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Nokia possibly considering Android? We're skeptical. [Updated]

[Update: We've heard from Nokia on this matter and we have their response after the break]

According to an interview with Stephen Elop, the Nokia CEO is apparently open to other platforms, namely Android. Previously, Elop has stood by Microsoft and has reiterated the company's focus on improving its Lumia line of smartphones, cloud-based services and its partnership with the software (and now hardware) giant. Is the future of Nokia still uncertain? Sure. Are they considering Android? Not right now.

Spanish website El Pais asked Elop if the company is considering to launch a mobile phone that runs Android. The CEO responded with the following:

"In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon. But we are always thinking about what's coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android... HTML5 could make the platform itself—being Android, Windows Phone or any other—irrelevant in the future, but it's still too soon to tell. Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible."

Windows Phone 8 has only been available in multiple markets since September last year. Hardware is still launching in multiple markets, including the likes of China and India. Nokia is continuing to push forward with marketing campaigns, as well as partnerships with carriers and retailers to further build brand awareness. Recent AdDuplex data is showing Nokia in a dominant position within the Windows Phone ecosystem.

While Nokia Windows Phone 8 hardware have been met with positive reviews from consumers and the media, Windows Phone itself has a lot to prove to convert those who are still favouring iOS, Android, BlackBerry or other platforms. The company will continue to consider what's coming around the next corner, as is each and every technology company, but we're seriously doubtful for an Android Nokia smartphone.

The above quote should be taken as is. Nokia has invested too much into Windows Phone to change direction now. Elop closes with the statement that the company is indeed committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but of course anything is possible. It's wise to never say never, but for now we can remain confident that Nokia is focused on Windows Phone.

Update: Nokia categorically denies that what Elop said implies anything different from what he has stated over and over for months now. In other words, there is once again nothing to see here except some Android fantasies, bad reporting and perhaps some translation issues. Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview regarding the Android question:

"Do you rule out 100% launching a smartphone based on Android in 2013?

Elop: So, the way I think about it is, in the current war on ecosystems, we are fighting with Windows Phone. That’s what we’re doing. Now, what we’re always doing is asking, how does that evolve? What’s next? What role does HTML5 play? What role does Android or other things play in the future? We’re looking further into the future, but it terms of what we’re bringing to market, and what we’re immediately focused on, we’re focused on Windows Phone."

via: Neowin

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Reader comments

Nokia possibly considering Android? We're skeptical. [Updated]

232 Comments

You can already buy the Lumia 610 for £89.95 in the UK PAYG on Orange or Vodafone (from Argos). Yes, it IS a great OS and phone.
I have owned a Lumia 800 (which I love) for just over a year, but on getting my hands on a Lumia 610 just before Christmas, I can say how impressed I was. That phone is already almost in the price bracket of some pretty ropey Android handsets. If it gets to say £79.99, that should do swing it for many potential purchasers I would say.
Sure it's not Windows Phone 8, but it was only 18 months ago that the Orange SanFrancisco (fairly cheap Android) was on sale for £80, with a non-upgradeable (except by hacking) Android 2.2....

That's Elop speak for "MS should add more to the $250M per quarter they're giving us". With report just out that Nokia sells more than 70% of WP8 devices, Nokia has MS under the gun and MS would probably capitulate. Nokia will never get the $250M per quarter from Google, not while Samsung is there with them. Google does not need Nokia and offering Nokia money wiill piss off Samsung.

There is no money changing hands. It is just the licenses which is free if nokia sells that many or something like that. 
This might be a threat to Microsoft who has selected a non Nokia phone (one which is produced by a Android OEM) as signature windows phone. 

You're not privy to the behind-the-scenes dealings between Microsoft and Nokia so pardon me if I don't take your word for it. We are both expressing our opinions and I'll take mine over yours anytime.

Nokia is a business that has a right to go where the market share is; nothing wrong with that. I'm sufficiently impressed with WP to stay with the platform be it Nokia Samsung or even Microsoft's own branded phones.

WP has set Google's ass on fire... Their current actions determine it considers WP a serious threat... And Google knows people love Nokia... Once Windows 8 settles people will want a complete ecosystem which Android cannot provide... But apple and ms can... They will want their devices in sync... Windows 8 and WP8 give a great sync... Plus in a corporate environment it will help a lot because of MS Office... There is no office on Android.... So once Windows 8 and Office 2013 actually settle in things will change.

