Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nokia Turns To Android To Regain Share In Emerging Markets

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the reaction-time dept.

Cellphones 146

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.'"

cancel ×

146 comments

Which goes to show... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238025)

you cannot compete with free.

Which goes to show how much you know... (2, Interesting)

cjjjer (530715) | about 5 months ago | (#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...

Actually, it IS that easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238359)

Given that Nokia's Hardware isn't too different from what's out there, Android would just work.

Re:Actually, it IS that easy (1)

Carcass666 (539381) | about 5 months ago | (#46238423)

As Google moves more of its functionality from ASOP to Google Play store apps [arstechnica.com] , it is becoming less free (as in beer [google.com] and freedom).

Re:Actually, it IS that easy (1)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | about 5 months ago | (#46238829)

GMS isn't licenced on a payment basis.

Re:Actually, it IS that easy (1)

Carcass666 (539381) | about 5 months ago | (#46239179)

Directly speaking, that's true. Indirectly speaking, a phone vendor effectively must forgo any revenue potential for providers of services that compete with Google, given Google's restrictictions around prominence of their apps, and the defaults they enforce around search and location. Coincidentally, there is another Ars article [arstechnica.com] on the topic.

Re:Actually, it IS that easy (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#46239395)

Actually, it is. Google is charging between $0.5 and $2 for manufacturers to bundle their apps, depending on what they bundle, and also restricting what else they're allowed to ship. They're trying very hard to do to the mobile phone market what Microsoft did to the PC market: make the hardware a cheap, interchangeable, commodity and their software the bit that customers are willing to pay for. Oh, and on the subject of Microsoft, don't forget that they're charging around $15/device for the patents of theirs that probably (i.e. might, but it would cost too much to have a court find out) infringes. Even if you don't do any customisation, Android is likely to end up costing the manufacturer around $20/device.

Re: Actually, it IS that easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46241697)

Uh, you really don't know how hardware under the android system works, do you?

It's not easy.

Re:Which goes to show how much you know... (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46238945)

Android's super-open, it just turns out people are more interested in the idea of having Google services on a phone than in Android itself. And that part is certainly not open. If you want to find your own supplier for maps, email, calendar, and browser, then you can launch your own Android gizmo; Microsoft has all those things.

Re:Which goes to show how much you know... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46240021)

If you want to find your own supplier for maps, email, calendar, and browser, then you can launch your own Android gizmo; Microsoft has all those things.

Ho ly crap... If Microsoft "forks" android with MS versions of the droid apps, that would be a serious earth shaker. Keep in mind that there are a lot of cheap tablet players making droid devices with no Google apps due to this licensing. Robing Google of Android market-share would be both amusing, and potentially profitable!

Re:Which goes to show how much you know... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 5 months ago | (#46241711)

Tada [android.com]

You can feel free to load that on any device you want. All that is needed is an electronics platform to put it on and the vendors to provide you with any drivers for the sensors or the specs to write the driver in question. You see that's exactly what you get when you load custom ROMs. Some guy grabs the AOSP and strips the drivers out of the phone's firmware (or reverse engineers it), and bam, the latest Android 4.4 on your shitty old abandoned phone.

This is as free as putting Linux on a computer. Now which part of the moon do I get? The one with the rabbit?

And another pointless phone (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46238055)

Seriously, who's going to buy a Nokia Android phone when you know they've been bought by Microsoft and won't care one bit about supporting it? Same as the Maemo/MeeGo based phones that Nokia released after the Nokia/Microsoft deal was announced, it's stillborn. And unlike those who might have some unique features this is yet another Android phone that you can get from other companies, so it makes even less sense. Nokia must be running out of feet to shoot itself in.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46238121)

Nokia must be running out of feet to shoot itself in.

Or Microsoft has shot off all the toes they needed to get what they wanted -- which was an established brand to make Microsoft Phones.

Don't forget, it was Stephen Elop from Microsoft who has more or less ruined the company and dragged down their value by making terrible decisions.

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46238229)

My perspective, the terrible decisions and more damaging, lousy execution of plans were already done when Elop took over - the biggest terrible decision of course being to give Elop the job.

