Analyst says that Nokia should adopt Android before it’s too late

July 2, 2013

samsung galaxy s4 vs nokia lumia 928 aa 928 tiles

The Android, Windows, Nokia discussion is a bit of an old one, but there has been a resurgence of interest in Nokia’s operating system of choice recently. Fresh data is suggesting that Nokia is really starting to feel the pressure after tying itself into Microsoft’s platform – the company even recently lost out to Samsung on its home turf.

Nokia’s share price has already dropped by 2.6 percent amid concerns that the company is starting to struggle with the underperforming Windows platform.

Analysts are also starting to weigh in their opinions on the company’s future. Pierre Ferragu, of Bernstein Research, recently suggested that Nokia needs to “take the pill before one cannot afford to do so anymore” and begin producing mobiles that use Google’s Android operating system.

Ferragu points out that Nokia’s balance sheet is “in a rather tight net cash position”, and that the company’s finances are at risk of being pushed to the limit due to Nokia’s specific exposure to the feature phone market and the slow adoption rates for Windows Phones.

(Nokia) is facing two structural challenges: its exposure to the disappearing feature phone market and the lack of traction of Windows Phones.

In other words, Ferragu suggests that the company is facing problems with both its premium and budget product lines. Firefox OS, and similarly cheap smartphones, are set to replace Nokia’s feature phones in the coming years, and the company’s high end Lumia products simply don’t appear to be as popular as iPhone, Galaxy, or other high-end smartphone products.

Both could cost Nokia a lot of cash in the near term, in restructuring, marketing/distribution support, and operational losses, which means it could be too late to address the problem in a couple of years.

I tend to agree with much of what’s said above, after all, Windows isn’t really growing as a platform in the mobile market, and it has been stuck with somewhere around a 3-5% share of the market since last year. In fact, the most recent figures point out that Microsoft’s operating system accounts for just 3 percent of the entire US smartphone market. There’s no way to say this nicely, that’s a pretty dire performance.

US platform results May

Microsoft’s US smartphone market share even falls behind the struggling BlackBerry brand, and has failed to show any growth so far this year.

Regardless of how good Nokia’s handsets are, Windows is an ailing platform in the mobile market, which simply doesn’t interest as many consumers as Android or Apple, and that is certain to hurt Nokia’s bottom line. But the real question is, would Nokia be better served by making the switch over to Android, where there is arguably a lot more competition at the premium handset level? Even big names like HTC and LG are struggling to obtain a decent share of the Android market, when compared with the dominance of Samsung. Perhaps there’s more money to be made in the low end Android market, Pierre Ferragu seems to think so:

I wouldn't be surprised to see Nokia adopting Android as its new low-end platform by year end.

The key issue seems to be whether or not Nokia will be better off being the big player in the smaller Windows platform, or just another competitor in the massive Android market. Looking at the way Window is going, I’d be inclined to say that switching to Android would be the smart thing to do, not to mention that I’d like to lay my hands on an Android powered high quality Nokia handset. But any switch will obviously depend on existing contracts with Microsoft as much as it will on Nokia’s willingness to change its platform.

Comments

  • Rayan

    Nokia + Android = R.I.P Samsung , LG and all that crap which is left !

    • MasterMuffin

      EOS would be one awesome Android phone (though the only spec that we currently know is the 41mp camera but 41 MEGAPIXEL CAMERA!!)!

      • Rayan

        It would put the S4 Zoom to shame !!

        • MasterMuffin

          It’s already a pretty shameful device if you ask me :D

          • Rayan

            hahaha! :D
            A fligship-camera-phone , pretty ridiculous concept with that lens protruding out !! :P
            Seriously , who would have got such an idea !
            The Galaxy camera was a good one , but S4 ?? No ! :P

          • MasterMuffin

            Eeexactly :D

          • Rayan

            :)

    • time

      and why is that?

      • Rayan

        Well , you can ask that rest of them !

        I don’t have the “Time” for that ! ;)

    • brando

      mostly agree with you but don’t put too much hope on first few model.

      currently Nokia didn’t have enough experience in Android (or do they?).

      probably after Nokia 3rd Android phone or so, they can start compete with others.

