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New Nokia boss drops grenade: hints at strategy shift

Android in, Ovi out? He won't say...

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Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop dropped a grenade in his first full quarterly earnings conference today. Elop took charge in September.

"We must build, catalyze or join a competitive ecosystem," he told analysts, leading to speculation Nokia will license a third party platform or downgrade its ill-fated Ovi services.

The latter looks more likely. Why? Elop also emphasised that Nokia's products should guarantee "sustainable differentiation"- which may dampen speculation he'll join the Me-Too world of (say) Android licensees. In Android-land, it isn't clear that investment creates any significant profit. It's what investors want to hear though, and Nokia's share price rebounded on the news.

Nokia has scheduled a strategy update for February 11th.

Overall, Elop said all the right things that a new Nokia CEO should - emphasising success is built on the quality of individual products, and highlighting "challenges" ahead for Nokia's competitiveness and execution.

Nokia recorded a net profit of €745m on turnover of €12.65bn. Nokia's shipments fell 3 per cent in a market that grew 12 per cent. The average selling price of smartphones fell from €186 to €156 a year ago. ®

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