Nokia: we have a Windows Phone 'contingency plan'
Nokia has a plan in its back pocket, in case its deal with Microsoft falls through or the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 software update fails to generate interest, according to Nokia's board chairman.
Speaking on his debut television appearance, F-Secure's founder and former chief executive Risto Siilasmaa, who became Nokia's board chairman in May, defended the move to Microsoft's Windows Phone, which replaced the ailing Symbian operating system last year.
But he said that Nokia has a "contingency plan" should the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 "fail to live up to expectations", according to a report by Finnish newspaper Yle Uutiset.
In June, Microsoft unwrapped Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco. But the announcement came as bittersweet news, given that owners of current Windows Phone 7-powered devices — including the high-profile Nokia Lumia — would not see their smartphones updated to Windows Phone 8.
Nevertheless, Siilasmaa remains confident that the Windows Phone-powered Nokia smartphones will be a success following the company's move to put all its eggs in one basket with the Microsoft mobile operating system.
What the contingency plan is remains unknown.
"Symbian's market share has come down close to zero", making a move to a partner mobile operating system inevitable, and a return to Symbian almost impossible. CNET UK considered Android as a possibility, but noted that the phone giant would find it difficult to stand out among the crowd of existing Android partners, such as Samsung and HTC.
Since Siilasmaa's hiring, Nokia's share price has fallen by a third. In the past year alone, the Finnish-based phone maker has seen its share price fall by more than 80 per cent, with its market cap collapsing from $78 billion to $7.8 billion in three years.