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Nokia has always been able to change (updated)

This has got nothing to do with mobile photography, let alone PureView – so you’ll find no shots here for a change. I just wanted to write a post about the incredible hype going around the globe today, after Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop has been quoted saying something about Nokia possibly considering Android.

Gizmodo wrote about it here and the source is El Pais (the biggest newspaper in Spain).

Now what did Elop say? Asked why Nokia decided not to go (at least) for Android (as well), you’ll read about the doubt not to be able to differentiate and the possiblity that another manufacturer would dominate the market (as Samsung does now). Moreover Elop says that avoiding multiple platforms would “prevent internal debates”. Now I know there’s a lot one could say about that, but that’s not today’s big issue.

Asked for a possible Android phone next year, Elop says Nokia always looks ahead, like to HTML5, or Android. Quote from Gizmodo: “We are always thinking about what’s coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android… HTML5 could make the platform itself – being Android, Windows Phone or any other – irrelevant in the future, but it’s still too soon [to tell]. Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible” (In El Pais: “Hoy estamos comprometidos y satisfechos con Microsoft, pero cualquier giro es posible”).

Now I’m sorry, but who is getting all excited over this, doesn’t really know Nokia. The Fins have always proved to be able to adapt since the 19th century. The company has seen such an incredible amount of change in its almost 150 years, it’s used to transforming like no other. From paper to rubber, from television sets and computers to mobile networks and cell phones. Nokia has always been extremely flexible.

So what did Elop say? My guess is he tried to say something like: “We chose Microsoft and we’re okay with that at the moment. But HTML5 could make other platforms – be it Windows Phone or Android – irrelavant in the future. You never know. Time will tell, and we will react accordingly”.

I think he’s being realistic. It’s miles away from hinting to a future Nokia Android device. It’s the “at the moment” bit (“today” in the article), where the company is showing it may be losing its faith in WP8…

I don’t know Stephen Elop – he’s not my friend, but he’s not my enemy either. I truly believe this part of the interview has been completely blown out of proportion. For obvious reasons: an incredible amount of people know better than Elop how to run the company, and would love to see him fail. But it’s clear the once so perfect match between Nokia and Microsoft, isn’t sacred anymore. That might make some people nervous for sure.

On Twitter, I received some reactions on my tweets about today’s commotion. Some said they would never buy a Nokia again if Nokia would switch to Android. Others said they would “buy a Nokia on Android in a heartbeat”. To me, a Nokia on Android would be a hybrid I’d welcome nevertheless. I wonder where you stand?

Here is an important update on the story by WPCentral I will quote in full:

Nokia categorically denies that what Elop said implies anything different from what he has stated over and over for months now. In other words, there is once again nothing to see here except some Android fantasies, bad reporting and perhaps some translation issues. Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview regarding the Android question:

Do you rule out 100% launching a smartphone based on Android in 2013?

Elop: So, the way I think about it is, in the current war on ecosystems, we are fighting with Windows Phone. That’s what we’re doing. Now, what we’re always doing is asking, how does that evolve? What’s next? What role does HTML5 play? What role does Android or other things play in the future? We’re looking further into the future, but it terms of what we’re bringing to market, and what we’re immediately focused on, we’re focused on Windows Phone.”

Look like lots of this statement has been “lost in translation”…


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14 Responses

  1. Marly

    Though Android is not my favorite, I have nothing against the OS as such, but I DO have privacy-issues with Google, they already know too much about most of us, still trying to know even more, hence I don’t use Gmail and would never use an Android phone as my main device, with all my contacts, etc.
    So a Nokia (or any other brand) with Android? For me only to have a play with, certainly not for daily use.

  2. rhishi

    difference between android and wp, if i have to buy android, i don’t care much about brand. If i have to buy wp, it has to be nokia, i want that if i change my device nokiw should be d reason. What i don’t like about android is u have to keep checking what works and what does not. Never had that problem with symbian or maemo or won’t have with wp. But rest assured android is evolving at very rapid pace, just look at quality of os 2 yrs back and now, for nokia to succeed they should keep pushing n no of products as they were decade back or as samsung is able to do now, so we have options, similar but different model for very one and if that succeed then it can be also a push for ms evolve wp faster. What we see on win8 tablet front is all old ms partners have jumped and no sign of nokia there. Nokia plz don’t miss opportunity this time, or it would be too late, i wish a nokia tab at wmc, also faster development and faster delivery, no 920 released in india yet, mostly people get impatient and choose other products, so we want bold and fast nokia, not one which says we have already lost no 1 position and trying to become profitable again, nokia should say lag phase over here we come again bang! And then only os won’t matter

  3. Nikhil Joshi

    Marc you are a friend. I will give u my honest opinion. If Nokia ever goes with android I will quit the brand completely.

