When Nokia, guided by its new CEO Stephen Elop, decided to ditch their “tried and true” Symbian operating system last year, in favor of the untested Windows Phone OS by Microsoft, many industry experts expected Nokia to suffer a little, how much though, wasn’t known at the time. Nokia itself knew that because of the switch, they wouldn’t have a new device on sale for several long months, but they hoped that the move to a fresh new OS, like Windows Phone and some new hardware would revitalize the company.
Nokia now has three new Windows Phone devices on the market, the Lumia 710, 800 and most recently, the 900. The Lumia 900 for AT&T was the first “big” push in the United States, even though the smaller, cheaper Lumia 710 was released first on T-Mobile. While we don’t have exact sales figures, the device appears to have sold well for Nokia, but unfortunately that isn’t enough. The Lumia line in Europe is fairing as well. In fact, the company is struggling to sell many units.
With recent reports circulating that the next version of Windows Phone, 8 or Apollo, would not be coming to ANY existing Windows Phone device, sales of current hardware could stall. This is something that should have been foreseen by Nokia CEO, and is something that a former Exec is calling him out on.
Lee Williams, a former Senior Vice President of the Symbian Series 60 OS, spoke exclusively with the UK wing of CNET, where he spoke about Nokia and its CEO, Stephen Elop, and he didn’t hold back. Williams said that Elop is essentially a lousy CEO, that he runs the company like a CFO, who’s only looking to cut overhead expenses, rather than looking at the long time goal of Nokia. Williams goes on to say that when Elop killed Symbian, he did it at the expense of the Nokia identity, seeing how Williams’ job was overlooking Symbian and with out it, he was let go, there could be some petty jealously in there too.
Here’s a direct quote from Williams interview with CNET:
“Elop is operating like a CFO [chief financial officer] — CFOs are very practical, always looking at costs, always internally focused…I don’t think he’s really projecting anything forward or sitting around with his team imaging what the future looks like. I think it’s s**t how do I get rid of a third of this overhead in R&D?.’”
I hope Williams got job references before sitting down for this interview, yeesh. In any event, it’s no secret that Nokia is in a financial bind and their current Lumia line may not be enough to save the Finnish company. Let’s hope they make it to November so we can see some sweet Windows Phone 8 devices with high-def displays and dual or even quad core processors. There’s no doubt that Nokia makes amazing looking devices, but pack one with cutting edge tech (that Windows Phone 8 will support) and we may see the tables turn.