No Windows phones until 2012, says Nokia chairman

Nokia’s board chairman, Jorma Ollila, has suggested that there’ll be no Windows phones until 2012.

Ouch! According to Jorma Ollila, chairman of Nokia's board, there will be no Windows 7 phones from the once-mighty phone maker until 2012. At least that's what Ollila told Finnish TV, which Reuters picked up.

Bearing in mind that this year is barely underway, it could be a whole 12 months of ongoing smartphone revolution before Nokia is able to join in with a contemporary product. All it'll be able to offer until then is the creaking Symbian OS, something that arguably has more in common with low-end feature phones than it does with Google Android or Apple iOS. (And if Nokia disagrees with this assessment, why is it switching to Windows Phone 7? Don't they think customers might figure that out?)

Ollila's statement contradicts what Stephen Elop, Nokia Chief Executive, said Tuesday--that Windows Phone 7 phones will be here by the end of the year. Indeed, Nokia even has even shown mockups of the phone.

Who should we believe? My opinion is that as a chief executive, Elop is inclined to make optimistic predictions, while Ollila is more likely to state the reality of the situation. But I'm a little cynical.

Unless Microsoft is planning a major feature upgrade between now and then, involving a rebrand too, most of the hype behind Windows Phone 7 will dissipate by next year as well.

In 2012 Nokia could turn up late to the revolutionary market square, brandishing a weapon that's actually not that good. As I mentioned, I'm a little cynical.

Nokia's strategic planning is so bizarre that I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing something very clever. Like the best sports coaches, maybe Elop has created a strategy so fiendish that everything will slide into place in 2012 and he'll be considered a genius. Maybe somebody will dig out this blog post, and I'll be mocked and humiliated for believing anything else.

Indeed, one of my suspicions is that Nokia could be waiting for Intel's Medfield mobile chips to come of age, something that will please Microsoft. Nokia might also be waiting for Windows 8. However, if a switch to Intel is true, then Intel CEO Paul Otellini is playing his cards very close to his chest and must be a demon at poker.

The Nokia-Microsoft partnership is apt because both companies are slowly turning into dinosaurs. Microsoft is tied to the concept that in an ideal world, everything worthwhile happens in boxes containing x86 processors and the Internet is only there to provide data for users, rather than provide an entire working platform.

Until recently Nokia believed that smartphones are mostly for business and that everybody else should use feature phones. When Apple came along and changed everything the news apparently didn't reach Finland, where Nokia is headquartered. Google weighed in with its Android OS and most phone manufacturers bowed to kiss its feet, although the best Nokia could do was compare switching to Android to a personal hygiene incident.

Never mind that Android on ARM CPUs is extremely similar to the Windows-and-Intel monopoly that's ruled computing for the past 20 years.

Nokia's big hope was that Maemo and then MeeGo were going set the world on fire. I speak as a fan of both, which is why I can say that was never going to happen.

It's not that Nokia had misplaced faith in open source. It just used it the wrong way. Compare and contrast with Apple, which back in the late 1990s and early 2000s took open source projects in-house and polished them to a fine sheen

Nokia appeared simply to throw money and open source and then waited, with baited breath, for something high-quality to be thrown back. As I've explained in the past, you should never let open source developers follow their noses.

As the waters rose around Nokia's shoulders, its response has been to grab a single piece of flotsam: Windows. But it didn't need to make the relationship exclusive. If there's one thing Nokia does better than anybody else, it's producing a massive and varied product line. Even the hardest-core geek will have trouble naming every Nokia phone on sale right now. Nokia could have sold Android, Symbian, and even MeeGo phones. It already has the sales channels in place for this kind of thing.

I can't help feeling that the ship has sailed, and Nokia is not even aware. In about a year's time it's going to turn up at the dock, brandishing its tickets, and find nothing there but wide-open sea.

Keir Thomas has been making known his opinion about computing matters since the last century, and more recently has written several best-selling books. You can learn more about him at His Twitter feed is @keirthomas.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftNokiawindows phone 7Phonesconsumer electronicsCell Phones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keir Thomas

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?