Stephen Elop

CEO Stephen Elop explains why Nokia's in bed with Windows Phone

Everyone has been continuously wondering why Nokia has chosen to get with Microsoft, leaving Google and Android in the dark. We've had numerous reasons in the past, the most prominent being that the Android ecosystem is simply too crowded for Nokia to effectively compete in (just look at HTC to see how this can damage a company), but now Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has expanded on why he chose Windows Phone.

"I'm very happy with the decision we made," Elop said around a table with the media. "What we were worried about a couple of years ago was the very high risk that one hardware manufacturer could come to dominate Android. We had a suspicion of who it might be, because of the resources available, the vertical integration, and we were respectful of the fact that we were quite late in making that decision. Many others were in that space already."

Looking at the Android now and it's clear to see Samsung playing the dominant role, which would have made it difficult for Nokia to break through. Then you have to look at mobile operators who are important partners. "Strategically that's important for us [to be offering an alternative OS] because having a conversation with [chief executive] Ralph de la Vega at AT&T, the first step in the conversation is the recognition that we're not Apple, we're not Samsung/Android - used to be Android/Samsung, it's actually about Samsung now - we're a third alternative."

AT&T wanted a third alternative to iOS and Android. Mobile operators in multiple markets desired a third platform. Now, Windows Phone is no easy ride, but it's clear to see how Nokia has been able to work with Microsoft and really push the platform in the right direction. The partnership formed by the two companies is definitely a strong alternative to iOS and Android, which is starting to show with Windows Phone taking the third spot from BlackBerry.

So that's the main reason behind the decision and it's certainly one we stand by. 

Source: The Guardian


Reader comments

CEO Stephen Elop explains why Nokia's in bed with Windows Phone



Yep, it's ruined the 1020 for me. I was going to get it until I realized that it was PenTile. PenTile's OK at 1080p, but looks terrible (to me) at lower resolutions. If GDR3 had been out in time to allow the 1020 to have a good screen resolution, I'd have gotten it. Of course, Nokia could have used RGB stripe, but a lot of people do prefer AMOLED even with the wonky checkerboard look that PenTile causes, so I don't fault Nokia for that decision. It's not for me though.

Amoled screens have a really good advantage regarding power consumption. That's the reason they are being loved by smartphone vendors.

Ok....... I'll make an outlandish prediction, that maybe will serve to destroy every ounce of credibility I have. Not that I have any to begin with. lol I predict that within 3 years, that Windows Phone will be the number 2 platform behind iOS, and Android will be all but dead. We'll probably see Firefox or maybe Ubuntu phone OS's competing with, and passing Android some where in the "single digits" market share sphere. Oh........and Windows Phone will be threatening to take over top spot from Apples iOS.

If Samsung does stay only tizen android will go straight to the floor, and I don't think apple will go any further. Nokia will be a few percent higher than ios.

He was speaking so strong and positively about his company position....with a truly passion....
One of the best moments I believe....

If you think about it Nokia took a big risk with WP. What Elop said makes sense though. Everyone and their mom makes an android phone. Nokia making an android phone would have just been lost in the mix of all the other phone companies. Nokia pretty much seperated themselves from the competiton. It could have ended bad, but sounds like things are looking very good. It is kind of cool knowing that WP will have a 41 megapixel camera. You dont see that on android or iphone. Thats going to help make wp8 better and also nokia better. WP8 still needs some HD screens and have WAY more ram on board. GDR3 sounds like it'll help with a lot of that. I use a Nokia 521, and for being a cheap phone, Ive had NO problems. It runs nice and smooth. Pictures are very decent for an entry level phone. I'd for sure buy a higher end Nokia windows phones. Ive got my eye on that nokia 925. :>

we knew already that NOKIA is innovating its devices. I hope someday they will also innovate the battery into next level that will last at least 2-3 days. wishful thinking..

