With less than 50 days left before Nokia World where Nokia promises a huge show, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop has been on frequent trips around the globe to prepare for the arrival of the first Windows Phones and see how Nokia’s been doing around the world. He was in China recently and in India yesterday taking to the media about how well the dual-SIM Nokia devices are doing in the country.
The guys at Sina sat down with him to quiz him about Nokia’s Windows Phone plans, the Google-Motorola deal, Apple after Steve Jobs and how will Nokia aim to distinguish itself in the market post the arrival of Windows phone devices.
Among other things, the key points from the interview are:
- Nokia Windows Phones will be available in Q4, and follow a staggered rollout with one country after another getting the devices. Nokia is in talks with operators in China to determine when would it be a good time to bring the Windows phone devices to the country.
- The Nokia N9 will play a key role in China.
- On the chances of Microsoft acquiring Nokia – He sees Nokia acting as an independent company in the long term.
- On differentiation between iOS/Android/WP – Windows Phone is a people focused OS, compared to other which are App focused.
- On the future – He says that Nokia is not only a hardware player, but will also work on software and services. Some of which will be available on other Windows phone devices, while some will remain Nokia specific.
- On Googorola – He thinks that participants of the Android ecosystem will be very concerned about the acquisition.
Here is the full interview:
If you were listening carefully you’ll see how Elop was asked specifically about the Sea Ray, but he was careful not to use that name in his reply. It is quite certain that Nokia will be announcing its first Windows Phone device(s) on October 26th and will start shipping them very soon afterwards, the real question is which will be the lucky countries that’ll get first dibs on it.
We’ve heard from the major Android manufacturers, we’ve also heard from Nokia on the Google acquiring Motorola Mobility deal, but this time its the turn of Nokia’s CEO to chime in with a warning to Android manufactures to ‘watch out’.
Reuters has been able to track a few comments he made about the deal in a seminar in Helsinki, and here’s what he had to say:
“If I happened to be someone who was an Android manufacturer or an operator, or anyone with a stake in that environment, I would be picking up my phone and calling certain executives at Google and say ‘I see signs of danger ahead”
“The very first reaction I had was very clearly the importance of the third ecosystem and the importance of the partnership that we announced on February 11, it is more clear than ever before,”
Both statements don’t differ very much from the official statement Nokia put out day before that effectively said the same thing, although as an undertone. However drawing an inference and reading something in such a cut and dried form from the proverbial horse’s mouth is an entirely different thing. While Elop’s very direct statements are somewhat expected of a man trying to push the Windows Phone ecosystem, that fact doesn’t make them any less true.
The behind the scenes stories about what goes on in the dark corridors of billion dollar politics is always an interesting read and the Wall Street Journal has just put together a compelling read about how Microsoft went all out to woo Nokia. As it turns out, Android was very much on the table till the very end.
“Mr. Ballmer and his lieutenants headed for Helsinki in January to show how serious Microsoft was about cutting a deal. The plan was for Mr. Ballmer to fly privately into Helsinki, where he would then travel to a private Nokia facility, Mr. Elop added.
Mr. Elop said he instead got a call from Mr. Ballmer informing him that because of snow and fog, the plane wouldn’t be able to land in Helsinki. About to run out of fuel, Mr. Ballmer instead landed in Stockholm. At that point, the fastest way for Mr. Ballmer to reach Helsinki was to fly commercially, Mr. Elop said, despite the greater risk that he could have been recognized.
While Mr. Ballmer was waiting quietly in the lounge, his cover was nearly blown when he was paged by name over the loudspeaker because of an error related to his plane ticket”.
Its a recommended read – “Nokia’s Flirtations Put the Fear of Google Into Microsoft“.
[Image Credit: TOI]