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But it's unclear if ditching WinPhone would fix Nokia's deep issues

Magnus Rehle, a senior partner at telecom advising firm Greenwich Consulting, tells Reuters in an interview, "Elop has not been able to attract customers and that is what counts. You can say that he has not had enough time, but he has been there for two years. Time is up."

He's referring to Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive who now leads the embattled Finnish phonemaker.

Patience with Mr. Elop is wearing thin among investors.  Danske Invest Finnish Equity Fund is one large Nokia shareholder.  Juha Varis one of the fund's members comments, "The Christmas season is a lost cause. For Nokia, if there is any chance, it will be Spring.  The beginning of next year may be the final judgment. I think that maybe the end of the first quarter is the marking point."

Nordea analyst Sami Sarkamies comments, "He has been making some brave decisions and courage is something this company has lacked for a long time before Elop joined.  His starting point was really weak and it's hard to say someone else would have done a better job."

Stephen Elop
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop [Image Source: Mark Vlander/Getty Images]

But Reuters reports that even Mr. Sakarmies views Q1/Q2 2013 as the point at which Nokia must turn the quarter or show Mr. Elop the door.

Nokia's failures are correlated to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, but responsibility for causation doesn't necessarily rest on the shoulders of Mr. Elop's decision to go Windows Phone.  Rather, it was arguably from making the decision to early (perhaps) and taking a bizarrely long time to get Windows Phone product to market.

Now Nokia's Windows Phone 8 lineup is facing stiff competition from HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) who previously had paid little interest to the platform.  At the same time Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung's Android lineup are consistently outselling Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones.

The question is what should Nokia do?  Some like Mr. Rehle believe Nokia should ditch Windows Phone and use Android.  A switch to Android would certainly lower costs, but at a price.  First, Nokia would lose its payments from Microsoft.  Second, abandoning Microsoft for Google Inc.'s (GOOG) open source OS could lead to some big legal risks, given Apple and Microsoft's aggressive litigation history (Nokia does have a cross-licensing deal with Apple, but its exact scope is unclear).

Android statues
Some investors want Nokia to jump ship to Android. [Image Source: AndroidModo]

On the other hand, with Samsung and HTC on the verge of fleeing to Windows Phone, if Nokia stays, it could find itself being shown up in a market it was groomed by Microsoft to be the star of.

Source: Reuters





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Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/19/2012 6:58:10 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
On the other hand, with Samsung and HTC on the verge of fleeing to Windows Phone


This is an unsupported statement and I feel it's too sensationalized and should be changed.

HTC and Samsung have been waiting for a Windows Phone version (8) that would allow them to make a full featured halo smartphone. I wouldn't exactly call this "fleeing" to Windows Phone.

What's the deal Jason? Every article about phones lately has this unrealistic view that a single court decision that will likely be overturned is the death-kneel of the Android OS as we know it. And that suddenly Windows Phone is some amazing alternative. When Windows Phone can't even reach modest market share of 20%+ and the most successful phone to date was the behind the times Lumia 900. Which when is all said and done, was clearly over-hyped. Especially on Daily Tech.

As far as Elop goes, of course he made horrible choices. Windows Phone might have been profitable for Nokia at "some point in the future", but that doesn't cut it in this business.




RE: Huh?
By aurareturn on 9/19/2012 8:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Samsung and HTC aren't fleeing to Microsoft. They are just expanding their portfolio. They aren't putting all their eggs in one basket.


RE: Huh?
By aurareturn on 9/19/2012 8:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone who actually believes Nokia can turn the ship around is crazy.

If Nokia goes to Android, it can't compete with Samsung and HTC in phone design. Nokia is too late to the game. Doesn't have a brand-name in the Android market. Would take them years to build the image that Samsung and HTC have with Android.

If MS' OS does miraculously succeed, other superior hardware makers like Samsung and HTC will just storm in and make better phones.

Nokia has lost its advantage. It's not longer the best hardware maker and it doesn't even have its own OS anymore.

