How the Microsoft/Nokia deal (doesn’t) affect Android

by: Nate SwannerSeptember 3, 2013


What we all knew would happen has finally come to fruition: Microsoft has agreed to purchase Nokia. The $7.2 billion deal, which gives Microsoft Nokia’s device and services division, as well as their patents, also sees the Windows Phone company with a true hardware entity for their fledgling platform.

As Microsoft begins the road towards bringing Nokia under their wing, we’re left to wonder what implications the deal could mean for Android. Though the news is fresh, it could still be a dud of a deal for Microsoft.

The OEM game

While Android is heavily reliant on Samsung, which has dipped their toe into the Windows Phone water, the affected party could end up being HTC. A resurgent HTC has dedicated a quarter of their lineup to Windows Phone. Even though Microsoft promises to treat everyone equally, we’ve got very little reason to think they’ll act in good faith.

This, of course, means HTC could end up focussed wholly on Android. They could put out a few phenomenal handsets each year, or go the Samsung route and douse the market with handset after handset, iterating each to death until something works out.

The deal may also leave other OEMs gun-shy about Windows Phone. It’s a struggling platform, which has just seen the parent company absorb the largest handset partner it had. That alone would be cause for concern to an OEM considering their options, and could help Android win a few more partners or devices. The licensing fees alone would scare many off.

samsung galaxy s4 vs nokia lumia 928 aa 928 tiles


Where this could affect everyone else negatively is enterprise. Microsoft is still the top business solution, and if they can (finally) integrate their enterprise solutions into a mobile platform, they’ve got an inroad. If Microsoft can marry desktop functionality to the phone, then effectively sell a business on why their solution is the best option, they could make some noise in a real battleground for all mobile players.


The most subliminally brilliant part of this is the lower end devices Windows Phone does not reach. Asha, Nokia’s low-end brand, has a strong imprint in emerging markets like India and throughout Asia. Asha was the money rake for Nokia while they explored the higher end Windows Phone market, and Microsoft could do the same thing with the brand.

Of course, those markets also see a huge uptick in Android device sales, at competing price points to Asha phones. Many view the gap between Asha and Windows Phone to be too wide to bridge right now, and they’re probably right. That leaves Microsoft with a diminishing return, on a dwindling feature phone segment, in emerging markets where people are hungry for more.

Nokia Share of WP

The real dirt

One thing that has flown under the radar are Nokia’s patents, which were included in the deal. Are we going to see more litigation from the Windows Phone maker now that hey have more patents under their umbrella? This tidbit of information really smacks of Google protecting themselves with Motorola’s patent trove.

Nokia has failed, and that can be directly linked to their wagon being hitched to Microsoft. Now that they’ve sold the wagon to the driver, we’ll see which road they’ll travel. We’ve seen what the two companies do as close partners, and there’s no reason to think Microsoft will be able to transcend their woes alone.

This gives Microsoft a unique opportunity, too. In plain terms, this gives them a chance to emulate Apple, and control the product end to end. From hardware to software, design to experience, they could hit an absolute home run with this acquisition.

Then again, this is Windows Mobile we’re talking about.

  • Stranger from a Far Coast

    Still has more apps than Windows phone.


    Everyone knew getting in bed with Microsoft was a bad idea for Nokia – except Nokia.

  • Yichard Rarrell

    Nokia is rookies to this game. Samsung is the GOLD STANDARD in this industry.

    I just bought a Samsung forklift to commute back and forth to work in, because Toyota and Honda got soft.

    You take the Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4. Those device rule the market. Samsung IS the smartphone market.

    Now you got the Note 3 coming out and it’ll probably sell 150 million in the first week. NOTHING else matters after September 4th.

    Galaxy is the real deal, no gimmicks, no nonsense. They know what people want. Eyeball scrolling. I can wave my hand over a phone and scroll 1/4th of the way down a webpage. Can Nokia do that?

    I laugh when all these HATERS start talking about all this smooth scrolling, software optimization, hardware acceleration. Consistent design. Lag-free, fast phones. These phones are too fast. It’s fast to the point that it’s a flaw. Touchwiz is just right. I laugh when so many people don’t realize that Samsung software engineers know what they doing.

    Bottom line? SAMSUNG. Nothing is gonna be as good as the Note 3, for like, 7 years or something. NOTHING. Nokia and everybody else is chumps.

    • Tony Hoffman

      At least you’re passionate about your beliefs!

    • Piyush

      Wow , you won biggest Samsung fanboy award .

      • Cao Meo

        He is a Samsung’s “student” I guess, but funny guy nevertherless :)

        • Piyush

          Samsung must be so proud ;)

      • MasterMuffin

        I laughed 50% of the time when I was reading that comment, 40% of time I felt sorry and 10% of time I was crying blood xD

      • Vardan Nazaretyan

        He posts a comment, logs out, upvotes as guest from different PC’s many times.
        I guess he opened a new account, he was once on Pocketnow b!tch!ng the same Samsung thing and had about 1-2k comments.
        Let’s flag him.

