HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 14 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Mobile Tech / Did Android Force Nokia Buy?
Was Nokia's Android Phone Behind Microsoft Buyout?
Was Nokia's Android Phone Behind Microsoft Buyout?
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
SEPTEMBER
16
2013

Did Microsoft buy Nokia to keep that phone maker from moving to the Android platform? That is the question being raised again following confirmation that the Finnish company had developed an Android-based Lumia handset.

According to a story in the New York Times on Friday, an internal Nokia team had such a phone operational well before the two companies began negotiating the acquisition, which resulted in the $7.2 billion deal that was announced earlier this month. The Times cites two people "briefed on the effort" who chose to remain anonymous because the project had been confidential. The sources also told the newspaper that Microsoft executives were aware of Nokia's Android project.

It's not surprising that Nokia had an Android development project in the works, Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told NewsFactor. At the time, he pointed out, "Nokia was considering its options, since it knew that Symbian was dying." He added that it had invested in its own operating system, MeeGo, and wondered "whether it should further invest in that effort," or move to an established operating system.

Just Another Android Vendor

Greengart noted that when the latter choice was made, the question then became whether to adopt Android or Windows Phone, and Nokia "conducted a little bake-off." He added that if Nokia had gone with the open-source Android, "they would have competed with Samsung, and they would have been just another Android vendor." But, by going with Windows Phone, he said, "they thought they could catalyze the ecosystem."

Microsoft's recent purchase, Greengart said, came two years later, when the key question was not whether "Nokia should move away from Windows Phone phones, but if it should get out of the phone business entirely" because it was losing so much money.

A data point in support of that argument is the recent loan of nearly $2 billion from Microsoft to Nokia in the form of bonds. That loan was made even though the acquisition deal has not yet been finalized, and indicates that Nokia is very much in need of cash.

Option to Exit

Both Nokia and Microsoft have declined to comment on the Times' story. Nokia adopted Windows Phone as its phone platform in 2011, but had retained an option to get out of that commitment by the end of next year. If it had done so, the obvious choice -- if it remained in phones -- would have been to move to Google's Android operating system.

But, one way or the other, losing Nokia's design, manufacturing and distribution ecosystem would have been a dagger to the heart of Microsoft's plans to gain a firm footing in the mobile phone space, given that Nokia sells over 80 percent of all Windows Phone handsets.

Greengart said Microsoft "recognized that if it didn't buy Nokia's business, it probably would not have many Windows Phone devices on the market."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash Why wait for the future? Unlock the potential of your applications and create new business opportunities today with UCS Invicta Series Solid State Systems. Take advantage of the power of flash technology. See how it can help accelerate IT, eliminate data center bottlenecks, and deliver the peak application performance and predictability your users demand. Click here to learn more.
MORE IN MOBILE TECH
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
It might not happen today or tomorrow, but a major cyberattack on a telecom network will likely happen in the next decade, and it could bring with it great damage to finances and security.

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
Making a major change to its usually staid design philosophy, HP unveiled an all-in-one PC with built-in projector and surface-enabled touch, designed to make 3D scanning and printing easy.

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.