Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

Summary:Speaking to business leaders in Helsinki, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop sees 'trouble ahead' for Android operators in a post Motorola-Google world.

Nokia chief Stephen Elop sees trouble ahead for the Android operating system, in a post Motorola-Google merger.

Speaking to business leaders in Helsinki yesterday, he said that Android operators or manufacturers should expect to see "signs of danger". Ahead of the merger, while Motorola will be run as a separate company from Google, it will give Motorola a license to use Android for its phones.

Phone builder Motorola Mobility, in case you missed it, will be bought by Google, the Android maker, in a proposed $12.5bn merger -- making Google a full-fledged phone manufacturer.

Elop hinted in his speech towards analysts concerns that Motorola could be given preferential treatment over existing Android manufacturers.

But manufacturers are still playing fair. From Samsung to LG and HTC, many manufacturers split their time fairly between providing both Android and Windows Phone 7 to their consumers.

If Google does decide to give the special treatment to its new acquisition, pushing Android away from existing non-Google manufacturers, one can only presume that existing dual Android and Windows Phone 7 providers will sway towards the latter, and away from Android.

The merger between Google and Motorola Mobility could theoretically push existing Android providers into Microsoft's mobile operating system camp.

But should not come as a huge surprise, coming from former-Microsoft executive, turned Nokia CEO -- one of the key people behind the use of Windows Phone 7 on Nokia's phones.

Android, at least in my books, was always the strong contender to replace Nokia's ageing Symbian operating system.

Yet, in the beginning of the Android patent dispute where Microsoft demanded licensing fees from Android-shipping manufacturers, for which Motorola and Microsoft are still at each others' throats, it almost meant we missed the obvious choice: Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone 7 has only a 9 percent share,  dwarfed by iOS at 26 percent and BlackBerry at 24 percent. Android holds a majority 36 percent stake of the mobile operating system market as of May.

The one thing that I cannot shrug off the feeling for, is if Google becomes a full-fledged phone provider -- from hardware through to the operating system -- then where does it leave the third party providers?

This merger, could --  I predict -- lower the overall Android marketshare. A strong hardware and software ecosystem provided by the one and only Google could push the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC into Microsoft's arms.

And, considering that Windows Phone 7 has only a 9 percent share, Microsoft will have it arms well and truly open. With Mango around the corner, then it wouldn't surprise me at all if the third-party providers head in the same direction that Microsoft took.

Topics: Nokia, Android, CXO, Google, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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