Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) chief executive Stephen Elop as good as admitted on Tuesday that the firm had been wrong-footed by the sheer speed of changes that took place in the mobile phone industry.
Talking to Finnish newspaper Aamulehti, Elop said: “We had moments in the past year and a half when we could have done some things differently had we known that the industry was changing so rapidly.”
Citing an example Elop said that the rapid fall in prices of Android handsets in China had not been anticipated by Nokia. “It happened so fast that Nokia’s situation has now become difficult, but we keep honing our strategy,” he said.
The company is paying the price for not knowing its cheese could be moved – it recently lost its premier position as the world’s largest manufacturer of handsets, and saw a rapid decimation of its market share, along with Blackberry handset maker Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM), at the hands of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. Currently in the throes of a painful and massive restructuring, Nokia cut some 12,000 jobs and is about to shed 10,000 more according to reports. As a last ditch effort perhaps, the company jettisoned its Symbian phone operating system and sealed an understanding with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to build phones around the latter’s Windows Phone operating system.
Yet, even this partnership is not without its problems – last week Microsoft pulled the rug from under Nokia’s feet by announcing its highly anticipated Windows Phone 8 software would not work on Nokia’s new flagship Lumia range of phones which currently run on Windows Phone 7.5. “Customers will not be able to upgrade their Lumia 900s to Microsoft’s Windows 8,” Lauren Pluchino, a Nokia spokeswoman, said Monday
However, in breaking news, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s new chairman, Risto Siilasmaa, has just gone to press expressing confidence in the company’s tie-up with Microsoft. “For the first time in the history of technology, the Windows Phone 8 operating system makes it possible for users to have the same experience on a PC, tablet or smartphone, and for many people on their televisions via their gaming consoles, and to do the same thing almost seamlessly from one screen to the next,” Mr. Siilasmaa said in a television interview on Finnish broadcaster Yle.