Print 56 comment(s) - last by BifurcatedBoat.. on May 11 at 8:42 PM

Former SVP says Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has ""; argues Android isn't open or functional

Once the world's top maker of both smartphones, these days Finland-based phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) can only wait and hope for a turnaround.  The company was facing sliding sales and criticism that its smartphone operating system, Symbian, couldn't keep up with the young guns of the mobile world -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS. In response, Nokia's board made a bold gamble importing former Microsoft Corp. (MSFTexecutive Stephen Elop as its CEO and allowing him to forge a pact with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone.  

I. Ex-Nokia Exec "Hates on" Android, Showers Defunct Symbian OS With Praise

While there are some promising signs in terms of hardware and sales of late, the financials to date have been pretty ugly and have called Nokia's decision to ditch Symbian -- or at least how it's executed that plan -- into question.

In a ranting interview with Crave Media, a clearly outraged Lee Williams -- former Nokia SVP of the early Series 60 smartphones (2006-2009) and later Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation (2009-2010) -- vented his frustrations at his former employer's decision to scrap Symbian, which he sees as a big mistake.  He also used the interview as a platform to express some unusual views, attacking the operating system world's top players as incompetent in various ways and arguing that Nokia's Symbian is the ultimate operating system."

Mr. Williams, who now is a partner a SourceBits, a San Francisco mobile consulting firm, comments, "I did not see a good reason to change course [from Symbian] so frantically...I don't think Nokia was going in the wrong direction with some of the things it was doing -- it was simply executing poorly before Elop got there and they weren't giving it enough time.  Symbian was Nokia's cash-cow -- Elop sacrificed it."

Lee Williams

Lee Williams, former Symbian chief, claims Nokia is making a mistake.  He argues that  Microsoft's Windows Phone and Google's Android are losers, and that Symbian is a winner.
[Image Source: World of Phones]

The former Symbian chief argues Nokia would have been better served pledging to primarily support Symbian, but perhaps dabbling in Windows Phone.

He would approve of Nokia going to Microsoft's competitor Google even less, though.  He had harsh words for the world's most used smartphone operating system, which he accuses of not being open and lacking functionality to -- you guessed it -- Symbian.  

He jabs, "Android is a less capable offering than a few options that still exist within Nokia.  It's certainly not what I would refer to as an open system. More than that, I think that Nokia has little opportunity to differentiate here in the near term…"

He bemoans, "Symbian is shipping on around 20 million new units a quarter as of today. When I was at the company it was responsible for seven of 10 of Nokia's highest gross margin products. Think of those volumes. There were dozens of products that shipped in the tens of millions."

II. Microsoft, Nokia CEO Elop, and Nokia Board Chairman Also Get Attacked

The bitter former executive throws dirt on Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8.  After arguing that the new OS won't be a market changer, he attacks Microsoft's general track record, commenting, "[E]verything 'Windows 8' has a big question mark on it right now, and it should be this way.  Microsoft is notoriously late on delivery..."

He accuses Nokia CEO Stephen Elop of ruining the company.  He comments, "As an arm chair quarterback, it is clear to me that [Nokia CEO Stephen] Elop is struggling. The results speak for themselves.  Elop hasn't delivered a roadmap. He's been there for two to three years and there's really no roadmap," says Williams. "There's no overarching vision for this company. That to me is akin to stepping completely out of the leadership role and running behind the bus now."

Symbian Belle
Mr. Williams predicts that Nokia will eventually come back to
Symbian after realizing that it's the best. [Image Source: GizMag]

The issue provokes Mr. Williams so much that he vents about the strategy, stating, "Elop is operating like a CFO [chief financial officer] -- CFOs are very practical, always looking at costs, always internally focused... I don't think he's really projecting anything forward or sitting around with his team imaging what the future looks like. I think it's 's**t (sic) how do I get rid of a third of this overhead in R&D?"

