Should Nokia sell Android Phones?

Many moons ago, the European Network providers made a collective statement to Nokia, which basically stated that they cannot compete with Android and Apple with the Windows Phone 7 platform, this is still probably true with Windows 8.

We are not going to discuss the pros and cons of Windows Phone 8, there enough articles on that already. One reason why Nokia phones may not be selling though,  is because Android and Apple have a large loyal user base. Anyone planning to buy a smartphone will base their decision on what their friends, relatives and work colleagues have. All the buzz is around these two platforms.

Also with a big range of Android devices, that there is an Android phone for all budgets. iPhone have the bling factor, where owning an iPhone is regarded as a status symbol. This leaves windows in the business sector competing against RIM Blackberry phones (RIP), a sector that they are not really aiming at.

When Nokia first announced they were going to use Windows 7, rather than android, the CEO, Stephen Elop,  stated that the reason was because they would be competing in very populated market. A market that was already full of manufacturers selling android phones, making their phones difficult to differentiate.

 Now that Nokia Windows phones have been out for a while, with appalling sales compared to Android/Apple, you may wonder why they should not at least experiment with some Android phones in their portfolio. After all, why put all your eggs in the same basket?

 Not difficult for Nokia to produce an Android Phone

It is not like they need to design new hardware, as nokia uses the Qualcomm processor, based on ARM, which is also a popular chip on many android handsets. So there is no real software issue here. In fact some manufacturers, such as HTC, went down this road already,  where the components of the HTC Titans were borrowed from their Android range. In fact doing a Google search for  ‘Android on Nokia Lumia’ already shows some attempts to do by 3rd party developers like XDA.

Nokia could have been quite successful with the Android, if they aimed for the mid to high-end market. Here due to the higher price of the phones, consumers prefer sticking to a well known trusted brand, of which Nokia was one, especially if their feature phone was a Nokia one.

The Windows Tax

So there is no real technical reason not to do so. So the other reason would be political. Microsoft may be up to their old tricks. The tricks they learnt on the PC platform, a decade or so ago. Back in the day, microsoft would sell the PC manufacturers a cheap license for windows, on the condition that they would only sell hardware with Windows OS, they would even go so far as forcing the PC makers not to sell any pc without an os. This was sometimes referred to as The Windows Tax.

So has Microsoft struck a similar deal with Nokia. Unlike Android, Windows 8 is not a free licence, so any discount here means more profit for Nokia. If such an agreement is true, other than selling its own Symbian OS, Nokia would be forced to remain on Windows 8, despite warnings from mobile sales operators.

If it is true, Nokia is stuck between a rock and a hard place now. All its effort has gone into a phone with an os that does not sell, but it cannot move to an os that does sell, most likely due to an exclusivity deal with Microsoft. Perhaps, Windows may one day topple Android/Apple from the smartphone perch, as Apple did to Nokia when Nokia was at the top, but all independent sales forecasting reports