back to article Nokia chief Elop: 'Android? Hey, anything's possible!'

Nokia chief exec Stephen Elop has sparked speculation about his company's commitment to its partnership with Microsoft and Windows Phone. Asked flat out by Spanish daily El Pais if Nokia will produce Android devices, Elop replied "today we are engaged and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible" - an eye-catching …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Mike Brown

    either

    its a sly threat at microsoft; "get your finger out or we will try android". Or Nokia have finally released they cant survive on the scraps that windows 8 provides.

    Either way a Nokia android could be very very intresting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: either

      Given the supply shortages of the Nokia 920 when released I can't see this "scraps" argument. Nokia sold every phone they built and could have sold more if they hadn't gone down the "exclusivity" contract route.

      This is what I don't get, Android fans laughing at people buying anything with Apple or an iProduct name, yet they also seem to think you need to slap Android onto something to sell it too. Can't anyone see the hypocrisy of that?

      Elop worked for Microsoft, so it was obvious he would go down the Microsoft route. If Nokia didn't want that then they were entitled to hire someone else.

      Here's a radical concept, I know fandroids won't be able to comprehend it, but some people like to be different and not have the same car, clothes, taste in music, hairstyle or phone as everyone else. Nokia have provided a credible alternative to iOS and Android.

      If Samsung, HTC or Google's own Nexus phones are so wonderful then why do fandroids even care about what Nokia do? Or are you pissed off because you aren't getting their great reception and decent camera technology.

      1. Chemist

        Re: either

        "Elop worked for Microsoft, so it was obvious he would go down the Microsoft route."

        The word is "worked". His duty now is to do his best for Nokia shareholders NOT Microsoft's. That's a CEO's job.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Chemist

          And he quite clearly hasn't done that.

          1. Chemist

            Re: @Chemist

            "And he quite clearly hasn't done that."

            Agreed !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: either

          Nope. Elop is a mole. His job is to drive down Nokia's share value before MS scoops up the scraps to get control of Nokia's patent portfolio.

      2. Afflicted.John
        Stop

        Re: either

        You are totally missing the point. Fandroids care because Nokia makes fantastic phones. It is just simply that the software sucks (traditionally). Windows Phone is certainly a step up but even if you could get a 920 with Android, it would inherently be a Nokia. The look and design etc. All they need to do is skin it a little to differentiate further and you would have a hit on their hands to rival Samsung. Even replacing Roboto with the Nokia font would do the trick.

        The key problem is that outside of the hardware design, you do not know know that the Lumia range are Nokia made. Take the screen out of the chassis and there is little difference between them and a Samsung Ativ or HTC because there is no flexibility in the WP design language. Fandroids may crave vanilla Android but the average user does not give a hoot.

        It is clear that Samsung offering multiple OS platforms is not causing it any trouble. Nokia/Elop seem to run away from that concept when they could instead return to the top of the pile by embracing Android.

        For what it is worth, I would buy a Nokia 820/920 in a heartbeat if I could get Jelly Bean on it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Windows

          @Afflicted_john

          "The key problem is that outside of the hardware design, you do not know know that the Lumia range are Nokia made. Take the screen out of the chassis and there is little difference between them and a Samsung Ativ or HTC because there is no flexibility in the WP design language."

          That is not entirely true. There are very specific differences between a Nokia and a Samsung phone. First there's obviously specific software which is provided by the manufacturer, but this can also find its way into specific OS changes.

          For example; my Samsung (WP7) phone has the option to automatically block anonymous incoming calls, a feature I heavily use. Another feature is the option to turn of the vibration the very moment you press on either the back or search buttons at the bottom. Or one to automatically change the screen brightness depending on surrounding light sources.

          All of those are specific Samsung features, which you won't find on a Nokia or HTC.

          1. Afflicted.John

            Re: @Afflicted_john

            The average person is not going to notice that straight away though, are they. The look and feel of the software in not substantially different, and that is my point. Whereas Sense vs TouchWiz vs Vanilla etc are all a different at the front end and more similar in the back.

            Are you saying that if you put an Ativ next to a Lumia in the shop that you will notice straight way that the OS is different? I don't see how that is possible...

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: either

        My Sony Xperia has very good reception, ta, and I live 'in the sticks'. Camera is reasonable, but I usually keep an LX-5 in the car. No complaints. Nokia's top PureView is very impressive, and is an elegant solution to lowlight vs 'zoom', but is so pricey... for less cash you can get a DSLR-sized sensor in a compact camera's body (RX-100).

        We have an interest in Nokia because of nostalgic memories of things like the 6210i and dreams of what might have been- they way that Nokia had most of the ingredients needed to bring out an iPhone-like device before Apple did, for example, or a reasonable hard-keyboard.

        1. Fuzz

          Re: either

          "Nokia's top PureView is very impressive, and is an elegant solution to lowlight vs 'zoom', but is so pricey... for less cash you can get a DSLR-sized sensor in a compact camera's body (RX-100)."

          Other things you can get for less cash than a Nokia 920 include:

          A block of cheese

          A train ticket from Leeds to Bradford

          A large popcorn at the cinema

          Unfortunately just like the RX-100, none of these items is a phone so they don't make for a very good comparison.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: either

            >Unfortunately just like the RX-100, none of these items is a phone so they don't make for a very good comparison.

            You're quite right. However, both are on a sliding scale of compactness vs image quality, the optimum compromise along this scale varies for individual users.

            There are some people for whom Nokia's Pureview is a suitable compromise along this scale for them, but other people won't mind more bulk if it allows them to take better quality images.

            My point was that though the Pureview camera is good, it won't be a 'must have' feature on everyone's phone, especially if they carry a compact camera (side-by-side tests suggest the Pureview more than equal to the LX-5, impressive, but if casual wildlife photography is your thing neither have enough zoom to cut it).

