Nokia North American President Mark Weber didn't mince words in a recent interview, giving the hard sell on the company's upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone devices and describing competitors’ user interfaces and platforms as essentially passé.
"The reliance by Apple and Android phones on the 'app' as the central metaphor is 'outdated,'" Venture Beat reported Weber as saying. The report continued:
While [the two] set the standard for a modern user interface with 'pinch and zoom,' Weber conceded, it also forces people to download multiple applications, which they then have to navigate between. There’s a lot of touching involved as you press icons or buttons to activate application features. Android essentially 'commoditized' this approach, Weber said.
Nokia's Windows Phone devices, which will rely on "tiles" and "hubs" introduced in the first round of the OS, will build the user experience around contacts instead of applications.
"For example, if you want to communicate with a business contact, you select the contact from your address book and then communicate in any way you want — via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter — without having to open those individual applications," Weber went on to explain.
He additionally revealed that Nokia — which has offered unlocked phones in the U.S., instead of subsidized devices tied to a carrier — is working to build carrier relationships, which partly explains why the devices have been so slow to arrive. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has promising to introduce devices by year's end but emphasized that shipments in volume won't happen until 2012.
Weber said he also expects Nokia's newest phones to be "way ahead" of Google and Apple devices in their ability to exploit cloud-based offerings, and showed off a Nokia technology that enables users to interact with their phones using voice commands — without ever once touching the device.
While Nokia has said it will, for a time, continue supporting Symbian, which it unload onto Accenture in April (Unfiltered: Nokia outsources Symbian's retirement), Weber admitted to All Things D that it will be getting little love — and ditto for Nokia's Meego-based N9, which Engadget reported Tuesday won't be coming to the United States — as all of Nokia's attention will be funneled into ensuring that the Windows Phone devices succeed.
“When we launch Windows Phones, we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc., ” Weber told All Things D. “It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what [else] we do."