As far as Nokia goes people love their devices. Reliability, service, etc. Samsung gives a shit about it's customers. Personal experience at a Samsung service center and also their Tech Support call center. Its totally customer unfriendly.

Nokia would be good for android as long as they keep giving us WP8 love, heck w their support android users will jump ship since Nokia pushes updates asap.

Elop as a leader of Nokia has a wise attitude in saying what he says and not closing any doors. Should he have said that Android is a full nay - the shares of Nokia (which are at the raise on the Stock Exchange) may have collapsed. His only intention is to keep the ascending trend. Remember rule n°1: it's all about the money - and nothing to do with anything else.

He does mention Android a few times, sort of like dropping it in.
 
So either this is for the investors to get a temporary share price increase, or its something that has started and will bear fruit in 2 years time, or its just a bit of loose talk that gets misinterpretted.
Personally I'd dread Nokia going Android, I've picked those handsets up and they just don't make sense to me, handing Google money too isn't something I'd enjoy either. 
But preferences aside I don't see Android as the land of milk and honey either, Samsung own it, and HTC are strong there too.  At best I could see them being a small player and making the market even less profitable for all the companies other then Samsung and maybe Sony (Sony has a decent slice it seems, but reduce this a few percent and its not so good).
With the growth rate of Windows phone things are looking good for the long view, if Nokia did go Android (partially or completely) then I wonder if Microsoft would pounce.  With the money they have fed in to prop them up marketting the first years windows phones I would be shocked if they didn't have some clauses in there giving them preferences (to prevent the money being misused), a few billion down and I think Microsoft could make a good purchase.
One other alternative to read into it could be the surface phone though, maybe this is a warning about it, take too much market share away from Nokia and they leave?

Seriously, just kick out those who came here just to flame Windows Phone. 
The more variety the better, if you want Android then just go for othe brands. Windows Phone is only 2 years old+, i dont think Android was that good either when it was only 2 years old. 

LOL @ everyone loosing their shit over Nokia making an Android phone. HTC and Samsung have both Android and WP. I'm sure Nokia can have that too.

""Do you rule out 100% launching a smartphone based on Android in 2013?"
There should have been a easy no answer in here.
Unless they have already done a lot of Android development though I just cannot see them producing a Android phone in under a year that's going to be any good at all.
My guess here is this is a poor interview (in that its vague) and Elop doesn't like to give yes/no answers to even straight questions (otherwise people can pin him down easily, and that means giving other companies a heads up on where Nokia is going, better to keep them guessing).

Nokia and Android wont mix....and it will be the doom for Nokia if they did.

The Android market is dominated by Samsung and HTC in EU and Asia Pacific and Motorola and Samsung in Continental America.
 
So if Nokia jump ship they are going to hit an iceberg and sink. They just dont have the money to market their device and Continental America is fortified by Moto and Samsung. Even in Asia they wont make much impact in their core makets like India as regional devices dominate the low end android space and high end is ruled by HTC and Samsung.
 
So i dont see logic in nokia jumping ship that sticking to M$. Atleast with WP they have money from M$ to burn and also MS has taken mobile ecospace as top priority. So inevitably MS is going to rule the roost down the line as they unify the mobile, cloud and desktop ecospace.

Like lumia, like WP, like Nokia, this is the turn of my love of phones. I love phones designed like L900, cause its beautiful curve. But after beheld the L920, I quickly changed my love. Yep, L920 is the most advanced device of all.