            Anyway, I'm still working through a lovely big truckle Godminster chedder at the mo... it ought to be a controlled substance it's that good!

            1. Chemist

              Re: either

              "Godminster chedder at the mo"

              Godminster cheddar is magnificent !

          2. Andus McCoatover
            Windows

            Re: either

            To that list, you could add a 5-pack of condoms. Infinitely more fun, especially if you have a partner the share them with...

          3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: either

            > Unfortunately just like the RX-100, none of these items is a phone so they don't make for a very good comparison.

            If you want to take photographs buy a camera, if you want to talk to friends remotely then buy a phone. Any device that tries to be both will do poorly at one or both. The 920's camera may be good in comparison with most other phones but it is poor when compared to even a cheap compact.

          4. Rattus Rattus

            Re: either

            " for less cash than a Nokia 920"... "A large popcorn at the cinema"

            What cinema have you been going to, then, that doesn't require a bank loan to buy a popcorn and a drink?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well which is it?

        "Given the supply shortages of the Nokia 920 when released I can't see this "scraps" argument. Nokia sold every phone they built and could have sold more if they hadn't gone down the "exclusivity" contract route."

        Supply shortages...sold every phone they built...could have sold more if...

        Seems a bit woolly, if there is supply shortages and they have oversold how could they have sold more. Either they have more stock to sell more or they couldn't have sold more.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: either

        Because a Lumia 920 with Windows Phone is utter shit, the same phone with Jellybean would be a best-seller...

        We really don't want to see Nokia disappear down the drain, but the Windows Phone suicide route they have been heading down for the latest 3 years, it's not VERY likely.

      6. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: either

        > Nokia have provided a credible alternative to iOS and Android.

        They provided it with Maemo/Meego, the N900/N950 and the N9 and also would have with Meltemi. It is for the dumping of these that MS paid them $1billion.

        WP7 fell well short of being a viable alternative because it was an old design (single core, 800x480, no real multitasking) imposed by MS. This, and abandoning the WP7 users, just as they had previously with WM6.5, had poisoned the brand.

        Perhaps Nokia will now produce a Tizen phone, or Ubuntu, or even FirefoxOS.

      7. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: either

        > Or are you pissed off because you aren't getting their great reception and decent camera technology.

        I am pissed off because I will never be able to get an N950, MS paid them to dump it and any follow on from that.

        While the 606 camera is interesting, it and the 920's will never match a real camera. Even a cheap compact these days has real optical image stability (not just a bunch of springs), actual aperture, far better lenses, with zoom, and newer ones run Android and have WiFi.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. N13L5
      FAIL

      What!? El Reg?

      "Elop is an experienced media-savvy executive who always choses his words carefully"

      I can't see how you can write this sentence, after Elop nearly downed Nokia, first with his gigantic 'Osborne' blunder and then continued with numerous other mistakes in corporate communication.

      Then, he goes on to say "Nokia couldn't differentiate against other Android makers" and a few sentences later: "Nokia has enough technology to differentiate themselves" (and that in regards to Windows Phone, which allows no differentiation at all)

      confusion reigns supreme

  2. joeW

    Hmmmm

    "This rationale has been borne out by the market: Samsung 'became very strong and the others are having a hard time'"

    Had Nokia gone with Android, they could easily be where Samsung is now - maybe even above and beyond.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101
      Thumb Down

      Re: Hmmmm

      There are many, many Android phone makers, but only Samsung make any money from them.

      I do not understand why people think that Nokia would be the top Android manufacturer and not somebody else. At the time Nokia were making the crap N97, Samsung were making the vastly superior Omnia HD.

      1. pear

        Re: Hmmmm

        pfft I <3 my n97

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm

        > There are many, many Android phone makers, but only Samsung make any money from them.

        Do you have any _evidence_ that all the others are making a loss on Android ?

        While Samsung may be gaining market share and making good profits that, it itself, does not mean that all the others are losing money.

        > I do not understand why people think that Nokia would be the top Android manufacturer

        Does _anyone_ think that ? Android, or some other OS, may stop the decay.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      >Had Nokia gone with Android, they could easily be where Samsung is now - maybe even above and beyond.

      Er maybe, but then Samsung make screens, CPUs and memory. I'm sure that has helped them in some way.

    3. Ye Gads

      Re: Hmmmm

      I'm not so sure. Nokia didn't just get an OS for Microsoft. they got quite a bit more:

      1. About 1 billion dollars

      2. Protection from being sued by Apple. You can bet Apple would have targeted Nokia if they'd gone with Android. MS would have probably targeted them as well. Nokia doesn't have the deep pockets that Samsung does so this could really have been a problem for them.

      3. A lot of say over how the OS was going to be developed and the hardware that could be used with it. Given that they've been the only one championing the OS for the past 18 months this gives them a lot of leverage.

      4. A new market. Nokia map data is now the WP platform standard, a new revenue stream for Nokia. I think you'll see them doing this with other services, giving them new revenue sources.

      They could, of course, still go belly up. I just don't think their move was as dumb as people say. Their choice came with a large number of advantages.

      1. fandom Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm

        "2. Protection from being sued by Apple"

        Apple did sue Nokia, the hubris required to sue a company that had been making cell phones since the beginning is nothing sort of amazing, but it's Apple, so they did.

        They settled with Apple paying royalties to Nokia.

  3. Charles Calthrop

    I am starting to think that his management of nokia is, in fact, a submission for the turner prize.

    1. tirk
      Happy

      (Turner prize)

      Nah - HP have that sewn up!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And further nominations for

      The Ratner Award

      The Osborne Award

      The Darwin Award

  4. rurwin
    FAIL

    "rejecting Google's Android operating system because it would have been tough differentiating its products from all the other Android handset makers. This rationale has been borne out by the market: Samsung "became very strong and the others are having a hard time"."