And he's not above crowing about the recent Nokia credit downgrade to junk status, commenting, "Those credit ratings are a huge deal for them.  If they can't borrow and move money -- wow! There's very little for them to do. Because they're the world's largest distributed manufacturer highly dependent on that movement and those credit ratings, and cash and bank."

III. Former Symbian Chief Predicts Nokia Will Come Crawling Back

The controversial analyst predicts that in six months to a year Mr. Elop will be booted and Nokia will undergo a "course correction" "back in the direction of [Symbian]."

While most of Mr. William's vehemence seems to be directed at Nokia it's impressive that he managed to claim that the world's top smartphone OS maker (Google) wasn't putting out a competent product and that the world's top personal computer OS maker (Microsoft) can't make a deadline.

On the one hand Nokia is indeed in a lot of trouble and one has to wonder if there isn't some truth in parts of Mr. Williams' frustrated diatribe.  But at the same time some of his statements make him appear a bit out of touch with the reality that Microsoft and Google are the top dogs in the operating systems industry (along with Apple).  It seems pretty unlikely that Nokia will turn back to the Symbian "burning platform" -- but that won't stop Symbian's ex-director from wishing Nokia would.

Source: Crave Media

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 4/26/2012 7:42:11 PM , Rating: -1
Hiding an app is not removing an app...

Removed from apps? Check. No longer runs? Check. Not removed from ROM? Not like it could anyhow.

What's the difference? I'm willing to bet the exact same thing happens on WP7, except for it not being honest about it being truly removed.

And for the vast majority of Android owners, including me and my Droid X, there is no upgrade path to ICS... so 2011 is still here...

That's why I didn't buy a Moto. Samsung already has rolled updates and HTC beat everyone.

RE: Android isn't open...
By sigmatau on 4/27/2012 12:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
You can't deactivate some of the apps. The stupid city id one comes to mind. It keeps trying to get me to sign up or try their stupid, stupid service. Like I really need to pay more for my smartphone. Facebook app is a little annoying too as it keeps asking to be updated.

RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 4/27/2012 10:31:45 PM , Rating: 1
Which phone is that?

RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 5/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 5/4/2012 6:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
Post up or shut up.

RE: Android isn't open...
By a5cent on 4/28/2012 1:42:07 PM , Rating: 3
@sprockkets: you would have lost that bet.

You can't uninstall apps that are stored in ROM (the best you can do is hide them). For all Google cares, anyone can do almost anything they want with Android (although they are also becoming more restrictive). As a result, OEM's and carriers embed all their bloatware in your devices ROM where you can never legally get rid of it. If the developer intended for it to run, even when the icon in the app-laucher is hidden, it will.

In contrast, MS doesn't allow modifications to WP7's ROM file. OEM's and carriers are forced to install their apps to flash RAM, just as any end-user would. As a result, such apps are easily uninstalled, which removes it completely from the device.

Note that Nokia is an exception to this rule, as MS has granted them the rights to make ROM file modifications. However, to date, Nokia hasn't used it in this way... all of their apps are also just as easily uninstalled.

This is one of many subtle differences that makes WP7 (at least conceptually) a better OS than Android, but a lot of people have trouble grasping them because the benefits can't be expressed by a simple number on a spec-sheet.

RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 4/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: Android isn't open...
By Myrandex on 4/30/2012 3:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Removing an application and having it re-appear after an OS reinstall is different than just hiding it. It is like if you remove MSN Messenger from Windows XP, it really is gone, but if you reinstall the OS, it will come back until you uninstall it again.

Applications removed from a Windows Phone are truly removed with no questions asked and with total ease. Also, (positively) manufacturers cannot load interfaces that slow down the system or customize it in a way that make updates difficult, but (negatively) they cannot customize it as much as other operating systems (other than iOS) that could potentially differentiate and add value to the phone from the consumer's perspective.


RE: Android isn't open...
By sprockkets on 5/2/12, Rating: 0
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Yahoo Hacked - Change Your Passwords and Security Info ASAP!
September 23, 2016, 5:45 AM
A is for Apples
September 23, 2016, 5:32 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki