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Nokia Had an Android Phone In Development

timothy posted about a year ago | from the backup-plan dept.

Android 189

puddingebola writes "Perhaps influencing Microsoft's $7.2 billion acquisition, the New York Times is reporting that Nokia had an Android phone in development. From the article, 'A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company's Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft's $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project, these people said.' Perhaps Nokia feared they had put too many eggs in one basket? Whatever the case, the project is most likely dead at this point."

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Like Nokia itself (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846695)

(dead at this point)

Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44847063)

I am so sick of this "magical thinking" when it comes to Android. There is something like a dozen making Android phones, how many of those have been consistently profitable with Android? ONE, and that is Samsung. HTC and LG have made profits, not consistently mind you, and with LG their profits on a lot of phones can be measured in pennies.

Like it or not folks, and this is coming from somebody that uses an Android phone that I'm quite happy with, with Android you have a race to the bottom where the VAST majority of Android sales in the under $185 price range and this market, the ultra low end? is a market that Nokia could NEVER compete in, okay? They were already WAAAY behind on smartphones thanks to all the infighting and not one, not two, but THREE OS teams backstabbing and playing politics, the ONLY market they had a lead in was dumbphones and that market was dead at the end of 2010 with the mediatek SoC that allowed Chinese shops to make a nice dumbphone for just $3 USD. They also had beancounters insisting on "getting their money's worth" from the TI OMAP chip they had bought the rights for, but that thing was too far behind the curve to make a decent Android phone with and the high cost of the Nokia factories meant they would have to sell them at a price point the market would never go for.

So can we please please PLEASE stop the "Android is magic" bullshit already? When it comes to smartphones honestly the cost or lack thereof of the OS isn't even a real concern and thanks to anybody being able to build Android devices its a race to the bottom and in fact reminds me an awful lot of the "PC Price Wars" that drove many an OEM out of business, and finally Nokia was fucked with a capital F long before then, a toxic corporate culture, too much infighting and too much politics had turned the company into the biggest 8 track player builder in a landscape of CDs. Android isn't some fairy Godmother, it isn't "if you build it they will come" because if that were so there wouldn't be so many struggling Android manufacturers. It wouldn't have mattered by that point if they used windows, Linux, or WebOS, the company was too far behind and too badly fucked by PHBs to ever take on Samsung and the ONLY way for Nokia to survive as an Android maker would have been to curbstomp Samsung as their costs were too high. How many here honestly and truly believe that Nokia could have taken on Samsung at the top and not been bitchslapped?

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847079)

how dare you instile the great God that is Android. Anyone who dares to do this is obviosuly a closet Fanboi and should be dispatched to the Gallows without delay.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44847093)

Samsung only sells half the Android devices. So what you are saying is that a consortium of non-Samsung mutually opposed companies are colluding to build 400 million devices this year, selling them for perhaps $120 billion, and losing money on every one. Because they love Google, I suppose, and want them to do well despite their duty to their own shareholders. C'mon Hairy. Did you bring enough of whatever that was you took to share with everybody?

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44847249)

When someone says that something is an "Android Phone" or a "Windows Phone" or an "iOS Phone" then all they say is that it's a general purpose computer that has been locked down to running that particular OS. There's no technical barrier in installing Android on a "Windows Phone", just like there's nothing stopping you from installing Debian GNU/Linux on a "Windows Computer."

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847673)

Not necessarely locked down, but maybe there just aren't drivers for the components.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44847679)

That's no different than saying "Linux PC" or "Windows laptop". Just like the Android phone or the Windows phone; it's simply descriptive of the OS it uses, and face it -- the OS is the computer from the user's point of view. What difference does the hardware brand make? Nokia, Samsung, Kyocera, who cares? Actually, I like my Kyocera because it's cheap and waterproof, I'd hate to drop a $600 Samsung in the sink. There isn't anything a $600 Samsung will do that my $100 Kyocera won't, except be destroyed if you're caught in a downpour (I had an LG die like that).

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44847735)

Phones are not general purpose. The hardware is tweaked to work with the OS. For example the camera in the Nokia 920 would not function under Android, Microsoft had to write custom low level code to integrate camera components in a different way. The video system for the 920 is specific to the camera, now maybe 95% of the code was shared with other camera of a similar type but it is entirely possible that a very different camera design wouldn't work at all on Windows. Android is designed for greater hardware diversity so it has less problems going on new systems. But look at how badly the Android for iPhone projects are doing with Apple's tweaks lately. Android isn't able to get nearly the same performance out of that hardware.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (3, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44847835)

What you are descibing is essentially regular drivers. It's exactly the same thing that regular computer operating systems uses. The camera is not in any way built for Windows, it just happens that it require a driver and that driver is available for Windows Phone. With the appropriate driver the same camera should work in any operating system.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44847721)

Samsung only sells half the Android devices. So what you are saying is that a consortium of non-Samsung mutually opposed companies are colluding to build 400 million devices this year, selling them for perhaps $120 billion, and losing money on every one.