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

I've read elsewhere that Windows is embracing Android, both on the desktop and in their phones, so a pure Android Nokia phone isn't 100% off base, especially if it can do something clever with MS Office and Exchange integration.

Personally, I still want to be able to write phone apps in Qt, but am learning Android in the meantime.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#46238337)

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

Was Maemo ever Qt? I thought they changed the name when they switched it from GTK to Qt. And there you see the real problem with Nokia: a complete lack of direction. They had, in EKA2, a beautifully designed kernel for mobile applications, tied to a userland and userspace APIs that were designed when 1MB of RAM was an insane quantity reserved for the most expensive of phones. So, the first thing they did was try to shoehorn Linux into a phone. Then, having replaced the one good bit of their stack with Linux, they had a load of competing projects to provide a replacement UI, leading to a plethora of short-lived APIs, just as everyone else was realising that third-party developers are the key to a successful platform.

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46238617)

I never kept up with the names - beyond Qt at least. They always seemed like pre-beta not ready for wasting my time on projects.

If I had gotten Elop's job at Nokia (which I wouldn't have, because I don't have ties to Microsoft, but just fantasize), I would have continued the Linux on phone development with Qt as the UI, put serious resources into a desktop phone emulator that works (unlike my current experience with Eclipse and Android simulation), and focused on making developer friendly software that works and works well. I am completely unfamiliar with the top level corporate politics at Nokia, but I bet impatience was a big factor in the choices they have made lately.

I thought they were close - they certainly seemed closer to success (with Linux or Windows) when Elop was announced than they do now.

Re:And another pointless phone (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#46239359)

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.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46240093)

>internal teams all developing complete stacks in isolation and competing for resources

One of the prime dangers of being big and well resourced. Somebody at the top should have been regularly breaking up the party and selecting "the best of" what was developed to be the companywide platform, then continue from there. Or, better still, train the teams to play in their own sandboxes and trust their colleagues to give them the support they need. Both approaches have drawbacks, but competing with yourself is worse than either.

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#46240241)

Intel does the former quite successfully, but it does cause problems internally. Promotions and so on are often linked to project success, yet projects can be cancelled simply because Intel had 5 guesses about what the market would want a few years down the line and your group was given one of the ones that didn't turn out to be accurate to work on. This leads to resentment and competent engineers realising that they have more prospects for advancement if they go and work for competitors. It's hard to get right: you often do want multiple teams working on different solutions to the same problem, because it gives you a fallback, but no one wants to be working on the one that gets cancelled (this is increasingly a problem at Google too).

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46240687)

Story of my life...

I was hired at a local firm as a "Senior Developer," then promptly given responsibility for managing an international development team, developing a new product architecture from the ground up, updating the infrastructure and driving adoption of best practices, etc. Not a problem, it's what I do, but lately I'm given that "Senior Developer" title because my professional career lacks any big home run projects. Judged not based on abilities or performance of me or my teams, but on the marketplace success of our products.

Meanwhile, guys my age who were along for the ride on $100M+ projects are getting titles like "Senior VP" because, well, don't they deserve it after that success? They readily admit that it was a case of being in the right place at the right time, but it doesn't change how executive management makes their hiring decisions.

So, yeah, the rats jumping from the sinking ships are usually rewarded better than the loyal crew members who man the pumps through rough waters.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239707)

I never kept up with the names - beyond Qt at least. They always seemed like pre-beta not ready for wasting my time on projects.

If I had gotten Elop's job at Nokia (which I wouldn't have, because I don't have ties to Microsoft, but just fantasize), I would have continued the Linux on phone development with Qt as the UI, put serious resources into a desktop phone emulator that works (unlike my current experience with Eclipse and Android simulation), and focused on making developer friendly software that works and works well. I am completely unfamiliar with the top level corporate politics at Nokia, but I bet impatience was a big factor in the choices they have made lately.

I thought they were close - they certainly seemed closer to success (with Linux or Windows) when Elop was announced than they do now.

Blackberry tried Android support via emulation. Your idea sounds like a train wrreck.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 5 months ago | (#46239831)

Correct, Maemo was GTK and Meego was QT. I owned an N900 till it died (ran over by a car) and still use my N9.