    U should apples it Marc . When u can’t stand iOS which is 10 times better than android or windows 8, then how can u be happy with Nokia adopting android and welcome the decision if it happens in the near future

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      well, since you are a friend too, I can share this with you: I know Apple is good, but I believe the OS is archaic by now and you know I’m not a fan of the company.

      I don’t care too much about the tons of apps they have: Android has so much more than I need (even WP8 and Symbian have just about all I want).

      And if I would ever have to choose between Symbian or Apple, however, it would be Symbian, no doubt.

      • Nikhil Joshi

        Yes I love Symbian too and hate android because most of the multimedia stuff I do on smartphone is on Symbian . Ios is just for work because of it simplicity . For me Symbian is a powerhouse when it comes to multimedia and multitasking .
        I have heard nokia is planning to role out some new features On 808, I don’t k ow if that’s got ur attention or not.

        I just don’t want nokia to go for android which is Crap and soon I am gonna try lumia 920 and I hope I like it more than I do iOS for its simplicity

  4. I am not really bothered bout the OS, the first Nokia I bought myself because it had a built in FM transmitter and I liked the camera, it was an N86, I also used the sat nav on it, but it was clunky when you got an incoming call while on maps, by the time I needed a replacement the 808 had been released, and seemed the obvious choice, if I need another replacement Nokia will need to offer the same features built in, I look at the content first, then the brand.

  5. civichief

    The time will come, for most people the time has already arrived, when we will no longer care about the OS running a device.
    The only question will be: does it work

    You know, only few people care about the technique under the hood of a car. They only ask: Diesel or gasoline?

  6. RayRay

    This one thing I know about the word “NOKIA”, or the company Nokia. At the drop of an hat, pundits cannot wait to pure fuel and strike a match in response to anything Nokia related whenever possible.
    Prediction-watch these so called reporters go at it again when the next financial report comes out.

    It has become clear now that the veracity, interpretation, or full context of the interview was not reported accurately by these so-called wanna-be-reporters.

    Nokia operates as a business entity. It is the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that the said company in his/her charge is successful. If ever the time should come, as in the future, then so be it. Let them produce Android handsets, or whatever.

    Until then, for those who simply want to see Nokia fail, guess what, it ain’t gonna happen. As the author to this post says, Nokia has an history of adapting. You can’t adapt-you fail. Don’t believe? Do some research.

  7. Chani

    I don’t care too much about the OS (though I’m very comfortable with Symbian), I like the whole ‘Nokia Package’ that comes along with every phone of theirs… maps, music, CAMERA.

  8. NobleScarlet

    I still stand for Symbian.
    It has so much potential and it is very light and powerful after feeling it on the 808.

    • Nap

      I also like Symbian being a user myself, but potential is just potential if not realized, and with an EOL pinned on its forehead, that potential will probably never be realized. For me, it really is time to move on. I don’t want to be sentimental about it anymore. It is what it is.

      Fortunately, Nokia’s ‘potential’ of making great products is still there. We’re still expecting great things from them, mostly on the hardware/features side. But with the OS, it’s a little out of Nokia’s hands so WP should step up on this note. I’m not too keen on WP being quite dependent to the Zune software, similar to how iPhones are with iTunes, please no more of that… that’s where Symbian and Android trumps the other two OS-es in my opinion. However, I do like WP 8′s interface, I’ll give it that.

      They should just back it up with their own set of fantastic applications (like their maps, for example) to increase WP ‘potential’ success with Nokia.

      • Marc @PureViewClub

        Small correction: you don’t need Zune to synch your WP8 device anymore.

  9. Lourenco

    Nokia is Nokia, doesnt matter the OS…