Some things I’m excited about, some things I’m less excited about. This sentence, which perfecty represents what I’m feeling is an allusion to Joes Belfiore’s short statement to the question about possibility of Nokia using Android. In the beginning were rumors and at the end is the bitter reality.
I was surprised at the beginning of the strategic partnership between Nokia and Microsoft in February 2011. I believed that financially stricken Nokia would have gone the secure Android way. Thus, I was more than pleased that Microsoft got one so experienced partner like Nokia was. Somewhere in the mid 2012 when the Nokia Stock’s were so cheap as to the times when Nokia went public many heavy doubted that the strategy decision was right.
Nokia stock chart
I excepted that the point when Microsoft knock down to get Nokia was reached. But nothing has happened. As time goes by, the Windows Phone gained more and more acceptance but not so much as it should and to hard price competition. The problem of the Windows Phone wasn’t quality, usability or innovation, completely the opposite, these were excellent. I had experience with many systems like Symbian, Windows Mobile, iOS, Android but with the Windows Phone I got a perfect stable operating system, which I had not had since the Nokia’s Symbian S60. After long time I got no crashes, seamless performance and usability associated with low platform fragmentation.
Today’s Hard Facts
According to the Gartner the market share of Windows Phone at the end of 2013 is 3,2% what means 30 millions sold devices respectively, most of them from Nokia. On the other side there is iOS which has with 150 millions sold devices 15,6% and Android with 758 millions 78,4% market share. But what does this mean? Windows Phone is the least important operation system on the phone market now (excluded BlackBerry and other OS which seems not to play significant role at this time). There are also other interesting numbers at this context. Microsoft most profitable mobile operating system seems to be: Android, as Microsoft gets $2 billion a year in patent fees.
The major problem then as well as today is that Windows Phone came too late. There is no way to ignore the opulent market share. Both Microsoft as well as Nokia connect the common issue: both of them have ignored on important trend. Microsoft acquisition of Nokia is the symbolic expression that there find themselves in a same boat. Microsoft as well as Nokia were at the best times indisputable technology leaders with a big market share. Not so today.
Nokia (blue) and Microsoft (red) stocks chart
In the light of facts it is more than confusing why Nokia brings us Android devices today and why the Microsoft couldn’t prevent it. I know that transaction of acquiring isn’t completed now but I think it wasn’t a problem to set clauses which would prohibit the such behavior. So I can’t believe that Microsoft didn’t know about this at the time of acquisition started. The most listened reason from Nokia why they bring us Android devices is the possibility to service emerging, cost sensitive markets. The today’s fact is that the Nokia 520 has in the Germany, the same price as Nokia X.
From the technical point of view things become more confusing in regards to advocate Nokia’s Android device.
Technical comparison of Nokia X and Nokia Lumia 520
As you can see both devices are almost equal. The only really different thing is the Nokia’s X Dual SIM slot. The most weak point seems to be the usage of Android version 4.1.2, which was released about one year before today. The newest Android 4.4 KitKat was optimized for the devices having 512 MB RAM and maybe would be better suitable for the Nokia X. Most of you Android users know that Android with the underpowered devices can be really pain. I made this experience and for me it was the strongest argument to switch. The Windows Phone’s great performance on the low cost devices convinced me.
I didn’t understand the Nokia Strategy at all. They are going to deliver sluggish devices with the Android version which became obsolete, without Google’s Play Store but bundled with the Microsoft services. Android hardcore users aren’t interested at all, not experienced Android users became disappointed why they can’t have the same apps as their neighbors have. Neither is the price nor the features are passable arguments. This is just bad experiment where Nokia is playing with his own credibility once again, on Microsoft back, with, so I believe, Microsoft’s quiet acceptance.
It was hard to find some numbers about Windows RT market share. The reason is probably that Windows RT was a false move and responsible for $1 billion in charges. Instead of Windows RT which confused users the Windows Phone operating system would be the right strategy on tablets. Windows Phone had at the time of introducing Windows RT thousand of apps.
For sure, my naive scream tweeted to Microsoft CEO Sataya Nadella can’t change anything. The harm was done. Now Microsoft is falling between two stools. The former head of Microsoft Business Division, Nokia Exec and Microsoft CEO candidate Stephen Elop introduced the new Android devices. The times have changed.
-  Nokia, Wikipedia, February 2014
-  Google Finance, Google, February 2014
-  Gartner Says Annual Smartphone Sales Surpassed Sales of Feature Phones for the First Time in 2013, Gartner, February 2014
-  Microsoft gets $2 billion a year in Android patent fees. Really?, COMPUTERWORLD, November 2013
-  Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s devices & services business, license Nokia’s patents and mapping services, Microsoft, 3. September 2013
-  Nokia X Preisvergleich | Geizhals EU, Geizhals, 27. February 2014
-  Nokia Lumia 520 Schwarz Preisvergleich | Geizhals EU, Geizhals, 27. February 2014
-  Nokia X vs. Nokia Lumia 520 – GSMArena.com, GSMArena, 27. February 2014
-  Android version history, Wikipedia, February 2014
-  Why Microsoft’s Surface RT Failed, Mashable, 19. July 2013