RIM part II.


RE: Huh?
By Kyuu on 9/19/2012 9:52:35 PM , Rating: 3
I agree that Nokia doesn't have the brand-name image of Samsung or HTC in the Android market, but I'm wondering on what basis you make the assertion that Nokia is an inferior hardware maker. Have you actually compared the Lumias, Samsung's Ativ S, and the HTC 8X/8S?

The Lumias are generally regarded as the nicest pieces of hardware coming out period, WP8 phone or otherwise -- only major complaint is the weight, but I wonder how many people actually give a crap about an extra couple tenths of a pound). Of course not everyone will like them, and the Samsung Ativ S looks nice (being basically a WP8 version of the GS3 with an attractive brushed-aluminum back). The HTCs are nice enough but not terribly interesting unless you prefer smaller phones.


RE: Huh?
By othercents on 9/20/2012 10:13:56 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, while Nokia isn't known in the Android market they are well known for making reliable phones especially compared to Samsung which are more flimsy than Nokia. Personally I would be using a Lumia now except they took too long to get to market. I'm using a Samsung Focus S.

Keep in mind Samsung and HTC were the initial release partners for Windows Phone 7 on November 8, 2010. Nokia decided to go to Windows Phone 7 during the Mango release and the Lumia 800 arrived on Dec 2011 in the US.


RE: Huh?
By JKflipflop98 on 9/20/2012 7:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
While I certainly agree that it's a long-shot, nothing is impossible. They may very well come out of left field with the next iPhone that everyone just has to have.

Highly improbable? You betcha. Completely impossible? Nope.


RE: Huh?
By Strunf on 9/20/2012 7:55:17 AM , Rating: 3
Why are you reducing the brand name to the android market when Nokia as a company has a much better image than HTC, if the average joe goes to buy a smartphone chances are he will recognize much faster the Nokia brand than HTC.

Also you're very incorrect if you think Nokia can't compete in design... the new Lumia stand out easily, HTC not soo much.

In terms of hardware, Nokia has always been top notch with phones that last and features not seen anywhere else, like the 40Mpx cameras...

Nokia lost its advantage but don't count them dead yet, their only stupidity was to move exclusively to windows phone and announcing it long before having actual products made them 2x more stupid... that said they are still in the game and the Lumias prove it.

Nokia today is the perfect example of wasted potential, when you have a brand name like Nokia you don't go around doing beginner mistakes! This whole chapter for me was nothing more than a ploy from MS to give an extra boost to windows phone at the expense of Nokia.


RE: Huh?
By sgns on 9/20/2012 9:11:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nokia today is the perfect example of wasted potential, when you have a brand name like Nokia you don't go around doing beginner mistakes! This whole chapter for me was nothing more than a ploy from MS to give an extra boost to windows phone at the expense of Nokia.

This. I agree 100%. Nokia squandered their uniqueness (they should really have rebranded Meego – and thrown money at buying UX people from Palm for example, and never went MS exclusive). I'm sad to say this looks like a weakness of Elop's era – he has to my knowledge not either delivered a positive vision (in contrast to the unfortunate – because it still stands out in a major way – burning platform memo), or preserved the heritage. Even if N9 looked great, abandoning it made the Lumias look like an afterthought.

It's easy to see that Nokia didn't know how to build an ecosystem/software like Apple, or the chips that Samsung do. They bet on their hardware being enough… but then MS should have not messed up, and Nokia should not have let anybody mess up the execution one bit.

Unfortunately, with only hardware (and maps and music services) their own, there's very little left to recognize them for when MS doesn't deliver and Nokia's shipping dates slip. It looks very ugly. My Finnish-born heart bleeds.

Episode 16 of the Talk Show with John Gruber, where he interviews Om Malik and they talk about Nokia (good discussion) brought me here. :| The link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/the_talk_show


RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2012 12:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If Nokia goes to Android, it can't compete with Samsung and HTC in phone design.


