Nokia is rumoured to be making an Android phone, a project that’s reportedly going ‘full steam ahead’. This Android phone is said to be a low-end model running a forked version of Android. All this sounds too good to be true if you are an Android fan, but is it a good idea for Nokia to diversify into this market as well? Already, the company, which will soon be a part of Microsoft, is spread thin trying to cater to the Windows Phone set and the Asha crowd. With Lumia sales picking up across the world, an Android phone might just make things unmanageable for Nokia.
Supposedly Nokia's first Android phone
After using several Nokia devices for the longest time, I finally decided to buy my first Android. If I had a Nokia-built Android option then, I would have easily opted for it. Look at how Amazon has used Android and still managed to change the experience with a heavily skinned UI. I wish Nokia would have worked on similar lines instead of focussing on Maemo and then Meego.
Right now, I don’t think it’s a good idea for Nokia to build an Android phone, especially considering the imminent Microsoft deal. It would have made sense if they had an Android phone before the Microsoft takeover deal. But now that the Lumia brand is catching up and there’s been an increase in global as well as Indian sales figures, it’s a bad idea.
Analysts predict that the sales figures are bound to increase in the near future. The Asha line-up of budget devices along with some well-priced Lumia smartphones are more likely to help them bounce back. So, I think they should focus on strengthening the Lumia and Asha portfolios, instead of heading into the crowded and fiercely competitive budget Android segment.
I really don't think Nokia (or Microsoft) should jump on to the Android bandwagon. They have the Windows Phone ecosystem and instead of being just another one among the Android crowd, I think Nokia should look at improving their Lumia line-up and Windows Phone. Apart from Nokia, there really isn't anybody else making Windows Phone desirable. And despite a slow start, some Lumia products are doing well so I think getting more popular apps on the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem should the top priority. Now that Nokia is nearly a Microsoft product, it coming out with an Android phone seems nothing more than a rumour to me. I honestly don't think Nokia 'Normandy' is a good idea at all as the time for experimentation has passed. Doing anything other than improving its Windows Phone portfolio is nothing other than a distraction for Nokia at the moment.
There's no doubt in anyone's mind that a Nokia-built Android phone will be an instant hit. But sadly, that's never going to happen as Microsoft owns all of Nokia's mobile and smart devices portfolio. An entry-level Android pone is even more far-fetched as it will clash with their Asha platform, not to mention, cannibalize the sales of their budget Lumia series. If the leaked picture is anything to go by then it clearly looks like something from the Asha family with its single back button. If this 'Normandy' handset is going to use Android at its base then we're looking at a brand new app store along with apps which will have to be tweaked or ported over, which is a lot of work. And then what happens to the new Asha platform which has its own app store? There's going to be a lot of chaos and confusion, not to mention anger from customers who've bought into the Asha promise, instead of going the cheap Android phone way.