Yes, Maemo has Qt (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | about 5 months ago | (#46240851)

... since ~2009. The community, who seem to be in love with Qt, have ported Qt5: http://talk.maemo.org/showthre... [maemo.org]

Re:And another pointless phone (3, Interesting)

Lisias (447563) | about 5 months ago | (#46238745)

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.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 5 months ago | (#46239129)

I'm not following. You said to Nokia, "YOU had hired us to develop APPs for you"... doesn't that by definition mean they requested you to develop apps for them? Why would you then say "YOU had NOT asked for it"?

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46240025)

Sounds like an unused retainer agreement to me - I had one of those once...

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

Curate (783077) | about 5 months ago | (#46241555)

Go re-read the GP's post again. I understood it just fine. Nokia had hired them to write apps, and had asked for apps for the J2ME, Symbian, Android, iOS, and BADA platforms; but not for the QT platform. So naturally they didn't spend any time developing for the QT platform. You quoted the first half of a sentence, but the second half of that sentence is important too.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239935)

Well, Nokia certainly had problems in excecution before switchting to WP. But right up to this point the smartphone unit had increasing sales and was profitable (despite losing martket share). They also had the great N9 almost ready at this point in time. By continuing with their existing strategy they would not have collapsed as they did.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 5 months ago | (#46240415)

MHO they should have just stuck to Symbian. Nokia could have made a killing by making "smartphones" at the price of dumbphones, just by leveraging Symbian. Just because a market exists, doesn't mean you have to enter it. If I could buy a Nokia for £100 that could play MP3's and browse the internet,as well as call and text, i'd buy 3

Re:And another pointless phone (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#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:And another pointless phone (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46238287)

Seriously, who's going to buy a Nokia Android phone when you know they've been bought by Microsoft and won't care one bit about supporting it?

Possible customers include anyone who doesn't follow mobile phone news very closely. Which is most people. Tech business news is not exactly gobbled up by the public. Most slashdotters won't buy, but mobile nerds aren't common. AND I might buy one if the hardware's nice enough and I can root it. What do I care about support for it if I can just install cyanogenmod?

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238439)

I've said it many times in the past and I will continue to say it. If someone would make a proper Android keyboard phone I would buy it. A BUSINESS-grade communication device -- Nokia build-quality, up-to-date hardware on par with the other flagship phones, a nice slide-out keyboard, and the ability to root the phone. There is currently nothing to compete with that. Moto Droid is the only current keyboard phone I am even aware of, and it's non-rootable and has older internals 2-3 generations behind the rest.

Sadly, no (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 5 months ago | (#46239985)

If someone would make a proper Android keyboard phone I would buy it.

Being a different presentation medium killed that chance right off the bat, sadly. Touchscreen input, specifically, makes it so you can change software keyboards at will. Apple, never offered hard keyboard support on their "hip" tablets and phones. The clickwheels on the moderately ancient iPod design should have been a hint that input tech trends would never be the same.

This is a losing battle for us everywhere. HPs and other low-end desktops opted for full size keyboards w/laptop-like blunders --for no sane reason, so even desktops are slowly losing the freedom we used to enjoy, and no good choices are being offered.

Today, ALL mobile manufacturers ignored Blackberry's coveted keyboard layout (probably due to patent issues?) and bypassed the Windows keyboard, altogether. Even a $650 high-end Samsung smartphone lacks hard keys. If even laptops are losing, and Mobile is even more bleeding edge than them, where can we go? Bluetooth keyboard layouts suck, and desktop-sized BT keyboards do not sell at brick stores even in large cities, no matter what price tier.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239209)

Possible customers may include people used to the Android platform that want a phone with a camera that doesn't suck.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#46239329)

Possible customers include anyone who doesn't follow mobile phone news very closely. Which is most people. Tech business news is not exactly gobbled up by the public. Most slashdotters won't buy, but mobile nerds aren't common. AND I might buy one if the hardware's nice enough and I can root it. What do I care about support for it if I can just install cyanogenmod?

The hardware's for emerging markets, one of Nokia's strong points.

It's not going to be "nice" hardware, it's going to be "cheap" hardware. The only reason to put Android on it is because Windows Phone has very specific hardware requirements, and they don't include low-end phones.

