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Nokia hopes to convert 200 million Symbian users to Windows Phones, but won’t complete the transition off Symbian until 2013, the company revealed in a document filed with the SEC this morning.That’s an eternity in the fast-moving smartphone market — recall that Google’s Android has been around for just about two years, and has gone from zero to about 23% market share in that time. Nokia’s Symbian still leads with about 38%.
The document states, “We expect the transition to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform to take about two years,” and later explains “We expect 2011 and 2012 to be transition years, as we transition to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform and we invest in building a new ecosystem with Microsoft.”
Here are some of the other details revealed in the document:
- Symbian is not going away. Nokia expects to sell 150 million more Symbian handsets while it makes the transition.
- Microsoft may hurt Nokia in China. As a risk factor, Nokia noted that “our association with the Microsoft brand may impair our current strong market position in China.”
- Cost of goods up, R&D down. The deal will increase Nokia’s costs because it pays a royalty to Microsoft for each phone sold, but Nokia will spend less on R&D.
- Elop got a $6 million signing bonus. Nokia gave CEO Stephen Elop a 2.3 million Euro ($3.2 million) signing bonus in October 2010, and is slated to pay him another $3 million this October. Nokia also paid him an additional 509,000 Euro ($708,000) to reimburse him for fees he was obligated to repay Microsoft, and 312,000 Euro ($434,000) in legal expenses related to his move. He’s also making 1.05 million Euro ($1.46 million) per year in base salary, with an opportunity to earn an annual bonus of up to 225% extra.