Stephen Elop Presentation and InterviewApril 4, 2011 No Comments
Â Nokia CEO Stephen Elop held a presentation at McMaster University on April 1st. For those interested in what he said the video is below. While there the Financial Post was granted an interview with Mr. Elop, I inserted the Q&A’s that I thought would most appeal to our readers. Financial Post has the full transcripted interview.
FP: Letâ€™s shift gears a little bit and talk about the Microsoft deal. Obviously youâ€™ve worked with [Microsoft chief executive] Steve Ballmer in the past. Tell me about how this deal came about. What was that first conversation like when you finally decided this was the path you were going to take Nokia?
SE: Well, it was actually the other way around. It wasnâ€™t: â€˜This is the path, so letâ€™s talk.â€™ It was: â€˜We have essentially â€” as we recognized the challenges we faced as a company â€” we realized there were three options available to us.â€™ Microsoft was one of those options. So the first conversation with Steve was about, â€˜Hey weâ€™re going through this strategic assessment process. Weâ€™re considering three options, we think Microsoft is one of those options. Are you willing to engage deeply on a very powerful relationship, something that is strategic? Do you see an opportunity for Microsoft.â€™ His response was â€˜Yesâ€™ â€¦ So in the early days it was engineers and service development people who sat down across the table â€¦ The final decision was made the night before we stood on stage on February 11.
FP: Do you have any predictions on when the first joint Nokia â€“ Windows Phone 7 device will hit the market?
SE: I have some very detailed predictions, but Iâ€™m not sharing them publicly yet. [laughs] What we do say though is that devices will be shipping in volume in 2012 and the pressure is on to get first devices out in 2011. We havenâ€™t made that firm commitment or date along those lines.
FP: As you said, there are only two smartphone ecosystems with big scale right now. Oneâ€™s Apple and the other is Android. Was there something in particular about Android that helped push you towards Windows or was it simply that you felt the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia could be deeper?
SE: The fundamental thing we were looking at was the ability to differentiate. As a member of the Android ecosystem, there were ways that we could see that we could differentiate, but we were worried over time how much differentiation we could continue to maintain or extend. It was widely reported, just in the last 24 hours, in fact, that Google has taken some steps that on the surface appear to limit the ability of companies to differentiate around Android. Thatâ€™s still unclear and people are working through that, but the differentiation concern existed very much with Android.
In our relationship with Microsoft, because of the unique nature of the relationship between our two companies, we believe we have a very strong capability to differentiate. Iâ€™d emphasize here, differentiate from whom? Who are we competing with? The Windows Phone effort between Nokia and Microsoft, by far the competitive focus is on Android and Apple. What about competing with Samsung around Windows Phone devices? That is not our principle concern. Our principle concern is to compete with the entire Android ecosystem, as well As Apple.
Tags: Android, financial post, iPhone, mcmaste, Microsoft, Nokia, stephen elop, windows phone 7, WP7News