I don't agree with Hairy on a lot. And yes, 2011 I believe Samsung and Apple combined made 101% of the profits in the industry the other players on average lost money. The situation is not pretty. This doesn't include the smaller players like LG but the situation is worse not better as you go down market:
http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/51f97ca0ecad04705b00000d-800-/chart-of-the-day-oem-profits.jpg [businessinsider.com]

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (5, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year ago | (#44847101)

Indeed, Android was not the ideal choice for Nokia. If only they had their own next-gen mobile operating system, ready to go, and consistently praised by reviewers... oh, wait. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

boysenberry (2029114) | about a year ago | (#44847493)

It was just too late by 2011. They should've properly invested in Maemo(/Meego) when they initially released it in 2005. Had that been polished up and shoved into a sexy phone before Android (or even iPhone) took off, the landscape today would likely have been very very different.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847755)

By what standard was it too late? They weren't exactly late to the smart phone market, they were early, and out of step. Symbian was under featured but still selling well all over the world. Symbian sales were still growing. They were profitable in smartphones. The switchover to Maemo would have been a challenge, but nothing like the challenge that Windows phone presented.

Quarter 3 2010 Symbian based Nokia smartphone sales: 26.5 M units and 3.6 B Euros revenues;
Nokia smartphone Average Sales Price 136 Euros, profits in smarpthone unit 335 M Euros

Quarter 4 2010 Symbian based Nokia smarpthone sales: 28.3 M units and 4.4 B Euros revenues;
Nokia smartphone Average Sales Price 155 Euros, profits in smarpthone unit 548 M Euros

http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/06/the-final-reckoning-of-burning-platforms-memo-damaged-nokia-by-wiping-out-13b-in-revenues-and-destro.html

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (4, Informative)

Holmwood (899130) | about a year ago | (#44847843)

Very true. I used a Nokia N770 tablet starting in 2006. It was fantastic for the time. Maemo (later Meego) was still a little rough around the edges, but very good. I thought at the time that surely it was only a year or so of polishing from mass release, and Nokia ARM-based tablets and smartphones starting at resolutions of 800x480 would sweep the market. And time ticked by. Even 2 and a half years later, Apple was still playing around at well under half the resolution, but time kept moving.

I still have my patched N800 somewhere with a (ridiculous for 2007) 65GB of storage.

Nokia could have dominated that market, or, at worst, been highly competitive with Apple.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44847743)

It wasn't ready to go they only 4 models in the pipeline though 2014. Moreover to get the N9 version out it had to be end of life because otherwise the conflicts between MeeGo and Symbian conversion were too large. MeeGo could have been excellent. But there were tough choices that were never made and Nokia took much too long in what they were doing.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44847223)

Nokia had the best reception of any cell phone company (at least, that was their reputation). They made nice hardware. Apparently they have the best camera of any cell phone.

Given all that, they could have competed. Not because Android is magic, but because WP8 counteracts any benefit their phones ever had. Buy an Android with an amazing camera? Sure! Buy WP8 with an amazing camera? Does it even have a fart app?

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44847761)

They don't have the best camera on any Android. They have a very good camera given a normative form factor. I think Apple on balance is better (920, 1020 Nokia is the clear winner) but that's a matter of taste. Nikon makes an Android with an insanely good camera and Samsung has a camera phone which is better. In the end software is cool but things like lens size dominate for people who want camera quality.

ZTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847225)

ZTE is quite profitable with its Android phones

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44847227)

its not pennies, its pennies per uint, sell a few million phones and even 3 cents a unit profit starts adding up.

stopped reading there cause you dont even have the basics down to your own argument

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847655)

If you're making 3 cent net on a ~100 $ unit you're investing 1 billion to produce 10 mil units, netting you 300,000 profit.
At that point you might as well close shop and invest in gold, diamonds and real estate.

Nokia could have an enhanced Android version. (0)

master_p (608214) | about a year ago | (#44847289)

Given its experience, Nokia could have taken Android and polish it so much that it would have left its competitors in the dust.

Not only that, but Nokia could have brought Qt to Android and make Android application development extremely more pleasant than what it is now (and avoid all the legal problems with Android's Java).

In any case, starting with an existing functioning OS gives you a great advantage over your competitors. Nokia tried to not only compete in the smartphone market but also to create their own OS from scratch! and to add more salt to the injury, thet chose the same kernel as Android did!

Finally, Nokia could have invested in a proper Adobe Flash 11 implementation and have the only smartphone that can show the web like a desktop PC. That's what sold N900 in the first place anyway. There are lots of people who do not care about Flash, but there is also lots of people who are frustrated that they cannot play their favorite Flash games on mobile.

Re:Nokia could have an enhanced Android version. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44847357)

Flash? Back then, Flash was an important plugin. Browsing on an iPad in the early days was a frustrating experience; most sites used a Flash player for video and many of the larger web shops and sites made extensive use of it. But these days, it's rare for me to come across a site with Flash.

Flash is on the way out (thanks in part perhaps to all those complaining iPad users), and the web is a better place for it. Nokia investing in a good mobile Flash player would prove once again that they are late to the game.

