Not even Android can save Nokia now

by: RandyMay 18, 2012

How many of us first started with Nokia? I’m willing to bet that for most of you, a Nokia device was your first mobile phone. Having ‘grown up’ with Nokia phones, I’ve since made the graceful hop to Android, and it’s never been better. That being said, I still think back fondly, almost like an adolescent love relationship that all of us have had – and still cherish in my heart the time we spent together. However, this broken love is just a remnant from the past, and I, and the market, have affirmed their love for Android. Not everyone has plunged into the ever growing world of Android though, as we are still hearing cases of people going to the extreme, and, in some instances, selling parts of their bodies, or even their virginity to get the latest iDevice.

The Nokia 3310 was my first phone. Unfortunately all that is left of it are entertaining memes on the internet. And, having outgrown dumb phones, Asians – who were once Nokia’s biggest supporters – are disappointed that present day Nokias haven’t brought their once famous durability to their latest devices.

After the 3310, I had the Nokia N95 and the Xpress music 5800, which in my opinion are the best that Nokia has ever produced. Nothing after that mattered. Nokia even had to swallow their pride and admit their failure with the N97. The N8 and N9 came and went – creating little ripples.

Fast forward to 2012, and Nokia is mired by problems more pressing and numerous than ever before. They recently lost their position in the great mobile phone shipment battle to Samsung, while their flagship Nokia Lumia 900 has received mixed reviews. Other problems include:

It is no surprise that the company is imploding. After all, they jumped from a burning platform to another burning platform.

Here’s why.

Nokia Smartphones Don’t Command Value

By this, I meant the selling value. Nokia phones have always been the ‘cheaper’ alternative. In fact, in Asia, the price of WP7 devices halves in 6 months). This is a problem, because it means that they don’t make as much as competitors per smartphone. Being ‘cheaper’ also means that telcos would have to sell in higher volumes to match what they earn from Android and Apple. This is not a good picture.

But there is also a lingering question: will consumers pay less, if and when, access to Android and iPhones are equally affordable?

There might be those who would choose Nokia’s ailing phones, but I believe that the number of people who would do this are few. Consequently, telcos shun WP7 because the demand is so low.

What’s worse is that the Ovi Store has been completely removed from Lumia phones. This means that most app revenues have to be shared with Microsoft. There aren’t ways to sideload apps apart from a developer unlocking tool. This may sound irrelevant, but not when you compare how much Apple is making from their apps alone.

nokia-microsoft-wp7Nokia’s decision in going with Windows Phone is costing them more than they bargained for. Plus, Nokia will have to start paying Microsoft for WP7 licensing fees (sooner or later). There is also a question where Elop said WP7 would allow Nokia to differentiate better than competitors. How is it better than Nokia phones running Android?

We will never find out. It’s too late to turn back the clock.

Nokia Products Don’t Inspire Desirability As Others

I consider the late Steve Jobs as a marketing person more than a tech genius. Today, almost every corporation worships the means and methods laid down by Jobs. Others look to the life of Jobs like the way they read Sun Tzu’s, Art of War.

Steve Jobs marketed well, and the results are obvious.

Which brings me to the next question – What is outstanding about Nokia’s advertising and marketing? Most of us will draw a blank when asked this question.

That’s a marketing nightmare for Nokia’s marketing people.

That means that Nokia is either not doing enough marketing, or their marketing is so bad, that tech writers like me have no lasting impression of any part of it.

Nokia Is Not Fully Utilizing Their Tech

Nokia is a strong contender in terms of hardware. They were, if I may say, the best from yesteryear. However, hardware makes up a fraction in terms of consumer desirability. The premium smartphone market is the most rewarding, and there are consumers that are willing to pay good money to hold the latest devices in their hands from the tech worlds’ red carpet.

Symbian hasn’t delivered anything on par with iOS and Android, and WP7 is still wallowing slowly in infancy. WP7 isn’t a game changer the way Motorola introduced the original Motorola Droid years ago.

