Microsoft Reportedly Testing Smartphone with Asian Suppliers

| November 2, 2012 | 135 Replies
Windows Phone 8 Ballmer
 This isn’t the first rumor we hear regarding a Microsoft phone, also being called the “surface” phone; and honestly it’s pretty much a sure thing, the real question is only when? Well according to the Wall Street JOurnal Microsoft are currently testing out the phone with some Asian suppliers, with a rumored screen size somewhere between 4-5″ . On the other hand The Verge’s sources confirm the phone’s production but insist that it’s a “Plan B” device in case all else fails from the WP8 OEMs:
Microsoft has gone out of its way to promote the efforts of hardware partners such as HTC and Nokia, and our sources tell us that any “Surface phone” would likely be deployed as a “Plan B” should Windows Phone 8 fail to gain significant traction

Category: Nokia, Windows Phone

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Comments (135)

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  1. Patata says:

    So at least MS has something Nokia doesn’t have: a Plan B

    • Rinslowe says:


      Can you be sure?

    • incognito says:

      Oh, Snap!

    • Merja P. says:

      Oh snap, you’re wrong. Nokia does have a plan B but they are keeping it under wraps. I read in a interview that they do indeed have a plan B but they don’t wanna specify what it is, any guesses? going both WP and Android? just Android? something else?

      Seriosly, why are people convinced that Nokia doesn’t have a plan B? Of course a company as big as Nokia has a backup plan, they’re not THAT stupid…

      • incognito says:

        Ummm, I don’t know, maybe because the CEO of that very same big company publicly said on a number of occasions that their Plan B is to make sure Plan A very successful? Now, if you call Mr. Stephen a liar, we could agree on that (the diatribe of lies in that ‘burning platform’ memo is staggering) but who are we to claim they do have a `Plan B` when their own CEO rejects any notion of it?

        • Zipa says:

          Umm, what did you expect him to say? “Ya, we’re totally all in on this WP, but we don’t really think it will work, so here’s a bunch of other things we are considering…”

          Yes, that would be really smart.

          • nn says:

            If it was only what he says, then you are right that nobody would take this stupid talk about no plan B seriously. Thus he is backing his talk with actions: he purged all alternatives inside Nokia, he eradicated all the talent, fired people, sold assets. He tied Nokia to MS and he is mounting attacks against Android on behalf of MS.

        • Tom says:

          When are they going to invoke Plan B, when WP market share down to 0 and Nokia dies. MS is doing well, their share price has went up since the WP deal. Nokia is down the drain. MS can build surface tablet and phone if they want, Nokia can’t used any other OS, not their own even. What kind of moron Elop is and how can he sign such a contract.

          • Jiipee says:

            If you look at this from the common Nokia and MS major shareholders pov, they have made profit despite Nokia has sunk. Just saying.

      • Jiipee says:

        Chairman of the board mr Siilasmaa hinted that Nokia has plan B. That is true.

        It was discussed in the media that the plan B could be Android.

        The next day someone from Nokia stated that there is only WP, no other options.

        The plan B could well be that they have the option to sell some part of manufacturing, lisences and resources to MS or other party. Follow the IBM path.

        • krustylicious says:

          “The plan B could well be that they have the option to sell some part of manufacturing, lisences and resources to MS or other party.”

          pretty much it.

      • j says:

        i think jolla is plan b. and cooperation with blackberry.

    • Adrian says:

      If Windows phones sell well this time round, then MS would be foolish to do anything controversial that might upset things. There is too much risk for them and would look too much like hubris.

      If sales are disappointing then the introduction of a Surface phone makes a bit more sence as it allows MS a last spin of the dice. It deflects (by implication) criticism away from their OS and onto Nokia, HTC and Samsung devices and provides an excuse for the failure of their OS to gain momentum – hopefully it won’t be a failure but if it is it’ll be more to do with their OS than anything else.

  2. spacemodel says:

    A Nexus like phone by Microsoft, for a Nexus like price and with a Nexus like update pattern.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the way the people in Redmond are thinking at this moment and if that’s the case it’s the definite knock-out for our company.

  3. shyne says:

    Unlike Nexus , it will hurt the OEMs for sure !!
    Especially our NOKIA :(

    • Tom says:

      With 75% market share of Android, every one can get a fair pei. Good luck with 2% market share of WP.

