Nokia: Going the Android Route is like Peeing in your Pants for Warmth


This quote completely came out of left field and smacked me in the face this morning. Nokia’s Anssi Vanjoki – speaking with Financial Times – states that they aren’t going the Android route because it’s more like being a Finnish boy that pees in his pants to stay warm throughout the winter. It’s easy to just extract that quote and call it a day, but what he means is that using Android as a short-term boost isn’t the best course of action as it won’t sustain over a longer period of time.


His thoughts came as a response to the now-age-old question regarding why Nokia hasn’t adopted Android with his argument essentially being that the market is over-saturated as it is and that manufacturers would be stinting growth in the long run since it’ll be hard for consumers to find meaningful differences from one piece of hardware to another. That would be a sensible conclusion, but I’m guessing HTC’s, Motorola’s, and Samsung’s amazing performance since going all out with Android isn’t being counted here.

It’s quite easy as a company man behind Nokia to downplay a model that you don’t wish to adopt considering your own model has worked for so many years to keep you on top, but to ignore the effect Android has on a lot of these manufacturers is like ignoring a pony standing inside of an Apple store. Moral of the story: it’s foolish to deny reality, and I hope you wake up from this dream world you’ve been living inside of before too long, Anssi.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. You mean if multiple hardware manufacturers are using the same software, they’ll have to compete on quality and price of hardware? What a terrible world that would be!

  2. Haha nokia is floating down the niagra without a
    Motor on their boat bye bye

  3. and going with Nokia is
    like taking a poop in your

  4. Nokia has yet to wake up and realize they’re screwed. The same way Windows 7 is screwed, and that Bada OS from Samsung that we’ve heard little about. People are going Android or iPhone period. I see little room for much more unless you’re 80 and you’re getting a Jitterbug. But time will tell. Nokia is much bigger than just the US so we’ll see.

  5. Nokia stopped becoming relevant in the US a long time ago. Their current hardware offerings are getting better, but people want apps now….a lot of them.

  6. Nokia isn’t exactly standing still. They are launching Meego together with Intel (Intel killed its Moblin project and Nokia killed its Maemo project for it), and are putting their weight behind it. So let us see how things will turn out, although the market doesn’t need another giant, a full opensource linux-based system is welcome

  7. I do see his point here. I am an Android fan all the way, but I do agree that the market is flooded with Android devices. I am not saying that is a bad thing, but I could see where that could confuse or overwhelm consumers. I also agree with Alex as well. I mean, tons of different computers over the years have used Windows, and that caused hardware manufacturers to compete more with hardware style and performance. I just hope something is done soon about barring hardware manufacturers’ software customizations, with the exception of Sense or maybe giving the consumer a choice between custom or stock AOSP.

  8. LOL

    then don’t do it, don’t put that words out of context!

  9. @derrickISONLINE really how can you judge an OS that isn’t even out yet. MSFT has made a really solid offering with WP7 and the SDK is leap years ahead of Eclipse. That being said I wouldn’t give up my Vibrant for anything. The smart phone market is still in it’s infancy.

    Now back to Anssi’s remark. He knows this experience first hand because it probably happens right before the last few quarterly earnings calls. Good luck with your shrinking market share.

  10. Circling the drain.

  11. I really like the android OS but lately i seen lots of android fanboys lately nokia want to go with other OS and that is just fine if they dont believe that android is the answer to their question, than let them use another answer. who know maybe it works out for them….

  12. @Rob (9) I guess a similar question can be asked to you: How can you judge an OS that isn’t even out yet? “MSFT has made a really solid offering with WP7.” Goes both ways, my good man.

  13. Nokia isn’t going anywhere. They still are #1, I believe, so they have a huge user base. Obviously, they feel the threat of Android and will put it down as being an inferior OS. (Note to Nokia: Steve Jobs tried that approach and it backfired.) I can’t see Nokia smartphones becoming relevant in the USA anymore. There was a time when the best cellphones here were all Nokias, but that time is gone. They are adamant about using their proprietary OS and that’s fine. I do know that if Nokia can’t sustain their sales, they will be making phones that run on Android in the future, rather than just fold up shop.

