Stephen Elop interviewed at All Things D: Nokia not a white box manufacturer

| October 3, 2012 | 47 Replies

Stephen Elop was just interviewed at All Things D. Here are some key points:

  • Would have liked to have done better with first gen Lumia
  • WP7.5 already set by the time Nokia joined
  • Accepts Nokia did not do enough after launching Lumia 800, not focus on carriers and regions
  • Feels this was done better by focusing the 710 (to t-mobile) and 900 (to At&t)
  • Nokia is not anyone’s white box manufacturer, not disappointed in not being asked to build Surface tablet.


That’s just not who we are…I understand why they do Surface, They have long said that the beauty and glory is not being well landed on hardware. They are saying here is the bar; everyone has to be at least this good


  • Elop unaware that Microsoft may be building their own phone. Not that he could say anything even if he knew.
I have no indications they are planning to do their own phone,” Elop said. “They can do it if they so choose”
Next up, the interview about Nokia Location and Nokia’s future.
Having a strong position in a location-based platform — the thing that defines mobility — is a very powerful place to be. But we’ve got to use it wisely
Cheers Janne for the tip!

Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • ggg

    i can accept that you kill symbian and meego, but why kill swipe?

    • We don’t know entirely if that is killed. There are some super basic swipe gestures at least in S40 touch.

      • Weirdfisher

        i think the real meaning of swipe that most of us know is minimizing app by Swiping from the edges

        • torcida

          ..and more

  • nn

    Well, we already know he is completely disconnected from reality. He greeted having competition to their own products before. Sometimes I wonder if his plan includes having phone division at all.

    • Mark


      Same old, same old.

      • GordonH

        Yeah Yawn all you want … you can go to sleep well knowing MS has succeed. Sweet dream Mark sweet dreams.

        • Dave

          ECHO ECHO echo echo echo echo….

        • Mark

          Good. I hope MS and Nokia both succeed in this venture.

          Sorry if that rains on your hate parade.

          • GordonH

            It doesn’t rain on my hate parade. It’s more like millions of Nokia fans shouting to Nokia don’t dance with MS alone, dance with other OS too.
            It’s more like I told you so, and it’s more like Elop should be fired.
            WP8 is a good OS. WP7 was very wrong step technically, that was when things worsened.

            • Mark

              Sorry? By ‘worsened’ do you mean having a smooth MI, good browser and e-mail client that actually worked? Not to mention decent apps and an installation process that didn’t take an eternity?

              I got better for me. Hence the opinion.

              • GordonH

                WP7 was based on WinCE hence the technically poor choice for an OS. Even MS had to ditched WinCE (WP7) for WinNT (WP8). Every talented computer engineer knew that choosing WinCE while ditching Meego(full linux) “was a very wrong step technically”.

                • Mark

                  Who cares? It still worked better than Symbian ever did.

    • Stephen Elop maybe disconnected to your reality, but he isn’t building for the next year or so, he’s building for the next decade.
      He was given the job for his knowledge of the industry, and he has made a decision based on that. I love MeeGo and Symbian, but it is disconnected from any major ecosystem, and as many people say, the ecosystem is more important than any single product.
      Android has Google, iOS has Apple. Both huge well known brands. Nokia is a well known brand, but Symbian and MeeGo are not. Also, WP8 is looking like an interesting platform and could very well be the next generation of smartphone platforms.

      • nn

        “We have to be able to stand up and say this is fundamentally better and different,” Elop said in an interview on Tuesday. Even in hindsight, Elop said, betting on Android would not have given the company the room it needed to stand out from the pack.

        Yep, this man definitely knows what he is doing. Having the exact same SW as others, the same HW as others and almost exact same design as others, the differentiation potential for Nokia couldn’t be bigger.

        In guess in Android land, without Google enforcing SW and HW limitations, they would have big problem to repeat the WP way of standing out of the pack.

        • Mark

          Yeah. Those other phones really have super sensitive screens, wireless charging and OIS cameras, right?

          Your hate has blinded you.

  • Patata

    The real problem is, that the Lumia 800 is a phone that should never have happened. Despite the fact that it came with an OS that MS never gave a future (just as every other 1st gen Lumias) the hardware of that device is so bad that it shouldn’t be sold as a Nokia. Soundquality and camera are far worse than most of Nokia’s previous phones. Of course I know that this is mainly due to the fact that it is a compal rather than a Nokia device, but that’s another reason why it was wrong to ever release it under the Nokia brand.

    • Mark

      On the othe rhand the OS is better than any previous Nokia phone. The camera is pretty poor, although I can’t say I’ve had any issues with sound quality as opposed to, say, my N8 which was curiously quiet.

      • Patata

        I mean mostly the sound quality while listening to music over headset. I still have to carry around my N8 or even N900 just cause they offer a so much better listening experience compared to my L800.
        Not to mention the fact that there is no equalizer or anything else to improve the sound (guess it would be pointless anyway)
        The only similar bad device I own is one of Samsungs Android based Ipod Clones, the Galaxy S Wifi 4.0

        • Patata

          (have to admit that the N900 with the 100% volume mod even beats the N8, that’s why its mostly the N900 that I carry with me to listen to music)

      • Patata

        And yes, UX wise you are right, but everything else?
        WP might offer enough for those who are used to IOS, but what about all those who come from Symbian, Maemo / Meego or even Android?
        Even people who never used a smartphone laugh when I start to tell them about all the things WP can’t do.

