Nokia's Plan B: Android on the bottom, Windows Phone on the top?

Nokia's Plan B: Android on the bottom, Windows Phone on the top?Only yesterday Nokia poured cold water on the rumour that a job posting for a Linux-based software engineer meant the company was thinking of giving up on Windows Phone and switching to Android instead.

But while a strong denial nipped that one in the bud, it's taken just one day for the next theory to come along: that Nokia will adopt Android on its low-end smartphones once Windows Phone 7.x is put out to pasture.

According to our old friends DigiTimes – they of “supply chain sources” fame – Nokia will continue to push its high-end Windows Phone 8 Lumias in 2013, but will also commit heavily to the lesser WP7.x to build its smartphone share in fast-developing emerging markets.

However, with Windows Phone 7.x having a limited shelf life, DigiTimes is speculating that Nokia is then likely to switch its entry-level smartphones to an alternative platform – Android.

It's all speculation, of course, but there are several reasons why such a strategy might indeed be Nokia's so-called “Plan B”.

First, despite all the talk of preferred status, HTC, Samsung (and soon Huawei) are all giving Nokia a serious run for its money on Windows Phone 8 – a platform that by its nature offers little by way of differentiation.

Secondly, Android is a far better fit for emerging markets because there's no cost per licence like with WP, and it's exactly these markets that represent Nokia's best chance of success in the years to come because of the strength of its global infrastructure and its high brand status in such markets.

Plus, a two-platform strategy was Nokia's preferred plan all along before the “burning platform” speech – dating right back to the days of Maemo, which was to serve Nokia's flagship devices leaving Symbian to cover the mass market.

All that said, it's not a move you'd imagine Microsoft being too happy about. There's no question Microsoft sees Nokia as its gateway into emerging markets, offering the potential for mass market success that its other WP partners can't provide (apart, arguably, from Huawei).

For now this is all pure speculation, of course – not only that but speculation built on the rickety foundations of a DigiTimes rumour. In other words, until we hear otherwise it's just another theory to add to the pile. And so long as Nokia's troubles continue, they're likely to keep on coming.

Read more about: AndroidWindows Phone

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Pondlife  Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:13



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