    That is entirely wrong. Samsung are so successful because they sell good kit: good hardware with an up-to-date OS. They prove that you can differentiate yourself in the Android market. If it was impossible then all the manufacturers would have the same market share.

    Nokia were once where Samsung is right now. They got there by selling phones that people wanted to buy. It's the only way to get there. No one, not even Nokia, ever got market share by selling mediocre phones that nobody wanted.

    Maybe the lesson they are learning right now is that being the market leader in a small market is worse than being a also-ran in a large market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good kit? their stuff is well know for developing faults. Maybe not so much in mobile but their cameras, TVs and other products are hardly reliable.

      They're very plasticy and flimsy too.

      1. rurwin

        When I'm buying a phone, I don't consider their toasters. The two are made by different divisions. My S III is the best phone I have ever had, and I thought the HTC Legend would take some beating. It is still upgrading its OS regularly and the screen is phenomenal. The only disadvantages are:

        * it's a little too wide (but there's an S III Mini just out, so someone is listening)

        * There's no track-ball, and trying to move a text cursor on a touch screen is a pain. Maybe I need a touch keyboard with cursor keys.

        * I don't see the point of the real button. (Other than to ape Apple).

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          >(but there's an S III Mini just out, so someone is listening)

          The SIII Mini isn't just smaller, it has a slower CPU and a lower-res screen besides other things. You'd be forgiven for overlooking that, since calling it the SIII Mini is only going to confuse buyers.

        2. Rattus Rattus

          "a touch keyboard with cursor keys"

          That is what I have been wishing for myself. Moving a cursor to edit something in the middle of a word is just too damn fiddly and it is often easier to just delete the whole word and re-type it. Cursor keys, even just two for forward and back cursor movement, would be a godsend. I don't need a dedicated "Help" key, and I don't need a dedicated smiley key, like so many soft keyboards have, they could be replaced with a couple of cursor keys very easily.

  5. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Anything is possible

    Even Firefox OS, Ubuntu or bringing back the Jolla folks? I do hope so.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Differentiating

    "He also pointed out that Nokia had rejecting Google's Android operating system because it would have been tough differentiating its products from all the other Android handset makers."

    Like the restrictions imposed by Microsoft on Windows Phone?

    P.S. I wonder if Andrew got red faced at the idea of Nokia releasing an Android phone :-D

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Differentiating

      JahBless,

      MS might be much more restrictive than Google with Android, but Nokia seems to be the 'top dog' in the Win Pho market, so they don't need to differentiate. Plus they do have Nokia maps and the shiny camera on the 920.

      As far as I can see Win Pho's now around 5% of the smartphone market, so improving acceptably, and in a position to accelerate rapidly, or nosedive...

      I think you're being a bit unfair on Andrew O though. The tone of his Nokia Win Pho articles gives me the impression that he really likes the OS, with occasional frustration at the limitations. Like a good parent when he sees the faults, he's not angry... He's disappointed. I'm in pretty much the same situation. I like Win Pho 7, my Nokia Lumia 710 was great for £120. But I'm not buying another smartphone without Gorilla glass (or equivalent), and I'm not paying much over £200 - when I can have a new iPad for £400.

      Given how cheap Android tablets have now got, I'm not sure I'll be replacing my iPad with another, at double the price. And the Nexus 4 is looking unbeatable at £230. Nokia seem to be selling their Win Pho 8 handsets at full price. I think they had to buy their market share last year, with heavy discounts. I don't wish them ill, but I'm not handing them £400 - so I may only buy if things go wrong, and they have to do the same again.

      In my opinion Win Pho is the best phone I've used. Though I've not tried WebOS or Blackberry. But for a mobile computer to do everything I'd say Android shades iOS, Apple often has better apps, except where it refuses to let you do stuff. Win Pho isn't customisable enough to be up there, and the app store is rubbish. At the same price I'd probably still pick Win Pho though - it's a phone first for me.

      1. David Hicks
        Linux

        Re: Differentiating

        Where are you getting your 5% from?

        All I can find is references to 2.7% US and 1.9% global (Q3 2012). I can accept that the new lumia phones may have made a dent, but 5% seems wildly optimistic. Nokia is certainly the top dog, but of a very small yard.

        I would buy a Nokia android device, but it would have to be competitive with other handsets on the market. Three or four years ago Nokia released the N900, which was awesome but already behind the field in terms of tech specs. The N9 was at least a year behind competitor's products, so despite apparently being pretty good they could have been so much better. I've no idea if the hardware specs of current-gen nokias are in line with the rest of the industry, but they used to lag terribly.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Differentiating

          David Hicks,

          I can't remember where I saw the figures now, I had a search for sales figures in about November - I think after I'd seen an article in IT Pro. It's not market share really, it's sales, so takes a long time to feed through to big numbers to make developers happy. I saw figures from a couple of different analysts that had Win Pho at 10% of sales in Italy and doing well in Europe and China. Don't think it did brilliantly in the US with Win Pho 7, but there was a suggestion that 8 was getting better sales with the phone companies. It's all conjecture because of everyone being so secretive about their numbers.

          Also, with 8 only coming out in October, it's possible that a lot of these sales were actually heavily discounted Win Pho 7 phones, Lumia 710s and 600s - which means they're in the same boat as with Symbian, selling phones at the cheap end at crappy (or negative) margins.

          Ballmer said sales had more than doubled last month, which isn't exactly great, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

          Did the N900 need more specs? My Lumia 710 would run Android 4 really badly, but there's never any stuttering on Win Pho 7 The last, Tango, update actually cut the memory requirements. Though 8 seems to need full modern specs though.

          1. David Hicks

            Re: Differentiating

            @I ain't Spartacus

            The figures I found were sales too, they were Q3 2012 sales and Q4 *may* show something more interesting, but I think doubling the sales share is a touch optimistic. Could well be wrong

            The N900 was a great device, but I'm not interested in what the OS *needs* for basic operation, I'm interested in what you can do with the available power. And the more the better as far as I'm concerned. Especially as I like to re-purpose devices and install non standard operating systems. You can say "Oh but the interface is sooo smooth" as many times as you like, but I'll still be miffed at someone trying to sell me last year's hardware at this year's prices.