Re: Nokia could have an enhanced Android version. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847581)

I used work for Nokia. The Flash software was written by Adobe, it was buggy. Jobs was right to drop it.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (4, Insightful)

boysenberry (2029114) | about a year ago | (#44847439)

Nokia WAS fucked mainly cause its managed by morons, and Android certainly isn't magic, so I'm with you there. But it's a little more nuanced than you depict. A Lumia with Android would not have been a magic bullet, but it would have been, and still would be, one of the top 5 sexiest android phones. It would be looking super sexy on that shelf right alongside the S4s and HTC One's, but with WP, it's in a corner of the shop that only lost children end up in. A few tangential points: 1) There's nothing particularly unique about Nokia's PHB problem. Almost every large company suffers with these issues. Nokia may have been particularly bad, but they still manage to make beautiful phones at competitive prices. 2) At the time they chose WP, Samsung was nowhere near the market leader it is now. HTC was a pretty big deal at the time while the best that Samsung had out there was the S2. The "only samsung is making it and everyone else is drowning" is bs. The top dog can fall off his perch in a single year. The S2 situation was barely two years ago and you can kind of pinpoint Samsung's "mindshare dominance" starting at the S3: only slightly over a year ago! If you look at Xiaomi, the HTC One, Moto X, etc, you start to see that the gap between top dog and the runner-ups is miniscule. 3) There STILL is no "Apple of the android market". I mean there is no Android manufacturer who has taken the route of making superbly beautiful phones with no compromises. Top dog Samsung's phones are nowhere near as beautiful or high quality as the Lumias or iPhones. The few phones where it looks like any effort was made in design tend to be pretty much clones (like HTC One = BBX).

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#44847443)

I for one would have welcomed Nokia as a hardware option for Android devices. Hardware options are exactly what we're missing... you can go with plasticky Samsung, patchy HTC (nice build quality on the One, but the software support is spotty at best) or only-one-option Google Nexus. LG? Pfff, outside of the Nexus 4, I wouldn't even consider it.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44847453)

Compared with WP7 and most likely WP8 it is magic :(

finally Nokia was fucked with a capital F long before then

In global terms it dominated sales in every mobile phone type and the only worry was that the rate of growth was slowing. The decline didn't happen until Elop took the seat.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44847787)

The decline in margins started in 2002. The crash in Symbian sales started in 2010 several months before Elop was even hired. The failure to get MeeGo out on time was his predecessor.

What Elop did was get a company that was on its way to bankruptcy through a tough restructuring bring them back to profitability and get them sold for a moderate amount. I don't agree with everything he did, but Nokia fans have an analysis which is frankly clueless. They should read more of the business press.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (3, Insightful)

sharklasers (3047537) | about a year ago | (#44847475)

You're correct that Samsung is the only company that consistently makes a profit with Android. But... it doesn't make any business sense to exclusively focus your entire phone business on a single mobile platform (Windows Phone) that hasn't shown to be particularly popular or profitable to anyone, without having say Android phones as something to fall back on if the gamble doesn't pay off. That to me screams ulterior motives.

Nokia didn't even TRY (as in, never actually put to market an Android phone, not including anything in R&D). If they put in a high-end Android phone with Lumia quality hardware, I'd very, very seriously consider it instead of Samsung. But they didn't fucking try because their ex-Microsoft boss had other ideas. And that's what's so annoying about this business. People using politics instead of common sense.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44847575)

doing some profit is better than doing no profit at all.

but, you could put it this way: I might have bought another Nokia if it ran android. with windows phones no fucking way.. I can take them for free and develop for them if someone pays but no fucking way I'm paying with my own cash for them. compared to windows phone ANDROID IS LITERALLY LIKE MAGIC when it comes to (potential) functionality. windows phone objectively feels as limited as a s40 phone from 5 years ago(and the api's are quite literally comparable in functionality too!).

sure, the company culture would have needed to be fixed first for them to have been able to even make an android phone... but it would have sold and made a buzz. Nokia when they had their act together was able to bury every other phone manufacturer in manufacturing efficiency - from siemens to panasonic to ericcson to motorola. They raced to the bottom before! their most successful years were race to the bottom years of feature phone selling where eventually they became the dominant seller - it was only with android that the other players were able to get back into the game at all. That is where they could compete! that is where bean counting counts! it was foolish for them to try high end wars and especially foolish to try that with windows phone. the last really successful smartphone from Nokia I think is the C6 - a cheap piece of **** - but successful because it filled a role for users - for a lot of users - for a cheap price, so it sold a lot. it was the last nokia smartphone that sold to masses who pay for their own phones.

talking purely as an user of smartphones. I even bought the 808. but no fucking way I'm buying the 1020. So I might go for the sony z1.

though then again with fixed corporate culture they could have made symbian comparable to android as well(due to their culture they wasted in practice FIVE FUCKING YEARS of development and even plenty of wasted time of their contractors.. to which they paid a lot of money so they didn't mind wasting time) so maybe it's useless to discuss the matter - but with windows phone even if they had fixed their corp they couldn't have made wp catch up since that was ms's ball to drop.. which they did.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (1)

Xiaran (836924) | about a year ago | (#44847587)

> with Android you have a race to the bottom Umm thats the idea isn't it. It's a good thing.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year ago | (#44847607)

I am so sick of this "magical thinking" when it comes to Android. There is something like a dozen making Android phones, how many of those have been consistently profitable with Android? ONE, and that is Samsung. HTC and LG have made profits, not consistently mind you, and with LG their profits on a lot of phones can be measured in pennies.

