Why Nokia Chose Windows Phone over Android

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Posted 4 years ago

Why Nokia Chose Windows Phone over AndroidIn the days when features phones ruled the world, Nokia was the number one mobile manufacturer, dominating the market with its well-built, reliable and easy to use handsets, while mass pioneering new features such as Bluetooth and camera. However, as touchscreen devices became more popular, Nokia’s Symbian operating system couldn’t match up to its rivals and, as market share took a tumble the company decided to turn over a new leaf and offer a new OS going forward. To this day, the choice that was made is still regarded as a strange one, as the Finnish company opted for Windows Phone and not Android.

Android seemingly ticked all the boxes and some people believe that Nokia made the wrong choice. So why not the Google platform? Well, the company’s CEO, Stephen Elop has finally shed some light on the situation.

In an interview with The Guardian, Elop said that Nokia was considering Android, but before committing, realized that there was a big risk that “one hardware manufacturer could come to dominate Android,” and that his company “has a suspicion” of who the manufacturer was, due to “resources available” and “vertical integration.”

“We were respectful of the fact that we were quite late in making that decision. Many others were in that space already,” said Elop. “Now fast forward to today and examine the Android ecosystem, and there’s a lot of good devices from many different companies, but one company has essentially now become the dominant player.”

Elop did not specifically name the manufacturer; however, there are no prizes for guessing that it was Samsung that he was referring to. By choosing Windows Phone, Nokia opted for the big fish in a little pond approach rather play a supporting role to the dominant Korean company.

Elop admitted that offering Windows Phone devices made his company the “third alternative” behind Android and iOS and said that it is hard to compete with the duopoly despite backing from major carriers such as AT&T.

So was choosing Windows Phone correct? “It’s very difficult because we are starting as a challenger, we’re having to build that credibility,” said the CEO. “But it was the right decision. You look at a number of other Android providers right now and they’re in a tough spot.”

– Anthony Carter

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