Print 20 comment(s) - last by StanO360.. on Feb 7 at 6:39 PM

Elop says his firm is "studying" Microsoft's Surface design

At a press event in Sydney, Australia, Stephen Elop, chief executive of now-profitable Finnish smartphone maker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V), said his company was studying the tablet market carefully.  

He commented, "It is the case that in the months and years ahead, you will see us broaden out the portfolio, which means pushing to lower and lower price points, in some cases smaller form factors and so forth.  We haven’t announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely. We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time."

And in a comment that may surprise some, he says that while his company is married to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) for smartphones, it may look to rival platforms for tablets.  He comments, "We would consider any option [Android or Windows] … It is important to note that the opportunity for companionship is something that any user is looking for. So, when you think about the Lumia 920, running on Windows phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience. Our first focus on what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft side.   But we have made no decision or announced nothing."

In his comment, Mr. Elop said both smaller 7-inch form factors, and larger 10/10+ inch form-factors had merits.

The tablet question enraptured the audience of reporters who had come to an otherwise hum-drum event at which Nokia was announcing a $329 USD off-contract budget smartphone based on Windows Phone 8 -- the Lumia 620.

Lumia 620Lumia 620
The Nokia Lumia 620

Also entertaining, Mr. Elop took a swipe at rival BlackBerry, Ltd. (TSE:BB) whose BlackBerry 10 platform is contending with Windows Phone 8 for third place.  He comments:

I wouldn’t want to comment on how it [BlackBerry] looks. But when a business person or consumer is purchasing a smartphone today, what they are actually buying is much more than what you see in your hand.

They are certainly buying the hardware and operating system, but they are also buying the full range of applications that may be available for the device. They are buying the cloud based services that are required to make this a complete experience, like mapping, navigation and music.

Windows Phone 8 currently has around 125,000 apps, nearly double the 70K apps that are expected for BlackBerry 10 at launch.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

Mr. Elop says he's glad Nokia paired with Microsoft instead of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, noting that he feared being marginalized like [Google subsidiary] Motorola Mobility and HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).  He comments:

On the Android side, we were very worried that we would be entering Android late relative to everyone else in the industry, that perhaps one vendor was already well on the road to being the dominant Android vendor at the expense of everyone else.

If we look back two years to when we made the decisions,then Samsung was big, HTC was pretty big and Motorola was pretty big. Of course what has happened in the two years is that Samsung has captured the lion’s share of it and the others have been squeezed down to much smaller market share. We were worried about exactly that pattern forming.

Nokia, too has been squeezed to much smaller market share, moving a mere 6.6 million smartphones in the last quarter, about a third of its volume from a year ago.  However, for better or worse Nokia has arguably positioned itself as the premium Windows Phone maker, a position that could pay dividends if the platform becomes more popular.

In Mr. Elop's eyes, Nokia's camera technology is one thing that differentiates its offerings from those of popular Android smartphone makers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).  He remarks, "Photography is one case where we can make a big difference. You can put our device next to everyone else, including some of the ones just announced in the last day or so and say 'boom this is so much better.'"

Source: Financial Review

Comments     Threshold

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

RE: good choice
By Guspaz on 2/5/2013 4:28:46 PM , Rating: 0
Unfortunately, it also means that Nokia has tied themselves to a potentially dead-end platform.

Elop's arguments about differentiation within the Android market are without merit. One need only look at the Kindle Fire to see how much differentiation Android provides. A hardware vendor can do anything from using a stock Android distribution to producing something so heavily modified that it is effectively a unique software platform (like the Kindle Fire). Going even further off that beaten path, you've got BlackBerry using a completely different operating system but still using an Android compatibility layer to support Android apps. In between are many options; a vendor is permitted to completely customize the UI of their device and still fall into the "Google certified" device class, where first-party Google apps are shipped with the device.

Furthermore, had Nokia been operating within the Android ecosystem, they would have found it much easier to capture marketshare. If they were producing Android phones, they need only convince consumers to switch from a different hardware vendor; to buy a Nokia phone instead of a Samsung phone. By going with Windows Phone, however, Nokia must convince consumers both to switch to a different hardware vendor, AND to switch to a different software ecosystem. Existing Android users, who represent over 70% of the market (in new sales, at least) are faced with abandoning their current investment into the Google ecosystem, in terms of apps and media purchased.

Nokia was indeed paid handsomely to go with Windows Phone, true, but the decision to do so has relegated them to a platform that is in seventh place in marketshare, and has not seen any marketshare growth over the past year. Seventh place in platform marketshare is not a sustainable niche.

RE: good choice
By Nortel on 2/5/2013 4:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
There are obvious inherent risks when you venture off the beaten path. Nokia is pioneering the WM8 platform and MS is doing all they can by fronting ads to drive sales (symbiotic relationship at this point really). MS paid Nokia enough to counter the uphill battle at capturing market-share.

MS was not about to take a OS framework and tweak the UI to pretend it is unique. Vanilla Android, Kindle OS, Baidu and semi-illegal-chinese forks all make up Android. You think MS was about to climb aboard that opensource chaos? Google certified is a weak step but a step in the right direction.

