Nokia, After Symbian

The big news last week, apart from Mubarak stepping down, is Nokia jumping ship.

There had already been some speculation, before their Feb 11 announcement, that Nokia would tie up with Microsoft. Yet, I still found their press release on Friday quite startling. Nokia had, after all, always been standing staunchly behind Symbian all these years. Symbian has very much been a sinking ship, and most people are describing Nokia’s efforts as “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”. Well… Nokia’s CEO has taken a bold move: abandon ship.

But, is Windows Phone 7 going to save them? Although Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 seems to be a great leap forward from their previous generation Windows Mobile, it isn’t like Windows Phone 7 is making much of an impact on iOS and Android.

If Nokia wanted to make a bold move… why not jump onto the Android bandwagon? That would be really a big leap. Concentrate their energies on building great hardware. HTC and Samsung are doing very well with their Android handsets. Is Nokia avoiding Android to save face?

Or does Nokia really think that WP7 is their winning ticket? The Android space is already too crowded, it may be difficult for Nokia to differentiate themselves. The software is largely all the same, to Nokia would have to build really superb hardware, better than anyone else, that others would not be able to follow (or at least not follow quickly enough). They probably can’t… so perhaps they’re banking on a combination of factors to stay ahead in the smartphone market.

Can two ecosystems (just counting Android and Windows Phone, since iOS is only going to run on iPhones) thrive together? Windows Phone is like the Mac OS X underdog in the OS platform wars. Is Windows Phone going to be as great as Mac OS X is on their respective platforms?