There is already battery tech that can recharge in seconds, last weeks and enough juice to jump start your car... Just not at consumer level yet, also carbon nano layered batteries are being developed. Remember Moore's law

Solar charging screen coming within the next 2 years. Won't charge at the current charging rate but enough to maintain your charge I think.

If one only could play graphic intense games without loosing battery in my plugged phone, I be as happy as Elope.

For what it's worth, I saw two L920s in the wild yesterday.  I live in KC and before this I think I had seen a total of two wild WPs since I first switched from iOS back in Novemeber.  I think they may finally starting to catch on. 

The days when WP was a novice player on the field with a questionable future are quickly coming to an end my friends. I still remember the days when every announcement about apps filled us with joy. I for one will miss those days. It was kind of living in a small supportive community where we pulled for each other. Here's to WPCentral for being awesome at keeping us abreast on all things WP. Good job guys!! just having a link on all posts from which to get updates about apps being discussed was well worth getting the App. The rest you do for us is the Icing on the cake. May we all remember what it was like to be the new kid on the block, as soon some new kid will join us and I for one will be rooting for that kid. Peace "Y"

I don't need reasons. I have been always a Nokia fan since the 90s, and I favor the Microsoft ecosystem over the rest, so Nokia Windows Phone is a win-win for me :)

So sick of this WP is shit cause no 1080p screens, what kind of vision do these trolls have? Not only does it tax CPU and battery iam sure the difference between 720p and 1080p on a 4.5inch screen is not even noticeable, except by android trolls btw android needs 4-8 cores to get speed like WP and they still slow right down over time.

I have to say that there is a difference between 1080p and 720p, but it's not like going from WVGA to 720p. And if the L1020 is pentile, i can guarantee you that i'll definitively be able to see pixels

Nokia was always great and innovative... But now they have strong focus and dedication.... They have bought the best in terms of hardware but need some more advancements..... The main lack is in OS functionality... WP8 is fluid and secure... Bt it needs many feature yet to compete android.... If they bring the entire set of Windows 8 OS onto the phone... Or at least fill in the missing features with rapid updates ... Nt so mch delayed... People will nt be able resist lumia ... They wud be dying to have one

Still... Waiting for a Nokia Phone powered by an Intel processor and a Windows 8 OS loaded with extreme features.... It would be blazing, fast and unbeatable..

I had been honestly waiting for a real answer to this question for a while. And while we had our suspicions, I'm glad this answer made a lot of sense, but yet it wasn't surprising given Samsung's dominance in the Android Market. Honestly, I'd rather see HTC try and compete in Windows Phone than Android, but they should step up their game against Nokia. Competition is a good thing. Elop knew Nokia had a chance to shine with Windows Phone and now they're dominating plain and simple. People are still whining they aren't getting a Lumia Android phone, despite me explaining why Nokia went to Windows Phone. Whiners gonna whine.

It should be like that, but some companies get a stranglehold like Samsung while others shuffle their feet like HTC. If HTC had made multiple ranges like Nokia, they could be in a better position. Just my $.02.

Your friends will get it, if one day your group gets lost without data or internet connection... 'cause you and your Nokia phone will save the day.


I went from a Droid X, to an HTC Trophy, to a Lumia 822. Nokia is amazing to me, everything from their apps to the design, very cool! I've converted iPhone people to Lumia 920's...they swear they'll never go back! I like the uniqueness of WP8, the live tiles, and the Xbox connectivity! Glad to be a part of this!

Just waiting for one good feature that shud come to ms soon... apps and games should be installed... On an Sd card... And 2nd Bluetooth features have to be improved..

Most of the people stalking Nokia articles spouting their Android religious zeal are actually jealous and threatened by the Nokia/Windows Phone devices.  We are starting to see something special and they don't like it for it betrays their religion of the one true operating system. They are blind to alternatives and only from the testimony of the open minded will other see the Lumia-nary light.

I have been posed with the questions in my circle of friend and thus, I wrote a blog specific to one person's questions but applicable to any who are considering the switch.  I'll dust it off and post the link once again.  :)  Don't worry, my blog isn't monetized, so I'm only promoting the spread of my thoughts...not my wallet.


