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The Finnish company’s management is confident the new Lumia 920 smartphone.
Is there a future Nokia? Stephen Elop, 49 Canadian, proud smiles and stretches his arm to teach. The answer is color and is called Lumia 920, the new smartphone from the Finnish Windows Phone 8, which aims to compete with the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. Nokia’s survival depends largely on the success of this terminal, and Elop, aware of it, does not miss an opportunity. “The other day I did a show that I attended at the airport passport control,” he says.
Nokia will need that and more out of the pit. Almost two years after announcing a new strategy, alliance with Microsoft and lay off thousands of employees, the results are disturbing: dropped to seventh global manufacturer of smartphones, its market share is less than 5% and sales and profits QoQ bleed. With the Lumia 920, which in Spain is not due for release until January, and two lower models, the 820 and 620, Elop promises a turnaround. “It’s hard to know when it will occur, but we are very pleased with the progress,” he explains. Nokia’s future is in your hands. Literal.
Question. took over Nokia in late 2010 and the situation is still critical.Why is being so slow progress?
Response. early 2011 we made a strategic change and recognized that the numbers continue to fall until we could launch better products. Now, with the new Lumia, we are already doing, and the first reaction from consumers has been very positive.
Q. Why remain committed exclusively to Microsoft, if they are not committed exclusively to Nokia?
R. For Windows Phone work, we need to HTC, Samsung and others. The more you invest in the ecosystem, the better. But we are calm because we have launched the only Windows Phone differentiated. Others have supply and hardware standard, but our skills in photography andsoftware show that we have a privileged relationship with Microsoft.
Q. Looking back, would not it have been better to bet on Android, or at least, for both platforms?
R. When we decided we were concerned whether we would be able to differentiate with Android and, since we were late, if another manufacturer clearly impose on the rest. That’s exactly what happened.Samsung has become very strong and others are having a hard time. In fact, it is unclear who is stronger, if Samsung or Android. So we chose Windows Phone. Multiple platforms?? We knew we were going to go through a very difficult transition period. When that happens you have to convey a clear and concrete strategy to prevent internal debates.
P. Discards? launch an Android phone next year?
R. In the present war of ecosystems, struggle with Windows Phone. But always think what next, what role does HTML 5, Android … HTML 5 could make the platform is Android, Windows Phone or other, less important in the future, but it is too early.Today we are engaged and satisfied with Microsoft, but any rotation is possible.
Q. Microsoft has launched its own tablet, Surface. Are not you worried that you can announce a smartphone?
R. The PC industry has for many years, and all the products are very similar. Nokia has invested billions of euros in capabilities that are not available to anyone else, including Microsoft. No matter who comes into the market, we can differentiate ourselves.
Q. But if we compare the Lumia 920 with the HTC 8X are very similar: design, colors, operating system, applications … Nokia has not, in fact, a problem of differentiation?
R. If the store devoted one minute to explain the differences to the client, the story changes. Photos in low light, motion video, only available on Nokia applications, like Vista Urbana, ability to use the screen with gloves, she read in full sunlight … are advantages matter much to consumers.
P. announced the Lumia 920 a week before the iPhone 5, but not offer sales figures, not yet reached many countries, such as Spain. Why?
R. In previous releases we chose a wide and rapid distribution. That forces you to allocate the budget toomarketing by country. This time rather focus on specific countries to gain initial traction and then expand to the rest.
P. The terminal will cost 669 euros in Spain, like the iPhone 5, but the brand Nokia still has the same pull. The HTC Galaxy S3 8X or are cheaper. Are they out of money?
A. The market will decide, but in Spain, the price is due to the decision not to subsidize operators phones. In the U.S. the consumer pays $ 99 for the Lumia 920 and AT & T signed a contract for two years with 4G connection. If not here decide subsidize operators, we have to do things differently.
Q. Google is subsidizing and selling outright mobile Nexus 4 for only 299 euros. Why Nokia does something?
A. Because we believe that we have better options other way to highlight the value of the terminal. When we look at the figures and accounts, is the best option for us.
Q. If the Lumia sales do not take off in 2013, Gone?
A. We have five business units: Nokia Siemens Networks, mobile and low midrange, location, patents and smartphones. The first four are profitable and generate revenue. We just made a conscious decision to invest heavily in smartphones to regain our position. Of course it’s not over.
Q. What then arises goals for 2013?
A. I can not give specific figures, but the first great object, without setting a date, is to reach a market share in double digits. Then, keep pushing and striking a balance with the other two major ecosystems, Apple and Android.
P. They have closed the factory last phones in Finland. In Europe there are no computers, phones, and tablets. Have we lost the game against the United States and Asia?
A. What is important is innovation and design, not to put the screws. The camera of the Lumia 920, for example, we have designed almost entirely in Finland, and many of the services we created in Berlin location. That said, we are concerned about the situation in Europe and work closely with the European Commission to encourage them to adopt policies that encourage innovation. A digital single market would help much at all.