Nokia CEO Stephen Elop jets in to Australia



blog You may have noticed from the flurry of articles from the mainstream media this morning that Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop is in Australia at the moment checking on the progress of the Finnish smartphone manufacturer Down Under.

While we can’t say Elop delivered any major news locally (mostly he stuck to the management-speak, including suitably vague statements about the potential for Nokia Windows tablets), the Nokia chief did disclose a few new tidbits relevant to Australia, such as the news that Nokia will shortly launch the low-end Lumia 620 model locally, it has signed a new local corporate Lumia rollout with elevator manufacturer Kone, and Elop personally has been ducking into telco stores in Australia in an anonymous fashion and quizzing local salespeople about smartphones to see what they come up with about Nokia. Sneaky, but smart. We’d love to see the salespeople’s face if Elop tells them he’s actually the chief executive of Nokia.

Anyway, if you’re interested, there are two interview transcripts with Elop which we recommend you peruse, one in which he speaks to the newspapers, at the Sydney Morning Herald, and one in which he speaks to the television cameras at the ABC’s The Business program. No room for pesky online media in Elop’s press itinerary, unfortunately. Bugger.

Image credit: Luca Sartoni, Creative Commons


    • That guy is pretty down on Nokia, and you can see why. But their recent Lumias are actually pretty good models, in my reviewing of them. I don’t know why people are so down on them at the moment.

      • That guy used to write great articles which slowly turned into rants against Elop with no care for facts which have made many former readers question the validity and accuracy of his previous articles.

        I wouldn’t read that dribble because it doesn’t add anything.

        • Indeed, you get the feeling that his heart lays in part at Nokia still and he just can’t accept them going in a completely different direction. Not sure about the facts part though, he normally does cite studies / market share / handset return rates etc. I have no idea if hes cherry picking though.

          • Definitely cherry picking at times and at other times manipulating and altering graphs to try and prove his point.

            For those wondering, he’s a former Nokia employee who is extremely disgruntled about what Elop did.

          • In my opinion, Elop followed exactly the right strategy. They couldn’t go Android and get into a war with HTC, Samsung, etc. They would have lost that war, as we’re seeing now with Samsung taking almost all the profit in the Android market.

            I am seeing increasing numbers of Australian corporations deploying Windows-based Nokias at the moment, replacing Blackberry. And the new Lumias are very good handsets.

            I expect BlackBerry to die shortly. But I expect Nokia to get back on its feet and progress Elop’s vision. He was the right guy at the right time for Nokia.

          • I disagree. Elop took Nokia from having its own completely customisable OS(s) and ecosystem to being a simple handset maker competing on specs with Samsung et al. Windows phone is not specific to Nokia.

            Symbian had to be phased out sure, but they already had mechanisms for making apps work on both Symbian and Meego (which was presumably the successor). Qt was quite good at this.

            So now they are in a position where they have no control over the software on their phones, they will have to compete more or less purely on hardware specs, and god only knows what they will do to keep feature phones going. They can’t push a particular new feature on their phones (maybe they want multiple screens, higher spec’ed cameras, mesh wifi who knows?) without requiring Microsoft to implement / support it first. Then all competitors get the feature as well.

            Are the lumias good? Probably I never used one. Could Nokia have gone with Android? Unlikely, still makes them just a handset maker. I just think they took the entirety of their competitive advantage and threw it out.

          • Symbian was dying and Meego was nowhere near being ready. In the meantime, Nokia was being slaughtered by Apple.

            What choice did they have? Android was a bad option. Windows Phone was, in my opinion, the only good option available without half a decade of research, and they have done a good job of being the best Windows Phone OEM.

            I get a lot of interest page impression-wise on Delimiter’s Nokia Lumia reviews. So I know there are a lot of people out there looking at the platform.

          • I wouldn’t take much from those page impressions because from what I’ve heard, Microsoft employees seem to visit a lot of these pages increasing page impressions. Not sure if that would be true for an Australian site but definitely happens in the US.

