SEC filing by Nokia hints at the possibility of a Microsoft Surface phone

March 9, 2013
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Microsoft Surface phone

We last heard about a possible Microsoft Surface phone around the time the Surface tablet was released, but there was no indication at the time that this smartphone would ever see the light of day. Guess who does think a Surface phone may make its way to consumers soon – Nokia! Yes, the same Nokia that decided to go all-in with the Windows Phone OS, is now worried that Microsoft may be working on a smartphone of its own, or may even ditch Windows Phone entirely.

A recent law-mandated risk filing with the SEC by Nokia, which was dug up by ZDNet, states that Nokia is worried that

Microsoft may broaden its strategy to sell other mobile devices under its own brand, including smartphones. This could lead Microsoft to focus more on their own devices and less on mobile devices of other manufacturers that operate on the Windows Phone platform, including Nokia.

Such filings are legally required by the SEC to list out possible business risks to allow investors to make informed decisions. In the similar filing from 2011, Nokia acknowledged the risk of moving from Symbian to Windows Phone. Now, in the latest filing, Nokia says that the risk comes from the possibility that Microsoft may reduce their investment in the OS, or shut it down completely.

The possibility of a Surface arises again in the filing, with Nokia stating that a deteriorating relationship could occur with Microsoft, possible because of influences by other device manufacturers, or if Microsoft decides to build its own hardware, or even move away from the mobile game altogether, leaving Nokia stranded.

Granted, such filings list ALL perceived risks that could occur in a business relationship, but the continuous mention of a Microsoft-made Windows Phone has piqued our interest. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop staid last year that a Surface Phone would be good to stimulate the Windows Phone ecosystem, but obviously made that statement without considering how such a device would affect the company he heads.

Now that the risks have been laid out, how do you think Nokia will react if a Surface phone does become a reality? Is it finally time for Nokia to make a shift to Android? Do you think the disappointing sales of Windows Phone devices will lead to Microsoft giving up on the OS entirely? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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