As long as Microsoft and Nokia work well together we are the winners. Unless you have a HTC because you suck...just kidding...maybe :)

To be fair HTC was making windows phones before Nokia.  I have a HTC 7 Mozart, and it was a concious decision on my part to buy a wp phone.  The specs weren't that great but they were not bad either.  I was looking for more integration with my windows 7 and microsoft services and I got that.  Then Nokia came aboard and just wow!   HTC did support WP before Nokia did, but Nokia just blows past them ( and every other phone manufacturer not just WP ) that HTC looks paltry in comparison.  HTC just has to up the ante like Nokia.  My next would either be a 920/928 or 1020.

Plz dear any one if call recording faeture is coming to wp 8 or not...i need this feature and m waiting for since i purchased my lumia 820 ...Rodney plz u reply...

Recording calls is a legal nightmare. It's normally prohibited in Western countries. So I wouldn't count on that. BUT I think there are Apps in the store that allow you to do that.

Name brand apps can't hide from us much longer. I see Nokia driving the brand and pushing it forward. MS reorg. will bring faster innovation.

As a Lumia 900 owner, I do agree that Nokia would be dead now if it had chose Android.  Nevertheless, I am still a little pissed that as an early adopter I got played with not being able to upgrade to WP8.  That said, I will be skipping this round of phones; but the 1020 is so tempting.  I will wait until WP can support 1080p.  

Dude im still rocking my 900 with 7.8, I cant wait for the 1020 this is the reason I skipped 920 although I got one for my ex.. Shit

i'm convinced nokia made the right decision to go with windows phone.  if nokia went android, oh man, their classy phones would just not go well with laggy-crap andriod. 

If u read other mobile sites commenters,they all dumb.. Elop made a great move,that's why he's making millions.. Btw nokia will be MSFT soon

Big respect to Mr Elop & Nokia. Can't wait until Nokia finally releases a 'Phablet' for T-Mobile. 2014 is gonna be a great year for Windows Phone.

Kudos to Nokia for making the decision to develop and support Windows Phone! In time I believe Windows Phone will become more dominant!

Damn everyday there's always a fandroid have to hate on WP.. Dude 3% market share globally is not a bad thing.. Listen the fact that it's growing that means a good thing.. Android will hit the wall soon, apple already did!! So stfu haters this is LUMIA TIME!!

we the ppl want/need a real article on the Sprint, Nokia dilemma. I'm talking some real investigative journalism, no assumptions, if's or what's...just concrete facts/evidence. Is this at all possible to accomplish Rich?

DJCBS thanks for the reply bt i have tried aal the cal recording app in wp 8 store bt none is working . It may be a legal pblm in western world bt in INDIA it is allowed jst ..we have to inform the other side that we r going to record the cal so plz tel NOKIA or MICROSOFT to make it functional if know someone ...

I got the 8X cause it was the best WP that tmobile had at the time .. If the lumia 925 had been out i definitely would have picked it over the 8X .. But HTC seriously needs to get more involved in WP

Really a bold and worthy move to choose windows platform rather than choosing Android. It takes time to penetrate in the market but Nokia sure gonna make a strong mark in this competitive market.
Nokia now needs to address itself by bringing the dual sim Lumia models.if this happens ASAP then Nokia can rule.
Lumia 520 and 720 with dual sim are needy one.

If there was an awesome opportunity for Nokia to jump to Android, it was back in late 2009 and early 2010. At that time it would have been no problem for Nokia to flood attractive devices at every possible price-point, and in the process, keep Samsung in check. However, the reality was that by early 2011 it was the Galaxy that was making real in-roads for Android, and that became even more apparent with the SG2.
No doubt the growth of Windows Phone is no where near as high as many hoped, but it isn't as though this is WP's fault -- we're just in a highly mature market. BB10 made even fewer dents, for example. And if anyone thinks it's Microsoft that's pulling Nokia back, you're wrong. Microsoft can make as many changes to WP right now, but it means squat if the carriers are going to be perpetually reluctant about pushing regular updates to end-users...