            No, I do not expect everyone to think that way, or that my opinion is representative of anyone but me.

            @dogged

            What are the sources for your numbers?

            The 2.7% US figure I quoted comes from Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyclay/2012/12/21/windows-phone-now-third-most-popular-platform-in-u-s/

            And gartner says 2.4% - http://wmpoweruser.com/gartner-around-4-million-windows-phone-units-sold-in-q3-2012-with-2-4-market-share/

            These are of course Q3 numbers, I can't find Q4, but the only numbers I've seen even in the same ballpark as yours are projections. For 2016.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Differentiating

              David,

              My Lumia 710 runs everything I chuck at it perfectly. Faster than my last (stutter-y) Android. And I paid £120 for it, so I'm happy it was year old hardware. Although I suspect Nokia made no profit on that, as they were trying to flog them for £300 in Jan 2012. At which price I'd call them a rip-off - Android was far better value, and the route I'd have gone.

              dogged's figures look about 1/3rd higher than the ones I saw 2 months ago. Being analyst projectsion/guesses, I'd be taking whole heapfuls of salt with them...

              1. David Hicks

                Re: Differentiating

                Again, and sorry to harp on about it, but I'm really not interested in what you can chuck at it, I'm interested in having up to date hardware.

                AFAICT that is what they have now, and if so then good for Elop bringing them up to date, but they did lag for quite some time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Differentiating

        Windows Phone is at less than 2% and that's down since the previous year..

        Is this make stuff up day?

        1. dogged
          FAIL

          Re: Differentiating

          @Barry Shitpeas -

          5% USA,

          10.5% UK,

          15% Italy

          22% Finland

          Lower in many places, higher in a few.

          But then, every day is make stuff up day for you, right?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: Differentiating

        @I ain't Spartacus

        "MS might be much more restrictive than Google with Android, but Nokia seems to be the 'top dog' in the Win Pho market, so they don't need to differentiate. Plus they do have Nokia maps and the shiny camera on the 920"

        Is it me or you and Elop (ok, lets assume he *did* say it during the interview), sometimes says that with Android Nokia wouldnt be able to differentiate from the other manufacturers, unlike with WinPho, but with the restrictions imposed by Microsoft Nokia being the top dog dont need to worry about it...I don't know but looks like a bit confusing...

        And whats curious is that you like alot Windows Phone but not so if you have to pay the price that Nokia asks to have one of their phones.

        "But I'm not buying another smartphone without Gorilla glass (or equivalent), and I'm not paying much over £200 - when I can have a new iPad for £400."

        See?

        About Andrew, I was just joking, but truth said, I think he can't stand Android for some reason. I would love to see WebOS and MeeGo thrieve but it didnt happen, I even miss the hours that a symbian phone would give, but life goes on...

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Differentiating

          JahBless,

          I think smartphones are currently overpriced. Or at least the top-end ones are, and I'm willing to use year-old tech to get them cheaper. But this is because I barely use most of the 'smart' stuff. I really only use them for communications and contacts/diary, with occasional sat-nav and only rare uses of the internet. I'm not much oif an app user either.

          At the moment Nokia don't seem to want to sell a full range of phones, maybe to maximise profits at launch, or maybe because MS hardware requirements are too high? But as the OS gets a bit older, if those requirements stay the same, the entry level phones can get quite cheap. As happened with Win Pho 7. I don't think I'm a customer that any phone maker will find it worth pursuing. Cheapskate...

          I'm not trying to quote Elop, I didn't read the interview. I'm just pointing out that Nokia would need to differentiate themselves in a crowded Android market. Otherwise they'd just be another also-ran, while Samsung hoover up all the profits. Whereas the MS market is much less crowded. The other players aren't putting their main resources into it, and I'd suspect that Nokia have some input into what MS produce. Nokia do get the lion's share of the publicity, even though I've read some nice reviews of the HTC phones, and even though Samsung are doing a WinPho version of the Galaxy SIII, which was the big story handset this year.

          Also, Win Pho seems to have lower hardware requirements. Only single core last year, and it ran well on that. Now only dual core, when the best kit is quad-core. That gives Nokia a financial advantage. They can get away with cheaper phones at the same margin. That may turn out to be a disadvantage, if modern apps need more grunt. I've not played with the best 'droids and WP8, so don't know what the speed difference is like.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Devil

            Re: Differentiating

            Well, Nokia only got some attention on the 920? due the moniker "PureView", but the loyal nokia fans knows well that the PureView works at its best on the 808 only. Samsung its doing well because it invested in publicity and some nice tricks. The Notes (I, II) are marvellous. But if you only use a smartphone for communications, well, don't buy one, and stick with a feature phone. You are wasting money nevertheless.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Differentiating

            > Also, Win Pho seems to have lower hardware requirements. Only single core last year, and it ran well on that.

            WP7 was based on the old CE kernel that only supported single core (and max 800x480). When WP7 was released MS specified the handful of SoCs that were supported and so last year's models were, give or take, the same as 3 years earlier.

            They 'ran well' because they had no real multi-tasking. Some MS software could steal cycles much like TSRs did on MS-DOS. Apps were tombstoned when put in background and restarted, the developer could code in a save and recover to make it appear that the app had survived in background.

            > Now only dual core, when the best kit is quad-core. That gives Nokia a financial advantage.

            Again only specific SoCs can be used. Newer SoCs, even quad core could be cheaper but Nokia will have to buy the supported ones at whatever the supplier feels is appropriate.

            > They can get away with cheaper phones at the same margin.

