The Guardian: Nokia turns to Android in smartphone wars

by Volker Weber

Nokia is understood to be developing a mobile phone that runs on Google's Android software platform in a strategic U-turn for the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer.

The new touchscreen device will be unveiled at the Nokia World conference in September, say industry insiders, as the Finnish handset giant tries to revive its fortunes in the smartphone market.

Nothing but a rumor. But what a great one.

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Update: As expected, Nokia denies the rumor:

"Absolutely no truth to this whatsoever," said a Nokia spokesman. ... "Everyone knows that Symbian is our preferred platform for advanced mobile devices."



Ben Poole, 2009-07-06

That's a ballsy move! Ok, so technically it's a no-brainer, but from a management point of view, they're really grasping the nettle and that's often the hardest thing to do.

I would have thought that there would be a huge amount of intertia within Nokia to keep on blundering on with S60, clumping on new functionality in a bid to keep up and losing all that great lean, mean functionality they inherited from Psion in the process. That someone's woken up and smelt the coffee is their chance to make a difference - let's hope he/she's listened to.

Maybe sales of such a device will be a loud enough message for them.

Hmm, imagine an N97 with Android...nice.

John Ash, 2009-07-06

John, the N97 is not competitive. The touchscreen technology is old. An N97 with capacitive touchscreen and Android, that would be something.

I don't put much faith in this rumor. On one hand, Nokia has always played with new stuff. Just think of Maemo in the small tablets. So Android cannot be ruled out. But at the same time it would weaken their S60 message.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-06

S60 message - Surely it's only the message which *isn't* weak these days?

Nokia's software lead was lost when they left behind the ultra responsive, very inuitive software used in the likes of the 6310i. When I started to use an iPhone I felt a sense of panic at the lack of menus that my E90 has, but after a while, one realises that the iPhone way is so less 'in your face' and that S60 is Windows like, I suppose.

It would be good if Nokia were brave enough to consider using something else on their handsets, however embryonic an attempt it may be. Of course the other view is that a set of frustrated Nokia execs are threatening the S60 team with a decamp to Android unless they can improve their product!

The more I think about it, the closer to the truth I suspect that might be since frustrated managers who fail to understand what their development teams are doing, feel quite powerless *unless* they can threaten to use the 'pull-the-rug-out-from-under-your-feet' manoeuvre, which it would seem they may now be able to do :)

Nothing like a bit of healthy competition!

Shame Apple don't have any.

John Ash, 2009-07-06

Nokia have responded, per Reuters:

Nokia denies plans phone running Google's Android.

Ben Poole, 2009-07-06

Oh, if they only would come to a decision on what to do with Maemo. Where's the new device? And why announce Maemo5 and announce shifting the whole system's desktop API and thus saying that Maemo5 is a dead end at the same time?

I don't get Nokia.

Hanno Zulla, 2009-07-06

@Hanno: Because they bought Trolltech and can now develop in the whole company with the same tools for all the devices (Symbian, maemo, netbooks, ...). The Maemo5 device will be released right before the conference in Amsterdam in October. And you can already develop for Maemo5 with the 'community supported' Qt-libs which are avaible after downloading them to your device.
At least Nokia created a whole new department 'Maemo devices' in June so they seem to be commited to maemo.

Nik Emerson, 2009-07-07

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