  14. that’s too bad. nokia made my favorite bluetooth headsets(worked after a trip through the washer and drier and worked after a week in the yard) it’s sad to see them make such stupid decisions. hope they come to their senses before they go completely out of business.

  15. Nokia is just mad because they used to be good, now they cant do anything to compete, stop whining about it Nokia and get back in the game..

  16. Operating systems have a tendency towards the creation of a monopoly. Just in the same way that Ebay became the dominant online auction as the more people used it the more they used it, beyond the key set up point it became a self fulfilling prophecy. The obvious winner for smartphone OS is Apple but because they refuse to let anyone use it, Android has now become dominant. Nokia would need to create an OS significantly better to get anyone to switch now, as the cost of moving is too great.

  17. @Quentyn because I have handled a development device. :)

  18. Continuing to ignore the opportunity offered by Android is like Nokia crapping themselves and telling everyone their pants are actually a new mobile toilet.

  19. I think there is a bad choice of words for Suomi guy. He underestimates the competition.
    But if Nokia plays smart and give people what they want, I don’t why they wouldn’t be a big player in the future. It’s about what people want, not about names (Android, Maemo, Symbian etc). Android is making a good progress because it’s a good phone OS, not because it is called Android.

  20. I am reminded of those comments made by Ballmer some time ago about how Android had nothing on WinMo before Android was even released… Good times…

  21. I’ll just make it simple. “Nokia…Disconnecting People.”

  22. “…own model has worked for so many years to keep you on top…”

    IMO, 80-90% of customers of Symbian powered Nokia devices are unaware of what Symbian (or a smartphone) is and/or what they can do with it. They bought their phones just because it was a Nokia, like the old, first and second generation models of Nokia like 3110, 5110, 6110, 8110 etc.

    In my particular case, after Nokia bought Symbian and stopped development of UIQ 3 (I had SE P1i then) I decided not to buy any Nokia phone, nor SE. “Ego” usually harms ones themselves. No need to be a fortune teller to see they are not able to concurrate with Apple and Google.

  23. That Tiny Pony article was great. Nokia is dumb for not diversifying.

  24. several here have commented on Nokia’s huge user base, but really what is the expectation of brand loyalty? If Nokia doesn’t create innovative, usable product, the user base will migrate to someone who does. Witness the fall of Palm, who arguably were amongst those who lit the first fires for today’s smartphone market; their flame is doused and sadly will probably not burn again.

  25. as long as Android got apps. i will be find.

  26. There is no spoon.

  27. Not sure if this guy is just being deliberately obtuse but that is like saying Windows on a desktop is idiotic because there are a million Windows desktops of varying quality and cost.

    That’s the whole point! Android is just the base OS. Companies can build as strong or weak an offering as they are willing and able. Like Windows computers the phones that stand out as excellent will stand out and sell while the bottom of the barrel stuff will still end up on ebay and Walmart et al.

    I get that this is business talk and they can’t display anything but utter strength and confidence. This market likes to stay ahead of the curve so if something seems like a lost cause or on the way out, they flock away as soon as possible. Nokia needs to keep stock prices up while they work on their next big thing.

  28. In theory he might be right, but I think the current market proves him wrong. There is more than enough room for manufactures to compete on the hardware alone. Look at all the different hardware Android is available on today? Not only that, but given that many of the manufactures are “enhancing” Android with their own software (Sense, motoblur, etc.) tells me that there IS room to also compete on software as well (although I think most of us would prefer a stock, unmolested Android OS). It is true in one sense that if the OS is the same, then manufactures need to compete in other areas, and the truth is large dominate companies often dont like competition. Also, controlling the full stack (hardware, OS, App store, etc.) gives them much higher profit margin. The funny thing is all the same things would apply to MeeGo as well (if it ever became as popular as Android is today), and Nokia is supposed to be one of the major supporters of MeeGo, so this kind of invalidates his entire argument, assume Nokia is serious about MeeGo.