Like it or not folks, and this is coming from somebody that uses an Android phone that I'm quite happy with, with Android you have a race to the bottom where the VAST majority of Android sales in the under $185 price range and this market, the ultra low end? is a market that Nokia could NEVER compete in, okay?

You're stupid. Look up Asha. Nokia succesfully competed not in just sub-185$ market, but in sub-100$ market as well.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847617)

The list is not quite correct it is Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, Miomi and Sony, yes Sony has been making profit with Android again recently, thanks to their well designed phones.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847621)

I am so sick of this "magical thinking" when it comes to Android. There is something like a dozen making Android phones, how many of those have been consistently profitable with Android? ONE, and that is Samsung. HTC and LG have made profits, not consistently mind you, and with LG their profits on a lot of phones can be measured in pennies.

Congratulations, this is exactly how a free market is supposed to work. With enough competition prices are driven down to a break-even level and the big winner is the consumer. Once you see profits increase above break even that is a pretty clear sign of competition not working, either because of too few actors or because of price fixing.
If you want a market where the companies make a huge profit and the consumer gets screwed over instead I suggest that you buy and iPhone or start buying CD's from major record companies or something.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847653)

and selling Lumia's at a loss was not a race to the bottom? you got to be kidding.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#44847683)

the ultra low end? is a market that Nokia could NEVER compete in, okay?

They have done pretty well in there before.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (5, Insightful)

Peter H.S. (38077) | about a year ago | (#44847731)

Nokia could have had excellent success with an Android phone. Unlike the many upcoming phone makers you see today, Nokia had a huge market share with lots of loyal costumers who always chose Nokia phones when they needed a replacement phone. Nokia was a premium brand among consumers.

By not making a Android phone, all their loyal costumers were forced to go elsewhere. For years, 9 out of 10 Nokia costumers have chosen another brand of smartphone when they needed a new phone.
If Nokia could have kept most of those costumers with a Android phone, they would be dominating the market this day, and they would have kept the up coming competitors down, in stead of just handing over the smartphone market to them without a fight.

Re:Like a Nokia Android wouldn't have bombed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847869)

Well. If you think you can't compete in the mobile phone business because there are other phone manufacturers then, yes, you surely have no business being there. And, yes, not everyone is successful. I still really believe Nokia could have been one of the successful ones though.

Nokia never sold their phones because of the amazing Symbian system. They sold them because of the amazing hardware. And Android in itself wouldn't have been a saviour, but unlike Windows Phone neither would it have been a strong reason AGAINST buying a Nokia phone.

Re:Like Nokia itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847207)

It might be dead at this point, but the move to have a team of researcher to develop an Android system and then secretly telling everyone what they had will force MS to buy the Nokia at nice price. That is 10 times better than the let-sit-and-rot in the past few years.

I'll buy it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846697)

Since Microsoft won't be using it, I'll be happy to buy the IP and the reference platform for $1.

Re:I'll buy it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846787)

Hah! It's just their stealthy plot to obtain Nokia's expertise in making Android devices. Watch now for cheap Microsoft knockoffs of Android phones.

Wasted opportunity (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44846709)

Think of all the embracing, extending, and extinguishing they could've attempted! Probably not a good business decision, in retrospect. I bet MS's phone market share would've looked a lot better if they'd developed a super-fancy Exchange-oriented business email client for a line of custom Android phones rather than developing WP8.

Re:Wasted opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846729)

One for the rules of corp business is "If you can't control it kill it". MS takes this to extremes.

Re:Wasted opportunity (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year ago | (#44846855)

Yep, I agree [slashdot.org] .

7.2 bil...That's $7.20 in poor peoples' money (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44846749)

But still, that's a pretty big gamble to kill off an Android phone, or just some ploy to keep the money from the taxman.

Re:7.2 bil...That's $7.20 in poor peoples' money (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44846945)

Without Nokia Windows Phone's global market share drops to 0.6 from 3.0. So... about $3B per point of market share. Otherwise they disappear in the noise of "other". There wasn't anywhere else they could get those points so cheap. They will probably scoop up Blackberry's customers too. They really have no choice. Smartphones and tablets will be more that 80% of clients sold next quarter, trending up. Next quarter will be the last quarter that traditional PCs outsell tablets, and people get tablets that are like their smartphone and work well with it, not one that works well with and like their PC. If people keep getting invested in phone and tablet apps on platforms that are not theirs, they are done for. Frankly I think it is too late, but to them they have no choice but to try.

Re:7.2 bil...That's $7.20 in poor peoples' money (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44847235)

Personally I'm a little sceptical about the "last quarter" part. The tablet market isn't saturated like the PC market is, making it an unfair comparison. And since a PC is still more essential to most households (and laptops can be price-competitive with tablets), it's inevitably going to be the preferred thing to upgrade in the long term for those who can't afford both pieces of hardware. It seems much more likely that the demand for tablets will eventually decline once the market's more mature, and stay in the shadow of the PC until the content creation situation changes, especially with cannibalization by so-called "phablets [wikipedia.org] ."