IMHO, nokia could have dominated Samsung with the efforts its putting in WP8, had it put those in android. Android is indeed feature rich, and the jelly bean iteration is actually quite fluid too, and I know tonnes of people who'd jump to the store to buy an android by nokia. WP8 is good, I personally love my 920, but everybody knows it has a long way to start competing with iOS or android properly. It has a lot of shortcomings, and as much as I like the interface, something like the absence of a notification center is inexcusable..thats what I miss the most..

Samsung isn't dominating WP8 because it chooses not to... It is not putting any where near the effort in WP8 as it is in Android, otherwise, we'd definitely see apps such as Instagram, Vine, Flipboard, etc on the platform *right now* If Samsung were serious about WP8 it'd take Nokia on at every front, and it'd limit Nokia's hold from its 85% to around 50%, perhaps lower if it decided to phase off some Android models (esp. low and mid-end phones) in favour of WP8.
Samsung chose not to, and therefore it left Windows Phone open to Nokia. IMHO this has nothing to do with Windows Phone in of itself, but the decisions made by OEMs to push certain platforms over others. And it is clear to me that Samsung seems to have its very own eco-system ambitions, one that might even put Google at risk in the long-term. Why would it (Sasmung) want to bottlefeed another challenger in Windows?
Nokia might have done well with Android back in 2010/2011 when it had the chance to jam that OS onto very low-end hardware for cheap, it might have been able to challenge Samsung's low-end Androids earlier on. But in the high-end segment (where the Galaxy S-series resides), it will probably face the same general set of problems as Sony and LG.
As it stands now it is clear that Nokia needs to focus on its entry and mid-level devices, it needs to keep upping the quality of mid-range phones and keep them under $300. If we see a Lumia 7xx-series device with 720p PureMotion HD and a quality camera with Zeiss lens for $300 or $350, we'll be in business... It'd be a high quality, high potential and potentially low-risk device for carriers all over the world to push it.

I dont think so, they cannot dominate Nokia even if they want to. MS and Nokia are close relationship, so Nokia gets the first shared code and technical support to build those nice phones. MS even helps to promote Nokia products on media.
Also, with WP, samsung cannot differentiate from competitors because they simply has nothing to do that unlike Nokia has superior camera technology. WP is strictly restricted from UI changes.

agreed, but Nokia could had challenged galaxy series too especially in Asia and Europe with android. Wp8 will be dead without nokia. MS is too busy in xbox one, windows 8, surface, skype and other things.Seems wp is basterd child of MS, everytime it's too little too late.Wp will improve in time no doubt, MS has resources but nokia can't withstand the delays. Ultimately MS will buy nokia.
The hard truth...

At the point where WP is right now, anyone who thinks apps aren't the main thing WP needs to compete is just being silly. And I'm talking 99.999999999999999999999999% of the reason, too. All app stores the same, I'm fairly certain a lot of people would choose WP. Most people only care about apps and most developers only care about most revenue from apps, neither are super concerned about notification centers or whether the OS can support features like swiping your hand over the screen without touching it in order to scroll.

People (you all included) need to stop. It's ridiculous that Nokia has to repeatedly answer questions about going Windows Phone as if they are the ones who don't know what they are doing.
People make mistakes, companies make mistakes. But it's a little ignorant to assume that any one of us knows what’s best for Nokia, or Microsoft.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling them infallible. But everyone who's NOT them is looking at things very myopically, and just at the surface. Even worse most people are looking at what they do with way too much prejudice involved.
They may not know everything, but chances are they know more than any of us. So why continue to question them? I mean who gives a damn?? Is it mandatory that any company has to adopt android? And if android is the way to go why is it failing so hard for a company like HTC? Are people continuing to ask this question in a hope to get Nokia to somehow change their minds and get in bed with google??
They know what they are doing, and why... just let it roll and see what happens. I personally believe this is going to turn out great for Nokia and MS both.