Of course, given that the Android low-end market is already saturated (most Android phones sold today are low-end, hence why Android outsells iOS 4-to-1 because people want free phones or ultra cheap sub-$100 phones off contract), I'm not sure how much Nokia expects to break into it - perhaps ultracheap phones that cost $30 or less? But even those have serious competition.

And yes, these phones will typically be even crappier than what carriers would be giving away in the US. Hell, maybe they'll use Android, but not expose the Android UI? Basically, use it to recapture some of the lost "featurephone" market that cheap Androids seem to be filling in for..

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 5 months ago | (#46241547)

Well, they don't include *ultra*-low-end phones. WP7 would run on 1GHz single-core w/ 256MB of RAM, but it's dying. WP8 requires 1GHz dual-core w/ 512MB RAM, which is still damn cheap these days. The Lumia 520 has done well, and can be had for about $50 if you know where to look (though its MSRP is rather higher).

With that said, yeah, you won't find a $35-at-typical-retail-price WP8 device right now.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46238339)

It's classic Nokia, really: dispirate teams running over time on projects so that by the time they launch, the market no longer exists. Meego, Maemo, Symbian^3, you name it, Nokia can make it run so far over time that all the company can do is pitch it out ate at whatever region that device is least irrelevant in.

Re:And another pointless phone (3, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 5 months ago | (#46238345)

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.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238481)

One thing to be noted: Nokia was fabled for the toughness of their hardwares. I literally dropped Nokias out of moving cars and they still worked. Now, I am wary of this whole Nokia/Microsoft AOSP/GMS conundrum, BUT, if they make it a tough phone like they used to, AND someone figures how to root it so that CyanogenMod can run (and you just install gapps over), I am buying it.

That's totally a improvement from me not even dreaming of buying a Windows Phone.

I disagree. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238385)

Seriously, who's going to buy a Nokia Android phone when you know they've been bought by Microsoft and won't care one bit about supporting it?

1. Wouldn't Nokia support it? Who says MS won't?
2. Most people want "cool" phones and don't a rat's ass about OS.
3 . Maybe that's all their carrier offers.
4. How many people pay attention to mergers and acquisitions and think "Oh shit! This phone I'm about to buy may or may not be supported in a way I suspect; which is highly unlikely." Or, how many people read the business press constantly to make sure that some appliance they may buy may be taken over by another company that may or may not support it.
5.The consumers are just going to want their smartphone in the color they want with the carrier they have.

I don't get most cell consumers: they obsess over the phone and then get screwed by the carrier. That is why cell carriers get away with their BS: they put some shiny fancy phone out there and people go "Ooo! Shiny!!" and then blindly jump into a contract and bitch that they get screwed.

One ALWAYS chooses the plan first and THEN choose a phone.

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

tuxrulz (853366) | about 5 months ago | (#46238545)

I'm sure only the 4% "Geek Audience" of the whole billions of phone users world wide knows Nokia sold to Microsoft.

Nokia have done very good phones in the past, and even some Lumias (taking the WinPhone 8 away) are nicely designed. I know they can do a good, if not great Android phone. Probably not in the first try, but neither LG, Samsung, HTC made awesome phones in their 1st try.

My doubt is about the company itself.... Do they sold to Microsoft? Microsoft has the exclusive rights to the Lumia design? Do we have 2 Nokias, one MS controlled, one independent making Android phones?

I only hope Nokia don't become the Atari of the 2010+ era. Where only their respective employees knew which company do what, since both have the same logo and name.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 5 months ago | (#46238595)

The same people who buy crap from Micromax.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238631)

This is still all just a rumor.. based on images which may or may not be real .. for all that is "known" atm is that Nokia will be launching *something* at MWC..

But one should recall that just prior to Elop arriving, the N9 release, the death of Symbian, and the switch to Windows Phone.. Exec's at Nokia stated that they had in fact gotten quite far with a possible jump to Android.. The fact that the device is codenamed "Normandy".. seems to imply it was a Hail Mary storm the beaches plan..

