Niklas Savander, executive vice president and a member of Nokia’s Group Executive Board, today took to Twitter in order that he might commune with customers, answering questions and looking for ideas.
Savander tweeted on a range of topics, from Ovi Store to MeeGo and Symbian, promising to elaborate on specific questions through video responses posted to the company’s website later in the day.
Twitter’s 140 characters limited the scope of the discussion, but Savander managed to drop at least a few interesting tidbits during the hour that he fielded questions.
He said that the Ovi Store is currently seeing 1.7 million downloads a day, 75 percent of which are apps.
Pressed to comment on the company’s operating system strategy going forward, he emphatically denied any involvement with Windows 7 or Android, admitting along the way that Symbian needs work. “Android is not the ans. We need Symbian to be cleaned up and given more power and better UI,” he tweeted.
Nokia has been struggling recently to find its place in the high-end smartphone market, drawing criticism for a lack of an operating system that can content with the likes of Android and iOS.
Savander reiterated that Intel’s MeeGo OS will go into high-end connected devices and addressed the age-old question of how Nokia will change its reputation in the United States as a provider of boring bar phones. Nokia has worked hard to engage the North American market but to little avail.
“Nokia used to be known in US as freebie network phones. How do you change this perception without broad carrier support?” asked palmsolo.
“One step at a time – 1st steps visible Nuron at @TmobileUSA w turn-by-turn nav, operator billing w store and more,” Savander said in response, adding that while T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless all have Nokia phones, the company has “no plans at this time” to partner with Sprint.
While Savander may have initiated the conversation as much to answer questions as to inform the company’s strategy going forward, he did find one area on which to hang his hat. When asked what he thought of social location apps, Savander touted the company’s strong roots in navigation after its acquisition of Navteq.
“Future of mobile Internet is location driven – we r in mile 1 of marathon & in front of the pack #navteq,” he wrote.
The session closed with Savander asking followers what their one wish was for Nokia. Judging by the range of responses, the wish list is long. At least Nokia fans know from today’s conversation that the N8 is on schedule for a third-quarter launch, and the company’s first MeeGo device will land by the end of the year.