In a recent interview with Finnish news outlet YLE, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop discussed the company’s strategy for approaching the already crowded tablet market. “There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well,” Elop said. “And, my challenge to the team is I don’t want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia prospective.” Elop added that Nokia could work with Microsoft and take advantage of its software for a Windows-based tablet, but also said that the firm could “do things with some of the other software assets that we have.” Early reports have suggested that Nokia may exclude Microsoft from its tablet plans altogether, and that it may still launch a MeeGo powered device. More →
Finnish handset giant Nokia continues its restructuring in an effort to trim overhead and return to profitability. The BBC is reporting that the company will cut 4,000 jobs worldwide and jettison an additional 3,000 positions to Accenture — the consulting company set to manage the Symbian mobile operating system going forward. “With this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce,” said Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop. “This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programmes for the talented people of Nokia.” The proposed moves are scheduled to take place sometime in 2012. More →
In a recent blog post, Nokia reaffirmed its commitment to the Windows Phone ecosystem by offering us a glimpse at what is to come. The company’s CEO, Stephen Elop, has noted that Nokia has “shifted from a mode of developing” its strategy to one of “putting that strategy into action.” Part of the Finnish phone giants plans involve bringing some of Nokia’s strengths to all members of the Windows Phone family, and one of the most exciting Symbian ports will definitely be Ovi Maps. “Nokia will supply mapping and location-based services for the Windows Phone ecosystem, building on the success it’s experienced with Ovi Maps,” reads the blog post. The company also notes that a “Nokia-branded application store” will be present on the company’s Windows Phone hardware. The CEO also went on to say that Nokia is hard at work in the hardware department, and quipped that his company would “define some of the future disruptions in our market.” More →
A report filed by Bloomberg paints a grim picture for Nokia Oyj workers the world over. With an announced and looming restructuring in the works, the publication writes that “a reduction in research and development activities is set to be announced by the end of the month” and that “as many as 6,000 jobs” could be cut. Back in February — just days before Mobile World Congress — the company’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, announced that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s recently released Windows Phone operating system on future smartphones. The announcement also noted that the company would begin to sunset development, support, and research activities centered around the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems — the two mobile operating systems currently utilized by Nokia phones. This reduction in activity translates into a surplus of unneeded, full-time job positions. At the close of 2010, Nokia employed 58,642 people in its handset organisation — 16,134 work in research and development. The company has over 16,000 workers located in Finland, and accounts for just north of 2% of that country’s total gross domestic product.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed to Reuters that his company has started developing its first Windows Phone handset. “We’re right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices,” said the CEO. Nokia announced that it would adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system on future smartphones during a February press event. The timeline of when the Finnish company will release its first Windows-based handset has been a debated topic amongst many industry analysts and pundits. While it is widely assumed that consumers will have to wait until at least 2012 to purchase such a device, Elop has publicly stated that he wants a Nokia-branded smartphone running Microsoft’s OS in market before the close of 2011. The terms of the deal are expected to be finalized within the next few months. More →
With mobile OS battles heating up, it’s also interesting to hear how carriers are reacting and what they’re saying. Going on record at Mobile World Congress, Verizon Communications CTO, Tony Malone, had some words to say about Nokia and Microsoft’s recent partnership and how the deal might impact the market. Malone thinks it’s important for the mobile industry to have more than two choices as far as mobile OSes are concerned, though he doesn’t believe Microsoft’s new smartphone platform can be necessarily be the third. “If you look at our device pipeline for 2011, we have very strong relationships with LG, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and now Apple,” Malone told CNET. “So I think it would take a really compelling device from Nokia or any new vendor to break in. It doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but it would have to be really good.” Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, had conversations with Verizon Wireless executives last week before the Nokia / Microsoft deal was announced, presumably in hopes of getting America’s largest carrier to get on board with its upcoming devices. So far, it doesn’t sound like much progress has been made. More →
According to an unconfirmed report from TechCrunch Europe, Nokia explored a possible partnership with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion before announcing its decision to adopt Windows Phone 7. It had been widely reported that Nokia was deciding between Google’s Android platform and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS when considering its future, but RIM’s BlackBerry platform was apparently also in the running to become Nokia’s potential savior. Citing “well-placed sources,” the blog claims that RIM wasn’t interested in a partnership and so the decision came down to two options. The report goes on to suggest that Google’s refusal to let Nokia make certain changes to the Android platform also played a big role in the Finnish giant’s final decision. Nokia, for example, wanted to replace Google Maps with Ovi Maps and change the way Android handles various PIM data, and Google said no. Nokia could have foregone Google’s blessing and done whatever it wanted with the open source platform, of course, but then it would just end up back where it started. In the end, Microsoft and its Windows Phone 7 operating system won — possibly by default — and the rest is history… or “future,” as it were. More →
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official. In a press release today, Microsoft and Nokia announced “plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.” This partnership will see Nokia, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, adopt Windows Phone as its “principle smartphone strategy” and the two companies will collaborate on marketing, search, maps, and development.
“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”
This certainly does bolster the global position of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. The two companies are hosting a live press conference at 5AM ET. The live video feed and aforementioned press release are waiting for you after the break. More →
Tomorrow is D-Day for Nokia. At the company’s Capital Markets Day, CEO Stephen Elop is expected to announce a major shift in Nokia’s smartphone strategy — by strategy, we mean operating system. Rumors have been flying that Elop, Microsoft’s former business unit chief, will align his new company with his old, bringing Nokia-branded Windows Phone handsets to market in the near future. Mr. Elop sat down with Mobilized’s Ina Fried last week to discuss what’s next for Nokia. Without tipping his hand, the CEO let it be known that Android, MeeGo, and Windows Phone were all options.
After commenting on the viability of the three, aforementioned mobile OS’, Nokia’s front-man also addressed his company’s lackluster North American presence. “We need to be in the United States in one way, shape or form,” said Mr. Elop. “We have to have a viable way to reopen doors.”
The moment of truth is tomorrow. What do you think Nokia should do? More →
In a post on his personal blog Wednesday, Nokia employee Watts Martin discounts rumors from earlier this month that Nokia might be considering Windows Phone 7 as a future platform for its smartphones. Rumors that Nokia might be looking at the platform began when former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the company. They came to a head last week, however, when industry insider Eldar Murtazin wrote that the company might build “an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia.” Watts Martin, a developer at Nokia, stated that the idea of Nokia considering Windows Phone 7 as a possible platform for its devices is “stark raving loony.” Martin states that while Symbian and MeeGo are both open source, Nokia demands complete control over its operating systems and there would be no way to achieve that using Microsoft’s mobile platform. Martin does not indicate in his blog post that he speaks for Nokia in any official capacity. More →