Why couldn't they? That's the great thing about Android, ANYONE can make a great phone for it.

Think about what Android has done for the non-Apple smartphone market! It's allowed players we've barely heard of to compete. Who was HTC before Android came along? Did anyone buy their phones before? Sure they made some stuff before Android came along, but they weren't a household name.

So when you say Nokia "can't compete" with others in phone design, I have a big issue with that statement. History is against you.


RE: Huh?
By zephyrprime on 9/20/2012 12:57:38 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think Samsung and especially HTC have super strong brands in the Android market. Also, I don't even agree that the idea of an "Android market" has much mindshare at all with the general public because the general phone buying public doesn't think about this stuff much at all. Only the iphone and apple have any significant mindshare in the public as brands when it comes to phones. For techies, it's a different story but techies are 1% of the market.


RE: Huh?
By Mint on 9/20/2012 2:12:29 PM , Rating: 4
Every non-Samsung maker for Android is basically fighting for scraps. Those scraps are big enough for HTC, LG, etc. to be happy, but not Nokia. In order for them to take substantial share away from Samsung, they'd have to make a much better phone, and I don't think that's possible without some serious Samsung blunders.

WP8 is the only realistic way to give Nokia a chance at being a top dog again. If they stuck with Symbian, it would be a RIM redux. If they went with Android 3 years ago, they may have had a chance, but it's too late now. If they go Android now, their fate is sealed as a bit player.

Elop made the right choice. The best of WP8 is still to come a year or two down the road, particularly with Intel's x86 mobile penetration being an unstoppable train due to their process advantage.


RE: Huh?
By Mitch101 on 9/20/2012 10:28:43 AM , Rating: 3
It really is much deeper than the rectangle and expanding portfolio.

Google did not support Samsung in the case and was nowhere to be found except if you count the lame sorry it gave after judgement was handed down. It left a bad taste in many Android manufacturers that Google is not doing enough to protect the manufacturers of Android devices. This is part of the reason Microsoft works with the vendors to prevent such lawsuits. Google has not.

Read more international sites the manufacturers of Android devices are not happy about this one bit. Some are even looking at creating one offs like Amazon did with the kindle but an easier route is to use Windows Phone OS.

Google should be cross licensing with Apple to prevent these kind of lawsuits and they failed to do so instead blaming the patent system which is the real problem but isn't going to fix the current issues. Google also opted out of the large patent portfolio purchase a while back from whom I cant recall the name and they tried to claim they weren't invited then Microsoft outed them with the e-mail trail showing Google was invited but Google arrogance again. Google realizing they made a huge mistake grabbed Motorola mobile. But its not enough to protect them. They need to start making cross license deals or they are going to be forced to pay more royalties to everyone else or face lawsuits.

This lawsuit is just the beginning as you can see its growing and including more and more devices. You see many other companies looking at making Microsoft devices because they need a plan B its not 100% safe to make an Android device.

Samsung was mad going into the lawsuit without Google backing thats when they started looking at alternatives if things went like they did. This is also a warning shot to Google saying your not the only choice in town and to get your act together. Samsung made Android they can help to make Windows Phone an option too.

Microsoft is a lot more relevant than going with their own OS which has limited apps Microsoft is also the no lawsuit option with a 100k+ app market and growing.

You watch Apples lawsuits are going to spread and they are going to leverage this win with Samsung to every other carrier.


RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2012 12:37:23 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not surprised that such a wildy innacurate and dishonest slant on these events come from Mitch, a known Windows Phone homer.

First off Apple was legally granted these patents. Yes, they are absurd. Yes, they shouldn't have been. But in the eyes of the law and that court, Samsung "willfully" inferinged. You cannot blame Google for not "coming to Samsung's defense" more. Hello? Google didn't design the Galaxy line of phones!