            As the 'margin' on Nokia's WP7 sales appears to have been -47% (ie a loss - the cost of running the division was greater than its revenue) then 'same margin' would not be a good thing.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Untranslating the translation

    P. ¿Qué objetivos se plantea entonces para 2013?

    R. No puedo dar cifras concretas, pero el primer gran objetivo, sin establecer una fecha, es llegar a una cuota de mercado de dos dígitos. Luego, seguir empujando y establecer un equilibrio con los otros dos grandes ecosistemas, Apple y Android.

    Is more or less...

    Q. What objectives have you set for 2013?

    A. I can't give concrete figures, but the main goal, without setting a date, is getting to a two-digit market share. After that, carry on increasing share and getting into 'balance' with the other two big ecosystems, Apple and Android.

    I.e. He wants to get to 33%. He probably even said that with a straight face as well.

    On flogging factories he said the important thing was design not screws. So having flogged of his capacity to manufacture, he'll probably never be able to get back up to the heady heights of 30-odd% even even if he wanted to.

    1. dogged
      FAIL

      Re: Untranslating the translation

      Mistranslation is a bitch. For example, this whole article is based on a faulty premise. He never said "anything is possible" at all.

      Here's the relevant except from Nokia's transcript of the interview - in English, which was then translated (badly) to Spanish and then back-translated (even more badly) to English leading to this article and the other nonsense.

      EL PAIS"Do you rule out 100% launching a smartphone based on Android in 2013?

      Elop: So, the way I think about it is, in the current war on ecosystems, we are fighting with Windows Phone. That’s what we’re doing. Now, what we’re always doing is asking, how does that evolve? What’s next? What role does HTML5 play? What role does Android or other things play in the future? We’re looking further into the future, but it terms of what we’re bringing to market, and what we’re immediately focused on, we’re focused on Windows Phone."

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Untranslating the translation

        "Nokia's transcript of the interview"

        For balance: Nokia has allegedly issued its own version of the interview to WP-friendly sites after publication, which is now doing the rounds. We'll await further contact from the phone maker.

        C.

    2. Geoff Campbell

      Re: Untranslating the translation

      I think you might be reading too much into a simple statement, I could see even 15-20% market share as being in balance with the competition - after all, what do Apple have currently, 25% or so?

      GJC

      1. Steve Knox

        Re: Untranslating the translation

        I think you might be reading too much into a simple statement

        Welcome to The Register.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Untranslating the translation

      'los otros dos grandes ecosistemas, Apple y Android.'

      Spot the ongoing lie. It's the word 'otros'.

  8. ukgnome
    Devil

    A nokia droid would be a market slayer - such a shame it will never happen.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Errm...

    "it's stronger than a year ago"

    No it's not, Windows Phone has dropped even more marketshare than it had last year (despite new products).

    ""rejecting Google's Android operating system because it would have been tough differentiating its products from all the other Android handset makers."

    So they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation (tell me how different HTC's Windows Phone is to Nokias....) Android is the ONLY platform today that offers differentiation. Samsung have done a good job of marketing theirs (Although I don't personally think they make the best Android handsets).

    Windows Phone is a utter disaster, and the suggestion that they may have a plan B that involves Android should be a warning sign for any potential Windows Phone customer. (not that there at that many).

    1. Conrad Longmore
      Trollface

      Re: Errm...

      " Windows Phone has dropped even more marketshare than it had last year"

      Not according to Kantar, it hasn't (see http://bit.ly/UhJ1HH). In the UK the market share is up from 1.7% to 5.1%. OK, it's hardly the stuff of dreams, but it's going in the right direction. Those Kantar figures were produced before the Lumia 920 came on stream, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

      "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

      Really? WP7 and WP8 offer a completely different user experience from Android and iOS. IMO, Windows makes everything else look old-fashioned. It's not to everyone's taste though.

      "Windows Phone is a utter disaster"

      I disagree. It's not an utter disaster, but then it's not exactly a resounding success. It sits somewhere in between the two. WP growth is quite slow though, and Nokia found itself in a bad place as Symbian sales dried up quicker than expected, leaving Nokia with a big hole in the balance sheet.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Windows Phone fanboy, I prefer the relative freedom of my Android device.. my previous phone was an Android device, I suspect my next phone will be an Android device. And if Nokia made an Android equivalent to the Lumia 920, I would probably be heading down to the shops for one RIGHT NOW..

      1. Dave Fox
        FAIL

        "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

        You clearly missed the point here!

        It is not whether WP8 is "different" from Android or iOS, it is that one of the reasons that Elop gave for not adopting Android was being able to differentiate their products from other Android handset manufacturers.

        The same logic applies to WP8 - how does Nokia differentiate their WP8 device over say an HTC device? Elop's answer: via their technologies such as Maps, CityLens, imaging etc, but then again Nokia could easily add these technologies to an Android device *and* re-skin due to the open source nature of Android. WP8 is far more limited than Android when it comes to the ability to create product differentiators in the software.

        1. pepper

          Re: "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

          I probably should have been a bit clearer: I dont see much of a differentiation between the WinPhone producers. Nor Android/Iphone to be honest. Most differences between the OS's are minor nowadays, as my mother is of the oppinion that she can pick up/use any of them with ease. I also know some elderly that happily use any of them that come in their hands. The only thing they dont understand is why application 1 does only function on device A and not on B or C. They always used Windows and any applications they would install would work, most people never run across binary's for Linux or MacOS.

        2. dogged

          Re: "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

          To be fair, they do also pack in PureView and Qi charging. Nobody was doing that on any kind of scale before Nokia.

        3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

          Dave Fox,

          I don't think that's Elop's point at all. He doesn't need to differentiate Nokia from the others on Win Phone, because no other manufacturer is taking it seriously as an OS. Sammy and HTC (and LG?) have phones, but it's not their main effort. Although HTC seem to be trying harder with Win Pho 8.

