Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has revealed that fears of Samsung dominating the Android operating system were central to the firm's decision to use the Window’s Phone platform in 2011.
The comments come days after Microsoft completed its purchase of Nokia, in a deal that signalled the end of Nokia in the mobile market. As part of the move Elop has returned to Microsoft, where he will head up the firm’s device unit.
Taking part in a Q&A online on Monday to discuss more details of the merger, Elop said avoiding a clash with Samsung on Android had been the right call as other Android vendors from that time have now faded.
“When we made the decision to focus on Windows Phone back in 2011, we were very concerned that a decision to pursue Android would put us on a collision course with Samsung, who already had established a head of steam around Android,” he said. “That was the right decision, as we have seen virtually all other OEMs from those days pushed to the side.”
Elop also revealed that Microsoft will not use the Microsoft Mobile brand for its mobile devices in the future, but he confirmed that the Nokia brand will disappear in time. "Microsoft Mobile is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger. It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers," he said.
"The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phone products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go-forward smartphone brand."
Elop also dismissed questions that he was a "Trojan horse" at Nokia working for Microsoft.
“I have only ever worked on behalf of and for the benefit of Nokia shareholders while at Nokia. Additionally, all fundamental business and strategy decisions were made with the support and approval of the Nokia board of directors, of which I was a member.”
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