Nokia CEO Stephen Elop flashed a high-end device running Windows Phone, a video of which found its way onto the blogosphere. Nokia is betting big on Windows Phone.
Did Nokia CEO
Stephen Elop trust too fully in a roomful of strangers, or is he trying to
start a viral online campaign about his company's upcoming Windows Phone
question after Elop flashed a smartphone running Windows Phone at a crowd of
people, seconds after asking them to put away their cameras. "I'm going to
share something with you," he said, "something that is super-confidential and
we do not want to see out in the blogosphere."
audience not only refused to put away their cameras-but at least two started
shooting video, capturing in full glory what looked like a Nokia N9 smartphone
running Microsoft's mobile operating system, a project apparently code-named
"Sea Ray." Those videos promptly found their way to the blogosphere
found online were clearly shot at an elevated angle, with the heads of other
audience members at the extreme lower end of the frame. That suggests the
devices taping Elop weren't exactly hidden, and perhaps gives weight to the
idea that the "revelation" was in fact a deliberate attempt at disseminating
currently exists, the N9 runs MeeGo, one of two operating systems that Nokia
eventually plans to discontinue in favor of Windows Phone. One of the N9's main
selling features is the ability to swipe a finger across the 3.9-inch AMOLED (active-matrix
organic LED) screen to navigate away from an application. Nokia has
curved the screen's edges in order to facilitate gesture control, and married
it to a body engineered from a single piece of polycarbonate. Other hardware
includes NFC (near-field communication) technology, which allows the user to
share photos and other data by tapping their smartphone against another
NFC-enabled device, and an 8-megapixel camera.
MeeGo's eventual Nokia phase-out, Elop apparently seemed determined to use the
N9 to demonstrate his company's aptitude for building high-end devices.
"Innovation is the heart of our strategy, and today we took important steps to
demonstrate a new pace of innovation at Nokia," he wrote in a June 20 statement
tied to the N9's unveiling. "It's the beginning of a new era for Nokia."
In his remarks
before revealing the N9-like smartphone running Windows Phone (and right after
asking everyone to turn off their recording devices), he made a similar claim:
"We think it's important for all of you to understand how this innovation lives
on and how well we, as a company, are today executing."
execution that has some analysts worried, especially considering how the first
Nokia smartphones with Windows Phone aren't expected to debut before the end of
continue to avoid the stock as Symbian smartphone sales are falling off faster
than expected and we are skeptical that new Windows Phone (WP) models will be
able to replace lost profits," Stephen Patel, an analyst with Gleacher &
Co., wrote in a May 31 research note. "Our checks suggest mixed carrier support
for Nokia's transition for WP."
have been more upbeat, with research firm IDC predicting that Windows Phone,
boosted by Nokia's worldwide reach, will eventually overcome both Apple's iOS
and RIM's BlackBerry franchise to become the second-ranked smartphone platform
(after Google Android) by 2015.
Follow Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter