Investors Growing Tired of Nokia's Elop, Eye Android Escape Route
September 19, 2012 6:40 PM
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
, "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. (
) CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft Corp. (
) executive who now leads the
embattled Finnish phonemaker
Patience with Mr. Elop is
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."
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop [Image Source: Mark Vlander/Getty Images]
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.
Windows Phone 8 lineup
is facing stiff competition
Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) who previously had paid little interest to the platform. At the same time Apple, Inc. (
) and Samsung's Android lineup are
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 (
) 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).
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.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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