That name and mindset makes sense if you slide the dial on the way back machine to the Rise of iPhone, the fragmented pre-Gingerbread Android landscape, Blackberry on its last legs.. it makes far less sense at any point after Elop took over.. presumably once the choice was made to move to Windows Phone as an OS.. android based work would have been at the least back burner if not outright cancelled..

It will be comical when the big news at MWC is official release of the various branded handsets (such as the Verizon version of the 1520) and the oft rumored Tablet/Surface whatever they call it.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 5 months ago | (#46238787)

People bought N9 which was doomed to the same fate.

So we'll see.

Re:And another pointless phone (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 5 months ago | (#46239851)

I love my N9. Best UI I've ever seen on a phone. After using Meego for a day, I couldn't stand the monstrosity that is Android's interface.

Re:And another pointless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239231)

Seriously, who's going to buy a Nokia Android phone when you know they've been bought by Microsoft and won't care one bit about supporting it? Same as the Maemo/MeeGo based phones that Nokia released after the Nokia/Microsoft deal was announced, it's stillborn. And unlike those who might have some unique features this is yet another Android phone that you can get from other companies, so it makes even less sense. Nokia must be running out of feet to shoot itself in.

Care to back that up? Why wouldn't Nokia support an Android phone? Not that other companies have a sterling record on that count. I have several Samsung made Android devices that were orphaned inside of 18 months of release.

Re:And another pointless phone (2)

celtic_hackr (579828) | about 5 months ago | (#46240053)

Nokia is dead.
Long live Winkia.
There are way more uninformed, uncaring, give me something shiny, consumers out that will buy Nokia phones than there are tech savvy ones, if and only if they make something that gets advertising, and reviews, and sparks the consumer's interest.
But between LG, Samsung, and iPhone phones how are they going to do that?
However, the reviews are written by people who do actually pay attention and thus, the only great reviews Nokia is likely to see will be the ones they pay for. Nokia has to climb a Mt. Everest tech world to get back. That's what happens when you fire off a cannon in the high mountains and get blown off the mountain by then ensuing avalanche.
Nokia is so far gone, it'll take a mircale or billions and billions to rise again. That doesn't mean they can't scrape out a living with Andriod and Windows phones, as a bit player.

However, Nokia does have one advantage. They won't be paying the Microsoft Android Tax and will be able to undercut ever so slightly other phones with Android.

Hmmm. (1)

zixxt (1547061) | about 5 months ago | (#46238059)

I guess selling your soul to the devil(Microsoft) did not work as well as planned did it Nokia?

Re:Hmmm. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 months ago | (#46238157)

Well, it's not going to work well to capture emerging markets. Most windows phones are pretty high end, and not in the price range of consumers in emerging markets.

High end? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238251)

Nokia's smartphone ASP is almost half of the global smartphone market.
And since Nokia owns WP market share, the vast majority is low end.

Re:Hmmm. (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46238347)

Well, it's not going to work well to capture emerging markets. Most windows phones are pretty high end, and not in the price range of consumers in emerging markets.

Microsoft hasn't exactly cornered the high end market either...

Too Late (0)

segedunum (883035) | about 5 months ago | (#46238065)

That is all.

Re:Too Late (2)

tuxrulz (853366) | about 5 months ago | (#46238623)

That is all.

Is never too late, and with the vast amount of crappy Android phones in mid/low markets, the have a couple of segments where they can be a hit.

And even in the high end, I'm sure many of the Samsung Galaxy, and HTC users are already bored of the lines and want something fresh.

Microsoft caused it ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46238097)

But it has lost ground because it was slow to respond to Android's popularity in many countries.

And just how much of this can be laid at the feet of Microsoft?

Because once Stephen Elop got in there, he took what was a profitable company and turned it into a dog by changing their focus.

Microsoft doesn't care about Nokia, they care about having a division which makes Microsoft phones.

That Nokia is now realizing they might need to embrace Android to turn things around means it's going to be interesting to see when Microsoft finishes buying them. Because there's no way Redmond is going to allow them to make phones running anything but Microsoft stuff.

Microsoft has been nothing but bad for the viability of Nokia, and I don't see that changing in the future.