On the software side of things, ooops, there's another tidbit of facts that defeat Mitch's arguments. Where Samsung got in trouble on the software patents was NOT because of a stock Android UI. It was their own Samsung "Touch Wiz" proprietary UI scheme that was found to infringe on Apple's bs "patents".

quote:
Google should be cross licensing with Apple


This is how a child views the world. Apple started this legal campaign. We have NO evidence to suggest that Apple contacted Google first to discuss a cross-licensing deal.

Also, and again, this would DO NOTHING to protect Android hardware vendors who are accused of violating Apple's "trade dress" and hardware design patents. Hello?

quote:
Read more international sites the manufacturers of Android devices are not happy about this one bit.


Unsupported hearsay argument based on rumors.

quote:
Google realizing they made a huge mistake grabbed Motorola mobile


Conjecture.

All in all this is one horribly biased, untruthful, and altogether laughable attempt on Mitch's part. There's so much flat out wrong, made up, or just outright lies that I barely touched on them. But most disturbing is that after all this time, Mitch still can't grasp the difference between hardware and software design patents, and that Google doesn't make phones just an OS.


RE: Huh?
By Kepler on 9/20/2012 12:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
How is Google supposed to defend against the manufacturers' own modifications to their OS? I don't see why Google should waste their time with these frivolous suits. Samsung knew 100% that they were going to appeal this ruling before the case even started. No need for Google to get their hands tied up in it.

As far as I can tell, Google is suing Apple with their MotoMobile patents, hopefully to squelch future lawsuits against anyone -- putting much needed fear in Apple's eyes.


No Android for Nokia
By zzynko on 9/19/2012 7:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
It has been said before that Nokia is playing all in with WP8, it makes no sense in going to Android when they could have continued developing Meego as much better alternative.

It is one thing to dream about it but reality is a harsh mistress.




RE: No Android for Nokia
By Freddo on 9/20/2012 2:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
Ditching Meego is the biggest mistake Nokia ever done. Everyone who tried the N9 loved it, everyone. Only problem is that it just didn't have a large ecosystem, but that would have changed with some work. Instead they just trashed it all and went for the easier route (going with Windows Phone) and I'm pretty sure it will bite back on them.


RE: No Android for Nokia
By Trisped on 9/20/2012 5:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure where you got your information, but Meego, though promising, was losing market share which is why Elop was brought in in the first place.

The problem was for all the promiss of Meego, it was not as well backed as Android or iOS by developers. It was also only on handsets from Nokia, limiting its potential.

Personally I think the transition was very hard for Nokia, but was good for consumers. Rather then pushing their Meego phones and then dropping support leaving customers hanging, Nokia indicated when support would stop. The problem was that most customers did not want a phone which was heading to EOL (even though Nokia promised to support the phones for longer then most people keep their smart phones). As a result Nokia, who was 100% invested into Meego, did not have any smart phones to sell. The big down side is that it took so long to develop a Windows Phone, probably due to Microsoft's strict hardware requirements. The hard choice for Elop was probably between money from Microsoft to keep the company a float, or trying to transition to Android and hoping to make a splash in the already highly competitive market.

They probably did not expect it to take so long to develop the Luma 900, but when you have to start from scratch...


Time
By melgross on 9/19/2012 8:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
They would have had more time if they hadn't so aggressively killed off their Symbian line of phones by marketing them as obsolete, and telling everyone to stay away from the platform, including developers.

Instead of saying, in the very beginning, that they poured oil on their failing platform (Symbian), and were jumping into the icy sea (Win Phone), where they may not survive, thereby killing off both platforms, they should have done something else.

I would have kept Symbian alive in an aggressive way (remembering that it had 38% growth the quarter before that statement). But I would have said that they were diversifying to give customers greater choice.

They did the worst possible thing.

But I can't just blame Elop. I guarantee that the board of Nokia made the decision to go to Win Phone before Elop was hired. They also approved that memo. This can't be laid entirely at his feet.




RE: Time
By andrewaggb on 9/20/2012 9:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Stating symbian is dead and then that that wp 7.5 is dead is really rough on any loyal customers.