    • migo says:

      Actually, the Nexus 4 could be a huge blow to Android OEMs.

      Any Android that’s half decent, even if 1-1.5 years old is being sold at around $300 unlocked. The Nexus 4 smokes them. There’s no reason to get a $250 Android, the cost savings just aren’t worth it. Then you go down to $200 and there isn’t even a decent Android that’s worth getting. There’s the ultra-cheap range with the Optimus Net and Desire C, but those phones aren’t what could be described as good – and FireFox OS is coming in to take that price point (which is also likely to be trouble for Nokia and selling cheap Tango devices as well as the Asha line).

      Right now, literally the only reason to not buy the Nexus 4 if you’re going Android, assuming you’re not an idiot who only looks at what your carrier sells, is if you *need* more than 16GB of storage, or really want or need LTE (some places apparently have some pretty insane HSPA congestion, which makes LTE a necessity). And at that point you’re payin 1.5-2x as much as the Nexus 4. If you’re going to be on a contract anyway because you can’t change carriers due to service quality, then getting a device subsidy can also help. Price wise, only the Xiaomi MI-2 is any close, and it’s only available for sale in China. Huawei and ZTE will probably survive fine due to their relationships with Chinese carriers.

      Previous Nexus devices were always quite expensive, launching at over $600, designed to spur better development of hardware, but they also gave manufacturers room to sell some cheaper devices with lower specs for people who don’t need everything that it offers.

      The thing is it’s also a blow to the WP OEMs. The midrange WP8 phones are launching at at least $100 more than the Nexus 4 – if you’re considering a midrange device, you’re willing to compromise on features due to price, so when you see a flagship on a different OS for much cheaper you might consider it too.

      The Lumia 920 still has a place, the rest of their line, not so much, which could be a good thing. If Nokia is forced to only make premium devices, where the only way they can turn a profit is to downsize a bit and only focus on a single hero device, following Apple’s model of selling the previous year’s model at a lower price, that would certainly benefit all Nokia fans. The sad thing is Nokia probably won’t take that route.

      If the Surface RT is any indication, the Surface Phone wouldn’t follow the Nexus 4 route, it’d be a premium hardware product, while keeping the premium price as well, so the rest of the WP OEMs still have a chance to at least differentiate on price (and that could work, the Surface RT is inexplicably selling out, despite the price being absolutely outrageous).

      I still think the best thing for MS to do at this point is make it a ‘Surface Pocket’ – a direct competitor to the iPod touch, around the same price. That’d stimulate the ecosystem without cannibalising Windows Phone sales, and instead eating into the iOS marketshare. The iPod touch is very popular among teenagers as they don’t have the money to pay for a phone contract themselves, and their parents won’t want to cover that either (that can get absurdly expensive). The iPod touch is the only option that’s widely available for sale. A Surface Pocket would provide an alternative option for parents to buy.

      • Jeff says:

        Google et al are only doing this lower pricing temporarily to make it harder for MS et all to get traction, the Android OEM’s know this.

        • migo says:

          Amazon is hardly in cahoots with Google here. Amazon’s not doing it temporarily, they’re going to sell tablets at cost in the long term. Google is going to stick with it in the long term as well, as that protects their search business. They’re not doing it just temporarily to skunk Microsoft, although that’s certainly the effect it’s going to have on the short term.

          • Jeff says:

            we will see, the future will prove me to be correct & you clueless (or more likely bias confirmation motivated).
            In relative terms it will become much higher again.

            • migo says:

              Prices didn’t go back up on laptops after the Eee PC. Prices didn’t go back up on tablets after the iPad. Once prices go down, they don’t go back up.

              • Jeff says:

                you’re srly trying to assert they’re going to fall to nexus 4 lvl android-wide at the top-end & stay there, & only ever for android, riiight, lets wait & see shall we crazy man.

      • Jeff says:

        Some other (mostly) decent, & conceivably possible points.

