fearing View Post

But exactly what were all these giant mobile phone companies that had massive tech groups, and R&D budgets doing, other than counting money??? They did next to nothing to develop a useful design that married the various technologies.

Hmm. They just developed the whole mobile industry with that R&D to the point that you can now create a phone + computer + camera + iPod + Navigator + PDA from essentially a single chip + some memory. That's no small feat to accomplish.

It's much easier to come in when the palyground already exists and you can buy most of the components from the shop. Also you don't have any existing user base of your own that you risk to alianate and you can learn from existing deficiencies. Don't forget that as a phone (not talking about the other functions let alone UI), the iPhone is not that good (reception issues, power save issues, boatloads of signalling issues, 10second voice codec pauses etc.) especially compared to the established players.

It's also quite difficult to judge at what point is it worth it to alienate many of your existing user's by making a big drastic change in your user's use environment (for example OS9 ->OS X or G5 ->Intel or Nokia S60 -> Meego or Symbian^4). If you break backwards compatibility and change the UI, it becomes harder the larger your user base is (bigger user base to lose). Apple just made it mandatory for the existing players to act now (a good thing that is). It's interesting to see how they will react.

Many of the vendors have gone the reactionary route of copying the Apple UI and business model (Win 7 and Samsung Bada), some have done their own (Ovi was announced before Apple Store). 2 years is product development cycle after all is a short time. Especially if your aim is to compete, innovate and start over and not just quicly copy (as many of the asian manufacturers have done). Nokia isn't doing hot at the moment, but it does have potential. It remains to be seen if they can use that potential.

Regs, Jarkko
post #27 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

Don't forget that as a phone (not talking about the other functions let alone UI), the iPhone is not that good (reception issues, power save issues, boatloads of signalling issues, 10second voice codec pauses etc.) especially compared to the established players.

I can't confirm that at all. We had N95s and SE P910is (plus a few 8800s for the execs) in the company before moving to the iPhone in late 2007 and the iPhone is not exposing any of these behaviors anywhere in Europe or Asia. The phone functionality is at least as good as in the N95 and tons better and more reliable than the SE P910i; I do not comment on the 8800 (costing roughly $1k at that time) - it sounded like a tin can. I did not have a single dropped call in three years with the iPhone, voice quality is great. The only real problem was the abysmal speaker in the original iPhone, but that has improved quite a bit in the 3G and 3GS models, hopefully the next one will again be a bit better.
post #28 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fearing View Post

My brother had a blackberry, and I thought it was the ugliest industrial design since The Gremlin.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. For those who don't get the reference:

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post #29 of 164
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Originally Posted by RichL View Post

A 40% jump in profits isn't exactly the end of the world. Apple's figures are spectacular but Nokia is outperforming the industry average.

I'm also confused as to why so it's fashionable, especially in the US, to hate on Nokia. I agree that they've got a lot of problems but I don't understand the hatred and vitriol. Did they sleep with your mother? It's Iceland, not Finland, that's the naughty Nordic country at the moment.

From what I've seen of Symbian^3, the UI is behind the iPhone but catching up. It's certainly a big improvement over S60 5th edition. The most important change is the development tools though. No longer will application developers have to learn the quirks of Symbian C++ as Symbian^3 uses the thoroughly modern (and multi-platform) Qt framework. I can't wait to try it, personally.

EDIT: Looking at Nokia's smartphone sales, they increased to 21.5mil from 20.1mil Q4 2009 (+3%) and 13.7mil Q1 2009 (+57%). I know the price dropped but doing better in Q1 than Q4 is impressive.

I can tell you why I despise them. I bought a Nokia flip phone, about 4 months before the iPhone came out. Ease of use? Nope, sucked like no other phone I have ever used. To change the ringtone you had to drive down 5 levels in the software. Changing the wallpaper was 7 levels and was not under a category that you would think it would be. I thought maybe it was just me so I gave it to two of my younger, geekier, phone obsessed coworkers and had them give it a try. After a half hour they gave up.

The hardware was decent and the screen was brilliant for its time but since I had the over whelming urge to throw it on the ground and stomp it to bits I returned it and got a samsung instead. I still use the Sammy on occasion for bluetooth 3g tethering. *Shhsh* don't tell the people at the Deathstar network.