As they didn't have any exclusivity with microsoft, I'm not sure what going all-in has bought them, though I guess they did get a bunch of funding from microsoft.

Microsoft's wp 7.5 wasn't up to par in hardware support, and their lumina phones were way late to market. failure all around I think.


A Nokia Android would be almost perfect
By Toss3 on 9/20/2012 3:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really see why you'd think that Nokia would automatically fail on Android, when Nokia has proven with Meego that it has the talent to design a unique and functional interface that resonates well with the consumers.

They could take the hardware from the Lumia and the UI from Meego and create a really compelling Android device, which would easily earn them 2nd place after Samsung within a couple of years.

I could easily see myself getting a Nokia Lumia 920 if it was running Android, even after owning all three Galaxy S phones.

Nokia, in my book equals quality, which unfortunately most high-end Android devices lack.




By Kepler on 9/20/2012 1:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
I can get on this boat.

I had an HTC Incredible, Thunderbolt (lol), Rezound (gave to my brother), and now a GNex. Brothers' on my plan have the Droid Charge, and Galaxy S3 -- I'm not tied to one hardware vendor, and love that.

I like the looks of the 1080p HTC phone coming out. I like the looks of the Nokia phones -- just now WP8. I see no reason why, if the hardware is there, that Nokia couldn't be successful with Android.

I would even consider getting a Lumina 920 or something if someone put together a working JB ROM for it.


Idiots
By themaster08 on 9/20/2012 2:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
These investors are clearly idiots. Whilst their partnership with Microsoft has not been the immediate success they would have wanted, they need to be patient and market the hell out of what is arguably the best device to be brought to market.

Their devices are not the problem, it's their execution of certain things, such as announcing no pricing or availability of their latest devices. I know they're limited in what they can announce due to Microsoft being so secretive about Windows Phone 8, but they shouldn't have announced it at all until they could provide people with the details that matter. Android won't change anything. Nokia will still be Nokia. It will cause further delays.

But instead their idea is to throw away more time and investment to pursue an operating system that is deeply entrenched by Samsung and HTC, is a fragmented mess, and is fraught with litigation. Great idea.




wait and see
By dotpoz on 9/20/2012 4:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think that to full appreciate w8 phones we have to wait for windows8 pc and tablets and for xbox 720. I think that it will be a fully integrated ecosystem.




Solution
By Gondor on 9/20/2012 1:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The question is what should Nokia do?


File for protection while they still can ? That can of worms is going to explode and it's not going to be a pretty sight. Elop managed to sink Nokia but responsibility also lies with people who put him there in the first place.




Why only 1?
By Gabik123 on 9/20/2012 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why is the insinuation of this article that Nokia must ditch WP to go android? All of the major WP manufacturers ALSO have an android line. If Nokia wants to hedge its bets, why not have an android Lumia line as well as a WP Lumia line, like samsung appears to be doing with its Ativ S basically being a Windows Phone version of the gs3?

All this would be is the android makers (Samsung, HTC, probably LG in the future) plans in reverse, and would be smart for Nokia to get in on 2 different platforms. It would also make the Lumia the most interesting and great looking android smartphone out there, and android could benefit from some of the Nokia-only apps.




Should have stayed with Meego
By wvh on 9/21/2012 10:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia should have stuck with Meego. The N9 is surprisingly stable and usable for being both the first and last version. With a bit of extra polish, they could have offered a competitive platform, perhaps just in time to grow enough of a community to make it past the point of critical mass.

I can't understand how they could have executed so badly.

Elop is not exactly one of the most liked people here Finland, and if the bleeding of staff continues, I predict pitchforks and torches, tar and feathers for both him and the board of Nokia.




Surprised?
By Tony Swash on 9/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Surprised?
By mmarianbv on 9/20/2012 1:24:19 AM , Rating: 1
if they would have allowed win 8 on the "older" generation of lumia, they could be in a better position.
i love my lumia, but because of that crap, i will not buy again from them.
my next phone will be again a win phone, but not nokia for sure.