I think the question keeps coming back because of Nokia's performance. If Nokia was selling 10 million smartphones a quarter or more or at least making healthy profits, it wouldn't have been an issue. No one would have asked, but they are not selling as many phones or making profits. Which causes their decision to go exclusively on windows phone into question.  
Take LG for isntance, they sold over 10million smartphones last quarter. As a matter of fact 7 other android OEMS are selling more smartphones than Nokia. 

"Take LG for isntance, they sold over 10million smartphones last quarter. As a matter of fact 7 other android OEMS are selling more smartphones than Nokia"

But yet LG's Mobile Division is in the tank. Right along with HTC, Moto and several others. HTC despite the HTC One and all of its oooo's and ahh's are looking for a life preserver

Units sold and units shipped are two different things and 10 gazillionjillion smartphones sold means nothing if the sales don't turn into actual profits.  The only OEM'S making a profit worth mentioning from their mobile phone sales are Samsung & Apple. The rest are at best, treading water.If it were not for their appliance divisions and other business spinoffs, LG would be in need of some serious ICU Time.

Even Apple & Samsung are starting to slip because the market for high-end devices is starting to shrink and Huawei/ZTE recognizing that have swooped in and flooded the markets, especially outside of the U.S with cheap and inexpensive devices. They are undercutting the others and for all of their devotion to Android, HTC, LG, Sony etc..can't compete and are not in much better shape than Nokia is.

Google OWNS Motorola and they can't even figure out how to get it off of life support. Figure that one out.

HTC didn't capitalize on their android success initially and their handsets were worst during 2011-2012. Now see with HTC one they are again on top of charts. If Nokia 920 with it's amazing hardware and build would be running android, I don't think that it would have been easy for samsung to be on top

Thank God they chose Windows Phone. Honestly, I couldn't imagine Android's crappy UI on elegant and beautifully crafted Nokia hardware. Windows Phone and Nokia was and will always be a perfect marriage.

What Coolknight1968 is apparently trying to say is, if Pontiac went into only luxury cars, they wouldn't have been dropped by GM. That's... yeah...

No, I am saying that with product differentiation you can survive in a very competitive car market. I believe Nokia could be a very hard hitting Android mobile device manufacturer, again because Nokia could differentiate. BMW, Mercedes Benz face fierce competition from Toyota (Lexus), VW (Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley) and Nissan-Renault (Infinity). Their competitors are much larger and cover more price brackets, still they are competitive in the segments they selected to be in. In a way, Nokia is more in a VW position when it started with the Audi 50.

As much as I like Nokia/WP Samsung and HTC are also doing WP so that makes Elops comment pretty much moot. It doesn't help Nokia that Microsoft hasn't been prioritizing WP very high in their business plans. OS updates are coming sloooooooowly.

I'd expect OS updates a lot faster after merging windows and wp team altogether. I guess WP had to wait for Win team to finish SDK and features. They're still on the progress to unify the sdk, not 100% but must be closer.

exactly! elop made it very clear during the lumia 1020's official release. to those who still hope for a nokia device running android... ha! keep dreaming. lels.

The problem is almost every major android OEM ( LG, ZTE, Huawei,HTC, Motorola etc) is selling more smartphones than Nokia, not just Samsung.
According to IDC 8 out of the top 10 smartphone vendors are using android as their main OS. Nokia  uis currently lies at number 10. Clearly the market is swaying more towards android devices. It wouldn't hurt if Nokia diversify their options by making andriod phones too.

"The problem is almost every major android OEM ( LG, ZTE, Huawei,HTC, Motorola etc) is selling more smartphones than Nokia, not just Samsung"

...And how many are actually turning any profits worth mentioning.

Give you a hint. There is only one.

