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Why Didn’t Nokia Use Android? Because That Would Be Giving Up

Why Didn't Nokia Use Android? Because That Would Be Giving UpBy 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 commoditization would increase dramatically.”

Nokia knew that it was too late to join the Android party—Android had become a crowded space. Creating a standout Android phone would not only be difficult given the experience of other companies but because it could get lost in 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 phone” only has a lifespan of a month before it gets dethroned? Nokia saw Google eventually getting all the profits as hardware gets commoditized.

And maybe Windows Phone 7 will have those same hardware “issues” as Android but Nokia felt it could differentiate its handsets by dropping in Nokia specific features like their Navteq location-based services. That, they felt, would give them a leg up.

But none of those arguments seem to matter as much as this one: Nokia didn’t want to lose the smartphone wars without giving Google and Apple 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 and fighting to add another horse. It might be too late and maybe Nokia had to sell their soul, who knows, but I respect any one who goes down swinging.

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