Nokia promises big changes in Windows Phone Apollo

Yet to reach full potential

Nokia promises big changes in Windows Phone Apollo

Nokia has told TechRadar that it believes users will really start seeing the potential of its tie-in with Microsoft on Windows Phone Apollo - likely to be the codename for Windows Phone 8.

Niklas Savander, executive VP of Markets for Nokia, said that while it's always hard to offer something fresh to the market, the Finnish firm has no qualms about using the same OS as a number of other vendors:

"When you talk about differentiation, there are different ways of looking at it: the most common comparison is not between the Windows phones, but versus Android."

Agreement

"When you look within the Windows Phone ecosystem and compare how the Lumia performs, there we have a contractual agreement with Microsoft for a certain amount of engineering which we can use for differentiation.

"However, we have to be very careful on how we use that one because we cannot fragment the developer ecosystem. If that starts forking, that's not useful at all.

"We made the decision to go to Windows Phone when Mango was pretty much done, so we were able to impact some elements of it but you'll really see the fruits of what we can do with Microsoft when the Apollo version of Windows Phone comes out."

With the likes of HTC and Samsung pushing hard in the new Windows Phone, many predicted Nokia would struggle to create an alternative to these well-established smartphone brands, as Microsoft has created a stringent set of specifications for brands to design Windows Phones to.

Wiggle room

But Savander said that Nokia has enough tools to be considered different enough, pointing to the likes of Nokia Drive (free turn by turn navigation) and the improved camera power:

"The areas we can drive are design, navigation, imaging, and then there are many things we can do around how the product reaches the consumer, when it comes to distribution.

"We have a contractual 'wiggle-room' [with Microsoft], one of the things we're working on with them is getting the price points of the phones down, we have a lot of engineering expertise they don't have, and that's going to serve us well."

Savander also echoed CEO Stephen Elopin hinting that we'll be seeing more Nokia Windows Phone handsets soon, but refused to be drawn on whether these would be running Mango or a future version of the OS:

"Two phones is absolutely not enough in the market; it's a good start, but there are new markets we need to conquer, and this [the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710] is the beginning of our portfolio."