Interview – Tuula Rytila, Vicepresident & Chief Marketing Officer Nokia
During Mobile World Congress 2014 we had the opportunity to talk to Tuula Rytila, Vicepresident & Chief Marketing Officer Nokia.
lab501: Hi Tuula! What are the main surprises that Nokia is unveiling at MWC 2014?
Tuula Rytila: This year we continued to stay true to our “Commitment to innovation” motto, and we did this by launching Nokia 220, a lively colored feature phone which will enable users to browse the web for just 29 Euro. Also, we launched the the new Asha 230, and affordable touch-screen phone that offers access to the most important Microsoft services. Obviously, the biggest news is the launch of the Nokia X series, in which we want to bring together the biggest advantages from three worlds – Nokia design and build quality, Microsoft services and Android apps.
lab501: So… why three mainstream Nokia Android devices, why now and why not a different OS (Ubuntu, etc)?
Tuula Rytila: In the last years we could see the accelerated development of the entry-level / mainstream smartphone segments and we saw an opportunity to address this market. As you know, Nokia continues to be the leader in the feature phone segment, so we wanted to give our clients an opportunity to easily migrate to a smartphone. Now we can give them access to the Microsoft services (cloud, Skype, Outlook), but also give them access to the myriad of Android apps that are already available on the market. That is the reason we chose Android – the hundred of thousands of apps available, which can bring a plus to the Nokia experience .
lab501: Why did you call your OS Nokia X Operating System, instead of Android, and why are you using a custom UI that is pretty far from the usual Android UI?
Tuula Rytila: It’s pretty simple actually – besides the Android apps, we are also implementing Microsoft’s services, so it is not a regular Android phone. As for the UI, we implemented Nokia Fastlane in order to help users have a very practical way to access their favorite apps. Fastlane will literally learn you habits and it will give you fast access to the apps you use the most.
lab501: From my point of view, the X series is targeting the feature phone users that want to try their first smartphone. What about the existing Android users that always wanted to see their favorite OS running on Nokia hardware?
Tuula Rytila: Well, from our point of view these devices are also targeting these users because the most important part of the Android ecosystems are the apps. We believe that the Nokia UI and especially the Fastlane will bring a real plus to the users.
lab501: By launching a series of affordable, dual SIM Android devices you will definitely get the attention of the buyers. On the other hand, these devices are unlikely to be listed by major telecom operators…
Tuula Rytila: It is true, we are addressing a continually growing market with these devices, and the dual SIM connectivity is a very important aspect for this market. And yes, this first series will not be sold (in most cases) by the telecom operators.
lab501: So you just launched a series of affordable Androids. Any plans for a high-end Android series in the future?
Tuula Rytila: At the moment we are more than happy with the level of performance and innovation the Lumia series brought into the high-end segment of the market. The Nokia X series is targeting a very specific market – high-end users are already happy with the Lumia series .
lab501: Nokia X runs Android but there is no Google Play support. Why?
Tuula Rytila: Our strategy is based on Microsoft services and Nokia store. Even when we are having this conversation, the Android apps are uploaded to our Nokia store.
lab501: Do you think the Nokia X users will eventually switch to the Lumia series?
Tuula Rytila: Yes. We launched this series so the transition from feature phones and Asha series to Lumia goes smoothly and naturally. Also, the UI will help the users get accustomed to the tile-based interface.
lab501: Thank you for your time!