A Nokia Android phone? CEO Elop says 'Anything is possible'

For those desperately waiting for an Android powered Nokia phone, there is a ray of hope. Nokia honcho Stephen Elop said, ‘Anything is possible’ when posed with the all important question of whether there will be a Nokia-Android alliance.

Gizmodo Es Espanol reports that Elop hinted towards the affirmative raising hopes that Nokia might someday produce Android powered handsets in an interview with El País. Here’s how the conversation unfolded.

El País: Do you discard launching an Android phone next year?

Elop: In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon. But we are always thinking about what's coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android... HTML5 could make the platform itself—being Android, Windows Phone or any other—irrelevant in the future, but it's still too soon [to tell]. Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible.




It might be too soon to read into what Elop said, but there is a fair chance that Nokia will look beyond Windows Phone. Even though Nokia is completely committed to Windows Phone right now, the Finnish mobile giants do not have a mutually exclusive relationship with Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Elop maintains that the tide is finally turning in Nokia’s favour again with the success of Lumia and he sees Nokia getting to that elusive double-digit market share where it can compete neck-in-neck with Google and Apple.

I can't give figures, but the first objective, without giving any dates, is getting a double-digit market share. Then, keep pushing and establish an equilibrium with the other two big ecosystems, Apple and Android,” he said. 

Nokia has come out and said that the El Pais interview was mistranslated and gave its own side of the story. To the question, “Do you rule out 100% launching a smartphone based on Android in 2013?” Elop replied, “So, the way I think about it is, in the current war on ecosystems, we are fighting with Windows Phone. That's what we're doing. Now, what we're always doing is asking, how does that evolve? What's next? What role does HTML5 play? What role does Android or other things play in the future? We're looking further into the future, but it terms of what we're bringing to market, and what we're immediately focused on, we're focused on Windows Phone.”

Although it is slightly surprising that Elop would hint on something on the lines of not ruling out an Android handset from Nokia so soon after the success of the line of the Windows 8 powered Lumia handsets, his actions are only understandable. There is no time for the Nokia honchos to kick up their heels and enjoy the success of the Lumia series in their struggle to regain control over the market they were undisputed rulers of once.

It has been seen that even the biggest of mobile companies prefer to not put all of their eggs in one basket and go on to diversify their products. There is absolutely no harm in Nokia going the same way too.

Rumours about Nokia turning to Android are not new and have been going on for a while now. But what makes this quote by Elop so interesting is that it’s one of the first times Nokia has not vehemently denied an association with Android. In fact, last year, a move from Nokia itself added fuel to the fire.

Nokia had put out an advertisement on LinkedIn, which has since been removed, that said that the mobile production company was looking for ‘Principal Software Engineer, Embedded Linux Middleware'. The ad went on to say that the candidate would work in a ‘start-up environment’ developing ‘exciting new products’ for ‘future mobile technology’ for Nokia. 

Since Windows Phone 8 is not based on embedded Linux and it being in the core of Android led to rumour mills working overtime on social networking websites as soon as the ad was spotted. Linux is used on the Nokia 820 and 920 phones though. Nokia doused the passion the ad aroused by saying that the Linux engineer was actually wanted to work on its version of HERE maps for Android.