            I could be wrong though.

          • As Renai said, the problem was MeeGo was not ready. In fact, because Symbian was dying and in need of being replaced, the Symbian team kept on sabotaging the MeeGo team. The Nokia N8 was actually designed by the MeeGo team and stolen by the Symbian team who outnumbered MeeGo workers (500 v 7000+). Oddly enough, the MeeGo team’s N9/Fabula design was taken by Elop to be used for the

            This was just one of many political infighting situations within Nokia since the late 90s/early 2000s. Hildon was an extremely flexible OS which could do anything and have any UI (even Windows Vista!) and was destroyed by the Symbian team as well (it too was meant to replace Symbian). Publicly it was known as S90 or Symbian Series 90 but was actually a completely different OS.

            Be aware though Renai, its recently come to light that Nokia’s progress with MeeGo was much further ahead than Elop would have you believe. The Nokia SeaRay was the N9 made for Verizon, not a buttonless prototype of the Lumia 800 as originally thought. There was also a super slim, qwerty version of the N9 that was ready and these were all scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2012. There was also a TD-SCDMA version on its way for China Mobile which never surfaced publicly. Elop told a lot of lies to get his way and his execution of his strategy was absolutely pathetic.

            Nokia’s always been good at getting the hardware right but often hit and miss with the software so its probably a good thing it is out of their hands.

            The reason why I support the decision to go with WP over MeeGo is apps and the fact that due to the Europe and China-centric nature of MeeGo’s development, it could never capture the developer’s mindshare that the US-centric WP could. Despite Symbian selling so well for so long, it couldn’t get a strong app store because it had zero presence in the US and therefore for them it never existed. MeeGo faced the same issues.

          • Apologies firstly for the long posts.

            Unlike some of us Renai you did not follow the events that occurred between when Elop was hired up until now so you might not be aware of everything that went on.

            The quarter when Elop made his burning platform memo was the first quarter in which Symbian sales went down. Whilst Symbian was on the decline, it was definitely not dying and there was still great opportunity to sell 10-20 million Symbian phones in the coming quarters however Elop did everything he could to create demand in the Windows Phones and destroy Symbian. It worked much better than he anticipated due to the huge progresses Android made in terms of useability in 2011 after which they (mainly Samsung) swallowed the Symbian sales and market. Nokia needed new Symbian phones (not high-end which could’ve been left to WP) to be released up until WP8 devices were announced and released, i.e. now. They needed Symbian in the meantime to keep marketshare and mindshare, especially in developing countries but Nokia completely lost out and Elop cut off all the old links.

            Had the execution been more of a transition, Nokia’s share price would be around $6 but its instead $4 (better than the $1.63 share price only 7 months ago).

            Remember also that each market is different. The revival of Blackberry in Canada and the UK is highly likely and in the US possible and that’s all the Blackberry really needs to survive (though it is now venturing into developing markets which sub-$300 phones). Australia is a maybe along with most other countries but I would definitely would not count Blackberry out just yet based on its reception in Australia.

            Nokia’s success overall lies with its success in the US, not because the US market is some kind of trendsetter but because that’s where the major app companies are and influential tech companies who can sway opinion worldwide. Nokia’s success in the US is reliant on a strong partnership with Verizon and the release of the Nokia 922 (high-end WP8 for Verizon rumoured to be announced at MWC) is the only way to boost Nokia sales to the 5% minimum marketshare Nokia needs to keep US devs interested. Based on how much demand Nokia has received for the Lumia 822 which is only a mid-end device with a 800×480 4.3″ screen made for Verizon, I’m confident Nokia can indeed get that 5% marketshare.

          • For those wondering, he’s a former Nokia employee who is extremely disgruntled about what Elop did.

            A former Nokia exec. Slightly different to being just a “regular joe” working there.

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