        • Mark

          The only things I find slightly – and it’s only slightly – annoying are the inability to attach multiple documents to e-mail and the lack of direct file transfer.

          I can’t honestly say I miss anything else and I much prefer having a UI that’s smooth, an e-mail client that works and a browser that’s functional.


          • Patata

            I miss alternate Browsers, or at least some Kind of adblock. I miss the ability to Download whatever kind of file I want to download, or to be able to upload a picture to a plattform that has no WP app yet. Why that damn IE does not allow such simple tasks? I want apps that actually offer additional functionality not just “apped” webpages.

            • Wp sucks no matter what

              Erm, there are other browsers around you know. not opera mobile and stuff, but there are like UC browser, which is currently my favorite. I can think of QQ browser, Cute Browser for example. All free for you to try!

            • Wp sucks no matter what

              or to be able to upload a picture to a plattform that has no WP app yet.

              for instance? o.o

              • patata

                local german social networks for example.
                It might be new for you, but there is a world / web outside of Facebook and Twitter and there are people using other websites and wp sucks so bad on them.
                And I was talking about alternate browsers not ie skins

          • muhs

            didn’t nokia post on NokConv that they will solve file transfer issue with an app?!

      • ssdh

        *cough* N9 meego-harmattan *cough*

        • Mark

          Yeah, looks nice but let down a bit by underpowered hardware and a poor ecosystem.

          I’m very interested to see what Jolla do though.

          • GordonH

            Poor ecosystem because the CEO gave some fancy negative PR for the N9. Also no roadmap of QT future on mobile devices were shown.
            N9 is proper linux so not hard to adjust the UI and put it up on the OVI store, but all developers ran towards android. Plan to shift consumers and developers towards WP took some expected shifts towards Android.

            • Mark

              Poor ecosystem because it spent about two to three years in developer hell. It should have been out mid 2010.

              It could have been a contender then.

              • jiipee

                Same goes to WP.

                Also, the OS is not linked to underpowered hardware, which was choise made by Nokia for the first device. Harmattan was/is better OS in terms of HW support than WP7.

                Also according to my understanding work for WP8 was started at about the same time as WP8, which means that it took several years.

                Also, ecosystem is not ans OS feature.One cannot say what Meego ecosystem would be today vs WP. One fact is known: WP accelerated after Nokia joined. If they hadnt, there would be no WP

                • jiipee

                  one could also argue that the best choise for MS with dead platformwould have been supportin Meego instead of IOS or Android

    • nn

      The HW was dictated by MS, so it’s not like Nokia have much choice. Also it was rush job, that can explain the other deficiencies in sound quality, etc. I think there was even monetary incentive for Elop to release phones in 2011, so obviously he wanted to get them out no matter at what quality.

  • flynt

    Ah,(not talking about you,Jay. But…)perfect article for some Elop bashing comments about to be posted!

    • GordonH

      Elop bashes Meego, QT and now Nokia. All comments bashing Elop not cool cause Elop is the dude.

  • tired



    In the article Eflop admits that Windows Phone has FAILED UTTERLY!!!!


    • KeiZka

      Now did he? Failing to meet expectations doesn’t mean failing utterly.

    • GordonH

      Elop has too many fancy words to downplay his failures… his excuses and fancy terms for going only WP has gotten many fans.

  • viktor von d.

    so for him that every carrier in europe had the lumia 800 is a problem and wants to play the exclusivity card like in america. hell no. we love our freedom here dude, i don’t want to change carrier to get a phone, or pay for the phone full price unlocked just so i can use it on my current network. i want to buy it with subsidies.
    this really makes my head hurt

    • Dave

      “Freedom” is buying your phone separately from the carrier. If you want a loan, borrow from a bank, not from a carrier.

      A “subsidy” is not charity, you pay for it anyway, in the form of higher costs and contract commitments.Of course the contract without a phone should be dirt freaking cheap, and if it’s not, it’s because YOU are subsiding other people’s phones that way! (AT&T ahem)

      • jiipee

        In several markets that approach does not work at all. Not in all countries the market is dictated by operators.
        Would be interesting to hear, if US was the only weak point for Nokia earlier. If it was the only one, howcome they failed now when they were able to sell Symbian. Maybe the horrible communication had an impact. Noooway.

      • viktor von d.

        yes with a subsidy you pay it anyway but you pay it in time and you don’t have to move to other operators to get the phone. i’m curently on vodafone. and if i buy a new phone i rather my operator have it. i don’t want to move to orange and loose my perks just for a phone. elop is talking out of his ass. i’m not one of his detractors, i really believe in hime, but what he said now is bulshit. the only reason the devices didn’t sell well in europe is because of the limited wp7 platform, the very high prices at launch for what the phone offers and the fact that more then half of europe got the devices a few months after the original launch. by then people on blogs and shop staff already got aquainted with the limited wp7 experience and started bad mouthing wp and sheperd people towards android. in my country this is what happened. the devices launched in february,march, they didn’t have any tv promotion untill the summer, and only now in late august-early september one operator started to promote the lumia lineup heavily with deals on dataplans and cheap prices

  • stephen ahonen

    i don’t really understand this article, coz’ i’m not familiar with contract system, in my country, > 95% phones are sold unlocked – SIM-free.

    I usually buy 250 EUR phone, and spend 4 EUR for unlimited data plan, and another 3-4 EUR for making phone calls & SMS monthly.

    So, in 2 years, i spent 418-442 EUR in total for communication.

    How about you guys in western countries?

    • shallow ocean shoal

      It’s more expensive, but we can drink the tap water

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