Nokia CEO Wants His Employees Using iPhones

Nokia CEO Wants His Employees Using iPhones

Now that ex-Microsoft business veep Stephen Elop has taken over the floundering handset giant Nokia and inked deals with his old employer to use their mobile operating system, you’d think he’d want his employees to start using Windows Phone 7 handsets… preferably Nokia ones.

Not so. He wants them using iPhones.

In a report over at Businessweek describing the hard task ahead of Elop in getting his new employees to change the entrenched way of thinking that led to the once supreme handset giant’s fall, they recount a meeting in which Elop questioned 11,600 Nokia engineers and asked them how many people used an iPhone or an Android device.

When few hands were raised, Elop sharply reprimanded his engineers.

“That upsets me,” Elop said. “Not because some of you are using iPhones, but because only a small number of you are using iPhones.”

“I’d rather people have the intellectual curiosity to try to understand what we’re up against,” said Elop.

I don’t know about you, but this is the sort of anecdote that makes me think Nokia has a fighting chance. Elop’s trying to rip the head of the Nokia ostrich out of the sands as the huge old bird kicks him each and every step of the way, but he’s doing the right thing, and he knows that studying the iPhone — not ignoring it — is the only way to come back from the brink.

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  • Arm Hol

    11,6000 engineers?

  • brownlee

    Fixing.

  • baby_Twitty

    Ever heard of Umpa Lumpas?

  • facebook-1625433562

    will not help though. too late.

  • Yehey

    fixed

  • Derek Brown

    Whats the story with that photo?  or is it just photoshopped

  • Alexander530

    You don’t need to have your employees own iphones just for them to know how the iphone works. I’m an iphone user, and if I need to know how an android phone works, I simply need to get one and mirror what I do on my iphone to the android device and then I can compare both devices.

    Nokia employees using iphones as their personal phone instead of a nokia phone sends a seriously bad image to the public. It would only be alright and understandable if Nokia only sells low end to mid end phones. But they both sell phones in the same price category.

    It would be ok for a Honda dealership manager to be seen driving a BMW. But it would not be ok for a Mercedes Benz dealership manager to be seen driving a BMW, because they are in the same price range.

  • jinkhet

    I disagree – his candor and encouragement for his employees to not simply “drink the company koolaid” is refreshing. Nobody needs to see what phones the employees at Nokia are using to know that Windows Phone is a flop.

  • aardman

    Gates and Ballmer prominently discouraged MS employees from getting iPhones.  We see how much good that did for MS.  Its one thing for the top brass avoiding being seen using the competitor’s product.  But I think what Elop said is true.  If you’re going to build the revolutionary device that will replace the current revolutionary device (i.e.iPhone), it’s better to launch your imagination off the iPhone rather than some other device that preceded the iPhone.

  • Patrick Escudero

    I’m not sure how a short paragraph in a 7 page article becomes a headline on this site.  It was said at a company meeting in March, when announcing the MS deal, while Elop was trying to make his employees realize how far in the sand their heads were.  The iPhone was just an example.  He could have easily said “how many of you use an Android phone” to get his point across.  This article implies it was something more than that.  I like this site, but sometimes I really question some of these blurbs.

  • www.onlybestgame.com

    LOL. Good good! Just like what chinese said “Know your competitors as well as yourself, and win always.” Good job, Elop!

  • marioyohanes

    Do you know that you will get fired if you use iPhone if you’re either RIM’s employee or RIM’s business partner… Yeah, now we know why Windows Phone 7 & Nokia looks and perform better than the most annoying product ever made; Playbook. Because they simply way too stubborn to take a look on their competitors and they’re way too proud with their dead technology and blinded their eyes to see where the world is really going. RIM SUCKS!

  • Austin Schoepflin

    That pics crazy, iOS on Nokia is a funny thought. Anyways, I think it’s cool that they’re being so open minded and willing to learn things from competitors rather then shun them like most do.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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