Nokia R.I.P.

Always sad to see an old friend fading away (remember the Matrix slide phone, the bulky Communicator 9000, and the dominant global mobile OS guys?).

Turns out that not only is Nokia losing its CEO and its Chairman, but also the head of its smartphone division. His parting shot at his fellow OEMs adopting Android captures the essence of why Nokia has passed the point of no return:

“Anssi Vanjoki, outgoing head of Nokia’s smartphone division, likens mobile phone makers that adopt Google’s software to Finnish boys who“pee in their pants” for warmth in the winter. Temporary relief is followed by an even worse predicament.”

I would argue that Motorola, HTC and others have actually fared pretty well by deciding to partner with Google on the OS and focus their efforts on hardware development. Much like the carriers themselves, these folks do best when they stick to their knitting.  His assertion that all Android handsets will look alike in the end and OEMs won’t be able to differentiate doesn’t hold water.  The reality is that it will enable an accelerated arms race between them, as they can dramatically increase the speed to market and thus proliferate the number and variety of handsets out there. The downside for consumers of course is that you’ll only have the newest and shiniest Android for a matter of weeks before another one pops up. But such is the price of progress . .


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