Nokia’s current CEO, Stephen Elop, causes me to become more and more disgusted with how his company operates every single time he decides to open his mouth. For a while now, I have maintained the ability to keep quiet about it as I try not to harp down on particular individuals. However, I have subjected myself to regress on my previous statement: the camel’s back has been broken. The straw that did it? How Elop remains blind to the type of business deal he is currently in with Microsoft.
Before we even go there, I would like to qualify myself. First and foremost, I think Nokia is a great hardware manufacturer but that’s it. I firmly believed that MEEGO was always a bust. Nokia did themselves a favor when they decided to try on some other mobile operating system. Taking a look at the hardware quality of their more recent phone releases and one will find nothing but top notch innovation designed for a portion of the mobile market that has, more or less, been left untouched by all other hardware competitors. The Lumia series is an unadulterated, pure-beauty example of this. It’s unconventional colors, shape and minute hardware features that add up to a much larger positive experiences is unparalleled to many other run-of-the-mill manufacturers.
But if all I just said was agreed on by consumers, bloggers and retailers, then why is Nokia still struggling to grasp a footing in the US market? The answer to that is clear, at least to me: Stephen Elop is so full of shit that it is causing him to make crappy decisions that are harming Nokia’s future, and it’s time that he gets called out for his poor choices.
If you were to head on over to Reuters to check out the full story on how Elop is in such denial that Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft will remain unaffected regardless of much emphasis Microsoft has put into HTC’s Windows 8 phone instead of Nokia’s Windows devices, you will come to the realization that Nokia’s and Microsoft’s relationship with each other is indeed “special,” as Elop describes it. It’s special in the sense that no matter how many times Microsoft screws Nokia over, they will continue to stand there with cheeks wide open.
Hold on for a second, though. Let’s look back at a few other instances that caused this build up that leads me to believe that Elop is full of it.
Going With Windows Phone in the First Place
Elop had a big issue not to long ago. The problem was that Nokia’s homegrown mobile OS were dying. More so, Nokia never gained traction within the United States as far as smartphones go. Elop saw that it was indeed time for a change. Any good CEO needs that ability, and he clearly had it. As a result, Elop took Nokia and decided to make an attempt to set up shop on American soil. The big dilemma for Elop was deciding on what mobile OS they would utilize on their hardware. Sadly, Elop went with Microsoft. His reasoning for going with Microsoft instead of Android is as follows:
With Windows Phone, the company has more room to differentiate itself from other smartphone vendors, particularly those supporting Android. Through Microsoft’s mobile platform, Nokia is able to create innovative hardware in a less competitive eco-system – being able to focus more on rejuvenating the brand and marketing the platform without the immediate threat of other OEMs
When I read that, it translates in my mind to Elop having little to no faith in Nokia’s ability to differentiate their would-be Android handset portfolio with their innovative hardware skills. It’s as if Elop believed that Nokia lacked the ability to customize Android to consumers liking. Elop just wanted to be a big fish in a little pond. The problem with that is that Nokia has been in the big pond for years: trading that for a little pond could never satisfy investors and potential profits.
But that’s not what gets me the most. What does get me the most is that it seems that Nokia made some form of an exclusivity deal with Microsoft which would allow Nokia to have access to parts of Windows Phone that other manufacturers would not. In essence, Nokia sold their soul to Microsoft for a few extra private APIs. The better thing for Elop to do would have been to blitzkrieg the smartphone market. All Elop had to do was utilize both Windows Mobile and Android, take note of which one worked better for them and then direct their focus on that platform. Instead, Nokia sold their soul to Microsoft and now have no choice but to stay in their strange and forgiving relationship.
Stephen Elop Had A Lot To Say About Dual-Cores And Quad-Cores
When ever possible, Elop made sure to take the stage to say some negative things about the competition. In this scenario, Elop went out of his way to let everyone know that he believed that dual-cores and quad-cores in a smartphone were just a waste of battery power.
Of course, this statement was made when Nokia was pushing their first Lumia devices which ran on single cores while the rest of the tech industry were pushing dual-core and quad-core phones. Ignorant bad-mouthing of the competition is never something that sits well with me.
Elop’s lack of belief in dual-cores caused his company to face a wall a few months back. Microsoft later would announce their plans for Windows Phone 8 alongside the physical requirements needed to run the operating system. One of the particular specifications included a dual-core processor. Here’s the kicker: Microsoft announced this a few weeks after Nokia launched their first Windows Phone devices.
So not only did Elop make himself look like a fool when he took the time to speak out against dual-cores, but he was also made a fool by Microsoft when they caused Nokia’s brand new flagship phone to become outdated in a matter of weeks because of Elops lack of belief in dual-cores and quad-cores which actually improve battery life.