Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

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.

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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

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53 comments
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  • What else do you expect him to say?

    Of course Microsoft-man Elop would say that, as Android is a competitor to his favoured Microsoft mobile phone OS, and is trying hard on many fronts to take Android down. Water is wet.
    root12
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @root12

      Yes, this is an opportunity for Elop to say this. BUT, just because he is pro-Windows Phone doesn't automatically mean that this acquirement by Google will have no effect on how OEM's like HTC and Samsung will view Android as a viable platform.
      Poppets
      • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

        @Poppets

        LOL. And what do you suppose HTC, LG , Samsung and others thought, when Microsoft announced their sweetheart deal with Nokia, with Ballmer saying, "Nokia will work with us to push hardware advances."

        Come on, Elop is being hypocritical, trying to spread the FUD.
        gork platter
    • Doesn't mean he's lying.

      @root12
      William Farrell
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @root12 Mr. Elop is Nokia-man, not Microsoft-man. Please don't perpetuate childish conspiracy theories.
      jgm@...
      • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

        @jgm@... <br><br>If Elop is not a Microsoft-man, why is he trying to atract more phone makers to WP7? To compete against Nokia???<br><br>Even if WP7 market share miraculously went from 3% to 30%, it would be best to Nokia to STFU, to avoid more competitors -- after all, they already have Android, but Nokia is totally tied to WP7.<br><br>Way to go, Elop! Steve Ballmer must be happy.
        obvio.capitao@...
  • More Wishful thinking?

    Based on the open handset alliance endorsements,

    h-t-t-p://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/googles-coalition-speaks-with-one-voice/3771


    I'd say that Android phone makers are happy with the status quo--a maximum of autonomy and flexibility comes with Android which sets itself apart from other non-Linux competing vendors.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate What you say makes no sense. Why don't you elaborate?
      General C#
      • Sure.

        @General C#

        h-t-t-p://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/googles-coalition-speaks-with-one-voice/3771
        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
      • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

        @General C# OK I will then elaborate. Android is an Open Source project AKA if the other manufactores don't like the new Motorola and Google merger then can take the code and make a fork AKA a new operating system.

        The bonus really is not the open source status. The bonus is now Google just bought a TON of patents and now has a war chest. It's sad and I wish Google just took a stance against this patent mess we have in Tech, but now Google can help defend the platform.

        I predict that Google spins off the manufacturing arm of Motorola within a a year or two. So sorry this spin from Pro-Windows Mobile people is exactly what I would say if I were them, but it's not true.

        Android took over the world by have a better license and a better open enviroment. The closed eco-system of Apple has always kept it from winning in Tech. They had advantages that no one else ever had and they can never capitalize on it. (iPhone did for a few years and right now iPad but once again Apple will shoot themselves in the foot)
        mtelesha
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      You want to defy common sense???
      owlnet
      • Try another riddle.

        @owlnet
        nt
        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • The more you speak, the more you show your fear.

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      Didn't Motorola just the other day say they're not opposed to making WP7 models?

      That absolutely doesn't sound like the words of someone who is happy with the staus quo and Android in general.
      William Farrell
      • I don't know what your point is.

        @William Farrell
        All vendors will entertain building product for Microsoft--there's profit in that too.
        Only more limitations.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

    It's obvious what Google's intentions are. The whole patent thing, whilst marginally important, is just a self-publicised smoke screen.

    They want to enter the phone manufacturing game. That's obvious.

    Android is globally present on the majority of current smartphones, so go figure... wouldn't Google want a piece of the pie?
    Poppets
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @Poppets "They want to enter the phone manufacturing game. That's obvious."<br><br>Oh really? They want to be a company with insanely high profit margins and instead become one with insanely low profit margins? From everything you know about Google, does that really sound like a smart move?<br><br>Lets assume for a moment you are right, which I do not think you are, but lets pretend. If they wanted to just get into the phone making business they would have been far better off buying HTC. Oh wait, HTC has few patents and would not have helped Google defend Android in court. <br><br>Some things to remember. Android is the future of Google because more people are introduced the the internet for the 1st time via a smart phone that by PC. (And other reasons.) Android is the number one smart phone OS on the planet. Android got there because it allowed for much high profit margin for manufactures due to the total lack of licencing. And it is the free nature of Android that is being threatened right now by Microsoft, Apple and others. If Google can not protect the free aspect of Android, the OS will fail.<br><br>Make no mistake, this was a defensive more that will allow Android to stay on the offensive. Everything else is just added value. But do not think for a second Google will risk alienating its partners with this purchase. In fact, I would be willing to bet that is push came to shove Google would shut down the smart phone division and use it for prototypes, there-by allowing their partners a larger share of the market.<br><br>Google makes money by having Android on smart phones and that is their number one focus in this area.<br><br>That being said, I do see them shifting Motorola's focus away from phones and getting heavy into Tablets. I am talking HEAVY into tablets. <br><br>Right now none of Google's partners are doing well in the tablet space, in fact, many are cutting back. This would be a place Moto could shine while at the same time allowing Google's partners to have a larger slice of the cell phone market, while at the same time having the patent portfolio to protect them.<br><br>Look for a single high end Nexus Tablet to hit the market withing 8 months and expect it to mimic the iPad release cycle and distribution model. That is to say, a single Nexus Tablet with a yearly refresh.
      EntrepreNerd
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @Poppets Motorola's patents aren't for O/S, they are for H/W. Big difference.
      Wombatmobile
  • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

    Of course he's going to say that, he chose WP7 over Android and now trying to scare the other OEM's away from WP7.

    Is it coincidence that a former MS exec took over the running of Nokia, who are now developing WP7 devices and scrapping their own Symbian & MeeGO OS's in favour of it? and that there are rumours MS will snap up Nokia ?

    Got to love conspiracy theories and add fuel to the fire.
    Jayton
    • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

      @Jayton See, I thought the opposite. I thought he was trying to scare people away from *Android*, into the arms of WP7. Thoughts?
      zwhittaker
      • RE: Nokia CEO sees 'danger ahead' for Android phone makers

        @zwhittaker I see this eventually playing out like the plays for sure thing. Once Microsoft sufficiently wounds Android, then they will go after the OEMs. In the end Microsoft buys Nokia for pennies on the dollar and cuts everyone else out of the loop.
        Rick_Kl