2011: Nokia Chooses Windows Phone, Inventor of Smartphones Loses Crown
In February Nokia dropped a bomb onto its own sales by announcing plans to adopt Windows Phone operating system and drop support for its own Symbian. This quickly dropped sales of Nokia's existing smartphones whereas Microsoft Windows Phone did not get any attention from the end-users.
Stephen Elop, a long-time Microsoft executive, became chief executive of Nokia in September '10 after the board of directors decided that his predecessor failed to reclaim lost market share in the U.S. Generally speaking, his mission was to address the market in North America while not losing the share in Europe and other parts of the market. Unfortunately for Nokia, pre-announcement of the transition towards Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" early during the year not only harmed Nokia's sales, but also revenues and stock price.
Nokia has been criticizing Google Android platform for a while claiming that it limited differentiation between vendors because of some software limitations. At the same time, Microsoft puts cap onto both hardware and software capabilities of Windows Phone, which is why the platform is not popular among manufacturers, carriers and customers. If about 700 thousand of Google Android and 300 thousand of Apple iOS are activate daily, Microsoft keeps its mouth shut about the success of the WP OS. Gartner, nonetheless, claims that Microsoft Windows Mobile and Windows Phone was installed on 1.5% of smartphones sold in Q3.
The announcements of Nokia helped to drive sales of Android and iPhone upwards and even make Apple and Samsung the leaders of the smartphone market. It remains to be seen whether Nokia will ever be able to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor again.