Nokia Launched Five Devices At MWC
By now this is yesterday already but the significance of these devices and some other news reaches out into the heart of the mobile landscape and shakes things up.
Those who discounted Nokia’s ability to affect the mobile industry due to irrelevance or Microsoft buying them might wish to rethink their position.
Nokia Did What?!??
Suggestions of a dual-SIM Lumia Windows Phone aside on Sunday, Nokia announced additions to each of their existing platforms and 3 new Android devices branded as the Nokia X series.
The common thread running through the announcement was that regardless of platform these internet enabled devices will support Microsoft services including: –
- Bing Search on the basic Nokia 220
- OneDrive on the Nokia Asha 230
- Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com on the Nokia X, X+ and XL Android devices
Clearly Nokia did something different with these Android devices: –
- Nokia has proven that forked Android is possible with these phones built on Android Open Source Project; that’s right, no Google services.
- Nokia ensured these phones have a similar Metro look to the Lumia line and are (by the skin of their teeth) priced below their Windows Phones (the X costs 89 Euro).
- These phones will not even use Google Play for Apps, instead going to the Nokia Store.
- Expect big-ticket apps like Facebook, Twitter, Swiftkey, Vine, Viber, Spotify and WeChat.
- Microsoft services will be the default except where Nokia Apps exist. So forget about Bing Maps, you’ll be using Here Maps and Nokia Mix Radio.
- Blackberry fans everywhere pay heed, BBM is coming to Nokia X and Windows Phone Lumia (later other Windows Phones).
The Warptest POV
The big question is how did Nokia pull this off with Microsoft? This is speculation but the conversation between Microsoft and Nokia may have gone something like this,
“You know we have been researching Android as a fallback option if negotiations fail…”
“We do and we want to know if you insist on pressing ahead with a Nokia Android phone even if the deal goes ahead?”
“Yes but we want to make this a forked Android. Android without all the Google services…”
“So Microsoft still gets its royalties and Google ends up out in the cold? No shuttering YouTube Apps or restricting CalDav?”
“Exactly, and we are prepared to go one better. Imagine all Nokia devices that have internet deferring to Microsoft services like Bing or Outlook.com except if we have a Nokia App.”
“You know this idea is really starting to grow on us. What would make this cost effective?”
“What if you were able to remove the more severe hardware restrictions on Windows Phone, sign more OEM partners and we would then have a way of producing cheaper hardware and dropping prices for the consumer?”
“You know Stephen, some days I think it’s a shame you ever left Microsoft.”
“Thanks Steve… It’s good to be back.”
Why a Vodka-Martini moment (in the title)? Recall in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig’s 007 is at the card table attempting to take Le Chiffre to the cleaners? He takes the time to order a very specific drink from the barman which is so enticing that it pulls in several other players who also order the same drink. This allows Bond to reassert his dominance at the card table subtly and also annoys Le Chiffre.
I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.