Re:7.2 bil...That's $7.20 in poor peoples' money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847517)

Yup. Tablets are and will always be a nice-to-have accessory living somewhere between your cant-live-without-it phone and PC.

Re:7.2 bil...That's $7.20 in poor peoples' money (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year ago | (#44847503)

people get tablets that are like their smartphone and work well with it, not one that works well with and like their PC.

And that is the brilliant idea that brought us Win8, because MS thought they could unite this ecosystem and offer interoperability for... profit?

Pricing (3, Insightful)

1984 (56406) | about a year ago | (#44846767)

I was actually more fascinated that the once-pioneer and market leader in mobile phones (outside the US) was being sold off for more than $1Bn less than the sloppy-thirds of Skype which is widely duplicated by free services.

Re:Pricing (2)

romiz (757548) | about a year ago | (#44846923)

As Skype is a network, and does not offer interoperability, it benefits from a network effect: its usefulness compared to its concurrents is the square of the number of ts consumers. This usually leads to a natural monopoly, and Microsoft must have recognized it.

Nokia is now just a device manufacturer, it squandered its 'network' when it abandoned the Symbian users and developers.

coincidence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846773)

I had an android phone in my asshole. (I was trying to take a picture of the greased yoda doll I shoved up there)

Re:coincidence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847865)

I had an android phone in my asshole. (I was trying to take a picture of the greased yoda doll I shoved up there)

goatse's giver wants to talk to you.

Microsoft buys Microsoft (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year ago | (#44846785)

... who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project

Only Microsoft would buy have to a company they already owned.
It's been known for years now that their CEO was a trojan horse planted by Balmer.
Too bad for Nokia, because they were actually a very good company that made good products.
Then Mr. Microsoft-Assfucker became their CEO and burned them to the ground.
Now they make shit products and will face the same fate of all other MS mobile offerings.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (1, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#44846807)

They did this to Shadowrun the FPS when it was actually a good game. They didn't want it competing with other products and discontinued it, refused to update, or release content, and patch it.

M$ is the grim reaper of IP.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44846899)

They are the preventer of progress, destroyer of compatibility. At one point they decided they had destroyed every competing browser vendor, declared their browser "done" and fired the team who produced... IE6.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847303)

Agreed. MS poison and destroy any semblence of usefulness and awesomeness they touch.

MS's shithouse business practices are what keeps alternate OS's alive and kicking, but then they can't possibly hope to see any wood for the trees, since their average dev is 25 years old, will not work there for more than a few years and has no clue, cos they think having MS on their resume is 1337 creds. The 2 interviewees i had that proudly told me they had worked for MS, I told them to fuck off and never apply with my shop again, ever. I want people who understand computing, not a bunch of muppets who only know managed code and how to do what they're told by that fat useless piece of shit, Ballmer.

God bless MS, the ruiner of everything IT.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44847491)

cos they think having MS on their resume is 1337 creds

I have 20+yrs of experience, tertiary qualified, with good stints at the world's top three IT service companies on my resume, I've hired more than a few developers over those years. I don't have MS on my resume, and judging from the content of your post, I wouldn't want your name on it either for exactly the same reason.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (1)

sharklasers (3047537) | about a year ago | (#44847613)

They are the preventer of progress, destroyer of compatibility. At one point they decided they had destroyed every competing browser vendor, declared their browser "done" and fired the team who produced... IE6.

I don't understand. They didn't stop progress - Firefox and Chrome were developed and went past IE, along with the rest of technology to the point where Microsoft is now caught on the left foot because THEY didn't progress. Compatibility is also their strong point - Windows has a huge amount of legacy software to support, which hence results in a lot of bloat but also compatibility so people don't have to worry too much that their software won't work on a newer version of Windows. It's one of the main selling points of the OS after all.

As for the browser wars, Netscape Communicator was SHIT compared to IE 4, then 5. I remember moving to IE because it was, at the time, the genuinely better browser. When IE 6 stagnated, alternatives appeared and LIFE WENT ON. People treat Microsoft as if they killed their child or something - they only become a problem if you let them.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (1, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#44846933)

Now of course with M$ ownership, they are right in the line of fire for a very, very expensive class actions law suit. Especially if they already used a majority ownership to implement decisions that favoured themselves at the expense of minority share holders (note this is illegal). So will M$ get screwed over in court for killing Android on Nokia, especially when it get's in some cases patent royalties equal to or greater than what it charges for windows phone OS licences.

I'll bet there are already a bunch of lawyers salivating at the chance to drag M$ and Nokia into court to recover billions in losses to shareholders. Then could come Nokai employee civil action suits for career losses as a result of manipulation of Nokia management decision to favour M$. Always remember there is a huge monumental difference between majority ownership and total ownership in a public company and the resultant impact upon remaining share holders and even employees. When the fraudulent actor in the future of Nokia has such deep pockets as M$ to target and remembering that the class action suit will occur in a region now becoming very hostile to M$ due to those losses, the class action law suit become very desirable.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44847233)

You don't think Microsoft had a team of lawyers that considered this possibility, and figured out a boring, mind-numbing and legalistic way around it? There will be no serious lawsuit over this.

