May 31st, 2011

The article title is sweet enough, but let’s spell it out anyway. Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop, who was largely behind the manufacturer’s decision to partner up with Microsoft after dissing Intel and Symbian, says Android is killing them in China and Europe. Shocker!

For China, he cites “mismanagement” as the reason why Android’s gobbled them up. In Europe, he put it bluntly – Android is just kicking our ass and it’s because some of those phones can be had for cheap. (Though, as I’m sure you’re aware, those were not his exact words.) Here are the quotes for each region respectively:

As it relates to competitive challenges, it is the case that certain competitive forces, particularly Android, are really gaining momentum in certain regions. For example in China, there’s an indication of some very substantial movement in the growth of market share for Android, particularly in some technology areas where Nokia today with our current portfolio doesn’t compete.

A good example of this is the CDMA technology in China, where that technology has seen quite an increase in market share in China. And as you know, we don’t currently have CDMA products, but clearly, that’s something that we’d be considering in the future. So there’s some dynamics like that that we have to deal with.

In Europe, that’s not the case on the management perspective. It’s very much about competitive pressures. We’re seeing, for example, a large volume of Android devices really coming into the market. They’re largely undifferentiated from one another, which is putting pricing pressure thereupon, which in turn affects the overall ranging decisions of the operators; so there’s definitely pricing pressure going on.

The funny thing is that China and Europe shouldn’t be the only regions they worry about. Monthly and quarterly trends show Android phones outpacing onces made by Nokia. Nokia has yet to bring any consumer devices to market with anything other than Symbian OS installed and it’s clearly hurting them. They’re failing to gain developer, consumer and enterprise mindshare in the smartphone sector opposed to Android and iOS.

And even when the Windows Phone 7 venture takes off, we’re not all that sure they’ll be better positioned to take out the current kings of the smartphone operating system war. Although Microsoft has had prior experience in mobile and made quite a reputation back for themselves in the early 2000s, they’re failing to rejuvenate interest in their products as fast as they had hoped.

Things could always change, but the Android boat is clearly the most lucrative one to be on right now when talking about third-party operating systems and Nokia has to suffer the effects of going against the current just like everyone else. [ZDNet]

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