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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