Why Nokia chose WP7 over Android?
While some people are excited about the adoption of Windows Phone 7 into the Nokia family, others are also disappointed why Android wasn’t picked by the Finnish company.
Android is obviously the more mature mobile platform compared to Windows Phone and the number of apps available in the Android Market are also miles away compared to the Microsoft Zune Store.
So the questions remains, why WP7 and not Android? Here are some of my thoughts.
Elop’s career background played a huge role with the decision to go WP7 as he used to be a top Microsoft executive and may still have a lot of allies and friends inside the Redmond complex (including Steve Ballmer himself). His bias towards Windows Phone 7 is expected and being the new gung-ho CEO of Nokia hasn’t diminished that.
Second, the shift in direction isn’t solely leveraged on WP7 alone. Nokia will still make Symbian phones in their entry-level to mid-range handsets while Windows Phone will be installed on flagship and high-end phones (partly due to the hardware requirements).
With Microsoft, Nokia has very little to no significant conflicts of interest and products unlike Google. Had Nokia chosen Android, Ovi Maps will be replaced by Google Maps and the Ovi Store will be totally scrapped in favor of the Android Market. These are huge investments that Nokia made recently and won’t still be willing to let go just to embrace Android.
The Nokia and Microsoft partnership looks like an equitable (dare I say win-win) arrangement — neither one of the two parties is too dominant over the other. Microsoft has a little bit of edge in terms of how far its WP7 platform will move forward while Nokia will benefit a lot from all the marketing budget that Microsoft will infuse into the pool as well as support for enterprise clients (MS Exchange, Outlook and Bing).
Let’s not also discount the fact that Android has a lot of patent problems plaguing it (primarily from Apple) and that might be something Nokia does not want to inherit. With WP, Nokia can be a dominant player in that platform without much competition.
Nokia will not be getting any premium or special treatment from Google unlike what it’s getting from Microsoft. Nokia already got the nod of Microsoft to customize the UI of WP7, a feature Microsoft did not extend to other previous handset manufacturers. Speaks “volumes” of favoritism.