          Android is a crowded space. You need to shout really loud to get noticed above everyone else in that lot. Plus you've got Huawei, ZTE and maybe Lenovo all trying to break into the world markets and therefore sell at little to no profit to grow share. As well as Google themselves launching the Nexus 4 at a ridiculously cheap price.

        4. Dan 55 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: "they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"

          Maps doesn't even differentiate Nokia from other WP8 phones now as it's been donated to the WP8 cause.

          Icon is my response to Elop suggesting that it is a differentiator.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Errm...

        Or without the spin, down from 2.7% to 2.4%

        http://rcpmag.com/articles/2012/11/15/windows-phone-market-share-slips.aspx

        It could have been so different. A Nokia running Android.... Ah well, goodbye Nokia, thanks for the fish,.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Errm...

          So they increased sales year-on-year by about a third, and you call that bad? If they fail to improve with Win Pho 8, they're probably doomed. A 0.3% sales drop off in one quarter before the release of a new OS they announced ages ago isn't exactly a disaster (especially with no updates possible). Not as bad as the sales drop Apple suffered pre the iPhone 5 for example.

          If they can double again, and start selling 10m handsets a quarter this year, things will be looking OK. Assuming they can make a decent margin on them. That ought to be enough to push them into healthy profit and get some developers into the app store.

          A lot of it is about getting the carriers to push your handsets. Many people don't choose their handset, they take the one they're offered. Win Phone is more limited than Android, but maybe easier to use. With the right incentives, they could get the carriers onside. Although that might mean persuading Microsoft to allow the carriers' crapware branding...

    2. pepper

      Re: Errm...

      I think the HTC phones differ in their external looks(grey-ish two tone[HTC Radar]), compared to the Lumia 820. Also the intensity of the screen colour appears to be different. Other then that, the interface and how the phones work is pretty much identical. Although the Nokia one probably has a batch of Nokia related applications. No idea how HTC is trying to differentiate themselves from the other Windows Phone producers.

      Disclaimer: I toy with both of them every now and then, my mother has received a Radar as a work phone and my brother owns a Lumia 820, and my dad a Iphone 3GS. I myself own a N900. So I have the chance to toy around with all of them and hear all the gripes people have with these phones. Its obviously all anecdotal evidence.

  10. Rob K

    I would be shocked if, right now, there isn't a room full of people at Nokia working on an Android interface.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hopefully you're right.

      Its just a shame they weren't doing that 4 years ago and leading the way with android.

    2. Geoff Campbell

      I'd love to see a Nokia Android phone, with a competently written but easily removable UI skin. That would give them some serious market differentiation, and could be a real winner.

      GJC

    3. Neil Alexander

      Screw that. Get Nokia to work with Google on building a pure Nexus handset, and they will win.

      1. Geoff Campbell

        Yeah, absolutely, I'd buy one, especially at the Nexus 4 £230 price.

        GJC

        1. Mike Brown

          agree totally. a nokia nexus would be a beast. especially if sold at normal nexus levels.

          Elop would have to be tied, gagged and chucked in a fjord before that happens tho.

          1. Geoff Campbell
            Go

            @Mike Brown

            Your terms are acceptable.

            GJC

  11. fishman

    Dying app store?

    <<<The Windows Phone Marketplace is arguably the only app store that's emptier than it was a year ago.>>>

    Andrew Orlowski has been a fan of Windows Phone - when he makes comments like this, it indicates that things are not going well.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Dying app store?

      I like Windows Phone. The app store sucks. Really badly. And hasn't noticeably improved over the year I've had the phone. Worse, Andrew O says that there was very little new content for the launch of Win Pho 8. That's pretty piss-poor from MS.

      I don't care. I barely use apps on my phone. That's all on the tablet. Even when I had Android I only used about 5 apps regularly. And 3 of those were to replace stock Android modules I thought were rubbish.

      For £10m MS could pay some devs to write 50 apps. Just seed the market with a decent free torch app, that actually works and doesn't steal your data. Simple stuff like that. Spend another few million on helping the BBC get an iPlayer app out, and some of the big mainstream ones. It would be cheaper than spending the same cash on advertising, to have Sky, the BBC and other media companies saying regularly, "go to the Marketplace to download our application to your Windows Mobile phone."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dying app store?

        > For £10m MS could pay some devs to write 50 apps.

        Er... I think they already did.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A nokia running android, with a carefully well thought out nokia skin and apps (maps, maybe even own app store) that are easily separated from the core OS so that android could be kept up to date, along with nokias usual standard of camera and hardware styling would put nokia back where it needs to be.

    Why are they still messing with symbian on anything other than the basic numeric keypad phones? dump it and use android already. The pureview and the asha range should all be running android.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Symbian phones are selling quite well still and Android doesn't give you the battery life that Asha (S40) does which is important where they are marketed. Possibly even Elop realises that he can't burn the platform that much.

  13. nigel 15
    Stop

    Non Answer

    Anyone can see that the answer we have no plans but don't rule out anything for the future is a non answer.

    what was he going to say? No never? Yes?

  14. MJI Silver badge

    Comments about Symbian

    Current and previous are both Symbian

    Now to upset people, I found my old X6 much nicer to use than the N8, N8 good camera but the menus are not as logical.

    X6 was a lot easier to navigate.

    Nokia did do a good OS but the GUI could be over complex.

    1. Conrad Longmore

      Re: Comments about Symbian

      By all accounts, Nokia Belle is a really polished revision of Symbian. But Symbian sales collapsed as soon as Nokia "dead-ended" the OS, which wasn't the plan at all.

      I think strategically, Nokia made a mistake with Symbian. Instead of discontinuing it, they should have stuck with the previous plan to push it down into the Series 40 space, instead of trying to pull Series 40 up to fill the gap left by Symbian. Ditching MeeGo, for all its strengths, was the right call though.

  15. Khaptain Silver badge

    Android , dear Android

    Nokia were N°1 until the advent of HTC + Android. They didn't take this small company/OS very seriously, they were in the dominant market position and failed to believe that that would ever change.