Instead, Nokia’s Lumia range is WP7 slapped on slightly better hardware.

It shows.

It Is Too Late For Nokia To Jump On The Android Bandwagon

Let’s imagine for a moment that Nokia decided to go Android.

2012 has arrived and the Nokia has arrived with a quad core processor; packing an 8MP Carl Zeiss lens. Nokia also announced the Nokia Android Pureview – a 41MP, quad core beast that neither Samsung nor HTC has even come close to creating. Nokia Android users gain a whole world of access to apps via the Google Play Store. At that point, Elop has turned the company from the red into piles and piles of green cash. Nokia also holds the title as the manufacturer with the most mobile devices shipped with Samsung at a close second. Nokia continues to pressure HTC to continue bundling Beats Audio headphones with their devices as it launches their new Nokia Android XpressMusic range.

Sounds interesting?


Would Nokia have successfully differentiated themselves from the other phones in the segment – absolutely! Their superior hardware would shine and would put them way ahead of HTC, and possibly enable them to fight Samsung head on.

That hasn’t happened, and going Android now would be too late.

That would be spreading the fire.

  • andhavarapu

    As much as it appears to be too late… I still think an Android jump raises their future prospects unlike WP7. See if this Microsoft decision was based on money that was the first mistake. Money does not buy reputation or market momentum. They have such an excellent hardware team. Differentiation is almost zero right now in WP7. How do you differentiate a locked platform. They have like 2 apps that set them apart which can be acquire by jail breaking anyway. With Android, they could have their own version of Sense/TouchWiz and combining that with hardware they’d have made it awesome leveraging all their existing supplier relations in the process e.g. STMicro, etc.

    Its a pity but we might see the death of Nokia. They just seem to be Microsoft’s bitch at the moment. Microsoft will live on no matter which way WP7 goes. Same can’t be said about Nokia.

  • eClipse

    I have never owned a Nokia device, and have always viewed them as mid-center-tech for the masses, like a Chevy. Nothing exciting, and the standard user is more interested in the cover case then the phone.

    I viewed their decision to focus on Windows Phones as the last gasp of a dying company, and more justification that their decision making was flawed. Being the “official” manufacturer of something literally no one cares about doesn’t raise shareholder value.

    • Kendiboi7

      so why are you here again?

    • Emmanuel

      no. When MS partnership was announced, Nokia had 10 billion cash and symbian had 30% market share. MS injected the SOB virus called Elop into Nokia to kill Symbian and not to go with Android, and go with only WP. This is illegal partnership and killing Nokia.

  • Jei Arc

    Personally i do not think that Nokia going with Android will be too late, is never too late to try an rescue your business, also i hold my old Nokia e71 as one of the best built cellphones, it was sturdy, slim and awesome in all regards :) when everyone was buying the iphone i bought nokia, and until now it had better reception than the Iphone and the Atrix 4G (in my building). The only other phone that i consider had great build quality my original cellphone the Motorola timeport (900 i think) circa 1998.
    And if they would get the pureview in Android imagine that with the panoramic feature!!! i will be the first in line to buy Nokia.
    I do think Nokia should look at Android with different eyes, they will make great competition.

    • Jei, the solution is not a new OS.
      Android would give them a boost, but it’s not going to help them much.
      Their problems grow deeper than that. And this article is what that’s about.

  • AppleFUD

    Much of what I see taking place at Nokia is nothing more than Elop disassembling Nokia to get them ready for takeover by Microsoft.

    If they really wanted to make a true run at smartphones they would have;
    1. never burnt Symbian and continued to develop it — they were selling 100+ million/year
    2. continued to push MeeGo & double downed on their efforts there
    3. possibly added other platforms such as Android & WP7
    and seen where the market took them. . .

    Going all in on WP was a torch the company policy. How many Android users would have liked the N9 with Android on it? Especially if they bumped the specs a little. . .