RE: Surprised?
By themaster08 on 9/20/2012 2:06:07 AM , Rating: 3
The irony of that is it's Microsoft's fault your Lumia will not be upgraded, not Nokia's.


RE: Surprised?
By mmarianbv on 9/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Surprised?
By angusdegraosta on 9/20/2012 2:51:59 AM , Rating: 5
Yes - has nothing whatsoever to do with Nokia. Honestly, I don't care about having Windows 8 on the 900. The 7.8 upgrade and any subsequent tweaks via Nokia are really enough. I'm still in total awe how great the battery life on this device is.

I believe Nokia will continue to prove themselves, as will Windows Phone, which is a beautiful, intuitively designed platform.

This article is loaded with awful bias between all the the so-and-so said quotes.

"At the same time Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung's Android lineup are consistently outselling Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones."

No kidding - but momentum is building, and the fierce loyalty of Nokia supporters will outshine this muck. Android? No way. Windows Phone.


RE: Surprised?
By bug77 on 9/20/2012 4:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
Which feature of Win8 do you miss on your current phone?


RE: Surprised?
By mmarianbv on 9/20/2012 5:20:59 AM , Rating: 2
apps developed for win 8.
is not like the curent app store is huge, and it will shrink a lot when all people will move to win 8 development.


RE: Surprised?
By bkt on 9/20/2012 6:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
You're 100% wrong.

I write WP7 apps in my spare time. With something like 10 million WP7 phones already out there there is no way that I will write an app for WP8 that I do not also write for WP7 unless there is some specific WP8-only feature I want to take advantage of.

What I will likely do is continue to make WP7 apps because they will automatically also appear in the WP8 store.

WP7 phones will continue to sell after WP8 hits the market as, with time, they will become the new feature phones. I'm sure you can already get great deals out there on what is still excellent technology and great phones.


RE: Surprised?
By bug77 on 9/20/2012 7:50:48 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, the only feature you miss, is one that doesn't even exist yet. I can see how this is Microsoft's fault now...


RE: Surprised?
By Manch on 9/20/2012 7:00:00 AM , Rating: 3
I don't see the big deal here. The Win 7 phones will get the 7.8 release which is everything that can be implemented on the phone.

No WP7 makers are providing a WP8 upgrade.

Same is true for a lot of android , and Apple phones. They will get incremental upgrades and some will get the new versions if it can be supported and if the device maker pushes it out.

Maybe someone will make a Win 8 rom?


RE: Surprised?
By mmarianbv on 9/20/2012 9:21:23 AM , Rating: 2
apple old phones still can get upgrades to the latest osx.
i dont own a phone 3 years old. neither 2. hell, not even 1.
i own a phone few months old, and is on par with windows 8 hardware requirements.

and for the rest of people above, if you dont own the latest lumia, which will not get win 8, just don't post.
because i dont know any people who have it, and is happy with that crap decision.


RE: Surprised?
By Manch on 9/20/2012 9:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
And how much has IOS changed? How does it run on those older phones?

Some of my friends wish they didn't update bc they said it runs slower and just wasn't worth it. Of course depending on the user, opinion of the experience will vary.

You remember the initial galaxy line up right? How long did it take to get those OS updates? Forever! Meanwhile they were happy to sell you a "new" phone. Why expect any other company to be different?

What did you get, the 900? I have the 800 which other than size and LTE are the same. 7.8 will get you nearly all of the functionality.

If you bought it a few months ago then you knew WP8 was coming, and an upgrade wasn't guaranteed. Also never take into consideration OS updates when buying a phone. You'll be disappointed.

From a MS prospective I can see why they don't want to allow the upgrade. This launch will make or break WP8. they want new hardware running there OS as fast as possible. The last thing you want is crappy reviews about the new OS running on old hardware. It's bad press


RE: Surprised?
By Rukkian on 9/20/2012 11:48:06 AM , Rating: 1
Apple can update all of their devices, cause there very small differences between ios 1 and ios 6.


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