7th place is good if you are the only hardware manufacturer in the space.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/5/2013 5:01:35 PM , Rating: 3
Windows Phone is gaining market share in many parts of the world. Its also growing against two established smartphone markets. Keep in mind the Nokia 920 it not released to all carriers in all parts of the world still, has had a parts supply issue preventing them from selling more, and sells out very fast when they get units in stock. Its only going to get better. Samsung's Windows Phone was blocked as well which would have added to market share of Windows Phone.

At the end of last year we presented some info from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech that proved the Windows Phone platform was slowly but surely increasing in market share. The data from back then, though positive, did not include the sales of Windows Phone 8 devices during the holiday quarter which led us to expect even better numbers to come.

It seems that we were right, and Kantar has just published new info on the global smartphone market. This info indicates that Windows Phone 8 has had a strong impact on the Windows Phone platform and that Microsoft’s mobile operating system is finally getting some significant traction.

The best news comes from Europe where Windows Phone’s marketshare has more than doubled, with 5.4% compared with 2.6% back in 2011. Leading the pack is Italy where adoption has surged and Microsoft’s OS now accounts for a very healthy 13.9% of the market. Great news also comes out of Britain with 5.9%, up from 2.2% at the end of 2011. This is significant as the UK is one of Europe’s major markets and Windows Phone had previously been lagging there. However, this big increase tells Microsoft and its partners that they are finally doing something right.

Unfortunately Microsoft and Windows Phone are still not seeing significant gains in the US and China, the biggest and arguably most important markets out there. In the States, Windows Phone has seen only a very modest increase of 0.4% year over year which means Microsoft only controls 2.6% of the market.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/5/2013 5:17:16 PM , Rating: 3
BTW that's pre-Vodophone market growth too tomorrow is going to be interesting
The Nokia Lumia 920, 820 and 620, as well as the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC, make up our new Windows Phone 8 army, and they’ll all be available to buy from Wednesday, 6th February.

To address China/Canada there is an inexpensive Nokias coming to take care of that.

In the US there is a variant of the Nokia 920 coming to Verizon.

Nokia to bring 41-megapixel 'Pureview' sensor system to Lumia range

Windows Phone is at 150,000 apps not 125,000.

RE: good choice
By serkol on 2/5/2013 11:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
I would buy a 41-megapixel 'Pureview' Lumia. I hope they make one, and sell it in Canada.

RE: good choice
By BabelHuber on 2/6/2013 3:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
You are ignoring that Nokia sold 28 Million smartphones in Q4 2010, before switching to WP. Nokia was bigger than Apple and Samsung combined back then.

In Q4 2012, Nokia sold 6.6 Million smartphones. 4.4 Million of them were running WP.

This is a collapse of epic proportion regarding sales, profits, revenues and market share.

Also note that in Europe, the obsolete WP7-phones were fire-saled with prepaid contracts for about €150-200.

So, how many WP8-phones were sold in Q4 2012 by Nokia? How many WP7-phones? Noone knows...

And to top it all, Nokia wants to release a tablet!

Have you seen the 'success' of the Motorole Xoom? Or the 'success' of the RIM Playbook?

Tablets are technically close to smartphones, but from a business perspective they are sold in another market. This is the reason why selling tablets is a goof idea for PC vendors like Apple, Samsung or Asus.

But Nokia only has the sales channels for phones, where they have to closely work together with the carriers (which subsidize and advertise them).

So now they have to build a sales channel for the PC market (that's where tablets are sold), while at the same time they are struggling for survival with their anemic WP8-sales.

Elop is an idiot. He needs to be fired ASAP.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/6/2013 10:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
You want to compare sales of ONE NOKIA PHONE ON ONE CARRIER LIKE AT&T to world sales of iPhone and Android and of course then it doesn't look like much. Wait till all the Windows phone manufacturers are selling on all carriers and as more people use it. I think most are especially waiting on Verizon in the US when they finally get something like the Nokia 920 then I would suspect the US market share of Windows Phone will finally start taking hold.

The Nokia's with Win Phone 8 have only really been selling for weeks not an entire quarter too. The Windows Phone really came to only a few carriers in November and as they fix the parts supply issue and ramp up production to meet the other phone companies demand and releases its going to be larger.

Nokia is making Money they are adding to their cash reserves and they are stronger than they were last year and they have an excellent lineup and an even better lineup coming.

All Windows Phone needed just like Android was a rock solid quality made hardware device and Nokia is setting the bar. The OS is excellent and has been excellent.

The Nokia 920 rocks, best camera especially in low light conditions, screen works while wearing gloves, nearly indestructible check out the torture tests, maps don't require a constant carrier connection. Nokia and Google maps are top notch but the Nokia doesn't rely on having a constant data connection upping your data usage.

Nokia should be feared they know this business and they know how to make one hell of a phone. If you don't consider Nokia phone your really missing out on hardware that might outlive you.

Its a large task turning a major ship around and Elop and Nokia are just getting started.