    I don’t know. . . making the N9 with MeeGo, Symbian, Android, and Wp7 sure seems like it would have given you a clue, as a company, what direction to go in.

    • It def would have been a better business model for the company. I think too many people writing about Nokia forget that they do 90% of their sales away from the U.S. (guesstimate here – I’m not looking up the actual number).

      But by signing a deal with M$ and making them exclusively NON-Android? They are going to go the way of Blackberry. Not keeping up with the latest consumer trends in all of their markets will be spelling doom for them as a company.

      And I thought it foolish to make a deal with the devil (Microsoft) with a product that was trailing in last place when it was introduced. M$ has been mediocre at best when it comes to mobile devices and other devices such as the Zune.

      • AppleFUD

        It would have been a different story if MS had a hot selling OS. . . but then that would have been the same as using Android. That’s the part I just can’t wrap my brain around — WP is available to anyone that wants to use it but Nokia can modify it slightly more than others but gave away their app store & maps while Android is available to anyone and IS a hot item and they could modify it to their hearts content. . . . and kept their app store, maps, etc. . . heck, they could have been doing exactly what Amazon is doing 10x over. . .

        Elop’s logic there fails me.

  • Krishnadestiny

    Nokia 6610 6610i 6600 is a revolution in camera phones

  • BringOnTheCold

    Baseless conjecture. Capturing 7% of the Chinese market in 2 months is staggering by itself, and who knows how many lumia 900s have been sold. Everyone wants Nokia to fail, and I don’t understand why. It was just last year that we were talking up competition and how it is good for the consumer, but now when there is competition with android it is of the devil and must be talked down.

    • Let me make this clear.
      Yes, competition is good.
      But the article outlines the issues with the whole Nokia problem – not just the WP7 problem.

      WP7 did give Nokia a boost, but they are still making a LOSS.
      The solution to their problems is not a new OS, or WP7, not even Android.

  • Todd_the_Hunn

    I think it will come down to how successful windows 8 or Apollo , if you will , will be . I have a Nokia c7 with symbian now . I love the hardware & the feel in my hand but yes the lack of apps is discouraging . The thing is though Microsoft & Nokia are now joined at the hip . It seems the other phone companies are going strictly with android . Funny I’m debating getting a Galaxy Nexus now off the Google website but have held off because the hardware is better on the Nokia even though we know the overall user experience isn’t . Anyhow I still am bullish on Nokia just because if you have to be in bed with a company Microsoft is a very good one . Still they are going to have to be competitive in the apps dept .

  • dilharo

    HA HA… the author doesnt even know that nokia has signed the deal with the Microsoft that any single device nokia produces should not be an android device….
    Nokia cannot in their life time able to try android!! they are banned by microsoft

    • Interesting, wasn’t aware of that.
      Is that also the reason Meego and Symbian is being killed?

  • Jaranjames

    Everybody on here better stop frontin like they didnt have a nokia. U could clock someone in the head with that brick and still make a phone call afterwards…..

  • Dark_Angel2554

    Nokia builds android based facebook branded phone with instagram enabled camera, hmmm I probally might buy that being a former Nokia fan! (:

  • matonking

    After the first few pargraphs i stopped reading.

    It’s the bias of companies, or nokia unwillingness to invest in companies to make apps that have killed them.

    Meego is miles ahead of your precious android. Nokia were stupid to not stick with it. It was fast, intuitive and inovative.

    The n8 still has the best camera on a mobile.

    Nokia phones still have a large fanbase.

    If they switched to android or meego, put an impressive hardware in it then i would snap it up without thinking twice.

    I love nokia and i’m sad they are dying out.


    who is giving their virginity for the latest tech? And can i have their number.


      are you f++king serious n8 has the best camera by specification.. the 8mp camera’s in android are much better in result..

