Analysts say Stephen Elop has until the end of Q1 2013 to prove he can lead Nokia

Nokia’s current CEO, Stephen Elop, became head of the Finnish handset maker on September 21, 2010. That means that this coming Friday, the day of the iPhone 5 launch in the United States, he’s going to “celebrate” being in charge for two straight years. According to analysts interviewed by Reuters, Elop has until the end of the first quarter to prove that what he’s doing is actually helping the company or sending them straight to the grave. Juha Varis, a Nokia shareholder, says: “The Christmas season is a lost cause. For Nokia, if there is any chance, it will be Spring.” The lost cause he is referring to is of course the recently announced Lumia 920. That device would have been more impressive had Nokia A) Said when it would launch, B) Said how much it’s going to cost, and C) Show off what’s new and interesting about Windows Phone 8.

Just to put things into perspective, Apple recently announced that they sold 2 million iPhone preorders in 24 hours. Nokia sold that many Windows Phones during the first three months of 2012. Samsung announced that they sold 20 million Galaxy S III units in 100 days. That comes out to about 18 million a quarter. Nokia sold 4 million Windows Phones during the second quarter of this year. We’re not exactly sure what kind of numbers Elop has to deliver to impress investor, but it’s safe to say that they’re not happy.

Magnus Rehle, a Senior Partner at Greenwich Consulting, says: “Elop has not been able to attract customers and that is what counts. You can say that he has not had enough time, but he has been there for two years. Time is up.”

He’s got a point. When Windows Phone 7 launched it lacked a lot of features. Windows Phone 7.5 addressed some of that, but it still wasn’t enough. Will Windows Phone 8 fix things? We’re not going to know until Microsoft actually shows us the operating system.

Author: Stefan

Stefan has been writing about the mobile phone industry since November 2006. He also spent 14 months at Nokia between 2008 and 2009, but has since purchased a Nexus One and an Apple iPhone. He's watching Windows Phone like a hawk, hoping it'll get better with time.