By now, you know that Nokia decided to side with Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 instead of Google and Android. Why didn’t they want Android? Because Nokia felt that that would be going down without a fight.
Nokia considered three OSes to move to: MeeGo, Android or Windows Phone 7. In talking about Android, Elop admits to its strength but also points out some weaknesses:
“There’s something happening there. There’s no denying that. [But]our sense was differentiation could be a pretty big challenge. The risk for commoditisation would increase dramatically.”
Nokia knew that it had arrived much too late to the Android party and also knew it was already a crowded space. Creating a standout Android phone would already be difficult given the years other companies had invested and even more difficult given the maul of Android phones available. Even Android phone makers would admit that it’s hard to stay at the top of the Android power rankings—hell, doesn’t it seem like the “best Android phones” only has a lifespan of a month before it gets dethroned? Nokia saw Google getting all the profits while hardware gets commoditised.
And sure Windows Phone 7 has similar hardware partners with Android but Nokia felt it could differentiate its handsets by dropping in Nokia specific features like their Navteq location-based services.
But most important to Nokia was that they didn’t want to lose the smartphone wars to Apple and Google without giving it an honest fight. Choosing Android would mean that they’d become a bit player in a two-horse race (Apple vs Google). Choosing Windows Phone means they’re hoping to turn it into three. It might be too late and maybe Nokia had to sell their souls, who knows, but I respect any one who goes down swinging. [AllThingsD]