The earlier rumour that Nokia might be taking all its eggs from the Symbian and MeeGo baskets and putting it into a Window Phone basket is looking to be less of a rumour and more of a reality, if the latest news that’s buzzing on the Internet is anything to come by.
Ahead of the major investors conference happening next Friday February 11, rumours have surfaced again that Nokia is very much looking at Windows Phone as a feasible platform to built devices around. It’s a well-known fact that Nokia’s current CEO, Stephen Elop was formerly from Microsoft and it is also equally well-known that Android has overtaken Symbian as the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Both make very compelling motives for the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer to consider switching to the Microsoft mobile platform, but does this guarantee the success of the Nokia?
With everything that’s been said the Windows Phone platform is still very new, with relatively little app ecosystem support. Even the native apps within the platform still needs a lot of work. It is a beautiful OS but complete it is not. But that’s just one side of the story. Consider also that with Windows Phone, there is no UI customisation, an option offered by Android allowing manufacturers to differentiate their devices with the rest.
So if Nokia is to choose Windows Phone as their next strategic move, it would appear that the brand is paying a very expensive cost — a Windows Phone from any manufacturer is simply a Windows phone with nothing separating the devices apart aside from hardware. If this were the case, Nokia’s branding would be diluted and it would be relegated to the many other third-party mobile phone manufacturers churning out WP7 devices.
If Nokia were to take the Android route on the other hand, the brand would have a lot more options to play with. Android’s UI customisation option will allow the Symbian look and feel to live on in Android powered Nokias. Nokia die-hards will then have no problems upgrading to an Android powered Nokia as the usability would be pretty much intact. With a Windows Phone Nokia, on the other hand, it would be a different experience altogether.
Add to that Android’s very healthy app ecosystem and also Honeycomb — Android’s made for tablets OS that is very good — and Nokia suddenly posses the flexibility to expand its product line to tablets with a bevy of apps to whet users’ appetites. Suddenly things are looking peachy for Nokia.
So that’s our take. If indeed Nokia’s jumping platforms, it would be better off with Android than with WP7. Perhaps Nokia has a different strategy, perhaps all this talk about Nokia building WP7 phones are just hogwash. Friday February 11 is just a week a way. We all can wait to see what is really going on.