    • EvenInTheDarkestHour

      You are a rip! I love my Note II, and can say with absolute confidence…Nokia makes a great phone. As do others…it’s a big world out there…

    • Brandon Miranda

      Ha, i come from places unknown to bring you news The “Gold Standard in Smart phones” is really, uhhh, “The Bronze Standard”. Apple will win with it’s September 10th event. WINNING – Charlie Sheen. Steve is laughing in his grave. and i love how he says they try to hard to make there phones are to fast and its a flaw. Uh S4 anybody?

    • kaushik ray

      Get ur facts clear..i just laughed after u said 150 million Note3 will sell in first week..NOte 2 total solf around 6 million max.Original Note sold around 10Million OVERALL…!!!

  • APai

    “they could hit an absolute home run with this acquisition.”
    maybe if they ran android :P

  • kaushik ray

    MS just made sure that Nokia can not make any Android device, even if there was a very thin possibility… #NotGood

    • brendan soliwoda

      Even if Nokia ever had the intention of going doing the android path in the future, I doubt it would’ve worked. The android realm is already over-crowded.

  • Captain Obvious

    Cant believe you guys actually wrote an article for this.

    • dfsef

      took me some time to realize that this is supposed to be an android site.

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      Read the title.

    • manchester

      this buyout means Nokia will never use Android.
      so it make sense to post about this in Android site, no ?

  • David

    I keep reading that the Nokia patents are made available to Microsoft on non-exclusive terms; what remains of Nokia keeps them and licences then to Microsoft – and whoever else wants/needs then.

  • Except for the fact that Nokia has been itching for Android oem patent licensing for a long time but doesn’t have the muscle like Microsoft to actually do it like they have. Now they can.

  • dfsef

    i hope it’s only the lumia and asha brands that are being transferred. hopefully nokia starts again as a phone maker and adopt android this time.

    it’s just stupid of nokia to allow elop to tie them to the windows OS. had they adopted android earlier, they could have had some leverage to ask for a higher buyout price.

    pathetic seeing how a big name with a longer and more iconic presence is paid lower than what microsoft paid for skype.

    i really think 7b is too low a price to buy nokia just like that.

    • NeedName

      That’s what I’m hoping for — another division of Nokia is just waiting to release an Android handset that rocks as soon as this MS takeover BS is done.

      I know one thing. . . I’ll never buy another MS product again!

  • Ryan Castle

    Trojan horse anyone?
    Microsoft made Nokia build devices exclusively on Windows Phone, then bought it when Nokia was weak enough from WP.

    • NeedName

      The real keys were:

      1. placing the proper people on the board to allow an MS employee to become the CEO — got rid of all the Finish people off the board but a couple.

      2. broke the company up into little bits to make it easier and cheaper for MS to pick and choose what pieces they wanted — “smartphone” division anyone?

      This is how unethical businesses practice “business.” Not via direct competition but via underhanded manoeuvres to destroy companies.

      Now MS ranks #1 on my s$!t list for companies. I’ll recommend apple to people before I even consider MS again. . . and I really dislike apple!

  • Timothy Anderson

    I think M$ has always controlled Nokia, so they have always had control from end to end. In order to alter Nokia’s path to obscurity, I would think that something more drastic would have to change. With this acquisition, I see the same people doing the same things, which have allowed this once great company to fall. As far as Stephen Elop being on the short list to replace Balmer …. have you seen his track record? Summary: Good puppet, bad CEO.

  • raindog469

    The linked article about Nokia paying $10 per Windows phone to Microsoft for licensing fees is very enlightening. You may recall that Microsoft demanded that most of the major Android phone OEMs pony up $15 per unit in patent license fees. And as far as I know, they all did.

    That means that Nokia has had an automatic $5-per-unit advantage over the major Android phone makers all this time — which is a pretty big deal for mass-market devices sold in the hundreds of thousands or even millions — and they still couldn’t compete.

    Nokia’s employees deserve better. But their stockholders, the ones who demanded Elop be put in place to begin with? They, and Microsoft, deserve nothing but each other.

  • Dacha

    As a long time Windows user from 3.1.1 and short time mobile Windows user, all I have to say is goodbye Nokia, they destroyed Skype and now it’s turn to kill Nokia, sad, but again Nokia is dead for the last 5 years…

  • Seth Forbus

    Too bad. I was always hoping that they would release a Nokia phone running android. I own a Galaxy Note ll and a Nokia Lumia 521. The lumia actually holds its own extremely well for its price range.