It's hilarious that you throw Moto in there. They are pure Android. So pure that Google owns them. And they are bleeding $$ from every orifice from the Moto Division

The bottom line is profits. Sales without profits means...ZERO

No other manufacturer really cares about windows phone right now. HTC is currently still doing better than Nokia at least here in the States. the One is currently the third most popular phone in stores. I don't know where Nokia falls but I know it isn't in the top three. HTC is currently better off with android.

Microsoft doens't really that much about windows phone.They make apps first for iOS and android before windows phone.  Why should other OEMs care? 

And thank god they did because i for one did'nt want android or apple! i know lots of people with iphones and when i asked them why the chose it most said beause everyone's got one, and most said they were too expensive. and i have a friend with android who has been hacked by dodgy downloads. so hooah to Nokia and Windows Phone.

I wish Sony become a WP OEM. Love Sony products, since I'm a Sony and Nokia fanboy.
I think Sony would make beautiful devices.

Anyone agree with me ?

I don't think so. That would be weird for the OEM who makes the PS4 to have a phone with Xbox live integration!!!

For you people saying you hope Samsung or even HTC will come in a give Nokia a run for its money, which one would you seriously buy into? For me its a no brainer. I don't care that Samsung is top dog in android, doesn't mean sh1t. Now if they come in with quad cores 1080p this and that on a phone who would jump ship? Not me and I'll tell you why. Because you can have the best spec phone in the world but when you fail to support or keep updating a product you have on the market you sir lose value to many. Nokia is still the way to go. They put a lot of effort into there hardware and software. They stand behind there customers who buy there products. So let Samsung flood WP system with phones. It'll be good I suppose for the eco system but I'll still choose Nokia. I know they at least do more than hardware and a few measley apps.

I can agree Nokia would be a nobody in Android because the market is too saturated with phone especially Samsung they have like 10 lines of phones. Note, Mini, Zoom, active, Mega I'm sure I'm missing but you get the point. Then you have the rest. Windows is a nice small community of quality apps. Nokia can stay dominate for all I care.

Next Windows phone for me after the 920, 1080 5” to 5/5” screen, Quad, (not that win phone needs it like Android), and the 41 MP camera.

Man the trolls are out today. Seriously I've never once been on an android site or apple site or post about their producer to troll. I see getting a life is hard for you guys.

Great decision by Elop. Nokia has stepped up to the plate and given us a great alternative to Android and iOS with quality hardware and a great OS.

Well, I am glad Nokia decided to differentiate themselves from all the Android manufacturers and bring us the great Lumia devices we have today. Please keep up the good work. I love my 928

I look at smartphone OS's as U.S. political parties.  It's a two party system.  Republicans are one mobile OS, the other OS are Democrats.  You can pick which one represents who.  Windows Phone would represent one or more third parties i.e. Independants, Green Party, Libertarians.   Again, you can pick which one.  Republicans and Democrats hate third partiers, whether those third partiers are right or left leaning.  Apple and Android fans usually don't like BB or WP, just like in politics, becasue third partiers don't support the political duopoloy.   When it comes to smartphone OS's and politics, I like the number 3.

I dont understand why u guys involve in unnecessary discussion and waste ur is an evident fact that bussiness is all about profit, let it be any nokia or apple or samsung...they all are doing bussiness and making money plz dont fool ur self ...decide ur self which is ios or wp..use it and enjoy it....plz dont allign urself to impartial then only u ll b able to judge properly which is better....its ur money ..nt nokua not ms not andriod or ios plz use it intelligently...

Sir, if you keep in using Windows Phone, you must make this Windows Phone OS as good as Android or better to attract customers. Hope, there are some new Lumias with low price but have 1 GB will be made or price cut down like Windows Phone 7. :-)
By the way, I am still waiting GDR2 update on my device.

I got an 8X on launch day because i thought HTC would be the ones backing Windows mobile. Boy was i wrong, i wont make that mistake again. Well done Nokia, keep doing what your doing.

MICROMAX an indian company has announced WP coming later this year..They could seriously bring some challenges to nokia's budget windows phones especially in india were MMX is  now 3 biggest OEM..