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Nokia Turns To Android To Regain Share In Emerging Markets 146

Posted by timothy
from the reaction-time dept.
puddingebola writes "Nokia is preparing to release its first Android phone, as the lost market share in emerging markets from the death of Symbian has never been recovered. Windows Phone could never be adapted to the entry level devices that have driven growth in these markets, necessitating the move. From the article, 'Nokia was once the king of cellphones in emerging markets. But it has lost ground because it was slow to respond to Android's popularity in many countries. In India, where Nokia's Symbian-powered phones held a big share of cellphone sales just a few years ago, Android was installed on 93% of new smartphones shipped there last year, according to estimates from research firm IDC.'"
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Nokia Turns To Android To Regain Share In Emerging Markets

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  • ...and the high end? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Richard_J_N (631241) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @11:22AM (#46238131)

    If I can get a high-end Lumia and have Android, that would be amazing.

  • by cjjjer (530715) <cjjjer@hotmBOHRail.com minus physicist> on Thursday February 13, 2014 @11:44AM (#46238305)
    Sorry but if you think that Android is free I have some land on the moon I'd like to sell you. I doubt that Nokia can just build a device and throw Android on it and it works out of the box. Nothing is that easy...
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @11:49AM (#46238345) Homepage Journal

    I'm guessing they're not going to waste enormous effort on this to produce a me-too Android phone that they have to discontinue. The relationship between Nokia and Microsoft being what it is, I suspect this is a face-saving way Microsoft has of adopting Android in some shape or form.

    Something the summary didn't highlight: this isn't GMS/Android (GMS - Google Mobile Services, the apps and infrastructure that make up Google Play and that are bundled with most modern Android devices), Nokia are building this from AOSP in much the same way as Amazon have with the Kindle Fire version of Android. It will have no Google Play Store nor any of the underlying Google non-AOSP infrastructure, and apps written for GMS (an increasing body of work that grows by the day) will need a fair amount of work to make them available in the Nokia app store.

    Windows Phone hasn't exactly been a roaring success. Maybe it should have been, perhaps Windows 8's failure to take off has hurt it, but it hasn't been, and at some point Microsoft is going to look for options. I think it's a pretty major change of direction to jump on a third party product and tweak it for their own needs, but it's not impossible or unheard of - Microsoft tried to do that with Java. Hey, they even had Xenix once. With the exceptions of Linux and Busybox, AOSP has the kind of FOSS licensing Microsoft isn't scared of.

    And Amazon's made a success of the strategy. There are only two popular alternatives to iOS, one is Google's Android, the other is Amazon's.

    If nothing else, allowing Nokia to use a version of Android that's under Nokia/Microsoft's control lets Microsoft buy time.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @11:50AM (#46238353)

    As an S60 fan from their glory days, this is a traditional Nokia mistake. You'd be amazed at the incredible products Nokia has managed to render obsolete or irrelevant by competition between different business units.

  • Re:Hey Nokia.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Type44Q (1233630) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @12:05PM (#46238505)

    Want it faster?? contact the Android hackers and tell them how to unlock the bootloader and give them full details on the hardware

    Easier said than done? Seriously, with the amount of 3rd-party IP you're likely talking about, six to twelve months sounds more like it...

  • by Lisias (447563) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @12:28PM (#46238745) Homepage Journal

    They had a rough go with Qt/Maemo, then they changed course, to a dead end street.

    I have a hilarious history from the time I used to work to a Nokia partner. :-)

    Nokia had given us a free QT for Mobile workshop for our team. We attended the workshop, and we enjoyed it very much.

    However, roughly one year later, someone on Nokia had called us bitterly complaining why in hell our shop didn't released any APP using QT yet.

    Our answer? "Because YOU had hired us to develop APPs for you, and YOU had NOT asked for it!"

    The funny thing is that in that year, we were called to develop APPs (or prototypes) on J2ME, Symbian, Android, iOS and even BADA (serious! I made a APP for BADA!! Honest!). But nobody on Nokia had asked us for anything using QT.

    Go figure it out - I couldn't.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:45PM (#46239359) Journal

    From what I've heard from ex-Nokia people, it wasn't just senior management that lacked direction. They had internal teams all developing complete stacks in isolation and competing for resources. Elop wasn't completely wrong: making them all focus on a single platform was probably the only thing that could have saved Nokia, and Windows Phone wasn't a completely ludicrous choice, as they did want something to differentiate themselves from the competition and there weren't any other significant Windows Phone vendors to compete with.

    Pushing ahead with Linux + Qt might have worked, but only if they'd fired about 90% of middle management and reorganised the teams. Even then, there would likely have been a lot of resentment from the various teams that had their work discarded in favour of another's. Remember that Nokia didn't have a Linux + Qt platform, they had several, all with mutually incompatible frameworks built atop Qt, none of which was compellingly better than the others.

    It's a shame that the Qt on EKA2 project was killed. The EKA2 kernel was a much better fit for mobile devices than Linux (it still amazes me after all of Google's investment how few of its features Android has), and Qt would have given them the base of a modern development environment that would have competed well with other platforms.

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