    All that being said, Nokia is still #1 worldwide, so I think we need to assume they are not idiots.

  29. Question, did Nokia come out with the first cell phone ever? I understand why the guy said what he said. He basically meant, he doesn’t want to jump on the band wagon. He has too much pride for that. I have to admit…I have an OLD OLD OLD Nokia phone from T-Mobile that I got free about 9 years ago still sitting in my drawer next to my old G1. I could take that old Nokia phone out right now, put my SIM card in it, and use it. I haven’t charged the battery since I got my G1 in 2008 and it still powers right up. That phone is so old, it was one of the first phones with a color screen instead of the old backlit calculator type screen. It has been completely submerged in a pool at a college party and the first thing I did was pull it out of my pocket and make a call…right out of the pool. Everybody else’s phones that took a swim were toast. But not my old trusty Nokia. I threw that thing down the hallway in college just to prove it was indistructable. I picked it up after it had bounced about 5 times on the hard tile floor and I made a call.

  30. > Nokia hasn’t adopted Android with his
    > argument essentially being that the market
    > is over-saturated as it is and that
    > manufacturers would be stinting growth
    > in the long run since it’ll be hard for
    > consumers to find meaningful differences
    > from one piece of hardware to another.
    Amiga and BeOS hasn’t adopted MS-DOS and Windows because the market is over-saturated as it is and that PC manufacturers would be stunting growh in the long run since it’ll be hard for consumers to find meaningful differences from one PC to another.
    Maybe there’s a bit of truth to that argument about meaningful differences. However if you get run over, left behind, and forgotten, does it matter that you might have had some minor point?
    Company leaders with some ambition, some drive, some testosterone will FIND A WAY to differentiate their product while making it compatible with what is destined to be THE industry standard of the next decade.

  31. Maybe what Anassi is trying to say is that all these mobile manufacturers leaping on the Android band-wagon isn’t as far-sighted as manufacturers working to develop their own distinct smartphone operating systems. And in that, he may be right. But what he’s overlooking is the fact that if the manufacturers also had to develop their own OSes, they would have to spend R&D money on the software instead of just the hardware leading to slower releases and fewer offerings.

  32. Looks like the Executive VP of Mobile Solutions needs to find some better analogies. You expect this from a teen-aged rant about why Android isn’t a long term solution, not someone that holds a position such as VP of a company that has been around as long as Nokia. It doesn’t matter, though, Nokia is worthless. Unless they get money from the Apple suit, it’s name will only be a memory to shit like Snake.

  33. I haven’t had a Nokia since 2002. Back then I adored Nokia phones.

    These days they’re dead last in choice, after palm / Windows phones.

    Nokia can deny all they want, they will just keep losing consumers left and right with this mindset.

  34. Yeah, manufacturers that depend on another company to make an OS will never survive. I mean, just look at the relationship with Microsoft and Dell, HP, and Toshiba.

  35. Ultimately there are just a few things to think about when it comes to these devices.
    -Ease of use.

    For the most part, iPhone/Android they are both great phones and easy to use.

    Cost, really… With subsidies from the Carriers, who’s to say?

    Usability – Let’s face it, Apps are important. Nokia would have to get developers on a new platform. Why should they switch when they are making $$$ on existing platforms just fine, unless Nokia is going to give handsets away and bank on Apps to cash in on profit.

    Sustainability – The long term outlook for any piece of hardware is obsolescence. Most people don’t own computers and phones more than 4 years old, albeit some do. However WindowsXP ran and runs on computers today. While the hardware continues to see major improvements, the software just gets tweaked. Apple has a lot of success in showing that what you buy with one phone will work in the next generation of phones. So that way, you don’t have to throw away all your purchases. I believe we are seeing that on the Android platform as well. As Android Pads start to come out and compete, it will really leave only three dominate players.