Re:Microsoft buys Microsoft (-1, Offtopic)

sharklasers (3047537) | about a year ago | (#44847667)

I long for the day the $ joke in Microsoft's name finally dies out. People no longer understand its origins and it doesn't make sense anymore. Every company wants to make money, Microsoft makes shit-tons, big deal. It just looks petty at this point, as if people cannot move on.

How much of a role did an Android phone play... (2, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about a year ago | (#44846791)

in the acquisition? Exactly fuck all. Really, do you think Microsoft would pay $7.5 just to avoid yet another Android also-ran competitor?

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846913)

I doubt they would have been concerned about Nokia as an Android competitor - but they would have been very, very worried about losing their partnership with the maker of 80% of the Windows phones sold. Nokia is the only thing that is currently letting Microsoft believe that it has any chance at all with phones.

Windows already has fuck-all share of the smartphone market - reducing that to only 20% of fuck-all would just be humiliating.

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (3, Insightful)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#44847857)

I doubt they would have been concerned about Nokia as an Android competitor - but they would have been very, very worried about losing their partnership with the maker of 80% of the Windows phones sold.

I suspect it's a bit of both. Losing market share would be really bad, but just as bad would be if their Windows Phone poster child Nokia did really well with an Android phone (and I can't see why they couldn't... they do good hardware) to the point that they no longer needed Microsoft propping them up financially. It would send one hell of a message to other mobile manufacturers... namely, "not worth the bother".

That perception matters a lot. Technology-wise, I doubt Windows Phone is that bad (I haven't seen one, myself). But the market thinks it's tainted, and that's what's killing it as much as anything else.

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846999)

They burned up that much cash on tablets that they couldn't sell. Gates said that he didn't give a shit if m$ was completely unprofitable for an entire year. With the cash hoarde they have, they can be as screwey as they want. $7.5 billion to kill off another Android phone maker....done!

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44847071)

Think of it more like a "the murdered woman was pregnant" headline. Actually, that's a pretty good analogy. Certainly closer to the truth than Balmer would like to admit.

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44847315)

That's not what they got. They avoided the embarrassment of having the producer of their flagship Windows phone drop them like a hot potato in order to produce an Android phone. In addition they bought continuing production of the Windows phone.

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847447)

MS paid to save the only Windows Phone handset manufacturer that counts. They didn't pay to prevent yet another Android phone from appearing - they paid to save the only WP phones from DIS-appearing.

Re:How much of a role did an Android phone play... (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#44847619)

No, but I do thing that many, many people would have bought a Nokia quality Android phone, and Microsoft didn't want to take the chance of waiting for Elop's arguably* deliberate damage to the Nokia brand/shareprice/future to recover with a successful, popular range of phones people actually want to buy.

*In court, I'd say that I didn't really believe this.

Nokia is volume (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#44846831)

If one is going to be a volume business in the mobile phone business, one has to sell android. It is the only thing that competes with Apple. Nokia is volume. At it's height Nokia had about twice the sales of Apple phones sales. Ms has been at this for 15 years and has never broken 20% of the market, and has generally had duds. Now with MS money they can be a boutique shop selling phones that do nothing. Unless Google stops backing up Android with lots of free to the user stuff, or unless MS starts supply free stuff to the end user(big skydrive, free cloud exchange, free online office) people are not going to pay for the phone then monthly fees to use MS services. Even Apple keeps prices low.

Re:Nokia is volume (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44846895)

My prediction is that Microsoft will almost give away phones when they own Nokia's handset business. Micorsoft realizes that they are in danger of an entire generation learning that they don't need a PC running Windows and that this is complete disaster for Microsoft in the making.

How much money has Microsoft dumped into Xbox over the years? I suspect that those billions will pale into insignificance in comparison to Microsoft's plans for Windows Phone.

Re:Nokia is volume (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#44847035)

Windows phone picked up about 3.7% of the market in 2Q 2013 - or 8.7 million devices. Of those Nokia shipped 7 million, and Samsung 1 million + other.

Now lets look at android. Sure, samsung shipped 73 million devices, but numbers 2-5 each shipped between 10 and 12 million units. LG, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE

So while Nokia - and everyone else is getting completely smoked by samsung, they're actually catching up to the second tier of the pack at around 10 million units a quarter.

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24257413

So sure, nokia is managing about 1/4 the sales of apple with MS. And had 77% year on year growth. That'... well, is surprisingly good honestly. Even if they get half that much growth this year they'll be in the 2nd rung of smartphone makers behind samsung. Which given that they don't have semiconductor fabs is about as good as you can hope for.

shipped vs sales (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847449)

Shipped and sales are not the same thing. You are comparing apples and oranges. Nokia might have shipped that many but sales are much lower. Almost no one who has experiences Windows on the desktop wants that on their phone.

