Nokia thinks rumours of a Microsoft takeover are “bollocks,” a spokesperson said to a roomful of journalists at its headquarters in Espoo. Espoo? Something smells funny, yeah.
It is still a product company and it insists that it will continue to make handsets. Judging from the reception of its N9, it could well do that. There are reports via recent leak that its first Windows Phone handset looks markedly similar.
Despite the quietly vocal unhappiness from within its own ranks, Nokia insists that this is a partnership of equals. Nokia says those still curious about the interest from Microsoft and a possibility of a takeover should get their heads examined. “It’s a great story for a conspiracy theorist,” a spokesperson told us. “I can’t debate with conspiracy theorists. They’re tied in with their opinions.”
While it hopes to crack the Western market with its Microsoft phones, the emerging market is a key sector for Nokia. Especially the complex Chinese market where it faces a dual threat from ZTE and Huawei.
China is a “very big market, but we have a hell of a lot of competition,” Blanca Juti told TechEye. “It’s a market where – I’ve seen different cycles – I’ve seen high and low market share and how we regained it back. It’s challenging but we have a very strong brand preference and we are doing well.
“It’s very centred to us in mobile phones. We think about China a lot. We have designers and R&D there, because it’s a market with enormous vibrancy.
“India and China are very, very important.”
Nokia feels its time in India is going well. With the new dual SIM futurephones on the way it thinks it has the market cracked. The next strategic point to reach is a billion customers in data.
“That’s the focus,” Juti said. “A lot of people who have a phone but don’t do data. And there’s a lot of people who don’t yet have a phone. We know that there’s a huge opportunity there and that this is just about to take off.”
“We want to go in those markets and provide pleasing and pleasant access to end users,” she added.
Another area Nokia is looking at is the high growth telecoms and infrastructure scene in African countries. As a company that works closely with operators, will we see bloodied noses in a rush for spectrum allocation and auctioning?
Blanca wouldn’t let on too much. But she did say, “In most markets, it has been highly disruptive.” There’s a space for Nokia because “In Africa, the manufacturers bluff signal strength,” but “Nokia is a principled company.”
*EyeSee Nokia still loves its 2G. There’s a whole room for it.