    RIM (Blackberry)

    So Nokia, they may just stick with being the best handset maker in the world and try to cash in on their patents.

  36. Time is a great equalizer. The simple truth is this, Nokia can talk big now because they are big. It’s not projected for Android to become #1 for a few more years, assuming today’s trends do not change. The likelihood that an arrogant statement such as this will be remembered in 2014 is not very high. A handful of people will comment about it but most will have moved on and forgotten it.

  37. hmm…nokia runs symbian and meego.
    meego is a pure linux -> i would prefere this over android
    symbian has silverlight running -> apps can be taken from MS laster

    symbian scales better on small devices. meego might be better for big devices (pad/slate/TV/…)

    the only thing that nokia has to make is
    a) give the app developpers the possiblity to have the same app running on both devices
    b) port android to meego so that the already existing apps can run there too.
    c) build good hardware (that is what they really can)
    d) be happy and sell devices…

  38. btw: too all the people saying nokia is dead. There are many people that dont want a smartphone. and these phones mostly run with symbian -> nokia.

  39. one more thing: nokia used to build wheels in the past, they switched to cell-phones, lets see what they are building in the future…

  40. “be hard for consumers to find meaningful differences from one piece of hardware to another” ….. isn’t that Nokia’s job ?

  41. First of all Nokia’s Maemo is still alive and well on the N900 and it is WAY better than any other OS out there right now.

    And using Nokia’s QT you can develop apps for Symbian, Maemo, Meego (any flavour of Linux really), Windows, Mac OS X, Windows CE/Mobile and… Android.

  42. And if someone asks “what the hell is QT?”

    Just a few applications that were developed using QT:
    Google Earth
    VLC Player
    Adobe Photoshop Album

  43. Boy oh boy alls I got to say is…can anyone name a good Nokia phone out there NOW? I had a harass one about 6yrs ago and have not heard anything about them since then…lol

  44. The new Nokia N8?
    But if you really hate Symbian… go with the Nokia N900, it uses Maemo.
    Or wait for the N9 that will have Meego (Maemo+Moblin)

  45. Meant to say bad ass one sheeeeeeeeesh!

  46. Nokia doesn’t want in on android. No surprise to me though because the way android is going its showing to be short term. I would give it 3 more years of life in my opinion.

    Nokia just needs apps and hype.

  47. Android needs rivals in order to keep the big wheels of improvement turning. Nokia’s problem is that they were king for so long that they lost any sight of improving their hardware and software. Nokias have been the same since camera phones first came in. Android is the best thing that happened to the mobile market because it’s forcing hardware manufacturers to create better hardware with more functions which can integrate with the software.

    Whatever Nokia decide to do to stay afloat, they need to do it quick. We won’t wait around for another 3 MP camera phone with a non-touchscreen low colour screen and hardware buttons.

  48. I may or not speak for a considerable number of people when I say that, I specifically seek out Android run hardware. I’ve seen phones that I really like, but if it doesn’t have Android, I wish to myself that it did. There’s a comfort in familiarity with a software product. You know what it will do and what you can do with it, you can keep your favorite apps. Whereas all along the way, since cell phones came along with any kind of software application, they’ve continually changed so that I’ve had to leave favorite features behind, I discover things about new phones that I don’t like after I’ve already made the purchase, things I can’t evaluate before hand, that only pop up in normal use (and of course since most kiosks only have little plastic mock-ups of phones anyway…) It’s been awhile since I last had a Nokia phone and I can’t say that I was impressed by what they had to offer, I think they’d be better off adopting Android. As a side note, I love Finland, I have many friends from there, I wish Nokia were a favorite of mine, but they’re definitely not. :o/

  49. @N8Y3.14
    Something you do not mention about Nokia developing their own OS. Apps. Where are they going to get the apps for their new OS?
    The way to get a vast army of developers is to have an industry standard OS. iPhone could have been it if Apple could play well with others. But Apple can’t play well with others. So something else had to come along.