  4. jiipee says:

    Some things to consider:
    – If MS decides to launch their own phone, do they need to pay something for using Nokia’s IP?
    – Is there any other change Nokia’s platform support payments? Eg. does MS need to pay more for Nokia’s mapping data, operator billing possiblity etc. Should the paltform support payment be higher since MS does not offer similar marketing support eg. on their WP homepage and adverts after having own device.
    – In which channels will MS offer the device?
    – What will happen to the partnership status? It will the cumbersome to set up organizational firewalls, where MS device devs do not know about Nokia’s and other OEMs product/feature roadmap
    – What will happen with Nokia’s exclusivity deals with for instance EA? I dont think MS has been happy that Nokia has exclusivity deals with app/game providers.

    • nn says:

      IMHO if it gets to the point that MS thinks Nokia failed, then they will simply screw them over, do what they regard as best for themselves and left whatever problems arise to lawyers and courts. They always do it this way. And of course Nokia now isn’t in position to resist such treatment.

      • incognito says:

        … which, despite being arguably unethical, is nothing wrong from Microsoft’s perspective. Microsoft will do whatever it takes to ensure their survival and prosperity, and if that means dead Nokia – so be it.

        It’s not Microsoft’s fault Nokia was incredibly stupid to put themselves into this corner despite voices from left and right telling them that only an idiot would do what they did. That is, if you don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theories of Microsoft installing Elop to do exactly that…

        • Tom says:


          I agree, MS has never been a reliable partner. Look at the long list they killed/screwed. Trusting them means you have’t learned from history. Elop gets big bonus/salary package, so he is happy to kill Nokia.

          • krustylicious says:

            Oh the list of killed companies due microsoft is huge. Microsoft was at one stage so hell bent on ie6 being the “standard” it causes years and years of issues for consumers and web designers. One could argue strongly that ie6 held back the net.

            Nokia really needs a smartphone plan b now and its it needs to be ready by jan 2013

            But Elop must go now ..

            • migo says:

              IE6 was one of the best things to happen to the net, and for consumers. Because IE6 held the net back, Asus was able to make the Eee PC at an affordable price point, that actually could be used for browsing the web. Had IE6 not made web development stagnate, such a cheap laptop wouldn’t have been viable or remotely useful.

              It also allowed smartphones to take off. Back when IE6 was still the standard, and EDGE was as fast as it got for most people, you could use your phone’s browser (be it the one on the E6x series, the N95, the iPhone or the HTC Touch) to view full webpages and not have it crash.

              Once FireFox was able to get enough traction, with new features, to force MS to upgrade IE to keep up with the new W3c standards, those phones became largely useless.

              IE6 allowed the mobile web to take off (not the crappy WAP version) and it allowed budget computers in the sub-$400 to become viable. Even now that you have to buy a newer system just to keep up with where HTML5 is going, and running 3D games is sometimes less taxing than web browsing, at least you don’t have to take out a mortgage to buy a new PC once your old one became obsolete.

              • Jeff says:

                hilarious reading.

              • incognito says:

                Wow, that’s the best spin / apologetic comment I’ve read in quite a while. Bravo, sir! I expect you to cover some other fictional topics in the future:

                WAR IS PEACE
                FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

                • migo says:

                  It’s not a spin, it’s the truth. The Eee PC could have never happened if FireFox had been dominant and taken off, and the iPhone wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive for browsing the real web. Admittedly given the crappy memory management of FireFox it might have taken off if RAM prices didn’t skyrocket at the beginning of the decade, constraining everyone to RAM that could only reasonably support IE shells like Maxthon and Tencent Browser.

              • Noki says:

                simply WOW :D

      • Sefriol says:

        Screwing Nokia will be their biggest mistake ever. Without buying the whole Nokia Microsoft wont do it.
        And if WP (=Nokia) totally fails, what’s the point in making your own phone? How could MS by themselves do it any better?

        It’s other way around: if WP gets successful enough, MS will release their own phone just like Google does. They want bigger piece of the pie.

        • nn says:

          Of course MS making their own phone can’t change the fact that WP utterly failed. But MS fails to see that the problem with WP is WP itself, instead they think the HW makers are incompetent and only if the right HW is made, WP will be hit. It’s like Elop with his constant blaming of retail staff.

