It’s official: Microsoft has killed off Nokia’s Android project
From dominating the mobile market to falling down the charts, Nokia as we know it, has gone through several dramatic and drastic changes over time. The company itself has pivoted from one business to another on several occasions — from rubber to paper products to footwear, however, the most recent one you might remember is its Android venture.
After years of neglecting Google’s mobile operating system, Nokia finally decided to play Android. Earlier this year, the company launched the Nokia X lineup — which consisted of Nokia X, X+ and XL. And that wasn’t the most controversial part. The company launched Android-powered Nokia handsets after signing its acquisition deal with Microsoft — which runs Windows Phone and had always counted on Nokia as its biggest hardware partner.
When Microsoft was completing the acquisition in April, early this year, everyone was wondering what will happen to the Android-based Nokia handsets. The question was if Microsoft will continue supporting Nokia on its Android venture, or simply kill it off. And now we have the answer. Microsoft is officially putting a stop to Nokia’s Android affair!
The Finnish technology company, which once held the power to take its own decisions, is no longer the company we knew. “It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia,” said Stephen Elop, Vice President of Microsoft Devices, who was also the former CEO of Nokia.
“It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia,”
The company is going through several changes, and it has to restructure itself to fit Microsoft’s Mobile Division vision. “Our device strategy must reflect Microsoft’s strategy and must be accomplished within an appropriate financial envelope. Therefore, we plan to make some changes,” Elop adds.
And the vision Elop is hinting at is that Microsoft no longer wishes to produce Android-based smartphones. However, as the CEO Satya Nadella mentions in his email, the company will utilize some of the product designs of the Nokia X handsets and use them in its Lumia lineup running Windows.
There have been several rumors that suggest that Microsoft might make Lumia-powered Android handsets, but today’s emails squash all such rumors and speculations. “We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows.” It clearly means that the company will shift its focus from all Android-based Nokia projects. “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products,” Elop adds.
We have seen several new affordable Windows Phone handsets over the last few months, Elop says that the company will continue producing more handsets for that segment. “We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.“
Whereas, for the high-end devices, the company will continue producing groundbreaking features. “To win in the higher price segments, we will focus on delivering great breakthrough products in alignment with major milestones ahead from both the Windows team and the Applications and Services Group. “
Many would argue that this is the right decision. Microsoft is better off focusing on its own operating system. We do not yet have the sales figures of the Nokia X devices, so we don’t really know how the devices fared. Perhaps, the Android project was an experiment that the company had to do to realize that they are better off without it. What do you guys think?Further reading: Android, Nokia X