Never Say Never, But Nokia Is Never Going To Make An Android Or Windows 7 Device

The rumors about Nokia making an Android or even a Windows 7 phone (now that they have an ex-Microsoft CEO) never seem to die because there is always someone fueling the fire. Soon after Ari Jaaksi’s resignation, TechCrunch put out a story about how Eric Schmidt and Stephen Elop were talking about a ‘possible’ Nokia Android device.

“We’ve heard from a good source that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has called Elop to discuss the possibility of Android running on Nokia phones. We actually heard this information about a week ago, but today’s news makes it potentially more interesting. Around the time Jaaksi was resigning, Elop and Schmidt were talking.”

You have to admit, it makes for a very juicy story and an interesting point to mull over. But before you waste time thinking about this, let me put some things in perspective.

Never Say Never, But Nokia Is Never Going To Make An Android Or Windows 7 Device

Nokia for years has now said that it wants to be a internet/services company and they have spent millions of dollars trying to do just that. They didn’t get off the floor too well, but now their services are beginning to take good shape. If they put Android on a Nokia device (lets call it the N10), where does Ovi go? Lets look at it in the light of their most successful Ovi services, Maps and the Store. Will the N10 suddenly run the Ovi Store instead of the Android Market? Will Google let Nokia replace Google Maps with Ovi Maps? People will say sure, they are free to load their own version on top, Android is ‘open’ you see. But does it make sense for Nokia to try and compete with Google on its own turf? An Android device needs you to sign in with your Google Account to get started. Will Google let Nokia replace that with an Ovi sign-on? Even if they do, it’ll be a huge mistake for Nokia to plan into their hands.

Now lets look at applications. Nokia recently spent over $150 million to acquire a company called Trolltech. Why? Because they were the ones behind Qt, the cross platform development environment. Nokia is telling developers, ‘make your app with Qt, here’s our toolkit and deploy to millions of Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo devices’. They are literally throwing millions at developers. With my own eyes I saw Stephen Elop handover the $1 million prize at Nokia World. Not to mention the $10,000 for this and $10,000 for that kind of awards that handed out in addition. One thousand free N8’s? Who can forget that.

Forum Nokia has been having developer conferences all around the world and they’re targeting America hard. Just yesterday, they gave all attended of the Nokia Developer Day a free N8 as well. You will not see it today, but the developers are really warming up to the idea of Qt and developing for Nokia in general. If Nokia even makes one Android device, all of that is gone. No developer will ever come back. Millions wasted.

Assuming Nokia does make the N10 (our fictitious Android device), what would it be like? Like a Nexus One or a Galaxy S with a better camera? Or perhaps like the new HTC QWERTY Android device with a better camera? Is there anything else they can add to the experience? Lets assume they hire Android engineers and put them to work on a slightly custom Nokia UI for Android. It will take at least 8-10 months before something even remotely usable can come out. Also by then, Nokia would have relegated themselves to being virtually a box manufacturer.

In the time that happens, MeeGo will be ready to take on the world anyway, backed by Qt. Making the apps that devs have already written for the N8 and other Symbian ^3 devices run on MeeGo is not a huge jump at all. They will also have sold a ton of Symbian ^3 devices, with Symbian ^4 on the way. After using the ‘new’ Symbian, the general distaste people have for it these days would have died down as well. 2011 is a perfect time for Nokia to reap results off their long term strategy.

Symbian ^3 for the low-mid end, with devices like the new C6 announced at Nokia World. Symbian ^4 for the mid-high end, debuting with the N8 successor perhaps. MeeGo for the absolute high end with Qt bridging the gap, and seamless Ovi Services keeping people happy.

Why would anyone want them to go Android is beyond me. Aren’t similar device from Motorola, Samsung, HTC enough? Anssi Vanjoki already told the world what he thought of other manufacturers using Android, ‘Like young boys peeing in their pants for warmth’. Sadly, he will soon be gone.

[Image via Engadget, Quote via TechCrunch]

10 thoughts on “Never Say Never, But Nokia Is Never Going To Make An Android Or Windows 7 Device”

  1. I’ve seen this “it’ll take ages to get Android on a Nokia device” comment a few times but I’m not so sure about that. Android has been ported to various devices so far including Nokia.

    I personally see no issue with Nokia offering an Android solution,maybe just one device with an annual refresh. Or think bigger, why not a dual boot handset? Meego or Symbian plus Android.

  2. Matt, sure but that was Vanilla Android or sometimes even a manufacturer branded version. Nokia being Nokia would at least have a UI layer of their own, just like Touch Wiz 3, HTC Sense and so on.. That has to take time.

    I love the idea of a dual boot handset, they could open the door behind the scenes, like the N900 to an extent, but will probably never do it officially. Its a service nightmare, as if rolling out firmware updates for one device wasn’t enough, now they’ll have to do double the work for what is still just one device. I don’t see that happening.

  3. What hasn’t been mentioned here is that Android is technically inferior by a long way to both Symbian and MeeGo. Without going into gory detail, in a nutshell Android requires way more processing power for a certain level of experience because the whole Android OS is hideously inefficient running on a virtual machine. Symbian is renowned for hitting the metal and running amazingly on low end hardware. Battery life on Androids also suffers horribly as a result. Android is also still lacking or adding inferior versions, of features Symbian has had for years.

    Furthermore I hear time and again how Android Store is making developers no money but Ovi Store is doing well with that.

    Anyone suggesting Nokia go with Android doesn’t have the first clue what they are talking about and is merely expressing their own UI preference.

  4. Agree with Matt, who has reasonable and proven knowledge of Android, and happily offers an informed, unbiased and identifiable opinion, unlike “Roger”.

  5. No Mark Webster, you agree with Matt because he agrees with your inherent bias towards Android. I’m sorry if the facts about Symbian’s technical superiority are tough for you to accept.

  6. Excellent read. I would say Nokia taking on Android is about as likely as the hell freezing over. Then again, Google is in bed with satan (oh come on, who says “Do no evil!” – the evil dudes, that’s who!!! 😀 😀 :P) so that could actually happen…

  7. Didn’t Motorola say they’re never going to make another handset? And now they are riding the wave high. Ok so there is that Great White Ballmer in their path but i really don’t think they’re dead anytime soon.

  8. Erm. Well, i guess it was a little dangerous using “never”. Ah well, nothing like eating our own words, is there? Finally a polished OS on a Nokia phone. To you Symbian supporters out there (all 3 of you).. It seems Symbian is so much more advanced than every other mobile OS that its completely done away with needing any users at all.
    Go WP7. Symbian + Maemo/Meego = R I P.

    LOL never a wp7 phone.

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