Will Nokia make the big move to Android? Still possible, says CEO Stephen Elop

January 7, 2013
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Microsoft Surface phone

Nokia is not exactly in the best market position today, with Symbian having lost its previous foothold on the smartphone market to iOS and Android. But Nokia is still trying to make a dent in the market dominated by Apple and Samsung (which is, by far, the most successful Android device manufacturer to date), and has partnered with Microsoft in this attempt. But if things are no longer going rosy for this relationship, then Nokia still has its options open.

In an interview with El Pais, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says “anything is possible,” and that the company can still explore other alternatives and options. “In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon,” Elop said. But perhaps, Nokia has learned from its lesson and will consider deciding on a move earlier, if necessary. “[W] are always thinking about what’s coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android … Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible.”

Nokia had been under pressure to expand into different platforms, although the Finnish company had decided to stick to its guns and remain within its special partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone. At this point, given Samsung’s dominance in the Android business, there is no clear benefit for Nokia to switch in the short term, although it would be within Nokia’s foresight to consider such a move if it will help keep the company relevant in the mobile industry.

For now, the Windows Phone platform is barely making a dent beyond its 3% or so market share, but we must admit the platform does have its unique benefits and design nuances that Android developers could learn a thing or two from. Elop, himself, is confident and optimistic that the latest Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone will be Nokia’s saving grace.

“I can’t give figures, but the first objective, without giving any dates, is getting a double-digit marketshare. Then, keep pushing and establish an equilibrium with the other two big ecosystems, Apple and Android,” Elop said.

When you’re down, there’s no way but up, and I can laud Nokia for its sheer determination.

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