What do you do when your company is falling apart and no one is buying your product? You diss the competition, of course. Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, has once again let us know how much he doesn’t like Android.
At the Open Mobile Summit in London today, Elop talked about a wide range of topics, like: how Nokia is doing better than ever (if by better he means dying, then yes, much better), how Android exists only thanks to the iPhone, how he plans to become a carrier’s best friend and how Windows Phone is not doing well because OEMs prefer Android instead.
However, there was one part of his speech that really caught our attention. Elop claimed that Android devices all look and act the same and that “if it’s too hard to differentiate on a platform, commoditization steps in. But then differentiation starts to creep back in through fragmentation.” In other words, if OEMs want to differentiate themselves, they’ll have to fragment Android.
Mr. Elop seems to have forgotten that Nokia will soon be making Windows Phone devices, which allow for even less differentiation than Android. As some of you might know, Microsoft has some very strict rules on what OEMs can change about Windows Phone devices on both the software and hardware side. Android, on the other hand, doesn’t have such limitations. Instead, Google encourages people to put Android on as much devices as they can.
Because of this openness, we have Android phones that range from very affordable to very expensive, from earth-loving to Apocalypse-ready, and from girly to business-friendly. At the same time, all these Android phones are compatible with each other.
Seeing how worried Elop is about differentiation, it’ll be interesting to see how Nokia manages to stand out from the extremely homologous Windows Phone crowd. Will Microsoft give preference to Nokia and allow it to change Windows Phone? If so, how will HTC and Samsung react? We’ll have to wait and see.