Skip to main content

Stephen Elop interview: US Lumia launch, tablets, and the Android controversy

Stephen Elop interview: US Lumia launch, tablets, and the Android controversy

Share this story

Stephen Elop
Stephen Elop

I had the chance to sit down with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop after the launch of its first series of Windows Phone products — the Lumia 800 and 710 — in London. These are devices that Stephen likes to call "the first real Windows Phones." The reveal is only a small but important step, he assured me, on a journey to reinvent Nokia.

The former Microsoft exec turned Nokia CEO shared his thoughts in his customary honest, deliberate, and eloquent manner. He’s clearly a master of the material and his enthusiasm is infectious — he’s impossible not to like in person.

Stephen covered a wide range of topics including Nokia’s intent to introduce a "portfolio of products" into the US in early 2012. He’s clear that it’s not just carrier negotiations holding back the US launch but a confluence of other factors including a need to ramp up factories, supply lines, and support; localized customizations; and the technologies and services required by the US consumer. Nokia wants to introduce quality devices around the world as smoothly as possible, he insists, with a focus on delivering a premium user experience.

The straight-talking CEO also responded to recent criticisms from Android chief, Andy Rubin. Last week, Rubin said that Windows Phone could be "very dangerous for Microsoft" with Redmond’s hardware partners — including Nokia — on a path to repeat history as the modern equivalents of the commodified beige box. Stephen’s response was swift and critical, highlighting the fact that Microsoft doesn’t dominate the phone business as it did PCs, so it relies upon its hardware partners for innovation. He then commented on the Android user experience:

"In terms of [Windows Phone] doesn’t allow for the Sense UI or whatever, I would suggest that one of the biggest challenges facing that particular ecosystem is the fact that there is more and more of that going on. And when I go into the store and look at what that brand was supposed to stand for, I’m not quite seeing it — it’s just unclear what the standard is for the user experience."

When responding to a question about the prospects of a Nokia tablet and whether we should start thinking of Nokia as a "consumer electronics company," Stephen clarified that the "ecosystem" Nokia has joined extends well beyond phones. "There is a broader opportunity here," he told me. "The user experience of Windows 8 is essentially a supercharged version of the Nokia Lumia experience that you saw on stage today. And you see the parallels and opportunity for commonality from a user perspective." Elop added that Microsoft’s bet on HTML5 "is another big clue" to how the platforms may be interrelated over time.

See all this and Elop’s plan to use lessons learned from the N9 to further differentiate its Windows Phone offerings in the video below.


Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Striking out

A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterTwo hours ago
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew Webster4:28 PM UTC
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


E
TikTok
Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


J
External Link
Jay PetersSep 23
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


E
External Link
Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.