i can understand nokia,, why
if you are fameliar with the nokia store with all there device, and app or game get certifyed to the phone name and model based on hardware spec. so some model your app or game will not run ,, low hardware spec and overall feuture set of phone
on microsft store both for tablets and phone , your app or game has to run on the lowest hardware and feuture set
 = in 2010 and 2011 we had a del 800mhz phone with 256mb and a htc 1 ghz 512mb ,nokia lumia 800 1,5 ghz just an example
this course fracmenttation becourse you can not target to feuture set of the phone , as you can on apple ecosystem,android ecosystem(tegra zone just write to nidia and you get your app or game on there it is free )
the nokia ecosystem as well
this in the fundmentel problem with the microsoft ecosystem ,, the only app or games that can target this is a microsoft created app or a xbox live game
and this course the developers to stay away and if you whant to create an xboxlive game , you have to have secure funds , dokomtated to microsoft , and the price of an update is a round 10.000 dollars for a single game
the bussine model of xbox live games on tablet and phone , it the reson all the good games stay away
in my opinion xbox live games , has kill the windows phone, by all the exluseve games to carrers and phone manufactores , not to mention the confusement of wicth phone to buy in the windows ecosystem
and now in 2013 we will se a low end phone a dualcore 800mhz put on the market in euopa, so et is the end of games here, for small town developers compared to the great nokia 920 dualcore 1.5 ghz phones
that is the fundamentel problem , and i think that is why people do not buy the phone,,
we are a couple of 100 developers that have written to microsoft about this problem, but no aswher back from microsoft side, not even a word 
and nokia nows this, course thay have allso resived all those e mails as well
we all now great games and great apps , sell phones and tablets,, but the only show here was cut the rope
so this is the problem
 
 
 

allso the comming release of unity for windows phone , you got to have and xboxlive contract with microsoft in order to run and une unity for game developerment on windows phone and tablets
and this is a problem to
 

No way, absolutely not. The only way I'd ever buy an Android is if there was no other phone available - and even then, it's not for sure.

Tutt tutt  Nokia. Its companies like you that are lettin' the WP sisters down! HTC are one of the closest to Microsoft having a partnership with them for over 10 years. Nokias reputation for quality will go down hill if they have Android, because android is not a quality platform.
 

I'm deeply saddened that nokia choses to completelly forget about markets such as Brazil which they have had a strong roots since forever... And now we don't even have a release date on the new Lumias line up :(
baw...

Nokia can do what they want.
But I have problems with a company that send its boss to North Korea to do some ass kissing.
The state department should arrest Mr. Eric Schmidt for providing software and hardware solutions that could possibly be used in their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Remind you... For the Lunar program NASA guys would have killed to get their hands on hardware as advanced as a mobile phone, or mobile phone OS.
It just all Google... they mine so much data they probably have some real fat files on everyone in the Government... Makes Hoover look like an amateur!

I like Nokia's aggressive posturing. Android is where it's at, and they will sell a shitload of Nokia/Android phones if they jump into the fray. I see no reason why Elop wouldn't authorize an Android division at Nokia - he's a straight up smart businessman.

Windows phone is in many ways the downside to the great hardware of the Lumia 920. If I could have gotten a 920 with Android it would have been a slam dunk. I just hate the phones themselves, Android is a great OS.

well windows is what makes the new nokia phones so wonderfully different, without it there would be no reason to prefer nokia over any other oem. so pls nokia don't let WP down.
 

Just fork android the way Amazon has, retaining app compatibility and owning the market.
But currently Microsoft is payin Nokia 230$ for each phone sold so I don't see this happening unless Microsoft stops writing checks

Think that it would be ridiculous to think that Nokia releasing an Android device would be a bad thing (Unless of course it is against their contract with M$).  If they were able to continue on with Microsoft on board and not lose money with them then it would be a great idea for them to make a Android device to test the market with it.  They really don't have to do all that much marketing as Nokia is a well known name and the news will get out there fairly quickly especially with the Mobile News Industry.  I think that Nokia has excellent hardware and it would be a winner IMHO.  Like some others have said..... to ignore Android all together would be a bad idea.  They don't have to compete with the other high end Android devices like everyone here is saying.... why does every device ever created have to be better than the Galaxy Note 2 or any other top tiered device?  Not every person wants to buy the most expensive and biggest device.  To think that a manufacturer must make one to be the biggest and best or don't get into the market is a childish way to think of how to make money.

So what if nokia launches an android phone, if thats what nokia belives is in the best interest of nokia then they have to do it. as long as they still show 100% commitment to thier existing platforms (which nokia being nokia they probably will - until there is no more burning platform to stand up on : ), so whats the problem??? 

Nokia Nexus would be damn sexy for me
If nokia make android, I garantee that Google will not leave Nokia alone, they had AOSP to support any phone company  to make android able to run on any phone properly

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