Nokia CEO: Tablets are important, wants beautifully integrated experience across everything
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, has told Pocket-lint in an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the company isn’t done yet when it comes to bringing new products to market in the coming year.
“What we’ve said all along, is that Nokia and some of its key attitudes and behaviours are changing. Urgency and moving faster is very important. Relative to Nokia’s history in the past, you should expect to see products with greater frequency, more competitive, more often than you have in the past.”
The news comes on the back of four new phone launches at Mobile World Congress 2013 and suggests that Nokia is far from finished when it comes to expanding its portfolio.
The CEO also revealed that he likes to carry a number of his company’s phones around with him when on the road.
“Today I’ve got eight phones on me, some I can show you, and some I can’t,” Elop told us. “We are proud of the work that has already been done, but also how much excitement there is on the products we are working on to come.”
One of those new devices could be a new tablet from Nokia. Yet to get into the market like so many others, Elop played coy on the company’s plans, reeling out the same line that he has been touting for the past couple of years, that it is important, the company is watching the market, but worried that unless it differentiates from everyone else it would quickly be lost in the noise against the iPad and tablets from Asus and Samsung.
“The most import word with our products is differentiation. Making sure that we can, if we decide to do so, enter a market with strong differentiation. We’ve done that with the Lumia products. We are very focused on that. At the same time we are studying very carefully with the new dynamics of the marketplace that are taking place right now. It is very unclear at the moment, we are watching to see how we can learn from the array of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets on the market; how we apply differentiation. It is an area of great interest, there’s obvious strategic compatibility with what we are already doing with mobility, but we have to be very careful of how we enter a market like that.”
Asked whether building a tablet would be a distraction from the task of building a successful and popular phone range, Elop said he didn’t believe so, going so far as to tell us that tablets are an important part of how consumers operate today and admitting that he enjoys using them – he wouldn’t tell us specifically which one but said that he had used an iPad and the Nexus 7.
“It’s not a distraction. It is an important part of how consumers operate today. People are increasingly expanding their perspective of what their digital experience or life should be. The phone is part of that, tablets are becoming more a part of that just like PCs, televisions, gaming platforms.
“I know in my life I am very interested in having a beautifully integrated experience across those platforms, there are times I want to use this [picks up phone], but there are times I want to use a tablet.”
Elop did tell us that at the moment he is enjoying using the Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch telling us that it “is one of the leading Windows 8 devices” around.
Aside from our interview, Elop said he was spending most of the show in back-to-back meetings, talking to network providers and others as the company continues to try to claw its way back into the hearts and minds of consumers.
By Stuart Miles