RE: good choice
By BabelHuber on 2/6/2013 10:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
You want to compare sales of ONE NOKIA PHONE ON ONE CARRIER LIKE AT&T to world sales of iPhone and Android and of course then it doesn't look like much.

No. Nokia had a total of 6.6 Million in worldwide smartphones sales in Q4 2012.

In Q4 2010, Nokia sold 28 Million smartphones worldwide.

In February 2011, Nokia announced their new Windows-only strategy. From here on, sales collapsed.

Nokia is making Money they are adding to their cash reserves and they are stronger than they were last year and they have an excellent lineup and an even better lineup coming.

Nokia only 'made money' in Q4 2012 because they sold assets, like their headquarters building and some patents.

WP8-phones were not profitable for Nokia. Nokia is bleeding cash right now.

The point is, choosing only WP and nothing else was a catastrophy for Nokia.

For Microsoft OTOH it has been a benefit to have Nokia on board - without Nokia WP's market share would be >1%.

Nevertheless, it was an imbecile strategy for Nokia. You do not put your eggs in one basket. Just look at Samsung to see how a smartphone vendor should be managed.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/6/2013 12:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
They also have a new manufacturing facility sold one built another in a location where they can reduce costs.

Its just getting started plan b would be to add an android device but they cant keep up with current demand for Windows Phone 8 so adding an Android device would only make it worse of not being able to keep up with demand till they solve the supply issues.

If Nokia keeps churning out the quality Windows Phones just like Samsung is the one to get for Android so Nokia will be the choice for those who get Windows Phone.

There is plenty of money and growth is going to happen you cant keep Windows Phone down as more people use it they will love it. It just needed the high end hardware and manufacturing that Nokia delivered on.

RE: good choice
By BabelHuber on 2/6/2013 12:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
they cant keep up with current demand for Windows Phone 8

This is not positive, this is negative: In Q4 2012 Nokia sold about 5 Million N8 alone (this was the Nokia high-end then).

In Q4 2012 they cannot even sell more than 4.4 WP-phones as a whole?

This shows that Nokia cannot handle its supply chain correctly, even with their current abysmal sales.

Also I am quite aware of the fact that you are weaseling around - Nokia collapsed from 28 Million to 6.6 Million smartphones sold in Q4 when comparing 2010 and 2012.

Note that Nokia collapsed while the whole market grew over 100% in this time.

This cannot be turned into a success story for Nokia.

For WP yes, but not for Nokia.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/6/2013 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
Elop is doing a fine job of moving a manufacturing facility while juggling all the part supply chains and release a device in the last couple weeks of the year.

Lets continue this conversation in say 6 months time when the devices reach all distributors.

Then there will be no excuses if Nokia isnt growing back market share.

RE: good choice
By Mitch101 on 2/6/2013 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not weaseling around with phone sales your figures are incorrect about Nokia. Like I said before your focusing on ONE area instead of the whole.

During the fourth quarter, Nokia's Devices & Services operation not only exceeded expectations, but delivered "underlying profitability." The struggling company said that the division's mobile phones unit delivered better-than-expected results, with 86.3 million total unit sales. Nokia's Windows Phone-friendly Lumia line generated 4.4 million unit sales, and the company's Asha line of handsets for emerging markets tallied 9.3 million units sold.

"We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said today in a statement. "We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs efficiently, and Nokia Siemens Networks delivered yet another very good quarter."

RE: good choice
By BabelHuber on 2/6/2013 2:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
I did not focus on one area. It is a fact that Nokia sales collapsed from 28 Million per quarter to 6.6 Million.

And no, statements from a delusional CEO cannot change that fact.

RE: good choice
By StanO360 on 2/7/2013 6:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
You mean 28 million "smartphones". A dying OS from a rapidly dying company living off selling cheap 3rd world phones. They had to change or die.

RE: good choice
By StanO360 on 2/7/2013 6:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't surprise me, there are throngs of people that use their smartphones for Facebook, email, texting and navigation that's it.

For those people the Win8 is great (and for others too). I have a hard time dumping all my free apps from Amazon. Though Office would certainly help as well as Skydrive integration.

RE: good choice
By drycrust3 on 2/6/2013 9:34:07 AM , Rating: 2
By going with Windows Phone, however, Nokia must convince consumers both to switch to a different hardware vendor, AND to switch to a different software ecosystem.

Totally agree.
The problem is even worse than this, because Microsoft now have their own tablet on the market, and Nokia don't. Nokia should already have a tablet on the market, but they don't, and they don't know whether it will be Android or Windows 8.
This is a serious problem, time and time again we have seen Nokia completely miss the boat when it comes to getting a competitive product onto the market, and this time looks like no exception.
Microsoft have publicly complained about the lack of hardware manufacturers prepared to get products onto the market at the right time. If Microsoft, who weren't really known as a computer manufacturer until recently, can have their own design tablet being manufactured in commercial quantities, then there isn't any reason Nokia, who are known as a test instrument / smartphone / mobile phone manufacturer, couldn't have done likewise, and before Microsoft.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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