        • Jiipee says:

          MS does not need Nokia that much anymore. Nokia is out of cash to push WP more than half a year. I bet Nokia has out all the mobile OS know-how to WP8 and WP 7.8 versions. Somewhere it was hinted that the camera stack is more or less by Nokia. Nokia has bundled good amount of IP to the common trolls and it is doubtfull they can back that up. They’ve lost a great deal of sales personnel, which must have weakened their operator/sales channel position (there has been several reports that reseller chains eg in Russia and India have switched over to Samsung et al. I dont know, how the WP store works, but Id guess that big part of thr operator billing is already integrated. Mapping data is also lisenced. What did I forget?

  5. nn says:

    Seems Ballmer didn’t get the Elop memo that plan B is for wimps, real man just “focus” and when things finally explode then so what, at least it was fun ride.

    • Rinslowe says:

      Better to burn out, than to fade away…

      • nn says:

        Yeah yeah, sad that from the major companies only Elop knows this eternal truth that it’s better to quickly burn out than just slowly flourish.

      • incognito says:

        So I assume you’ll commit a suicide when you turn 60ish and your body and brain stop functioning properly… Better to go out with a bang than to slowly fade away ’til you’re 80-90 and finally die in some old people’s home, right?

        And since when the only two options were to either crash and burn with fireworks, or to slowly fade into oblivion?

  6. Cod3rror says:

    That plan B will be a giant failure too.

    Metro UI sucks, Microsoft cannot understand it. Someone infiltrated that company and installed a virus there called “Metro UI”.

    • Tom says:

      No more Metro UI.. someone screwed them with the name. No one knows what the new name is either. I like it someone sticks it to MS the way MS has been doing for decades to others.

  7. chainsmoker says:

    This is not a plan B. Like Google needs nexus for a “reference phone” also MS needs “surface” for the same purpose.

    Surface phone allows MS independence on the OEMs in further OS&ecosystem development. At the same time MS can be neutral as any OEM co-operating in the OS version development phase has a significant advantage against the other players.

    Of course this means weaker position for Nokia but the point is: MS can and will do this only after breakthough of WP8. Currently, and for the next year or so, MS is dependent on Nokia like Nokia is dependent on Microsoft. This dependency will only be broken after the breakthrough and significant market share of both WP8 and Lumia.

    At that point “surface phone” will probably be equally in interest of Nokia. It is much better that MS does the development on top of their own “reference phone” than in co-operation with some other OEM.

    Having said this, of course MS may also plan to back up Nokia and HTC primarily in the US market, if adoption of WP8 platform turns out to be disappointing. But what would be the odds for MS in this situation? Just recall apple with antenna gate and stuff. Or Kin. The competition is much tougher than during the days iphone was launched. And the phone manufacturers have this 10-20 years of experience and know how in tuning all the details in the phone. Microsoft understands this fully and the market should understand this as well.

    MS is just building an independent development and trial environment for the coming “years of dominance” of the Windows Phone. A natural step in ecosystem evolution.

    • nn says:

      So Nokia will end up in weaker position, but that’s in their interest… Elop’s logic detected!

    • Average Joe says:

      “If I happened to be someone who was an Android manufacturer or an operator or anyone with a stake in that environment, I would be picking up my phone and calling certain executives at Google to say ‘I see signs of danger ahead.’”

      – Stephen Elop, in August 2011, about Google starting to make their own phones

      • incognito says:

        And yet Google is still not making their own phones, it is even questionable if they purchased Motorola so they could produce their own hardware or just for the IP.

        Nexus line is not Google phone, they are done with Google’s saying in that, similarly as Lumia phones are not Microsoft phones even tho Nokia claimed that Microsoft has worked with them on the Lumia line. If Google was to release Google Nexus, not tied to any particular OEM and designed and manufactured by themselves, then we’ll have the situation that Microsoft is pursuing, yet Elop was slanting such moves even as a mere notion of the things to come a short year ago, today he sings a different tune on the possibility of Microsoft making their own phones.

        Bottom line – when you go for exclusivity, if your partner of choice becomes your competition – you’re effed. But it was your stupid decision, and if you are destined to be effed your pants will drop by themselves.

        • Zipa says:

          Nokia’s competition is Android. I don’t see MSFT producing Android phones in the near future, thus becoming Nokia’s competitor.