    Big F***ing Mistake.

    Google realised very early that there is no money to be made from the OS itself and as such gave it away for free. They also provided free developement tools and the possbility for developers to gain some pennies. Very F***ing Clever.

    Meanwhile Nokia held on to their beliefs about being un-de-throne-able... ( That last word is a bastardisation from the French - indétrônable).

    Nokia got bit in the arse by the competition, MS needed the patents and bought them out. All that's left is excuses and prayer.

    Elop is a drowning man who's head is being kept under the water by Microsoft. Nokia have no one to blame but themselves.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

      Nokia's share price has doubled in the last six months, interestingly. I sold mine end of last year, I'm beginning to wonder if that might have been a bit premature, they look set to climb higher. Still, made a nice profit on them even so.

      GJC

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

        > Nokia's share price has doubled in the last six months, interestingly.

        If you look in your spam folder you might find a few other companies whose share prices have doubled in the last six months, and for more or less the same reason.

        1. pepper

          Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

          Well, the Nokia shares appear to be on the down again:

          http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=NOA3.DE#symbol=noa3.de;range=2y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined;

          Peaking in August and its been slowly on the decline again ever since. So yeah, you should have sold half a year ago when it peaked. Or, ride it out anyway ti'll the end, the shares arent worth much, and it they manage to turn around then your a happy camper, if they go down all the way, then well you lose.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

      Eadon,

      There's some good points in that analysis. But also quite a lot of bollocks. Nokia was making barely any more profits from Symbian than it was from dumbphones. And that was a diminishing amount too, with massive competition from China. Nokia had brilliant supply chain organisation, and that kept the cheaper Chinese manufacturers at bay for a while, but not forever. That's barely discussed in the article, but visible from the charts. It needs a better break-down of smartphone sales, into Win Pho, high-end Symbian and cheap Symbian. With profits for each.

      Nokia needed to move its sales to the high end smartphones. They probably had the in-house software to do that, but as they'd been failing to bring it to market for the last 5 years, Elop clearly didn't trust them to do it this time either, and so went for something outside that was already done. Whatever he did was a bet with the company's survival, and that wasn't his fault, but due to piss-poor past management.

      Whether Elop has been rubbish at managing his sales channels is a matter I'm not qualified to judge. I've got no information. But given how poor the rest of the analysis is, I'm not prepared to take it on trust from that author.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

        I'm seeing a lot of downvotes, but not much in the way of actual arguments against the valid points in my post. I make no claims for having a monopoly on being right, but I'm not trolling. Does this mean perhaps that people can't come up with valid reasons for their prejudice, but just have to vote it anyway? Surely the downvote button is for trolls and idiots, not people you just disagree with?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

        "Nokia was making barely any more profits from Symbian than it was from dumbphones (sic)."

        A categorically false statement. IIRC the Nokia smartphone division had returned the highest profitability and sales for any division in the history of Nokia immediately prior to the "burning platform" memo.

        The rest of you post is flawed as well, buy hey, don't let the facts interfere with your rant.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

          Got any figures for that? That's not the way I read the ones I saw in that article, but I don't have the full information - so I'm happy to be corrected. I saw sales increasing and profits going down. Which isn't great. I think it reflects the market was getting more crowded. It may also be that Nokia were selling more low-end phones, at less profit. Also, they had a great Q4, in an otherwise lacklustre 2010, when profits were creeping down, on mostly stagnant sales in a market growing at a double digit rate. So they bled about 10% market share in smartphones (from memory).

          Symbian was looking tired and outdated, and doing badly. Rather like MS with Windows Mobile 6, they'd sat on their laurels too long, not improving much, and the market was about to poo all over them. They'd been overtaken, but sales weren't yet reflecting that. Elop made that worse with burning platforms I'm sure. But I find it hard to believe that Symbian wouldn't have collapsed to around its current level anyway in not much longer.

          I don't think you could categorise my posts as a rant. I'm no defender of Elop. But there's some absolutely bonkers criticism of him out there. As if Nokia were doing fine, and only he ruined it. Possibly as part of a conspiracy with MS... Nokia were not doing fine. They'd sat still as market leaders too long, wasted too much excellent R&D, and were heading for a fall of some size whatever happened. Android at the £100 price-point and £20 Chinese dumb-phones are a hell of a disruption to the market. Plus Apple at the top end, and Samsung everywhere.

          But thanks for at least discussing with me. I'm happy to learn from people who have seen better figures than the crap that often gets posted online.

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Elop's 3 strategy pillars for Nokia have all failed

      > The destruction of Nokia only makes sense if you realise that Elop is working in conjunction with his old employers, Microsoft.

      Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

      Elop believed in MS, having worked there for many years and having been indoctrinated. The price that MS extracted from Elop was the dumping of everything else. Having worked at MS he thought that dealing with suppliers and resellers was simply a matter of bullying them to do as they are told. This didn't work and the result is as you see it.

  17. CreosoteChris

    Ex-Nokia exec and mobile industry strategist Tomi Ahonen...

    ....pulls no punches in his analysis http://www.communities-dominate.blogs.com/

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Ex-Nokia exec and mobile industry strategist Tomi Ahonen...

      Although that is the article where he says Symbian was "winning", why dump it? Which someone damages his credibility...

  18. BrentRBrian

    Elop - Chief Executive Orafice

    The BOARD at NOKIA should punt him to the street before their stock is delisted ...

    1. nordwars
      WTF?

      Re: Elop - Chief Executive Orafice

      Nokia stock is up 119% from 6 months ago. Yes, its 19% down from 1 year ago, but it is starting to look like it might be turning around. I'd like to see what happens on Jan 24...