Because, really, these [wikipedia.org] are appalling numbers:

During Elop's tenure, Nokia annual revenues fell 40% from 41.7 Billion Euros per year to 25.3 Billion Euros per year. Nokia profits fell 92% from 2.4 Billion Euros per year to 188 Million Euros per year. Nokia handset sales fell 40% from 456 million units per year to 274 million units per year. Nokia share price which was at 7.12 Euros on the day Elop was hired, had fallen to 81% to a bottom level of 1.44 Euros two years later, after which it began trading at 4.14 Euros, up 36% on the day.

Elop was either grossly incompetent, or was there to lower the price of the company for the take over. Because he sure as hell failed to actually grow the company or do anything good for it.

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238165)

Any corporation contemplating to go bankrupt... I can help you to get there in less time and for 1/10th of the fees that Elop charges. He's kinda slow and overpriced.

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46238223)

Any corporation contemplating to go bankrupt... I can help you to get there in less time and for 1/10th of the fees that Elop charges. He's kinda slow and overpriced.

Oh, bankrupt is easy ... bankrupt and bought by Microsoft takes a little more work and planning.

The massive case of "Not Invented in Redmond" and the ensuing choices were either planned, or he was so lacking in objectivity as to be incompetent.

I think the shareholders of Nokia more or less got robbed, and Elop more or less drove the company into the ground.

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46238213)

I see a shareholder lawsuit in the future. Microsoft did preditory business a bit too well.

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#46238923)

Because once Stephen Elop got in there, he took what was a profitable company and turned it into a dog by changing their focus.

Almost all cellphone makers are losers:

A new report from Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt has some bad news for the smartphone industry. McCourt forecast that in 2014, non-Chinese smartphone markers will see zero growth while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) continue to suck up over 100 percent of the industryâ(TM)s profits, according to a research note seen by Investors Business Daily.

And, yes, "over 100%" of profits going to just two companies is well defined in this case - everybody else is losing money.

Until and unless some new device displaces iPhone-like-phones the same way the iPhone displaced the blackberry, the smartphone market is all locked up.

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46238975)

Nokia's revenues were already falling dramatically; they peaked in 2007:

http://www.wikinvest.com/stock... [wikinvest.com]

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239667)

That's like saying someone's assassin isn't to blame because the victim had the flu.

Re: Microsoft caused it ... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46240019)

If you look at Nokia's revenues over time, Elop had zero effect at all. If anything, it's amazing that the end of Symbian development doesn't show up as a massive cliff on that chart, implying he actually had a positive effect.

Re: Microsoft caused it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46240245)

Uh, that is strange. I haven't looked at revenues, but it had a massive effect on profits. The profitable smartphone unit went loss making after they declared Symbian dead and sales collapsed and never recovered.

Re: Microsoft caused it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46240373)

Please just take a look at the numbers for the smartphone unit. Smartphone unit net sales (revenues) declined steeply immediately after declaring Symbian dead (2011 Q1) and never recovered. The numbers clearly indicate that Nokia's smartphone business was killed by abandoning Symbian and switching to Windows Phone.

http://www.nokia.com/global/ab... [nokia.com]

Re:Microsoft caused it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46240035)

Yes, but the smartphone unit which was growing and profitable right up to the point when they declared Symbian dead. NSN had troubles.

...and the high end? (4, Interesting)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 5 months ago | (#46238131)

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

Re:...and the high end? (1)

Therad (2493316) | about 5 months ago | (#46238361)

If (and that is a big if) they release android phones, they will not be high-end, since that would compete with windows phone and I doubt microsoft wants that.

Re:...and the high end? (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 5 months ago | (#46238495)

True, but how many consumers would like a phone that can run their choice of OS? I certainly would.
If necessary, I'd even pay for MS as long as I don't have to use it. (as with almost all laptops)

Re:...and the high end? (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 months ago | (#46238625)

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

That 41MP camera is amazing. I like the Nokia quality. I would be interested, and many people with me I think. Is this the first sign of common sense since Ballmer is gone?

Re:...and the high end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238819)

Unlikely to happen.

If this truly happens Microsoft will position the android phones solely at the entry level - emerging markets as the report indicates. They will want to push the perception that Android is ok for the entry level 'toys' but if you want a real smart phone it needs Windows on it. Windows Phones will be positioned as the premium line, and likely only line in the more mature markets (US/Canada/Europe).

