This is quite enigmatic. Imagine Nokia turning to Google for using its Android OS for its phones after being bought by Microsoft for $7.2. Only this is not imagination anymore.
Today’s announcement by Nokia of Android powered cheap smartphones named Nokia X, X+ and XL was rumored for some time and is indicative of the way Android has disrupted the smartphone industry. Though Nokia will be using a forked version of Android but essentially these three phones are Android powered smartphones.
The CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop said that Nokia needed to address the sub- 100 dollar market segment which was likely to grow 400 percent faster than the pricey smartphones.
He further said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that this should not be read as 180-degree shift in Nokia’s strategy. Rather it was a move by Nokia to add another billion users to Nokia’s devices family. He said:
“We see the X family being complementary to (Windows Phone) Lumia at lower price points. Even as you see Lumia push lower and lower, you will see us push lower with Nokia X below that.”
But this shift in strategy is the clearest indication of the strategic missteps Nokia has made from the year Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007.
Nokia was left with no option but to go with Android to make inroads in the cheap smartphones market even though it wanted to remain committed to Windows Phone. Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight told Reuters:
“That a company soon-to-be owned by Microsoft, the creator of the original operating system, is moving to Android is almost an “admission of failure”, he said.
It only remains be to seen how happy or otherwise is Microsoft with this embarrassing announcement and how it plans to deal with a company fancying Google’s Android right inside its home.