          • Tom says:

            Nokia’s primary competition is HTC and anyone else making WP phones. Anyone who wants a WP phone will choose between WP vendors.

            • migo says:

              Nope, because for phones to have a chance of selling they need to have apps, and for apps the install base has to grow. Microsoft’s doing an excellent job of attracting devs with such a low install base (only Palm has been able to do a similarly good job, albeit with a much smaller fraction of users, and therefor devs), but the rest has to come from device sales. Any sale of a WP device benefits Nokia because that makes WP more attractive to devs, which means more apps, which makes WP, and by extension Nokia, more attractive to users.

              There certainly is competition within WP, but that’s not the primary competition, that’s secondary. Nokia wants WP to grow as much as possible, and to have a majority marketshare of WP. Wiping out HTC right now would be silly.

              Also, platform isn’t necessarily the first way people go. For good phone hardware, you’ve got Nokia, Motorola and RIM, each on a different platform. So if you’ve made your initial decision that you need your phone to work as a phone first, then you have those 3 options, and you then choose based on platform. If WP is strong then it’s attractive compared to BB10 and Android, and the sale goes to Nokia – HTC would never be considered from that perspective.

              Nokia also has further hardware differentiation, not on specs, but in features, that makes them stand out, and get sales for Nokia first rather than WP first.

          • nn says:

            Well, formally Nokia still isn’t MS division therefore by simple logic Android can’t be their competition. They are no longer in OS development business nor in smartphone ecosystem business.

        • migo says:

          Google purchased Motorola so Motorola wouldn’t sue other Android manufacturers. A Motorola exec brought that up in an interview, and a couple days later Google had agreed to pay $12bn for them.

          One of their own OEMs beginning a lawsuit against other OEMs would have been a death blow to Android. Google did it to protect Android, but not really to protect against Apple and Microsoft (although that was certainly a nice bonus from the deal).

      • Tom says:

        Ahh.. I am thinking Elop may have dialed in balmer and Balmer said, shut up or I’ll stick it in your a$$.

    • j says:

      well for me it was clear that this is microsofts plan and nokia is just a tool which is going to be thrown away when the job was done.

    • Tom says:

      What good is 10 years of making phone when you can’t do anyting MS does not approve? You can’t use another CPU or another component that MS does not approve. You have to pay for qualcomm cpu/baseband you like it or not, even if competition is cheaper.

      • migo says:

        Qualcomm makes the best phone chips right now, as far as performance and battery life goes. Tying the platform to Snapdragon was one of the best decisions Microsoft made with regards to Windows Phone.

        TI is exiting the market, nVidia has been floundering with Tegra, Apple only makes chips for themselves. Your only alternative for Qualcomm is Samsung, and even Samsung uses Qualcomm chips in some of their phones.

        • Shane says:

          “Qualcomm makes the best phone chips right now, as far as performance and battery life goes.”

          Yes, RIGHT NOW…

          “Tying the platform to Snapdragon was one of the best decisions Microsoft made with regards to Windows Phone.”

          It didn’t look like that at all some time back, it has been somewhat fortuitous, NOW.

          “TI is exiting the market,”

          It’s not yet certain TI is, that’s a premature claim…

          “nVidia has been floundering with Tegra, Apple only makes chips for themselves. Your only alternative for Qualcomm is Samsung, and even Samsung uses Qualcomm chips in some of their phones.”

          nV might be not doing as well now but things change…
          Samsung the ONLY alternative? Well there you go, there’s an alternative, that was his whole point.
          Besides, there’s others you conveniently omit…

          • migo says:

            Qualcomm’s been in the business for a long time, and Microsoft wouldn’t be where they are without having people with foresight working for them. It wasn’t an accident that they chose Qualcomm as the exclusive supplier of SOCs for Windows Phone.

            TI has been trying to get out for a while, and even if they weren’t, they’re incapable of providing an SOC with LTE built in.

            Yes, there are others, but we’re not really considering the likes of RockChip now are we?

            • Shane says:

              It’s how you spin your comments, try re-reading what I wrote.
              TI’s not incapable of producing a SoC with LTE (same for others) & there’s still some question as-to-what their final moves will be.
              I see you still chose to ignore substantial others…

              • tom says:

                Qualcomm may be making the best processor for mobile, they surely don’t make the cheapest. That’s a problem in low end. Qualcomm is only good in high end.

