Nokia to Announce Major Smartphone Strategy Shift in February

Nokia May Embrace Android, Windows Phone 7 Operating Systems

by Anton Shilov
01/30/2011 | 11:43 AM

Nokia Corp., the world's largest maker of mobile phones that is struggling to maintain its market share, said that it would reveal a major smartphone strategy shift on February 11, 2011, during a conference for investors and financial analysts. Potentially, the company may announce plans to start making phones featuring Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone 7 or Google Android operating systems.

 

"Nokia faces some very significant challenges. The game has changed from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems and competitive ecosystems are gaining momentum and share. The emergence of ecosystems represents the broad convergence of the mobility, computing and services industries. [...] Nokia must compete on an ecosystem-to-ecosystem basis. In addition to great devices, we must build, catalyze, and/or join a competitive ecosystem," said Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia, during a recent conference call.

Although Nokia is still the largest maker of smartphones, its market share is declining because Nokia essentially competes against numerous companies who utilize Google Android operating system. The cell phone maker has to alone develop technologies that its competitors get as a result of collaboration with Google or Microsoft.

Mr. Elop admits that for Nokia it is very crucial to continue offering unique technologies and experience, which is something hard to do with off-the-shelf operating systems like Android or Windows Phone 7. Still, if those platforms become more competitive than Nokia's own, the company will naturally have to start using them instead of its own Symbian for at least certain phones.

Nokia has not said directly that it would start using Google Android or Microsoft Windows Phone 7, but a major strategy shift clearly has to do something with the software platform as the hardware part of Nokia is hardly too different from other cell phones.