Stephen Elop Roundup

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop as been busy this week talking to a lot of people.  He was at All About Digital (D9) and was keynote speaker at Qualcomm’s Uplinq conference. He also gave interviews to several people and a article was published about his time so far at Nokia.  In some ways we didn’t learn much that was new (much was already mentioned in other places like at McMaster University), but things did have their interesting points, with regard to Windows Phone, Symbian and MeeGo.  If you are looking for a mention of Qt here, surprisingly you are out of luck.

So without further ado, here’s the links you need (With 2 older ones thrown in):

  1. Business Week – Stephen Elop’s Nokia Adventure
  2. D9 blog
  3. D9 blog 2
  4. D9 Video (Abbreviated)
  5. CNBC
  6. Uplinq Live Blog
  7. Uplink post keynote interview
  8. Nokia Conversations China (last week)
  9. And for those who missed this the first time round, hour long video from McMaster University (Older, but well worth watching)

So What did we learn (Sources by numbers from above list).


  • 2/3/4/MyNokiaBlog – Stephen Elop had a device in his pocket which is widely believed to be the N9
  • 1/3 MeeGo (9 and Symbian) originally favored to be Nokia key platform(s)
  • 1/6 MeeGo dropped because the rate of development was too slow

At its current pace, Nokia was on track to introduce only three MeeGo-driven models before 2014—far too slow to keep the company in the game. Elop tried to call Oistämö, but his phone battery was dead. “He must have been trying an Android phone that day,” says Elop. When they finally spoke late on Jan. 4, “It was truly an oh-s–t moment—and really, really painful to realize where we were,” says Oistämö. Months later, Oistämö still struggles to hold back tears. “MeeGo had been the collective hope of the company,” he says, “and we’d come to the conclusion that the emperor had no clothes. It’s not a nice thing.”


  • 9 – Symbian (1/3 and MeeGo) originally favored to become Nokia key platform(s)
  • 2/8 – Symbian getting support and updates to 2016
  • 2/3/4/6/7/9 – Symbian has engineering issues of some sort making development slow

Nokia’s equivalent tools gave developers fits. “Developing for Symbian,” says Artman, the former Nokian, “could make you want to slice your wrists.”

We said, with Symbian it’s going to take us too long to get where we want to go. It’s crufty, it takes too long to change. To modernize, to take that forward, what does it take?

Windows Phone:

  • 2/3/4/5/6. Nokia on target to release a Windows Phone device this year
  • 2/3/4/5. First Nokia Windows Phone developed in US
  • 6. Nokia Windows Phones (at least the first ones) will have Qualcomm chips
  • 2/3/4.  Elop carries a Nokia Windows phone as one of several he has
  • 6. Skype will be part of the Windows Phone ecosystem
  • 1/2/3/4/6. Nokia competing first against Android and Apple, then against other Windows Phone makers
  • 5. Will be a range of Windows Phone at all price points but won’t just get a lot of phones out for the sake of it.
  • 1. Elop had been on the other side of negotiations with Nokia over MS Office support for Symbian
  • 1. MS had previously wanted Nokia to sell Windows Mobile – Nokia wanted Maps added to the system and add revenue from it if they were gong to do that (as well as Office Support in Symbian – which was the only bit that was ever agreed agreed).
  • 1. Nokia felt this time had very strong bargaining positions as MS wouldn’t want them to go to Android, and made all the above demands plus money plus ability to customize/innovate and add those innovations to the OS platform – Got exactly what they wanted.
  • 1/2/3/4/6/9. Nokia felt they could differentiate more with Windows Phone than Android
  • 2. Won’t do things on Nokia phones that won’t work on other devices too
  • 1/2/3/5/6. Will be the only company doing their best work for Windows Phone

Stephen is talking about the fragmentation of Android and how much partners can really contribute to the OS. Microsoft offered another option where they could directly input and grow the way they need to to create great products

Future Disruptions:

  • 1. Elop has built a team of core MeeGo and Symbian engineers and told them to build the next disruption from the ground up, free from having to have it ready to replace Symbian now.

Elop’s third priority has been dubbed New Disruptions. It’s a fully sanctioned skunkworks, with teams in Helsinki and Silicon Valley, staffed by top technical talent from the discontinued Symbian and MeeGo efforts, especially MeeGo……The goal, as Elop told a group of engineers in Berlin on Feb. 29, is once again to “find that next big thing that blows away Apple, Android, and everything we’re doing with Microsoft right now and makes it irrelevant—all of it. So go for it, without having to worry about saving Nokia’s rear end in the next 12 months. I’ve taken off the handcuffs.”


  • 6. Apple closed system part responsible for Android open system creation
  • 6/9. Not sure how long Android will be as open
  • 1. Nokia has 11,600 engineers and with Android they “would have next to no ability to add their own innovations to Google’s software” because…
  • 1. Google were not willing to negotiate a special deal with Nokia

But Google was riding so high that it essentially refused to negotiate, offering no concessions to Nokia despite its global presence. Elop later told the Salo employees that Google “acted like they’d already won. Apple and Android deserve some real competition.”

Other points of interest:

  • 1/2/3/4/5. Rumors of Microsoft takeover of Nokia are baseless
  • 6. Met with Qualcomm during 1st day at work
  • 7. Two ecosystems are not enough in the eyes of consumers and carriers
  • 8. Nokia hiring for new innovations center in China – focus on feature phones and Windows Phone
  • 8. Elop has several phones on him, including competitors phones, and a Nokia Oro
  • 2/3/6 Important for Nokia to be in the tablet space

On tablets – there are hundreds (201?) of options out there but only one is really selling well. The rest aren’t really selling well or drawing consumers. For Nokia on tablets – “I don’t just want to be number 202 – We have to be able to offer something new and differentiated”


About bluechrism

I am a software developer with most professional experience in the Windows .Net realm and I'm currently a WPF developer with Starkey Labs. However, I have wanted for some time to start the mobile developer journey properly and being an N900 owner, this was to be in the realm of QT. Job hunting, moving to Minnesota and changing jobs put my plans on hold 6-12 months but things are starting to settle now, just as I'm getting sorted to start some things, Microsoft and Nokia merge. This blog is about my novice mobile development experiences and hopefully will end up complete with links to download some apps on various platforms, but obviously by the name, Sybian, Maemo/Meego and Windows Mobile. In other stuff, I am English, I support Everton FC, I have visited Glastonbury music festival 5 times and recommend it to anyone. I am married and my wife and i have a dog called Friday.
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