Nokia CEO supports the idea of a Microsoft 'Surface Phone'

Nokia today reported some depressing financial figures for its last quarter, and for a company that's restructured its entire smartphone strategy around Windows Phone, it must be devastating to see its global Lumia handset sales decline by 27.5% over the previous quarter, with a staggering 50% drop in sales across North American markets.

But Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, unsurprisingly remains upbeat about the company's strategy, and about the Windows Phone ecosystem as a whole. Indeed, comments that he made in an investor call this morning indicate that he's not unfazed by the prospect of greater competition from other manufacturers, as the launch of Windows Phone 8 grows closer.

Distinctiveness is essential to Nokia's survival, and a key asset in the Windows Phone ecosystem, says Elop

As The Verge reports, Elop was asked about Nokia's perspective on a 'Surface Phone', a reference to persistent rumours that Microsoft might be planning to develop its own smartphone, following in the footsteps of the Surface tablet, which opened its pre-order sales book this week. "It's certainly a stimulant to the ecosystem," he said. "We're encouraging of HTC and Samsung and Microsoft or whomever to have devices in the market and to be making whatever investments that help spur the ecosystem on."

Elop has made similar comments in the past about the importance of building the Windows Phone ecosystem for 'everyone', pointing to the company's mapping expertise adding to Microsoft's own Bing Maps efforts as an indication that its contributions to a healthy Windows Phone platform are essential for Nokia's own smartphone sales.

But Nokia remains confident that, even as it helps to build the ecosystem, it can remain distinctive among other offerings from rival manufacturers, perhaps including Microsoft itself. Elop added that the company is "very proud of the unique differentiation that [it is] bringing to the Windows Phone platform", and alluded to further "unpolished gems" in the company's R&D labs that will help it to differentiate its devices further.

Source: The Verge

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It's a good idea because Microsoft has excellent market visibility in the US where Nokia has all but fallen off the map. If Microsoft improves the marketshare of WP8 with Surface and the Surface-Phone, Nokia knows it'll help their sales, because they know Microsoft won't put any more resources into building more phones, thus customers wanting WP8 will look for Lumias.

Good to see a CEO confident of his products and their ability to sell. That's the kind of attitude that will see your company go far. That and $$$.

It wouldn't surprise me if Nokia is the one making the "Surface Phone", so of course they'll support the idea.

Ars had a pretty good article about the Surface Phone and why it's a bad idea. Here's the link:

Unlike Window OEMS and Android OEMs (a year or two ago), Windows Phone OEMs are already producing good phones - smooth operation, decent battery life, good hardware; there is nothing to gain if Microsoft releases a Surface Phone other than satisfying fans' urges. Surface is targeting the Windows ecosystem - and Microsoft has the upperhand there, OEMs can't really do anything about it. On the other hand, Windows Phone does not have that advantage; Samsung and HTC can easily say goodbye to WP and focus their efforts on Android.

I'm also wondering if Nokia might release a smaller-than-Surface-hmmm-let's-say-iPad-mini-like 7" Windows RT tablet.

spc1972 said,
I'm also wondering if Nokia might release a smaller-than-Surface-hmmm-let's-say-iPad-mini-like 7" Windows RT tablet.

I'd love to have Nokia's tablet with Lumia like quality.

Judging by the missing features on the Surface (GPS, NFC) and the innovations Nokia has already shown (PureView) and all the stuff they have in their labs I'm not sure Nokia has anything to worry about from a Surface phone.

Would be nice to see them hedge those clowns at Microsoft and sign up with android and just do one nexus phone per year though. That would be interesting.