                • Shane says:

                  That’s not relevant….
                  So long as they’re dominating the top-end*, they can easily re-tool/price for the low-end, & dominate the price/perf ratio there too.
                  But only if they’re willing to compromise on profit, in order to dominate that space longer-term, which won’t be hard concept for them to get.

                  *which (as migo conveniently omits) won’t be forever.

                  • Noki says:

                    so only one supplier with monopoly of market is good for nokia buying options? Interesting…. I’m sure Qualcomm will make a nokia a special discount price because they are historically such good friends.

                    • Shane says:

                      If Nokia wants to offer the best product for low end they’ll buy the best SoC, if Qualcomm can offer that to them at reasonable pricing, I dont see why Nokia wouldn’t jump at that opportunity.

                      Having said that, I’m not expect them to offer the best price/perf ratio forever, even if they manage to get themselves into a marketing dominating position in top-end & low-end, things change.

                  • migo says:

                    Intel has been dominating the top end in desktop CPUs forever. AMD briefly got on top, but Intel redid their system to a tick-tock and they’ve been destroying them ever since. ATI was never able to beat nVidia in graphics, and Apple was never able to beat Microsoft in desktop OS share. Nobody has beaten Google for search market share. Once a company gets on top, they generally stay there until a new product category comes out.

                    • Shane says:

                      Wrong, ATi has consistently beaten nV in graphics, that’s the only division at AMD that has been competitive in recent yrs, lately nV has retaken the crown, but it’s likely to change again.
                      I knew you were going to pull out the old x86 & desktop OS examples, nice “apples v oranges” market comparisons there.
                      Before making the claim, how about actually waiting till it’s the status-quo, it’s far from that thus far, & it’s far from clear that others are totally incapable of responding in a sustained way that corrects momentum towards a monopoly that exactly resembles the poor examples you’ve cited.

                • migo says:

                  They make cheap processors too, they’re just not as powerful. They’ll sell S4 for the high end, and S2 for the low end, and you’ve got phones with an S2 slated for a sub-$100 handset. It doesn’t need to get much cheaper than that.

              • migo says:

                If they’re not incapable of it, why haven’t they done it yet? Qualcomm’s eating them up.

                • Shane says:

                  Let see you squirm out of this one next yr some time, Samsung or others (or both) will step-up, then you’ll have some other excuse.


    I need not say anything anymore.

  9. d says:

    So much for the special relationship. Where is Janne?

  10. efekt says:

    If its true, I actually think this is very good news. WP8 platform needs as many ‘players’ as possible, and MS entering with their own devices will give a bigger boost to WP8 ecosystem.
    I actually bet Nokia would congratulate MS for this.

  11. Rudeboi says:

    It will be good if Microsoft makes their own phone cause that’s more money in Nokia pockets. I believe Nokia will be fine. Instead of looking for something negative try being more supportive. They rush a product the first time and it sold pretty good and now the Newer Lumia’s should do well. Nokia has too many patents in its portfolio

  12. kan says:

    Ballmer has made it clear MS future is un devices and services. Only Qualcom, Apple and suprisingly enough MS have ARM licenses that lets them modify the chip designs. Others like Samsung use stock ARM designs.

    At the moment MS cannot alienate its hardware partners but its clear if they see greater value in delivering a complete package like Apple including stores then Nokia et Al may just become ODM or possibly OEM.

  13. Francis says:

    Microsoft is desperately needs new and better momentum for their WP’s Ecosystem.

    Their runner, Stephen Elop, had failed to execute the vision timely in Nokia. Microsoft see big danger ahead, as they are too much depending on Nokia to execute the WP’s ecosystem. Nokia is too weak and the downfall will pulling down WP too, and MS CAN NOT allow this to be happen.

    Hence, MS needs to offer Surface Smartphone too, inline with Surface tablet, and Desktop Windows; to reinforce the visionary of MS for Ultimate Windows Ecosystem.

  14. Mike says:

    Time for Nokia go to Plan B. The partnership is over with Microsoft if they release a phone.