      • Thats not true…The N8 has a spectacular camera. The 12mb specs are not what give it a better camera- i believe sony even has a 15mb cameraphone. However, the optic sensor and lense in the N8 offer superb landscape photos. It’s only a little difficult to tell sometimes, because the n8 has a mediocre screen. Offload the photos to a laptop or something, and you can suddenly see the difference.

        That said, I am torn right now with my appreciation for N8 hardware and the limitation of the OS. Symbian Anna was lightyears ahead of what I bought the n8 with [default symbian], but still has mysterious hangups and web 2.0 /3.0 limitations. I want android because I find it interested to combine with my work in microprocessors, but I still prefer the design aesthetic of Nokia.

  • Chris Heaton

    Even though they didn’t achieve mass market appeal, my Nokia N900 will always be a great device in my book.

  • Chris Heaton

    Even though it never achieved mass market appeal, my Nokia N900 will always be a great device in my book. Nokia should have stuck with Maemo/Mego. They were onto something there.

  • Afewgoodmen

    Nice article. Me love this site. I will book mark it. However, I don’t think that it’s ever too let for Nokia to adopt Android!

  • Ken V

    Android will pick up 90 % of the Symbian users, and if android can offer Symbian apps or hire the Symbian developer team that would be a bonus to Symbian users, Microsoft should have offered that to the loyal Symbian users, but they Blewwwww it big time and if Nokia wants to stay in the handset world they should dump Microsoft and hook up with android. Nokia is Cocky and they never marketed there products in the USA properly so sad for the pioneers of the first smart phone that was offered in 1996. Shame on them, very mad at Nokia, extremely happy that Android is here to fill the void, thank You very much Android.

  • Cil

    I think Nokia and WP7 is just not it. We are talking about Microsoft and a proprietary system that can’t be used by developers the same way that Android or Symbian can. The phones are ugly and less functional. For example, no card slot in the Lumia series or JAVA in Lumia 710. Nokia is kind of an Apple. Their better phone are too expensive and they scatter certain features along a series so that we can’t have it all in one machine without selling a kidney. Samsung and Sony are selling cheaper and worthier things. The right thing to do was to jump to Android, but since it was not done, I just wonder if Nokia wants to die.

  • Lumia 900 newbie

    I am a recent user of Lumia 900 and of course as a newbie looking for more info on lumia 900 and thus I arrived here as i cruised thru google. I am quite surprised to read the whole articles and people banging nokia and microsoft… but I realized it’s android community i am reading LOL

    • xx00xx

      i can get 7 launcher from play store and @@##$%boom#@$@# i have your wp.

  • RT

    I agree that Nok builds the best handsets, and I’ve had many of them over the years. But I gave up symbian for android a couple of years ago and felt that I had finally entered the space age. Then, out of sheer curiosity, I gave up android for wp7 on a LUmia 710. That lasted two weeks. It’s for sale on ebay, back to android for me. The OS is pretty, and has some nice features, but just not enough integration with the google apps I’m so used to having, and no speech to text keyboard, and a bunch of other no’s that will never become yes’s with that hardware. So I would have had to dump it anyhow, to move to wp8 if I find that it finally works as well as conveniently as android. Anyhow, I’m missing the feel of a Nok handset; wish they’d churn out a few android models. But truth be told, my new SE Neo kind of has a nice Nok feel to it. Please, Nok, build some android phones. Start a new division, “Aikon”, y’know, like toyota and lexus. My order is already in for one.

  • MadisM

    Nokia made the first Linux based mobiles in the world. What happens next is such a thriller. Linux(=Android) was invented in Finland afterall. Nokia will not ignore Linux and never ignored Linux.

  • zealous

    What about nokia distributors i think samsung has first captured destributors which is also a twinkling line

  • xx00xx

    Android didnot steal ideas from apple but from symbian it got a whole lot of ideas,like installing application,python,etc. I loved my symbian handset. And its seem to me android is logical upgrade over symbian.

    i am buying sony in a few days already decided and everything. but if nokia makes a android device, i will certainly buy 2 of them.