      • Rayan

        Well , I Agree with you on this thing !
        But still , It would be really good to see Nokia taking up Android !

        And as far As hopes are Concerned , I know the first few phone might not be good , But it will be interesting how Nokia will plan up to take up Samsung/HTC/LG ‘s Place in the market ! :)

  • Mike Bastable

    Everyone knows Nokia NEEDS to switch high end and low end to Android to broaden its portfolio, does the world NEED so many unsold Lumia models?
    To survive Nokia needs to do this YESTERDAY!, such a change will not condemn Windows Mobile but merely put it in its rightful 3rd place for ever, whilst ensuring the survival of Nokia, a company that makes awesome quality handsets.

  • lil bit

    Firefox os is gonna kill Nokia, Sony has said they will make Firefox phones, other tier one manufacturer will follow, Asha will suffer badly once Sony outs their FFOS lineup. Then again, Nokia can also make FFOS phones, if they were Smart enough, and Smart is something Nokia cannot be accused of the last years.

  • lannisterrr

    If nokia makes android, i will leave the galazy S line n switch to the nokia android flagship in a heartbeat. their design, build quality and ergonomics are way better than samsung.

  • zamir yusof

    the only thing that strongly convince me to switch to wp7.5/8 is Nokia. I believe if they start to adopt android I’m going to switch back right on day one.

  • AndroidShiz

    Amazing- all these high tech analysis can tell you what any 13-15 yr old in any 1st world country would say a couple years ago, and that would be “we ain’t buying that.”

  • spade

    If nokia’s gonna make android devices, that’ll be the end of WP8 platform.

    • Grman Rodriguez

      True, thats why i dont want them to take Android

    • YoungHermit

      They’ll still have the Samsung ATIVs

      • LOL

        HTC does too, but both of them is about less than 20% on WP8 market share.

  • Sudeepto Dutta

    What a coincidence !! Just threw away my Nokia X6 today .. Cursed Nokia till death :X

    Analyst ??!! Man everyone’s crying this thing over like eternity ….

    But what can we say …Nokia’s lazy & stubborn ass’s gonna lead them to hell…

    There’s still time , Nokia can do something ….

    Nokia Lumia 925 + Android 5.0 …!!!

    Shheeesh too much to ask :)

  • box14380

    I wanna see a Lumia 1020 of 41mp sensor powered with Jellybean or Key Lime Pie at the end of year 2013.

    That device would be one of the deal breaker along with Intel-powered Samsung Galaxy S5 with 20mp sensor.

  • Yama

    Pureview + Nokia nexus= 500% earning for Nokia.

  • Yama

    Firefox os, tizen and wp8…what the f…k do they think that they are going for?
    When there is 2 perfect os like android and ios (that even isn’t 50% to perfect) is there, why would you begin using a shitty os which can’t offer a shit compared to ios and android.

  • Jon

    I’d love to see a nexus nokia or google edition nokias, but they would have to be available in the UK.

  • Robert Crosby

    windows just can’t compete microsoft need to do something fast

  • mohdamr1

    Nokia phones have the best call quality and reception. A Nokia phone gets calls even when you are inside the elevator and never drops calls like all androids and apple. I am an S3 user and i use android because of all what android offers which is a lot of good things. Windows phone is bad:
    Its interface is ugly, with minimum flexibility, boring, lags a lot, buggy. it has no major updates or many good apps.

  • HSS

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nokia regained all that they lost if they made the switch to Android. I miss the Nokia cool factor and would love to have another Nokia.

  • David Loman

    Wow! Really? I just didn’t see that coming… Had Nokia joined the Android world a few years ago, Samsung would be like HTC. Nokia would be king of the hill. Samsung makes smart software but nobody beats Nokia in hardware and design. You could for a drop test and other similar tests with Galaxy, iPhone and Nokia and you would have Nokia beating the latter over and over. I just can’t understand what Nokia is waiting for. They should take what they have right now, break the piggy bank and start manufacturing HIGH End Android devices… Not now, yesterday! If they do so, I wouldn’t hesitate on throwing away my Samsung g devices and switching to Nokia. You should understand that and. You’re about to push yourself off a cliff unless you set now