Nokia boss Stephen Elop says Android's current success is indirectly Apple's doing, with the iPhone and Apple's closed approach to the mobile ecosystem having created fertile ground for Android to flourish as an alternative.
That was the highlight from Elop's comments at the Open Mobile Summit in London yesterday, with the Nokia man also claiming that Android isn't as open as a lot of people think.
The Open Mobile Summit sees executives from across the mobile industry – publishers, manufacturers and service providers – come together to discuss the future of the mobile industry.
Unsurprisingly, Elop proved one of the biggest draws of the two-day event, and didn't disappoint either, revealing more about the relationship with Microsoft and what it will mean for other Windows Phone partners.
But Elop raised a few eyebrows when he argued that Apple paved the way for Android's future success by introducing the iPhone in 2007 – a major “disruption” to the status quo at the time.
“Apple introduced a high watermark that said, ‘this is what users expect’,” he argued. “Apple did this in a uniquely Apple way…[with] a very focused, walled environment.
“I would therefore argue Apple created Android, or at least it created the conditions necessary to create Apple. People decided they could not play in the Apple way, and they had to do something else. Then Google stepped in there and created Android… and others jumped on the Android train.”
Elop then compared the two by presenting a picture of a closed box (iOS) and a box with two of the lid flaps still open (Android).
“Google’s open box still has flaps, and we don’t know what those flaps will do.” he argued. “If you counted the number of lines [of proprietary code] in Android you might get a different perspective on how open it really is.”