Nokia reveals initial ‘select’ launch of Windows Phones, promises differentiation

By Tom Warren, on 20th Oct 11 4:35 pm with 29 Comments

Nokia and Microsoft historic partnership

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop discussed the future of Nokia’s Windows Phone range during an earnings call on Thursday.

Elop revealed that the company plans to extend the N9′s industrial design to future Nokia products. Discussing next week’s launch plans Elop said the launch will be an “important milestone” for the company’s transition. “We will be launching in select countries later this quarter,” explained Elop. “We plan to systematically increase the number of countries, launch partners and products during the course of 2012.” Elop also revealed that employees, labeled “Nokians”, are excited to share their work in the coming weeks ahead.

Elop explained the “select” launch during a Q&A session at the end of the earnings call. Nokia is pleased with the operator support so far but Elop stressed that the company is “being very deliberate in the sequence that we roll things out.” due to a shift in manufacturing and how the company sells the product etc. Nokia is planning to establish marketplace support for Windows Phone in more countries alongside Microsoft. Despite the limited launch, Elop believes that Nokia will deliver a ”repeatable pattern of cascading devices both up and down,” in terms of specifications, during 2012. “Clearly it is our intent to take advantage of Nokia’s strengths and assets,” he added.

Nokia’s differentiation and future Windows Phone devices was a hot topic on the call. ”You will see the first signs of differentiation… relative to Android and iPhone… and other players in the Windows Phone ecosystem,” explained Elop. ”We have strengths in design, in hardware mechanics. We continue to build on the Windows Phone platform, you will see unique Nokia capabilities in the form of applications and services available from us.” Elop also promised that differentiation will become more clear in the future as Nokia can “directly impact” the software release cycles of Windows Phone with Microsoft.

  • http://twitter.com/jgmis Joshua Greene

    At the moment, I’m planning on renewing my Focus for the Titan, but if Nokia can pull something nice out, than I may very well go in that direction.

    Definitely cannot wait.

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Pull out the stops Nokia

  • Mobile user

    Will Nokia release phones in US or not? I am waiting to see Nokia Phones before I make my move to different OEM. Right now I like N9 form factor that was shown yesterday. If that comes to US carriers, I will be Nokia’s customer. I think we will by the end of next week, which countries will get Nokia devices.

    • Guest

      I am expecting their 4″ screen phone. I hope they announce that next week along with the countries that they are willing to release. I know many of friends I know are in the same boat as you are. They are shopping for a new smartphone and they are holding back to see what Nokia releases in US. The N9 version of WP7 is stunning and it will sell like a hot cake.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001825207750 Jason Hughey

      I agree 100%.  The build quality of the Searay/800 is awesome.  I love the uni-body design of the SeaRay/800.  I would like a larger screen, though.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Nokia 4.3 inch+ device at launch.  I want to give Nokia the chance to be my first choice as I upgrade from my Focus.  I love my Focus, especially the Super AMOLED screen but the plastic-y feel and build quality seem a little mediocre.

    • Guest

      If he’s saying limited rollouts, I doubt it. They’ll start in Europe and other geographies where they’re strong. Then try and apply what they’ve learned to less receptive markets like the US.

    • Anonymous

      No. Microsoft made it clear early on that they expected Nokia to launch in the US first or at least simultaneously. I guarantee it.

    • http://kissride.wordpress.com Candide Yams

      It’s been confirmed multiple times that Nokia phones are coming to the US. Microsoft demands it as part of their deal. Plus rumor has it that a high end 4 inch device is coming to Verizon in early 2012. 

    • Anonymous

      We know they are coming to the US, but when.  If you have a link that states that Nokia will release a phone in the US before the end of the year, then please provide it.

    • http://kissride.wordpress.com Candide Yams

      All I know is 2012. I imagine come next week at Nokia World we’ll get more information regarding launch details. 

    • Anonymous

      AFAIK Nokia Windows Phones are not comming to the US this year, they might arrive early early 2012 tough.

    • Anonymous

      Not true…

  • http://twitter.com/weetigo f t edwards

    I was planning to upgrade to the Samsung Focus S, but I just do not feel Samsung is even pushing WP7 at all, so I’d rather go for Nokia if they have something competitive.

  • Ryan Green

    My biggest concern with Nokia’s customization strategy is updates.  Is this going to introduce some level of fragmentation?  Prior to Nokia, Microsoft devices were essentially the same, other than radios and other minor hardware features.  Nokia’s customization creates an added layer of complexity which could cause software updates to be released on a different schedule than other OEM devices.

    • http://kissride.wordpress.com Candide Yams

      I think since Nokia is more or less owned by Microsoft we won’t see that issue.

    • Anonymous

      Keep dreaming

    • Anonymous

      You’ve got a point there.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I thought the same initially, but from my understanding, Joe’s comment from above sums it up very well
      “Their customization is coming from apps and likely from services like mapping which can all be done in the back end outside of the OS. The OS its self will not likely be customized, but Nokia does have a significant hand in designing new features for the OS that are implimented to all Windows Phones. That’s my understanding at least.”

    • Anonymous

      From what Elop has said Nokia will  virtually be calling the shot on the design and direction of wp8 and Tango and it looks as though that they will try to bring the n9/ meego experience to bear.. As he has said n9 was a learning experience for their future design and user experience

    • Joe

      Their customization is coming from apps and likely from services like mapping which can all be done in the back end outside of the OS. The OS its self will not likely be customized, but Nokia does have a significant hand in designing new features for the OS that are implimented to all Windows Phones. That’s my understanding at least.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I figured it out too.

    • Anonymous

      Fragmentation with come  any unless they of course you want them to release the same phone for the next 10 years

      Nokia nerds a differeciating factor between  their phone and others.. .. What’s so bad about fragmentation? Even the iPhone  is fragmented .

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    I and all of my customers are waiting to see what happens on the 26th. The past would remind me that my hopes were high, and what I got I was nothing special. Lets see what they do with this opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    Do you think that Nokia will make phones for Verizon and Sprint since they are CDMA? or Just for AT&T and T-Mobile?

    • Anonymous

      I suspect the initial phones will be GSM since they will most likely release the same phones overseas. We may see CDMA version but its unknown.

    • Anonymous

      They already make phones for the Chinese market which is almost entirely CDMA so I guess they wouldn’t have any issues with that..

  • Anonymous

    I hope Nokia adds their own twists to their wp7 devices to make it look somewhat different .. Metro looks nice but over time it looses  its appeal.. Am bored with the look of my Omnia 7 .. I don’t if I can spend the next two years with the same design..  

    forget about fragmentation.. Its going to come anyways .. Even Apple has come to realize that.. You can only reduce it.

    • Collins

      That is not true. Fragmentation occurs when applications (not the OS) need to be aware of
      different hardware configurations (physical buttons, screen resolutions, display aspect ratios) to the extent that they need to be programed
      differently. This leads to comparability issues, buggy software and/or much higher development costs which is bad for the entire platform.

      MS dictates things like hardware button placement and display aspect ratios. Things like this will remain under tight control of MS and will rarely change if at all. For other things like CPU/GPU performance and display resolution it is WP7′s job to make this irrelevant to the app developer or at least make them easily manageable. WP7 has all the potential to make this a reality. At least in the WP7 ecosystem there is no excuse to accept fragmentation.

  • Anonymous

    If these don’t launch in Australia I’ll die a little inside. Apple’s success is their global approach. Microsoft needs to match them.