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: Elop - Chief Executive Orafice

      Well, the stock has climbed from $1.60 six months ago to $4.20, which looks pretty healthy to me:

      http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=NOK#symbol=nok;range=6m;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined;

      GJC

  19. squigbobble
    Facepalm

    Dear Nokia,

    Please make your fucking mind up about which smartphone OS you're going to use.

    The World

  20. vyzar

    Anything is possible? Well maybe not quite...

    Certainly...from what we hear the WinPho8 platform is not yet proving to be the saviour that Nokia might have hoped (even if the M$ pocketmoney is helping to keep the Finns afloat).

    Currently Nokia still have a fair position in the "budget" end of the market - basic phones for people with basic needs - particularly useful in the developing world where battery life is probably more imporant than being able to download 245726 fart-apps. However after losing their way with Symbian on their featurehones and smartphones, they decide to jump ship to MS, and are now finding that ship isn't in much better shape. It certainly isn't proving to be a gamechanger...at least not yet.

    So what are the choices?

    1) Apple iOS? - Not a chance - hell will have to freeze over before Apple will even allow that notion to engage a single braincell for more than a nonosecond!

    2) Android - the 800lb gorilla....an obvious possibility, but as others have commented, the challenge will be how they can successfully differentiate themselves from the hordes of droids out there.

    3) Maemo/Meego/Jolla, etc - not beyond the realms of possibility, but I'm not sure how well it would fare in a shootout with the now more mature Android, and you still have the problem of building marketshare and app ecosystem.

    4) Something completely new/proprietary? - not impossible, but would require a LOT of investment. Do Nokia really have the resources to do that? I doubt it. Also has the same issues regarding marketshare and app ecosystem as 3).

    5) Resurrect Symbian? - well as Elop said...anything is possible....but this one might well be running a close 2nd to option 1) in likelihood! Again would require a LOT of investment to bring back up to scratch and regain marketshare/app ecosystem.

    So, are those the choices we have? Well there might still be one more option:

    6) Blackberry? - A bit left field you might say, and RIM have themselves shown signs of struggling in recent years, but there maybe some logic to this suggestion. Both Nokia and Blackberry have historically been strong in the business sector, and in recent years BB has grown popular with the younger market, due in part to BBM. RIM also have a half-decent app store with a good range of apps. With the exception of Nokia Maps, Nokia's store has become a bit of a relic. Nokia has good hardware pedigree and RIMs market share, at least within the business and youth market, means they must be getting at least somethings right on the design, UI and software front.

    So, could a partnership with work in practice? Good question! They have been strong competitors in the past, but they are no longer the "big fish" that they were (although they are not minnows either!). There would certainly have to be a meeting of minds between these two companies to make this work. However neither one of them is dominant now, so perhaps there is better grounds for cooperation to fight their common enemies (iOS and Android). And for Nokia, a dalliance with BB might be less offensive to Microsoft than one with Android.

    So, on reflection, Nokia and RIM jumping into bed might make some sense, and if it works out, then who knows, maybe we will even hear weddings bells!

    Anything is possible! ;-)

    V.

    1. Mike Brown

      Re: Anything is possible? Well maybe not quite...

      RIMia? Not a chance. RIM have there heads stuck in the sand even more than nokia.

    2. Geoff Campbell

      Re: Anything is possible? Well maybe not quite...

      Well, there's the new Ubuntu offering. Who knows?

      GJC

    3. Captain DaFt

      @vyzar

      You forgot one: Web OS.

      It's out in the wild now, and Nokia could afford to licence the proprietary bits from HP.

      HP's already demonstrated its capabilities (although they've proven totally inept at utilising it properly).

      If Nokia'd polish it a bit, add the capability to run Android apps, and add their own UI and services, it just might be the middle ground between Android and MS that they'd need to make their own territory in the smartphone market.

      1. vyzar

        Re: @vyzar

        "You forgot one: Web OS"

        Hmm..WebOS...isn't that deader than a Monty Python parrot? ;-)

        Joking apart, you make a fair comment that I missed it, but WebOS now has virtually zero market share or app ecosystem so would be no better than dusting off Maemo/Meego.

        I rather suspect that going Android would be more likely than going WebOS.

  21. Stephen Channell
    Meh

    Win Phone 8 could run Android & iOS apps

    Given that almost nobody (but Apple) makes money from phone apps, there is little incentive to migrate them over to HTML5 or WinPhone. Now that the Windows phone has a proper protected kernel, it would be relatively easy to build a sandbox for running Android Java apps or even Objective-C apps on a Windows phone.

    Microsoft has failed to get app-dev mindshare, so it makes sense to do what RIM are going to do with their QNX kernel and provide an Android player.. maybe Elop is nudging that one along

  22. Nick De Plume
    Meh

    The more the merrier!

    Nokia running Android would be a nice addition to an already strong Android stable:

    Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, Huawei etc all have their strengths.

    But WP landscape isn't as fiercely competitive - yet. So who knows?

  23. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Holmes

    I'd like to see an Android Nokia...

    ... if only to keep the trolls quiet!

    On the other hand though, I can well believe the MS store is down on apps - the double whammy of killing XNA, then waiting until just before the WP8 launch to release the SDK must have made a lot of potential developers think twice.

  24. NX1977
    Holmes

    MWC 2013 is just around the corner....

    If nokia went to android I'm certain most of their loyal previous customers would return.

    Nokia make very good hardware, they've just had a history or bad software to run on them. The reason people are still not convinced is windows mobile. It's holding them back from again being a contender and fighting HTC, Samsung and Apple who their customer base flocked to in the dying days of symbian (circa N96)

  25. 6 inches long, handle.
    WTF?

    "He also pointed out that Nokia had rejecting Google's Android operating system because it would have been tough differentiating its products from all the other Android handset makers." ....

    ..."Asked if he was concerned by Microsoft launching a rival Windows-powered smartphone, Elop said Nokia had enough technology to differentiate itself: he cited his firm's Maps, CityLens and its imaging technology."

    Eh?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019