Bloomberg News

Nokia’s Ollila Says Phonemaker to Expand in Tablets, ‘Hybrids’

May 03, 2012

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) will introduce new designs and devices including tablet computers to improve sales and profit, outgoing Chairman Jorma Ollila told the Financial Times ahead of the mobile phonemaker’s annual investor meeting.

The company plans to include “hybrid” mobile devices among future products, Ollila, 61, said in an interview with the newspaper, without giving a timetable. He steps down as chairman after the meeting today.

Nokia lost its place as the world’s largest handset maker to Samsung Electronics Co. last quarter. The company still hasn’t produced inexpensive smartphones with broad developer support to compete with Google Inc.’s Android, more than a year after announcing its shift to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone. Finnish entrepreneur Risto Siilasmaa is set to succeed Ollila as chairman.

The company is now delivering products on time after being too slow earlier, Ollila said in the interview. The comments “are in line with what we’ve previously said,” Doug Dawson, a spokesman for the Espoo, Finland-based company said. “We’ve made no new product announcements.”

Nokia rose 1.3 percent to 2.73 euros at 11:13 a.m. in the Finnish capital.

Ollila was chief executive officer from 1992 through mid-2006. During that period, Nokia became the world’s largest handset maker in 1998 as rivals like Ericsson AB stumbled. It was Europe’s biggest company by market value in 1999.

Since Nokia sold its desktop computer division, the company’s consumer products have almost exclusively been pocket- sized devices. The phonemaker introduced a 10-inch laptop called the Booklet in 2009.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, recruited by the board in 2010 to turn the company around, introduced Windows Phones based on Microsoft Corp. software in the fourth quarter. The company said it sold more than 2 million Windows Phones in the first three months of the year as the decline of its older handset lines accelerated. The cheapest model, the Lumia 610, was announced with a list price of 189 euros ($249).

To contact the reporter on this story: Diana ben-Aaron in Helsinki at dbenaaron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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