  50. @Josh
    In the future I will also only seek out Android phones. One major reason is this. I will never again have to worry about syncing my calendar, contacts, to do list, etc. Just get the new phone, enter my google account info and I’m synced.

  51. some of you I agree with most I don’t only for the simple fact is that you have no idea what the hell your talking about. like some of these post were written by kids lol. Nokia will never die, and if you think about it… most ppl only really use there phone for texting, web search, and talking… so you don’t tons of apps that your not even gonna use… oh wait they look cool, look have tons of apps… OK who cars. nokia is getting better about there hardware, example they are starting to use the same lens and Sony uses on there cams (Sony is all about multimedia BONUS) Android is a Unix base os, so it is good in some ways, but there messing with windows and I’m not a big windows fan (LOVE Linux) but anyone that went up against windows has fallen……(message). Don’t be a follower, go with what works for you. it your all about watching movies and photo slide shows music get apple. email- blackberry, multimedia hands down SONY. but it you want a tough ass phone get nokia, the longest lasting company owning 2/3 of world market share. like t-mobile owns 1/3 of the world 1.5/3 is china mobile and the rest are the tiny company’s like Verizon, sprint lol at&t. for me- Sony ericsson or nokia….4 LIFE dawg lol

  52. @RyanB
    Android is Linux not Unix. Linux! = Unix.
    as an android developer you don’t see Linux unless you write native code.
    The single teason iPhone and Androif id hot is: apps.
    while grandmothers might buy nokia or palm the app using world will buy android. For the very same reason Windows became successful.

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  54. I don’t see Android as a short term OS solution. I see it as something that will last for quite some time. WHy? Openness. Look at what Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG are all doing. The first three have “skins” on the platform giving it their own flair. Next there are so many apps. As someone here already stated, using Android gives developers the chance to focus more on their devices than the time and money on the OS. It frees up R&D in one area and pushes it to others. Look at the leaps we have seen in the last year alone in smart phones thanks (in part) to Android! Processor speeds jumped, and next year will be the age of DUAL CORE handsets! Who needs a desktop anymore!

    Nokia is falling behind. Sure, their OS is powerful and scalable, but what good is it if they can’t market it? I admit, I am talking as an American consumer, and Symbian is popular in other parts of the world, but guess what? Android is pushing into those regions and gaining a LOT of ground.

    Android is not just relevant today, it will be relevant for many more years.

  55. Oh and by the way, Android is scalable too. That was hit on on this as well that Symbian and Meebo are scalable. Android can be on a mulititude of devices with varying hardware, and runs Adobe Flash and AIR…so what it doesn’t support “Silverlight”. Honestly, MS’s Silverlight hasn’t really caught on beyond their own websites. HTML5 is on the horizon and will end up making all these third party extensions pointless.

  56. I sense sour grapes. Nokia seems to me to be of the mindset that they need to own their OS and since they can’t buy Google they can’t use Android. They want a whole platform like Apple has to themselves. I hate to point out the obvious but while they sit and make bad decisions they are getting passed by and it will take them a long time to catch up if they ever do. It’s a shame. I agree with others that they have always produced solid hardware.

  57. Perhaps a better approach for Nokia would be to investigate a possible merge with Windows Mobile, if they are now willing to take the Android then WM7 will help windows and Nokia gain some lost ground. My guess is they will both realise IOS and Andriod will rule the market in the next 3 years, those 80% of users that don’t know much about smart phones will soon learn the value of having one, smart phone tech is becoming a must have accessory for young and old. With the growing app markets Nokia and Windows are too far behind to play catchup unless they come up with something far more amazing…. most unlikely. I’ve had Nokia, IOS and now Android, I must admit this is the first time ive felt my phone could do everything I wanted without software or hardware limitations found with Nokia, Windows and Apple.

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