    • migo says:

      Depends on the phone features. Unless Nokia makes it for them, they can’t compete with PureView. They can compete with Nokia on the screen, though, so they could make a more sleek device with better symmetry, that is otherwise premium like a high end Lumia and offers better quality than HTC. If they offer that at around the same $600+ price that a 9 series Lumia goes for, it’s offering a different option based on user preferences.

      On the other hand, if they pull a Nexus 4, they’ve essentially decided to throw all their OEMs under the bus and go the Apple/Amazon route. Since they’ve switched to the App Store model, they can make money from taking a cut of app sales, rather than from OS licensing fees, so they could very well afford to sell hardware at cost, like what Amazon (and now apparently Google) is doing.

      It’s a precarious position for Nokia, for sure, but Nokia on some level knew that years ago, which is why they tried developing Ovi. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough clout to be able to really push it, as when they didn’t cater to the carriers, they got thrown entirely out of the market. They knew what to do, but they couldn’t execute. Similarly, Microsoft (Bill Gates in particular) knew that tablets would be a big deal, but weren’t able to execute properly either. Apple was able to.

  15. Shane says:

    Oh dear, silly, silly, Nok :-/

  16. rustyknight17 says:

    Hoo boy , not a smart move by MS ..
    Kinda figures MS ,but not Nokia ( apparently ) would have a plan B . By the same token , however , it`s not a smart move at the moment because it clearly implies that MS doesn`t have faith in their own OS or in their OEM partners .
    As for a Nokia Plan B , Elop has said over and over that they don`t have one, and Nokia`s actions certainly back that up . Nokia had a couple of very good plan Bs ; Symbian/Meego , with the 2 apparently planned to merge and Meltemi . According to earlier MNB articles , Nokia had several Meego successor phones schelduled for late 2011/early 2012 release , and Meltemi was only 2 months from release when it was canned .
    Thing is , MS doesn`t seem to realise that the chief issue with WP is WP itself , meaning lack of features needed to succeed , especially in emerging markets , which account for a significant portion of the market . WP8 is better than WP7 , but it has higher requirements than 7 and its reliance on the cloud and a constant connection r not going to endear it in emerging markets , except for the affluent customers . Thus IMHO , I don`t see WP as more than moderately successful at best. , thus Nokia needs a plan B…

    • Noki says:

      if Asha line was being sold as planed with meltemi nokia would have a plan B already and selling more than WP, But we could not have that could we???

    • migo says:

      It’s actually a good move from the perspective of attracting devs. Devs might be concerned about working with WP if the future is uncertain, but if they know that no matter what, devices will be sold, and that Microsoft will do anything to push it through, they’ll make the software. That strengthens WP as a platform, and makes current WP devices more attractive due to the active developer support.

      Anyone can buy a Lumia now knowing that even if Nokia can’t push through, Microsoft will find a way to keep the platform alive, so their investment won’t be a waste.

      Nokia is working the emerging market area just fine by themselves, they don’t need MS for that. Sales for dumbphones are actually going up for Nokia. Their main concern should really be Firefox OS (and since FFOS is targeted for Snapdragon, it’s actually not that hard for them to just pick up that platform and continue doing what they’re doing).

      • rustyknight17 says:

        Nokia isn`t working the emerging market just fine , they`ve been losing share there . Nokia`s managed to gain some market share back , but they still have a long way to go . And since emerging markets r where the real growth is , this is a major issue …
        Nor is the Firefox OS the only threat in emerging markets , Android is also dangerous , not to forget RIM if BB10 is a success and can be scaled down . Asha Touch is a great step , but Nokia must do better if they expect to regain lost market share in emerging markets . This ,incidentally , is why canning Meltemi was so stupid!
        Addressing ur other point , as I said above , the Surface phone isn`t a good idea as it clearly indicates that MS doesn`t have faith in either it`s own OS or in it`s` OEM partners .And it`s doubly stupid because WP has yet to catch on and an MS phone could do irreparable harm to the platform .
        MS is so focused on immediate profits that they don`t see the danger . They`re trying to copy Apple and Google to an extent .The trouble is that Apple and Google have an enormous lead ; breaking their hold over the high end nmarket is difficult at best . Ms and Nokia might manage that to some degree , but if they want WP to be a real success , that means cracking the emerging markets market , which WP isn`t designed for .

