Earlier in the week, we published Nokia’s boss Stephen Elop words on his company’s commitment to Windows Phone 8. Elop said that Nokia is not discarding any possibility, even while it is supporting Microsoft right now.
Elop’s explicit words caused some commotion through the internet, which prompted the Finnish company to contact us and other US media, trying to do some damage control. Nokia claimed our report wasn’t true. It said that perhaps something was lost in translation (that was actually the subject of its email to our US editor-in-chief Joe Brown).
As proof, they provided the transcript to one of the interview questions to Gizmodo and any site willing to trust them.
But the truth is that Nokia tried to mislead everyone. Knowing that their CEO actually said those words, they tried to cover the truth by providing one fraction of the transcript, omitting the condemning phrases and questions. The truth is that Elop said those words. Here’s the complete transcript of the questions that were condensed into the paragraph that we originally published . Judge by yourself.
Q: Do you rule out 100 per cent launching a device, a smartphone based on Android next year? [the interview was conducted in late December, “next year” refers to “this year”, 2013]
Elop: The way I think about it is, the current war of ecosystems, we are fighting with Windows Phone. That´s what we are doing. Now, what we are always doing is, how does that evolve?, what comes next? What role does HTML 5 play? What role does Android or other things play in the future? We´ll look further into the future, but in terms of what we are bringing into the market and what we are immediately focused on, we are focused on Windows Phone.
Q: But there are things like Firefox OS, HTLM 5, as you mention. Is it that you don´t rule out any change [in the choice of platform]? If things change, you don´t rule out to change as well?
Elop: Well, first of all, things will always change in this industry, and so everybody, including Microsoft, are looking well forward to say, how do things evolve, whether is on Windows Phone as a platform, or whatever. The thing to know is that, some of the changes that are happening, like HTML 5, what that may cause to happen is that, whether is Android or Windows Phone or other things underneath, over time might become less important than the fact that is HTML 5 capable. The promise of HTML 5 is that you can build applications that work across different platforms, so the conversation may shift. At the same time, HTML 5 is not in a position today to be the big ecosystem… it´s still very early.
Q: So if the conversation shifts, if the landscape shifts, you are free to commit to other platforms. Will you commit to other platforms?
Elop: We will shift as business circumstances and as the landscape shifts… of course…
Q: So you leave the door open to that?
Elop: The door is open to any shift over time, but I want to be really, really clear, we are seeing great feedback from our consumers, we are delivering great products to market using Windows Phone, and we are pleased to see that.
For the sake of brevity, Manuel Ángel Méndez — the Gizmodo en Español editor who interviewed Elop for El País — condensed these three answers in a single paragraph. I translated his Spanish translation on Monday:
El País: Do you discard launching an Android phone next year?
Elop: In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon. But we are always thinking about what’s coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android… HTML5 could make the platform itself — being Android, Windows Phone or any other — irrelevant in the future, but it’s still too soon [to tell]. Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible.
While the words are not exact (that’s what happens when you translate twice) you can compare the above with the bold sentences in the transcript. It’s basically the same. And, in the Spanish interview, it’s exactly the same.
TL;DR: Elop said the door is open to any shift over time, and then Nokia tried to cover its CEO’s foot-in-the-mouth statement with a partial release of the transcript. Sorry Nokia, I love my Lumia 920, but this was shady.