Re:Nokia is volume (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44847501)

Compare it to Nokia's sales before Elop. The figures look like they fell off a cliff and there's some sort of movement at the bottom.

2nd rung of smartphone makers

So after being number one they may in a perfect world claw their way back to second place?

Well (2)

Lirodon (2847623) | about a year ago | (#44846845)

I did this mockup after the rumor about Huawei buying Nokia, its relevant again. http://i.imgur.com/ZOTnXTd.png [imgur.com] Nokia Nexus 4.8 could have been fun

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847321)

Awesome, I like it a lot :o)

Something i would have like to have seen as well. I love(d) Nokia and am sad they have died a horrible death at the hands of MS :'o(

Re: Well (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about a year ago | (#44847415)

My thoughts exactly... I love the phone itself- decent specs, killer firm factor, Nokia true black (amoled?) Screen. Looks especially nice where the black glass meets up with the chassis on one of the colored phones. I wonder if anyone's managed to get android running on a lumia.

One never knows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846867)

Whatever the case, the project is most likely dead at this point.

You never know. Microsoft might want to start making a profit on their acquisition. If that's the case, it'd be their only option. It's not like they could put iOS on it. /snark

Bluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846897)

It might just be a bluff to rush Microsoft into purchasing them

Windows Phone should being doing so much better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846917)

I am ex-Microsoft. I quit after being forced to buy a win7 phone (not because of the phone, but for other reasons :)). That thing was on shit hardware because HTC refused to put it on recent designs. I cursed it and hated it and I bought the Samsung S4 as soon as my contract allowed it. As an open source guy shoe-horned into Microsoft I love the concept of Android. I couldn't wait to ssh and rdp into servers even if on a tiny screen. I loved having a real SDK (win8 is improved, but still limited) and I can see that it is a good dev env.

Its execution is crap. It crashes once a week. I also hear Android needs reinstalled somehow once in awhile, so can't wait for that. My win7 phone crashed like 5 times over the 2.5 years I had it including random updates and verizon dicking around. Android's notification system is limited and lame (hey I already read that mail somewhere else, get rid of the notice). I have to pull it down to see what's going on instead of being integrated into the home/lock screen. Mail is integrated more than win, but Gmail is some how sooo special it gets separate updates and its own mail program so I still have to check mail twice. Outlook and most mail clients by default save drafts in (guess what?) 'drafts' yet android/gmail gets confused and puts the various draft copies in the threads, generates/spams more copies if you open them wrong, and buries replies to you under the messed up drafts when someone replies. WTF?? Plus the new label system is not accurate and not useful for as tiny a demo they give you. I turned it off.

My wife is still Microsoft and she loves her lumia and honestly it is pretty useful. Only now is the motoX advertising simple camera access and lock screen notices. Hey maybe if they copy live tiles, integrated messaging fully like windows and iOS, and get rid of the special gmail crap (even windows doesnt treat outlook very special) Android would be going somewhere (of course fix the stability now).

Anyway, excluding BLE support win8 really isn't missing much and is pretty competitive. Its usability is a ton higher than Android after using both. The main reason it is failing is just all the windows hate, which is understandable. Microsoft has come a long way, but it isn't perfect (no company is). They just need some serious marketing and stop with the stupid dancing crap.

Re: Windows Phone should being doing so much bette (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846929)

lol.

Re:Windows Phone should being doing so much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44846967)

I quit after being forced to buy a win7 phone

I'm calling BS. Under what circumstances were you 'forced' to buy a WP7 device?

Unless you had a massively customer facing role, or perhaps worked on the phone team, you would not be 'forced' to buy such a device. In such cases you'd be given one to be able to do your job. For the rest of us we were given the option to purchase one at a special price.

As a current Microsoft employee... I will agree that the HTC Trophy was an unmitigated piece of crap and sadly was until late last year the only Windows Phone option on Verizon.... though I do not blame the OS for that, I blame HTC (and not just for the Trophy) as I experienced similar quality with other HTC WP7 devices, issues I did not see or hear as much of from non-HTC units.

Re:Windows Phone should being doing so much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847013)

All services people are 'reimbursed' for their phones as well as getting the general benefits. We were told what phones they would reimburse and told to not bring other branded products on customer visits. So what do you call that? I had no problems with that really. I quit as the account management in services (and I moved around services quite a bit) was just insane with incompetence and ignorance to new products and the customers we were getting as part of Microsoft sucked and treated us like crap (pretty sure it was the company we kept). Working in Redmond is awesome and I wouldn't mind that again, anywhere else in Microsoft hell no.

Re:Windows Phone should being doing so much better (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#44847295)

HTC could have been No 1 in the market, but decided that the reason people bought Apple was because the iPhone did not have removeable batteries and externa SD cards. In reality, the reaon people did not by Apple was to get removeable battriese and external SD cards. Change of tack on this and HTC could be No1 again. The build quality of their Android phones is good.

No one has allegience to Samsung (all my family are Samsung users).We buy the best Android phone on the day our contract runs out. We have a boatload of Galaxy S3 batteries on charge at any one moment, and when we come in the door, we swap batteries. S4 or HTC? when the contracts run out, we will look at everything, ZTE, Xaomei, or WTF.