        • migo says:

          They increased sales QoQ in the feature phone segment, that means they are working it just fine. It just means other manufacturers are working there as well.

          • rustyknight17 says:

            Like I said they have regained some share of the low end market , but Nokia is nowhere close to what it was , so , no they r not doing okay as yet , Nokia is doing damage control .
            Asha Touch is a great first step , but it`s a holding action at best . If Nokia wants to regain their former dominance , they must do better , which means something along the lines of Meltemi or Meego lite

            • Noki says:

              elop smartly put an end to that didn’t he?

              A genius.

              • rustyknight17 says:

                YUP , HE`S EITHER A MASTER ACTOR or he`s too stupid to be CEO . Either way , he ( and the board ) need to go . When ur company is in dire straits , u don`t kill the moneymakers !!!

            • migo says:

              And they’ll never be, because the market is growing, and they didn’t have the foresight to see where it was growing to until it already happened. Increasing sales are increasing sales regardless, and since they’re not selling that type of hardware at a loss, they’ll make profits at least in that department.

              • rustyknight17 says:

                That`s true as far as it goes !And don`t get me wrong , I`m pleased to see Nokia doing better . OTOH , they r regaining lost ground in feature phones , so it`s more controlling damage than progress . Nevertheless , it`s good ! Now if we can get WP8 to be a big success or Nokia to implement a viable plan B , Nokia will be fine ..

      • Shane says:

        Wonder why you constantly (conveniently) focus only on FFOS, as if it’s the only contender in the F/OSS arena, it’s far from popular in most dev circles because if it’s dev framework/approach.

        • migo says:

          Because it’s not about being open source, I don’t give a rats ass about that. It’s about being viable on low end hardware. It doesn’t have to be popular with devs, because it’s going to run on hardware that’s cheap enough to compete with feature phones.

          • Shane says:

            How do you come to the conclusion that it’s so much more viable on low-end hw compared to other FOSS non-FOSS projects out there?
            I’ve been following them, the way their approaching things doesn’t sound anything like the way you’ve “pidegon holed” them thus far.
            Doesn’t sound like you really follow them much at all…

            • migo says:

              They’ve got pre-release builds of the OS running on low-end Android hardware much more smoothly than Android ever runs on the same hardware. Show me something that isn’t in the BREW category of phone OS that runs as well on that kind of hardware.

              • Shane says:

                That’s no huge achievement (it’s Android after all), it’s been done with with projects of similar nature: Tizen, MeR+Nemo et al, heck even WebOS lately has.

  17. bob says:

    A phone with Msft logo on it, as if windows buttons were not enough, people like to flaunt the phone as fashion, not to get laughed at.
    That awkward moment when no one in the train has Msft surface phone but me and people think I am holding some china made fake phone :O

  18. Hermes says:

    Elop went all-in on the Windows Phone strategy because he didn’t want Nokia to be just another Android device maker. Now they’re just another Windows Phone maker.

    Btw. If you didn’t know Mircosoft may have already leaked the photos of their phone in the Visual Studio promo:

    • migo says:

      They wouldn’t have leaked it. They kept the Surface tablet completely under wraps before announcing it. Why would they do that with the Surface Phone?

      They had an Asus reference design for WP7 that never made it to market, there’s no reason to think those slides are anything but that.

      • Shane says:

        There’s every reason to think those slides are more than just that.

        • migo says:

          No, there isn’t. People just like thinking stuff up because it’s fun. Just like people like doing concept renders of various dream phones.

          • Jeff says:

            its quite proably the slies areent antying to do with plans that they really do have, then again it’s also

            • Jeff says:

              It’s quite possible the slides aren’t anything to do with plans that they really do have, then again, it’s also quite possible, because you & I know nothing.

  19. Viipottaja says:

    According to this its indeed a plan B _only_ for MS, they even issued a statement implying that. Who knows.

  20. GordonH says:

    This is not good news for Nokia. Many consumers and investors see Nokia as a company committing too many management blunders, very few will expect Nokia management to be wise enough by having a plan B.

  21. Nokia started the quips but this is okay to me. I like to see strong competition. With that being said I subscribe to the Experience=Stuff / Time theory of Charlie Kindel. Nokia’s experience factor destroys HTC

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