Nokia chief Elop comes out fighting

 
Steve Dinneen
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NOKIA boss Stephen Elop took to the stage for his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress yesterday with calls for his resignation ringing in his ears.

A group of shareholders, all former Nokia employees who are dismayed by his decision to ditch the Symbian operating system in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (WP7), issued an open letter calling for the former Microsoft employee’s head.

But Elop came out fighting, saying Nokia would be at the forefront of the next great wave of mobile uptake.

He said emerging markets, in which Nokia performs well with its low-cost handsets, would drive growth, with up to three billion people ready to use mobile devices to connect to the internet.

He told the conference in Barcelona that 80 per cent of the world’s population lives within range of network coverage but that only 20 per cent are currently connected.

He said: “You’ve heard a lot about smartphones this week. But that’s only part of our strategy.

“We want to bring the next billion online. We can connect the unconnected.”

Nokia also said it is unlikely it will tweak WP7 to offer its users a unique “Nokia experience”. However, it is unlikely the Finnish firm will begin issuing phones with the operating system until at least October, when an updated version, codenamed Mango, is released.

Analysts say this could lead to a sales vacuum, with people unwilling to spend money on a soon-to-be-retired product.

Meanwhile, Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz unveiled a new magazine platform that learns from user’s browsing history to deliver personalised content and adverts.

The Livestand platform can then be used by publishers to deliver customised content to their readers.

People viewing a financial publication like City A.M. online, for example, would see more investment features or political news depending on their past consumption.

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