I forgot to add that the last time I looked at a non smartphone Nokia, it looks like they still haven't learned their lesson when it comes to ease of use and logical menus.
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post #30 of 164
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Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Ouch, ouch, ouch. For those who don't get the reference:


Man you have to warn us when you are going to post a picture like that! I just threw up in my mouth...
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post #31 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I feel badly for the company -- it was such a world-beater at one point.

Nokia is increasingly living in a bubble.

They just don't seem to get it, or if they do, have no clue as to what to do.

I think some of Nokia management does get what has happened to them. It did take some time for them to understand (read their conference call transcripts and you'll see the changing tone), but they are now like a big aircraft carrier; it's taking an even longer time to turn it around and fix it.

They understand that Apple changed the game on them at the top-end with an easy-to-use touch-screen, web-connected, native-app-running smartphone. And that this top-end is rapidly become the middle.

They understand that they need to build an ecosystem and a solid OS and easy-to-use UI to get back into the top-end. And they are working it. In the meantime, they are trying to buy time by selling lots of mid-range sort-of-1st-gen smartphones, by which I mean they are focused on texting and email, not apps and touch. Note that their smartphone ASP dropped again, and that they don't even bother to break out N-series units.

I think given their current circumstances due to their slowness to react, that they are hanging in well. They're taking advantage of their economies of scale through top-notch production and global distribution (everywhere but US) to keep pace. Thus, if they can build the OS/UI/ecosystem, Nokia is, to me, the greatest threat to Apple (along with Google). It's a big IF, for sure, but if they build it, they have pricing and scale to put pressure and block Apple in many ways. As for today, the delay in Symbian^3 triggered the selloff. So maybe they really can't build it.

It's interesting to contrast Nokia with Palm. Product-wise, Palm has built a chunk (but not all) of what is needed to compete with Apple, but they have no production or distribution advantage and are dying because of it. They don't have the cash or continuing "old product" sales to give them the time they need to finish the job.
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post #32 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i love the design, but i'll hold onto my 3gs until the 4g network has been rolled out.
[and hopefully i'll be getting my next iPhone with a verizon contract, too]

Oflife: i bet you think these designs are inspired...


wow, talk about horrible mess, those are the most disgusting looking pieces of hardware/software i have ever seen. No wonder Nokia is shaking in their boots, they don't have a single creative bone in their entire body.
post #33 of 164
Ok guys let's take a chill pill and take a look.. and i'm not defending Nokia but let numbers talk..


Apple remained flat in market share at 17% and flat in sales (apple is flat at 17% for 3 quarters straight)

RIM increased market share to 21% and grew sales

NOKIA increased market share to 41% and grew sales (Nokia sold more smartphones than RIM, Apple and HTC combined)

So who won? what's more important long term? I don't know but I know one thing which is a no brainer, Apple will not grow out of that 17-18% with only one phone and at that price. Nokia may not be there yet software wise but they're catching up so if I were Apple I'd be scared right now and schedule my engineers into double shifts to bring out a couple more phones, one with a sliding qwerty keyboard and a mini version, that could easily double their sales in no time.
post #34 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I'm also confused as to why so it's fashionable, especially in the US, to hate on Nokia. I agree that they've got a lot of problems but I don't understand the hatred and vitriol. Did they sleep with your mother? It's Iceland, not Finland, that's the naughty Nordic country at the moment.

1. When iPhone first came out, Nokia management made clueless remarks, just like Ballmer.
2. Nokia sued Apple, which is of course, a big no-no.
3. Too many Nokia fanboys who still don't get it, making stupid comments, even after Nokia management seems to have finally grasped the battle that they're in. (I'm not saying that you're one of them, but we've had a couple here at AI.)

See my previous comment for a response to the rest of your comment.
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post #35 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

Ok guys let's take a chill pill and take a look.. and i'm not defending Nokia but let numbers talk..

