Nokia admits it fears a Microsoft Surface smartphone

Nokia admits it fears a Microsoft Surface smartphone

Nokia has come across as nothing but content with smartphone OS partner Microsoft so far, but has expressed for the first time concern that a Surface-style own brand Windows Phone could be in the works.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet took its existing hardware partners entirely by surprise, and Nokia has voiced its fears that a similar move in the smartphone market could have a major impact on its long-term strategy.

The admission came as part of a mandatory annual business report filed with the SEC last week, which by law has to include whatever risks or threats Nokia sees lying ahead for its business.

The main fear regarding Windows Phone is simply that it continues to under-achieve, which Nokia believes could eventually affect Microsoft’s own commitment to its smartphone platform.

“Microsoft may act independently of us with respect to decisions and communications on that operating system which may have a negative effect on us,” the text of the SEC filing reads.

“Moreover, if Microsoft reduces investment in that operating system or discontinues it, our smartphone strategy would be directly negatively affected by such acts.”

However, it’s also clear that the move to introduce the Surface hasn’t gone unnoticed, and that Nokia doesn’t completely trust that Microsoft isn’t planning a similar move in releasing its own Windows Phone smartphone despite having publicly denied any such device is in the works (the pic above is just a concept render, by the way).

“Microsoft may make strategic decisions or changes that may be detrimental to us. For example, in addition to the Surface tablet, Microsoft may broaden its strategy to sell other mobile devices under its own brand, including smartphones,” the filing reads.

“This could lead Microsoft to focus more on their own devices and less on mobile devices of other manufacturers that operate on the Windows Phone platform, including Nokia,” the filing said.

You could argue that Nokia is simply voicing all potential concerns because it has to by law. But it’s also true that it didn’t have these concerns this time last year, because there wasn’t the slightest hint that the Surface tablet even existed 12 months ago.

Via ZDNet

Read more about: Windows PhoneMicrosoft Surface RT

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12 comments

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 11, 2013 at 09:15

Microsoft don't provide Nokia (et al) with hardware. I don't quite get why a MS phone would mean lessened commitment? If anything, MS might actually learn something about hardware-software "synergy" (did I just use "synergy"?)... And thus be able to deliver better software in the future. Just as it did with the Kin 2! Oh, wait...

Anyway, fairly trivial. The report requires them to crystal ball in all directions. Nothing they can do about it.

Pondlife  Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:11

Wonder if they got a get out clause from their exclusivity if ms do launch their own wp8 phone, suspect they didn't.

socialjeebus  Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:19

I think it's entirely plausible that Microsoft will make a Surface phone, though based on the success of the Surface tablets it would be of far less concern, if I were a Nokia stakeholder, than say Samsung or HTC or Sony taking WP more seriously.

Hmmm, I wonder if that report included the reak threat to Nokia, Elop?

What does that man have to do to get his marching orders?

Pondlife  Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:32

Well the surface may be a failure in comparison to other os tablets but compared to other w8 rt tablets it was fairly crushing so think they should be more concerned by this possibility.

But he's had his most successful quarter.... ;)

Cwills  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:17

Hopefully Nokia will bring out a phone running Sailfish!!

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:32

Cwillis, I wouldn't think so... They gave up on MeeGo, laid off most staff working on it... Oh, wait, - knowing Elop anything's possible.

Pondlife  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:38

Only once he's shown the door, even then he'll try to install windows on the door...

Stelph  Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:50

Dont see why Nokia should be concerned about a surface phone as I seriously doubt Microsoft will do what Nokia did with the Nexus

When the Nexus came out its always been almost as a "flag" to its hardware partners as the direction it thinks they should go, be it the original nexus as staying simple and sleek like the iPhone was at the time, or even the Nexus 4 which showed that the top spec smartphones shouldnt cost an absolute bomb.

If Mocrosoft brought out a surface phone, like its surface device it would be a very high spec very high price product and it just wouldnt sell. I can't see them putting a nexus 4 equivalent out on the market and really what WP8 needs at the moment are cheap but solid phones to get thier market share up and drive interest, which HTC, Nokia and Huawei are doing very well

Pondlife  Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:05

Not sure why you say that it'd be very high spec and very high price, as the surface came in at similar or lower price than other rt hardware judging by the Samsung one mentioned the other day. Priced at even £400 odd it'd still hit Nokia's overpriced 920
Nokia want the main high end option to be their own I would think, seeing as htc didn't quite scale the heights and samsung seem disinterested, certainly not seen Ativs next to Note 2 and S3 in none phone stores to play with.

Stelph  Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:12

Not sure why you say that it'd be very high spec and very high price, as the surface came in at similar or lower price than other rt hardware judging by the Samsung one mentioned the other day. Priced at even £400 odd it'd still hit Nokia's overpriced 920
Nokia want the main high end option to be their own I would think, seeing as htc didn't quite scale the heights and samsung seem disinterested, certainly not seen Ativs next to Note 2 and S3 in none phone stores to play with.


I say that about the surface cause the surface is what i wood say the max price for an AMR windows tablet should be and the other manufacturers windows 8 RT tablets are overpriced, the surface set the bar and all the other companies should be trying to get under that bar IMO.

I'm sure Nokia want the high prices product to be theirs because it ha the highest profit margin, but the fact is with iOS and android being so prevalent they just won't be able to sell a high priced WP8 device to the average punter without first getting more people using WP8 which means budget phones. Microsoft won't realise this and if they did release a phone it will be high price and won't change the market in the slightest

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:37

Mocrosoft... excellent!

mightyforest  Mar. 11, 2013 at 16:53

announce summat for christs sake.. im sat here due an upgrade

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