Probably a false alarm (2)

DMiax (915735) | about 5 months ago | (#46238197)

It's very likely that Nokia tested Android on its phones when it wanted Microsoft to close the deal, this is probably a false alarm born from those prototypes.

It makes no sense at all for MS to release an Android phone, and I doubt Nokia can release it and sell it in numbers before April (aquisition date), so I don't expect it to happen.

If it actually does come out, I see only two explanations. 1) Nokia is trying to scare MS from sealing the deal. 2) it's a thinly veiled attempt at saying "we tried Android but our customers would not want it". Most likely the former.

Whoever let this happen is going to be fired first thing in the new regime, I guess. If MS does not stomp it hard, it would look clueless. Unless MS wants to go Android, which I won't believe until I see it.

Re:Probably a false alarm (1)

philmck (790785) | about 5 months ago | (#46238237)

There's an interesting blog post from Tomi Ahonen about this - he agrees it probably won't happen. http://communities-dominate.bl... [blogs.com]

Re:Probably a false alarm (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46238257)

If it actually does come out, I see only two explanations. 1) Nokia is trying to scare MS from sealing the deal. 2) it's a thinly veiled attempt at saying "we tried Android but our customers would not want it". Most likely the former.

Or, now that Elop is gone someone is genuinely trying to make Nokia a profitable and viable company again.

I strongly suspect there's still someone there who gives a damn and can see the situation they're in. And if that someone isn't beholden to Microsoft, they might actually be thinking of what they actually need to be doing instead of blindly going with the interests of Microsoft.

Re:Probably a false alarm (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46238371)

3) It's a product that someone in Nokia thought could save the company a few years ago, and which they're going to launch because it is finally actually finished. It would not be the first time.

Re:Probably a false alarm (1)

CTU (1844100) | about 5 months ago | (#46238569)

I used to love nokia and any phone I had was a nokia phone, but when I wanted to move to smart phones I had to go elsewhere because Nokia had nothing sadly. If Nokia comes out with a decent android smart phone that I'd like then heck yeah I'd buy it

Re: Probably a false alarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238811)

Totally agree. This report makes no sense. It's like Darth Vader joining the rebel forces - whuut?

Welcome (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 5 months ago | (#46238277)

Welcome back, old friend. There's a place set at the table for you; have a seat.

Hey Nokia.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46238323)

Do it right. your flagship phones, rip that garbage Windows OS off of them and install Android. I would LOVE your 900megapixel phone with a nice clean Android 4.4 on it.

you could get it to market in 30 days, no hardware to change. Want it faster?? contact the Android hackers and tell them how to unlock the bootloader and give them full details on the hardware. You will have android ported to it within the week.

You will INSTANTLY gain market share.

Re:Hey Nokia.... (3, Interesting)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 5 months ago | (#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...

Re:Hey Nokia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239307)

This...

From an industrial design standpoint, Nokia makes easily some of the nicest phones. They (and maybe Motorola) come closest to hanging with Apple in this regard. Even their low-end no-contract phones like the Lumia 521 have a quality feel, and manage to not come off like cheap pieces of shit. I'd totally be up for a Nokia product in the Android eco-system.

Re:Hey Nokia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239775)

Keep your garbage OS on your own damn devices.

Ballmer gone - common sense is here (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 months ago | (#46238649)

Now Ballmer is gone, will MS make the right decisions? This one could be the first sign of common sense at MS since a long time.

Ahh "Entry level" (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 5 months ago | (#46238655)

Another term whose meaning has become useless. "Entry level" used to describe the level at which a person started, and then subsequently grew out of. It's not an entry level device if the consumer buys it and never grows up. I mean it is an entry level device, but calling it one is meaningless since any first is an entry.

Entry level devices, loss-leaders, starters, basics; these all used to be items that a consumer new to the technology would trial. If it worked for them, they'd throw it out and buy the full-fat version. That's just not true anymore.

So stop calling it an entry-level device. It's just a cheap crappy device that makes zero profit for anyone. Call it a useless device.

