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Android Businesses Cellphones Hardware

Nokia Had an Android Phone In Development 189

Posted by timothy
from the backup-plan dept.
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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Nokia Had an Android Phone In Development

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  • Like Nokia itself (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13, 2013 @11:50PM (#44846695)

    (dead at this point)

  • Wasted opportunity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday September 13, 2013 @11:54PM (#44846709) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Pricing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 1984 (56406) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:08AM (#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.

    • by romiz (757548)
      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.
    • The purchase of Nokia did not include transfer of patents only a 10 year license to the patents. Patents would have made the Nokia deal much higher.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:11AM (#44846785) Homepage Journal

    ... 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.

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

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:44AM (#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.

      • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @06:39AM (#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.

    • 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.
    • by sjames (1099)

      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.

  • Nokia is volume (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:22AM (#44846831) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:39AM (#44846895) Journal

      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.

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        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.

        The same logic would apply to their Surface tablets, but it hasn't happened. Of course, things may change when Ballmer is gone.

    • Re:Nokia is volume (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @01:21AM (#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 (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Shipped and sales from quarter to quarter may not be. When we are looking at multi quarter trends, yeah... pretty much they are the same thing.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        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?

  • by Lirodon (2847623)
    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
  • 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.

  • 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.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      Microsoft was paying Nokia fees for an exclusive ($250m / quarter). When the renewals came up the 2 or 3 year cost was likely so high (probably at least double that) that Microsoft realized it would just be cheaper to buy the phone division outright....

  • Kidding, right?

  • Newkia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Marco Bit (3080425) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @03:52AM (#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?
    • by PPH (736903)

      I doubt this will get very far. Microsoft bought Nokia in part for its patent portfolio*. Anyone that thinks they can carry a set of hardware blueprints out the door and into a new competitor is in for a rude surprise.

      * Patent portfolio plus mutual licensing deals with the other major IP holders. Anyone that thinks they can build a phone from scratch these days is going to end up with one like this [clientk.com].

      • Microsoft didn't buy Nokia's patents. They licensed them.
        • by PPH (736903)

          When Nokia becomes a subsidiary of Microsoft, the point will be moot. If Microsoft doesn't want a spin-off using Nokia technology with a competing O/S, licenses will not be granted. From which shell company the licenses will not be granted really doesn't matter.

          If Newkia doesn't have those rights in its pocket NOW, forget about it. In addition, they have little to deal with when negotiating for licenses from other manufacturers like Samsung, Google, Apple, etc. Other than a desire on the part of these play

  • 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 threaten

  • 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.

  • ... might be difficult to explain to shareholders. Unless MS outright intends to kill Nokia, they had better clue-up on the salability issue.
    • by PPH (736903)

      ... might be difficult to explain to shareholders.

      Not any more.

      they had better clue-up on the salability issue.

      When Microsoft tires of Nokia, there isn't going to be anything left to sell.

  • Very few people seem to remember that Samsung announced opening a research center in Finland, few months ago.

    People laughed at the time, but hopefully these funny guys now understand why Samsung did it.

    They really played it smart :)

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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