Apple remained flat in market share at 17% and flat in sales (apple is flat at 17% for 3 quarters straight)

RIM increased market share to 21% and grew sales

NOKIA increased market share to 41% and grew sales (Nokia sold more smartphones than RIM, Apple and HTC combined)

So who won? what's more important long term? I don't know but I know one thing which is a no brainer, Apple will not grow out of that 17-18% with only one phone and at that price. Nokia may not be there yet software wise but they're catching up so if I were Apple I'd be scared right now and schedule my engineers into double shifts to bring out a couple more phones, one with a sliding qwerty keyboard and a mini version, that could easily double their sales in no time.

Sounds like you're just aping Tomi Ahonen... Might as well be nice and just provide the link already.
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post #36 of 164
Quote:

You think he could get his friends (U2) to do a few free concerts over there in exchange for saving his butt ...
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post #37 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

A 40% jump in profits isn't exactly the end of the world. Apple's figures are spectacular but Nokia is outperforming the industry average.

I'm also confused as to why so it's fashionable, especially in the US, to hate on Nokia. I agree that they've got a lot of problems but I don't understand the hatred and vitriol. Did they sleep with your mother? It's Iceland, not Finland, that's the naughty Nordic country at the moment.

From what I've seen of Symbian^3, the UI is behind the iPhone but catching up. It's certainly a big improvement over S60 5th edition. The most important change is the development tools though. No longer will application developers have to learn the quirks of Symbian C++ as Symbian^3 uses the thoroughly modern (and multi-platform) Qt framework. I can't wait to try it, personally.

EDIT: Looking at Nokia's smartphone sales, they increased to 21.5mil from 20.1mil Q4 2009 (+3%) and 13.7mil Q1 2009 (+57%). I know the price dropped but doing better in Q1 than Q4 is impressive.

There is generally no Nokia hate here in the US. Their lower end phones are very popular here. I think some Apple fans are upset at the stunt they tried to pull when suing Apple. They will only let Apple license the patents if Apple gives them their entire patent portfolio. So they want a significant amount of money for every iPhone sold and Apple's patents. Not to mention that the patents cover things at the chipset level which Apple doesn't make. It feels like a dead end strategy though. Nobody cares about developing apps for it. Unless Nokia changes that, they need to move on.

The Qt framework was inspired by Apple's Cocoa by the way. It still has a lot of bugs and performance isn't that great. It is possible they have fixed some of the problems when running on top of Symbian though because they control the platform. I think it could replace Java as a multi-platform toolkit if it improves though. It's strategy is actually the same as Cocoa when it was called Yellow Box. Apple decided to cancel the project when they realized that multi-platform apps suck because they don't look right on more then one platform. They made an exception for iTunes and Safari, but they do look out of place on Windows. Windows users are more used to that though because non-standard toolkits are pretty common on Windows. Apple's current stance is that multi-platform should be done over the web.
post #38 of 164
Androids dominance? Like how all the phones don't run the same OS. That's dominance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

They certainly do. Between Android's feature dominance and Apple's loyal fans, Nokia is not in a good spot right now.
post #39 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

Hmm. They just developed the whole mobile industry with that R&D to the point that you can now create a phone + computer + camera + iPod + Navigator + PDA from essentially a single chip + some memory. That's no small feat to accomplish.

...

Many of the vendors have gone the reactionary route of copying the Apple UI and business model (Win 7 and Samsung Bada), some have done their own (Ovi was announced before Apple Store). 2 years is product development cycle after all is a short time. Especially if your aim is to compete, innovate and start over and not just quicly copy (as many of the asian manufacturers have done). Nokia isn't doing hot at the moment, but it does have potential. It remains to be seen if they can use that potential.

Regs, Jarkko

Here's the difference. It's not about features, most of which Nokia thought of first and implemented first. It's about usability. By a mainstream user, a mom.

Here's what I mean. Go to www.apple.com/iphone/gallery/ads Watch them. Now think about the ads from other vendors or carriers about handsets. What's the difference?

Apple tells you what real-life things you or any joe schmo can do with this thing. You can imagine it. You can see it happening. You decide you need to have one soon.
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post #40 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Man you have to warn us when you are going to post a picture like that! I just threw up in my mouth...

Hey, you're the one who quoted the thing back. In the Ugliest Products of All Time derby, the AMC Gremlin wins by a length (sorry Nokia!). Not only was it completely utt bugly both inside and out, it drove poorly and was miserably constructed. So what's not to love?
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