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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

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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.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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