Bloomberg has published a detailed account of Stephen Elop’s relationship with Nokia…tracing Elop’s history and his first few days with the Finnish company. What we found particularly interesting were Elop’s statements revealing his bargaining with both Google and Microsoft and the decision to ditch Symbian and Meego.
Elop claims Google was too “snobbish” to allow Nokia to incorporate their own innovations into Android. Microsoft easily proved to be more open, and a deal was hatched out that was profitable to Nokia by way of several billion dollars. During the meetings, Elop told those he was discussing with that if he didn’t get what he wanted, he would stick with Meego. He had performed a detailed analysis of Meego by talking with several Meego experts within the company and soon realized that Nokia would only be able to bring out three Meego-based phones by the end of 2013. For a company that introduces up to a dozen new smartphones a year, the number was simply too small.
“It was truly an oh-sh*t moment—and really, really painful to realize where we were,” – Kai Oistämö, Chief Development Officer, Meego
Symbian was already on the back-burner at this point. After learning of Meego’s disaster situation, it became an easy decision for Elop to go with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, even at the risk of being labeled a Trojan Horse.
However, Stephen Elop had a few positive points to make at Uplinq. He broke his thoughts down in to 5 simple “points” to help Nokia succeed. The first was the obvious “delight our customers” statement. You can’t have success without delighted customers. The second point was to complete the mobile ecosystem. Having tied up with Microsoft now, this should be a lot easier than it was with Symbian. Third, he noted, was to secure support from all carriers. This is a bit of a surprise coming from Nokia, a company which has traditionally shied away from offering carrier subsidized phones…we wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft has a hand in this decision, too. The fourth was to broaden the ecosystem. The fifth point is somewhat related – build the developer community. Once again, it will have the full marketing power of Microsoft to help achieve this. Nokia was already receiving decent success with the Ovi store all by itself.
Right now, even with a wildly dipping market share, Nokia seems to have its targets set right. The Meego based Nokia N9 and the Windows Phone 7 handset, both set to release by the end of 2011, should help Stephen Elop gain his company’s popularity.