No exchangeable battery - no buy. Simples. WinPhone? Are you MAD?

Dislcaimer: We have 4 Nokia Symbian 60 phones, and they are also in regular current use.

Estrategy (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year ago | (#44847053)

Everybody knew Microsoft were going to buy the Mobile Division from Nokia since the first day Elop laid this butt on that chair. The question were for how much.

I think that all that Android effort was a strategic move to prevent Microsoft to buy the Division too much cheap.

Two Ways This Could Have Affected the Deal (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#44847075)

Given that Microsoft was making more money off Android phones than Windows phones [slashdot.org] , one of two things must have occurred:

Ballmer told Nokia, "look, if you put Android on your phones, you're going to end up paying us so much in licensing fees you might as well just sell yourself to us now."

Or, Ballmer realized there wouldn't be many Windows phones left [slashdot.org] if Nokia switched to Android, and decided it was worth $7 billion to keep one major handset manufacturer putting Windows phones into the marketplace.

Exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847077)

In developement, yeah, like it would take more than a few days them to make android run on any of the lumia phones.

Re:Exaggeration (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44847109)

Not if they gave an unocked lumia to Cyanogen. Those guys are amazing.

Re:Exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847177)

Or shipped the Lumia 1020 with an unlocked, CWM-ready bootloader that allows it to be reflashed to Android. Win, win for Microsoft... they move inventory, and can claim that every one sold is actually being used as a Windows phone, even if XDA knows otherwise.

Or they could just an option like Android has to install apps from "untrusted" sources, so WinPho can have as much pr0n as Android. While gay iQueens have to pretend that apps like Grindr are for platonic social networking among gay professionals whose private pics are more censored than a "Ken" doll, WinPho users can join their Android brethren at FuckFindr, BottomsUp, and SexNoWWW.

Most likely??? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44847153)

Kidding, right?

Could we please agree on one thing... (1)

Hymer (856453) | about a year ago | (#44847275)

...Nokia is neither sold nor bought YET! They are missing both approval of the share owners and from the EU, US and probably also from the Finnish government.
For Nokia Android would not be a race to the bottom because Nokia IS already on the bottom... if you do not earn anything then anything that would raise your earnings is a better solution even if it is Android.
This, if proven true, may in fact sabotage the Microsoft - Nokia merger plan...
I surely hope that most of Nokias shareholders will say "Thanks, but no thanks" to Microsoft and get Elop fired.

Re:Could we please agree on one thing... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44847513)

"Thanks, but no thanks" to Microsoft and get Elop fired

Elop has already left the country and is taking up a new position at Microsoft.

Newkia (4, Informative)

Marco Bit (3080425) | about a year ago | (#44847393)

So everyone here is completely and utterly unaware of the company that was formed the same day Microsoft bought Nokia called Newkia that aims to produce mobile phones for the Android?

Re:Newkia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847769)

http://www.slashgear.com/newkia-seeks-nokia-defectors-to-make-android-phones-06296809/

Re:Newkia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44847839)

So everyone here is completely and utterly unaware of the company that was formed the same day Microsoft bought Nokia called Newkia that aims to produce mobile phones for the Android?

No, we're not unaware: it was reported here [slashdot.org] .

Most profitable android development evar! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#44847559)

Wow! I think the highest profit margins ever recorded in an android universe must have been this project in Nokia. Just a couple of engineers writing a few header files, and one middle manager producing a presentation of a product development plan, one double agent ratting it out to Microsoft ..., boom, the take over negotiations with Microsoft goes at combat speed and the offer bumped up by a billion or two!

Well done, Nokia, you have learned the lessons of all those municipalities and governments threatening to go to Linux to wrangle a better deal from Microsoft well.

Platform was already compatible (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#44847637)

The Vertu luxury brand phones use Nokia HW platform, and switched to Android apparently without much work. Nokia Android phone was speculated [tomshardware.com] early this year.

Meego or Android could have saved Nokia... (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#44847649)

If not for the plain arrogance towards both the market and it's customers that often comes with to much success.
In that respect the just team up with a partner with the exact same problem. Or should i say gotten owned by.
They should have listened to all the critics back in 2006-2007 when they started to produce perfectly engineered smartphones that met all the specs on paper, but never really worked in practice, ie. N96.
Nokia + Microsoft are just like to middle aged guys that found each other, sunday morning at six o'clock when all the hot girls ( or guys :/ ( no pun intended ) ) left the bar. The whole town is empty. They need all the luck they can get or it could get ugly.
Had Nokia just teamed up with Intel, way earlier and kep focus on meego and perhaps Qt, it could have been a great party.
Had they focused on Android already back in 2005 as a plan b, they would have been safe by now.
Now it's just two battered old guys holding hands, sun is rising. Hum!

Re:Meego or Android could have saved Nokia... (1)

sixtuslab (1130675) | about a year ago | (#44847799)

Meego would have been the way to go, the only problem against it would have been the ecosystem which would have been easily fixed by becoming part of the android ecosystem like the other finnish linux os phonemaker Jolla did.
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