Nokia Considering A Shift To Android?

By Anu Passary email: a.passary@mobilenapps.com | Jan 10, 2013 07:48 AM EST

Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia has been attempting to regain its erstwhile stronghold in the smartphone space with the launch of its Windows Phone 8-powered line-up of handsets. Even though the company's Lumia 920 has met with an overwhelming response, Nokia is yet to establish a strong foothold in the consumer market and reclaim its lost glory.

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Nokia's current market position does not augur too well for the future, given that its Symbian is unable to compete with other ecosystems like iOS and Android. The partnership with Microsoft may have given the company a temporary lease of life, but is it enough to sustain Nokia?

Per reports, Nokia could possibly be considering a shift to Android in a bid to stay afloat in the hotly-contested smartphone space, which is dominated by the likes of Samsung and Apple.

The company is keeping its options open and in an interview with El Pais, CEO Stephen Elop let on that "anything is possible," hinting that Nokia could well be looking at exploring other alternatives, perhaps even transitioning to Google's Android platform.

"In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon," averred Elop (translated). "[W] are always thinking about what's coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android ... Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible."

Although Stephen Elop didn't rule out the possibility of a shift to alternate platforms, he is optimistic that the Lumia 920 could be Nokia's knight in shining armor.

When asked what if the Lumia sales do not take off in 2013, Elop responded "We have five business units: Nokia Siemens Networks, mobile and low midrange, location, patents and smartphones. The first four are profitable and generate revenue. We just made ​​a conscious decision to invest heavily in smartphones to regain our position. Of course it's not over."

Looking ahead to 2013, the company's primary objective is "is getting a double-digit marketshare. Then, keep pushing and establish an equilibrium with the other two big ecosystems, Apple and Android." Elop, however, did not disclose Nokia's sales forecast.

Of late, Nokia has been under tremendous pressure to transition to different platforms; however, the company has chosen to hold its ground and stick to its Windows Phone partnership with Microsoft.

If Nokia thinks that shifting to Android will not reap immediate benefits, given Samsung's dominance, the company is being myopic and needs to think long term. A shift to Android, experts opine, would help Nokia stay relevant in the smartphone space.

Even though the Windows Phone platform is yet to make a major dent in the market (accounting for less than 3 percent market share) to give it due credit, the platform has some unique features and design nuances that Android currently lacks.

It remains to be seen if Nokia will eventually jump ship to Android or stick to Microsoft.

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