Re:Ahh "Entry level" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46238875)

Newsflash.. most people in the world never had a smartphone yet.
Me, I've upgraded from a dumbphone to an old J2ME but I don't have the cable or bluetooth to transfer warez games and custom apps to it yet. Then MAYBE I'll get a firefox OS phablet someday. Have fun with your "high end" crap running your Google spyware.

Re:Ahh "Entry level" (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 5 months ago | (#46239087)

When your word "maybe" becomes "didn't", your current phone is no longer an entry device, was my point. Entry level has nothing to do with high or low end. I'm actually on a very high end dumbphone. wrap your tiny head around that one.

and when you're done, if you ever are, you might want to put your name to your arguments, it might actually give them some weight.

No entry level Windows phone? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46238757)

TMobile has sold the Windows-based Nokia Lumia 521 for $100 (non contract) for half a year or a year now. It's supposed to be a pretty decent phone for the low-end. $100 is already pretty low, and surely with the continual progress of hardware they could install the phone OS on $50 hardware.

Android has become the de facto standard, and people would have to have some compelling reason to choose Windows phone over the system everybody else has.

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (2)

adolf (21054) | about 5 months ago | (#46239273)

TMobile has sold the Windows-based Nokia Lumia 521 for $100 (non contract) for half a year or a year now.

So you're telling me that I can walk into a T-Mobile store and walk out with a completely paid-for Nokia Lumia 521, for $100, cash and carry?

Because if I can't do that, then it's not a $100 device.

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46239481)

Yes. You'd probably also want monthly service, although you don't need to and I suppose you could just use Skype.
It's available now for $90 off Amazon.
I hope I don't sound like a Nokia 521 salesman.

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 5 months ago | (#46239491)

You can buy a Lumia 521 for 115$ without any contract
http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-Lu... [amazon.com]

In India Lumia 520 is sold for around 130$ - fully paid for
http://www.flipkart.com/nokia-... [flipkart.com]

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46239555)

But your link isn't to a 521. Here is a Lumia 521 for $90 off Amazon [amazon.com]

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239499)

Also, I don't understand why somebody would mod that question "informative" when it didn't supply any information and just asked for some basic knowledge.

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239877)

Considering the fact that the smartphone unit is still loss making, the price they dump it on the market right now is not any indication of real cost. Also this might be considered cheap in the US, but it is still expensive for other parts of the world. Low-end Android smartphones can be much cheaper and the continual progress of hardware helps everyone (maybe Android even has an advantage because it get certainly more attention from hardware vendors than WP).

Re:No entry level Windows phone? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46241471)

There's smartphones cheaper than $50 in other countries?

It's so easy to import to the US, that I have to believe the only cheaper smartphones out there are the ones that are such utter crap they wouldn't pass UL testing. A lot of cheap smartphones are slightly cheaper in the US than in China. Of course there's less interest in the ultra-cheap market in 1st world nations, but it's still really easy to buy a $50 smartphone in the US.

Didn't they sell out to Microsoft? (1)

js3 (319268) | about 5 months ago | (#46238823)

I thought Nokia sold its devices division to Microsoft. Also they already have their low end Asha platform

Maybe their software for android will be better (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 5 months ago | (#46238837)

There is an awful lot of vendor-supplied software on my phone I want to keep at arms length.

Should have done this years ago (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46239021)

It was corporate suicide for Nokia to go with Windows Phone. Maybe Microsoft waved a large wad of money under their noses. Maybe Elop's intention all along was to drive the corp into the ground and clean up from its sale. Whatever happened, they really fucked up big time with their choice.

Re:Should have done this years ago (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46239487)

They sure did. Palm also accepted the Microsoft Mobile Kiss of Death, so Nokia didn't even learn from history.

So let's see how "pissing in your pants to keep warm" works out :D

Re:Should have done this years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239703)

It was corporate suicide for Nokia to go with Windows Phone.

And it's financial suicide to put Android on your phone.

Damaged goods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239035)

Nokia, you should have cried rape when Microsoft was with you. Now you're remembered as the company that let Microsoft use it and abuse it and liked it. Nobody wants that.

IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46239693)

EEE.

(note: personal view, unrelated to anyone)

Emerging Markets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46240223)

How long does it take for a market to fully emerge? They've been emerging for a long time now.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...